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Sewing Vocabulary - Blanket Stitch to Buttonhole


Blanket Stitch
Example of a Blanket Stitch
Blanket stitch – An ornamental stitch used on the edge of fabric such as on a buttonhole or a blanket. A blanket stitch can be sewn either by hand or by machine, often using a heavier, decorative thread.

Blind stitch – A stitch that is practically invisible on the right side of the sewn item. It is made by picking up a tiny stitch on the outside fabric surface and passing the thread under the seam. This stitch is frequently used to finish hems (thus called blind hemming), especially on higher quality or delicate fabrics where a sewn line would detract from the look of the garment. It can be done by hand or machine. In fact, most sewing machines have a blind stitch among their selection of programmed stitches. It consists of several straight stitches followed by a single zig-zag stitch. It does take some practice to figure out how to fold the fabric properly to have the zig-zag stitch “bite” into the main fabric properly.

Bobbin – The small plastic or metal spool that holds the bottom thread in a sewing machine.

Bodice – This is the part of a pattern or garment which covers the upper body from the shoulder to the waist.

Bolt – Most fabric in fabric stores is sold on the bolt which is typically a roll of fabric on either a tube or rectangular cardboard form.

Boning – These are the stiff, but flexible, metal or plastic strips sewn into garment seams for shaping and support. You frequently see boning in formal gowns or corsets.

Border print – This refers to fabric with a printed pattern along one or both selvages. The border pattern is often incorporated into the design of the garment. A common use for border prints is in skirts or dresses.

Bound buttonhole – A buttonhole that has a piece of fabric sewn to the buttonhole opening that is cut and flipped to the wrong side leaving a bound opening that meets in the center. This buttonhole finish is used on upscale jackets and tailored garments. It is easier than it sounds, and once you get the hang of it, it is a nice way to dress up your garment.

Box Pleat
Example of a Box Pleat
Box pleat – A pleat made by two folds coming from opposite directions that meet in the middle on the back side of the item.

Buckram – A stiffened cotton fabric used for reinforcing garments. It is frequently used in draperies and for making hats. If you take a look in a baseball hat, you will see it supporting the top of the cap.

Butting – The joining of two edges together, end-to-end, so that they touch but do not overlap.

Buttonhole – A small opening made in fabric through which a button passes to make a closure. The cut edges of the slit are finished to prevent fraying by using a special buttonhole stitch that can be done either by hand or machine. Most modern sewing machines have an automatic buttonhole stitch. I remember my first machine had a four-step buttonhole and you had to switch the knob at the end of each portion of the stitch to go to the next part.

Back to Glossary Index


Thank you for reading and happy 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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