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Sewing Vocabulary - Ease to Fusible


Ease – Noun: describes the fit of a garment (see design ease and wearing ease); verb: to draw up fullness and stitch in place (without gathering) commonly used in curved areas such as a set-in sleeve.

Edge stitching – A row of machine stitching sewn very close to either the seam or garment edge, usually 1/8” or less.

Embellish – This refers to the addition of decorative stitches, appliques, charms, or other ornamentation to a sewing or craft project.
Embroidery – Stitching that is purely decorative rather than functional. Patterns and designs can be done by hand or machine with specialized threads.

Entre-deux – This is a French word literally meaning "between two". In sewing, it refers to fabric trim that is used to join two pieces of fabric together.

Fabric repeat – Fabric is printed using fixed length patterns, often with a roller. A repeat is the span between the beginning of one complete design unit and the next. Repeats can be on the horizontal or vertical length of the fabric.

Facing – A facing is a method of finishing the raw edges of a garment or other sewn project with the application of fabric that is sewn on and turned to the inside, encasing the raw edges.

Fat quarter – A fat quarter is a 1/4 yard of fabric, but is made by cutting a 1/2 yard into two pieces that are almost square (18” x 22”) instead of simply cutting a 1/4 yard across the width of the fabric which would yield a 9” x 45” piece of fabric. The result is a more usable piece of fabric.

Feed dog – This refers to the serrated bars under the sewing machine faceplate that moves your fabric as it is sewn. I don’t know what dogs have to do with it, except maybe that they “bite” the fabric?

Finger press – This is self-explanatory; you use your fingers to press a seam allowance open or to crease fabric. Finger pressing is used when you just need to quickly shape the fabric before sewing it.

Flat collar – There are many different types of collars. A flat collar, obviously, lies flat (or nearly so) against the garment and has no collar stand. Examples include the sailor, Peter Pan, and Johnny collar styles.

Flat felled seam – This seam is very commonly used on jackets and pants. It encases the raw edges and when completed, gives the garment a decorative top stitched look after it sewn down. For a more complete explanation and directions on how to sew, click here.

Fold line – This is the marking on a pattern indicating that the line should be placed on the edge of folded fabric prior to cutting. This is used on symmetrical pattern pieces so that both sides of the pattern piece are cut the same.

Foot – The foot is the shaped piece (that kind of looks like a forked tongue) that is attached to the shank of the sewing machine shaft that holds the fabric in place during sewing. In addition to the standard foot, there are many, many specialized feet for applying zippers, elastic, ribbons and other trims and for creating special stitches and hems.

French curve – This is a type of ruler that is used for drafting specific curves on sewing patterns or designs.

French seam – This is a double-seam construction whereby the raw edges from the first seam are sealed inside the seam allowance of the second seam. It works especially well on fabrics that fray easily. For a more complete explanation and directions on how to sew, click here.

Frog – These frogs do not say “ribbit”. Here, frogs refer to button-and-loop closures made of coiled or knotted cord or braid. Frog closures are frequently used on Chinese style garments or formal uniforms.

Fusible – Material such as webbing or interfacing that contains a permanent adhesive on one or both sides that is activated by heat, usually applied with an iron.

Back to Glossary Index


Recommended Reading:
Simplicity: Simply the Best Sewing Book
A helpful and easy to understand introductory book about sewing.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Tamara Bostwick for details.

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