Sewing Glossary

Applique Attaching one piece of fabric to another.
Awl/stiletto A long pointed piece of metal to help move thing through small places. Awl-Stiletto
Back stitch Stitching backwards over what you have already stitched to keep them from coming out.  
Backing  This is a piece of fabric on the back of your art piece.  
Bar tack  Going over the same stitch 3 to 5 times to keep them from coming apart.  
 Baste  Large stitches to keep your layers of fabric from moving before you sew them together.  
 Batting  This is the layer that you have in the middle of your top and backing.  
 Beading  You take beads and you usually attach by hand sewing to the place that you want them to be in your art.  Beading
 Bees Wax  You use bees wax when you are hand sewing and want to keep your thread from knotting up.  Bees-Wax
 Bias  This is the diagonal part of the fabric that stretches the most.  
 Bias Tape  This is that stretchy part of the fabric put into a long narrow piece of fabric that you want to go around curves like a circles.  Bias Tape
 Binding  You will put this around the edge of your art piece if you want to have a covered edge.  Binding
 Blanket Stitch  This stitch was used primarily on blankets. Now it is used to as a fancy stitch to highlight you design.  Blanket Stitch 2
 Bleed  Don’t cut your fingers to bleed for this one. When one of your darker fabric move into a lighter fabric. I made this quilt years ago and I did not wash this red before I used it. It bled over to the light fabric and all the way through to the backing.  Bleed 1
 Bobbin  You wined thread on these to put in your sewing machine to have a bottom thread in your seams.  Bobbins
 Bolt  No bolt of lightening here! It is usually cardboard your fabric yardage comes on.  Bolt-fabric
 Button  You use these as fasteners or as a design element.  Button-1
 Buttonhole  The button goes through two rows of tightly stitched zigzag stitching the size of the button.  Buttonhole1-1
 Casing  A tube of fabric that hides different notions or part of your art piece.  Casing-1
 Chalk  The chalk you use will not be like chalkboard chalk. It has a harder sharp edge and you mark different places that you want to connect by sewing together. After you use it brushing it off is easy.  Chalk-for-Fabric
 Color hues  Many different shades of the same color like the picture of my green threads.  Color-Hue
 Cording  This is threads or rope of a small variety you wrap your fabric around in different ways in your fabric art.  Cording
 Couching  Sewing fiber down in a pattern with a zigzag stitch in your artwork.  Couching
 Cross hatch  Quilting in a even square pattern.  Cross-Hatch
 Cutting Board  It is not time to get out your knife. You cut with your scissors and use your rotary cutter on this board.  Cutting-board-(2)
 Cutting line You have cutting lines and sewing lines on your patterns. You want to cut on the outside one so you have enough seam allowance to sew down.  Cutting-Line-(2)
 Darning foot  If you don’t have an open toed foot for your machine you can use this one. Be aware you can’t always see where you want to go with it though.  Darning-Foot-1
 Dart  You want to take a curtain part of your fabric up to a point usually done in garments.  Dart-1
 Design wall  If you want to see how your design is coming out your place your work up on this fabric or felt to see how it is coming along.  Design-Wall-1
 Ease  When you have a slightly bigger piece of fabric that needs to go onto a smaller piece of fabric. Make larger stitches and pull it until it fits the piece you are attaching it too.  Ease-1Ease-3Ease-2
 Embellishments  Ornaments and decorations made for the top of your art piece.  Embellishments
 Embroidery  There are many different types of stitches you do by hand or now on your sewing machine for decorations.  Embroidery Embroidery1
 Fabric  This is your main foundation of what you use to make your art or quilt.  Fabric
 Fabric dye  This dye is made specifically for fabric. I use the kind made for natural fiber fabric. IE: Cotton, silk hemp etc.  Fabric-Dye
 Fabric paint  These paint are made to work on fabric usually natural fibers again.  Fabric-Paint
 Fabric Pens  These pens are for fabric and are made without chemicals that will destroy your piece later.  Fabric-Pens
 Fat quarter  A quarter of a yard is 9″ by the whole width of the fabric. Fat quarter is 18″ by half of the width of fabric.  Fat-Quarter
 Feed dog  The part of your sewing machine that moves your fabric through the foot area.  Feed-dog
 Felt  Non woven fabric matted, compressed and heated together to make fabric. I use wool most of the time.  Felt
 Felting  This is the processes of making felt. You can make a ball or animals of felt for your pin cushions or embellishments.  Felting
 Felting Needle  This needle is so different from the other ones and is used to bring wool fibers together making felt.  Felting-needle
 Fibers  This is individual threads of different pieces materials we call fibers. In this picture is Angelina Fibers  Fiber-(2)
 Fleece  Originally I thought this was a fleece from a sheep. Was I wrong. It is made from polyester with small dots of heat bonding material that goes between fabrics to support your art.  Fleece
 Fob  A fun attachment you put on your scissors to identify them from other your friends.  Fob
 Foot  There are many different kinds of feet for your sewing machine and it is called a foot. This is my “A” foot here.  Foot-Sewing-machine
 Free motion  You are able to move your fabric layers around freely with out hindrance. I use free motion sewing/quilting to enhance my art piece.  
 French seam  This particular seam encloses all of the raw edges of your fabric.  
 Fusing  Using heat to attach one fabric to another fabric.  Fusing
 Gather  Using a large stitch either on your machine or by hand than move the fabric on the thread to bunch it together.  Gathering
 Grain  When you have woven fabrics there is the lengthwise grain and crosswise grain. Lengthwise goes along the  direction of the selvage and the crosswise grain goes across the fabric.  
 Grainline  This is your arrows on your patterns so you put your pattern on the fabric so it does not lay in an uneven way.  
 Hand  This is the way the fabric feels when you touch it.  Hand
 Heat applique sheet  When you use heat bonding materials you want some kind of shield between your iron and your fabric. I have had my iron jammed full of heat bonding material instead of my applique and fabric.  Heat-Applique-sheet
 Hemming  This how you turn up the bottom draperies, pants and skirts are just a few of the wearable items and it is used in some appliqué to attach them to the background fabric.  
 Hook and loop tape  This plastic tape on one side has hooks on it and the other side of the tape is fuzzy for the hooks to catch and makes a great fastener.  Hook-&-Loop-tape
 Hoop  There are hoops for many kinds of embroidery and quilting.  Hoop
 Hot ribbon  This ribbon has a heat adhesive. You attach it with a small iron.  Hot-Ribbon
 Interfacing  There are many types of interfacing for stabilizing the projects you are working on.  Interfacing
 Iron  This tool heats up your fabrics to take the wrinkles out.  Iron
 Jellyroll  I know some of you are thinking of the jellyroll you eat. This is multiples pieces 2.5″ strips of fabric rolled up in a tight roll.  
 Knit Fabric  There are hand knit and machine made fabric. This fabric stretches in all directions for easy movement.  Knit-Fabric
 Knot  A quilters knot is the most useful knot when doing hand stitching and quilting.  
 Measuring tape  This kind of tape is pliable to go around curves. It comes in different length such as 60″ and 120″.  Measuring-Tape
 Miter  Turning a corner with your binding for quilts.  Miter
 Muslin  I use bleached muslin to do my fabric painting. You wash the fabric before you paint on it.  Muslin
 Nap  Oh I really wish I could get a nap every day. This is fabric that has a directional pile or shadow to the fabric depending on which way you are brushing it.  Nap
 Narrow hem  You turn under your fabric 1/4″ and then again another 1/4″ at the bottom of a shirt or other items that need it.  
 Needle down  You have to put the needle down to pivot your fabric around  a corner and keep it in the same seam allowance.  
 Needle size  There are many needles for different kinds of fabric. Synthetic and cotton use different needles so they don’t have big holes put in it by the needle.  Needle-Size
 Needle threader  This device will help you thread your needle. The one pictured is for hand and machine needles. Your machine might have one already in it.  Needle-Threader
Needles/specialty needles  Many needles for different kinds of work. Hand needles come in sizes for the type of project you are working on.  Needles-Special
 Nonwoven fabric  This fabric does not have a lengthwise or cross wise grain.  Nonwoven-Fabric
 Notion  The many different items that is  used when you sew. Thread, buttons, ribbon and snaps to name a few.  Notions
 Open Toe Foot   This foot is made for free motion quilting or sewing. The front of it is open and you can see where you are going to next.  Open-Toe-Foot
 Paint fabric  This is a specific paint for fabric.  Paint-Fabric
 Painters tape  The tape you buy in your paint department. You use the tape to hold down your backing when you are pin basting plus many more.  Painters-Tape
 Pattern  This is what you use when you are making up a project. It is usually made of paper with lines on to tell you which direction the grainline goes.  pattern
 Pedal  This is a foot pedal to run your machine.  Pedal
 Pens for fabric  These pens are for fabric and are made without chemicals that will destroy your piece later.  Pens-for-Fabric
 Photo transfer  The process of putting a picture onto fabric  Photo-Transfer
 Pile  Another word for this is nap. The pile is on textured fabric that cause a shadow when pushed one way or another.  Pile
 Pin  A sharp pointed object that will hold fabric together.  
 Pin Baste  Take safety pins to baste your three layers together.  Pin-Baste
 Pin Cushion  The most common tool to put your pins into when you are not using them.  Pin-Cushion
 Pin Tucks  A very small tuck put into rows.  Pin-Tuck
 Pinking Shears  Scissors with a zigzag or saw tooth edge to them. Used to cut edges you want to leave unfinished to help with the fraying that can happen with fabrics.  
 Piping  Light weight rope to inside of fabric stitched on one side to add to your design or clothing.  
 Pivot  When you are sewing and you want to turn a corner. Put your needle down lift your presser foot turn your fabric to where you want to go. Put you presser foot down and continue sewing.  
 Placket  Plackets are put on garments to make it easier to get off and on. This one also is a design element on the shirt.  
 Pleat  Folding a particular amount of fabric over in one direction. You do this one or multiple times. This box pleat gives more room in the skirt part of the dress.  
 Presser foot  The part of your sewing machine that holds your fabric in place while sewing.  
 Pressing  Moving the iron up off the fabric and back down to cause less wrinkles and stretching of the fabrics.  
 Quilting  Stitching three or more layers of fabric together.  
 Ravel/raveling  Raw edge of fabric that has been stripped of some of the fibers.  
 Raw edge  The edge of fabric without stitching.  
 Right side of fabric  This is the side of the fabric where the print is clearer the wrong side of the fabric.  Right-Side-of-Fabric
 Right side together (RST)  You put the right sides of the fabric together to sew your seam.  Right-Sides-Together-(RST)
 Rotary cutter  This looks like a pizza cutter but it has more safety parts to it.  Rotery-Cutter
 Rotary cutting matt  This matt is a self healing matt to use with your rotary cutter.  Rotary-Cutter-Matt
 Roving  Wool that has not been felted or manipulated together.  Roving
 Ruffle  Gathering fabric together to fit into one place.  
 Ruler  I use this ruler to cut fabric.  Ruler
 Running stitch  Hand stitching to make a gathering. Needle and thread in a in and out of the fabric.  
 Satin stitch  This stitch is used to finish the edge of applique or fancy stitch for a design element.  Satin-Stitch-(2)
 Scissors  Most common tool for cutting fabric  Scissors
 Seam  The seam is where you sew two or more pieces of fabric together.  Seam
 Seam Allowance  It is a set amount of space you sew between the edges of two or more pieces of fabric.  Seam-Allowance
 Seam Guide  If you want to have a curtain seam amount this is what you use to make sure it is the correct amount.  Seam-Gage
 Seam Ripper  You need this tool to take out seams that went into the wrong place.  Seam-Ripper
 Selvage  A tightly woven edge of fabric. A good portion of the cotton prints have the designer of the fabric and the color palate that is made with it.  Selvage
 Sewing Machine Oil  This oil is made for your sewing machine and it is not like your car oil. Most SM oil comes with a small long spout to get just a drop in the small holes where your machine needs it.  Sewing-Machine-Oil
 Shank Button  This is the part of the button that sticks out that has a hole in it to sew it down.  Shank-Button
 Slit  An opening in the fabric with finished edges.  
 Snaps  This device is used instead of buttons and click together.  Snaps
 Snips  These small scissors have a spring in them so when you compress them they will snap open quickly to use again. Not for small children.  Snips
 Spool  This is what thread comes on and is the spool.  Spool
 Stash  My fabric is a stash. I have a large collection of fabric  Stash
 Stay Stitch  This larger stitch is done inside your stitching area to help the fabric keep its shape.  Stay-Stitching
 Stippling  Quilting in a meandering manner to fill in your space.  Stippling
 Stitch in the Ditch  When you have a pieced square you stitch in the seam area. Where the two pieces of fabric come together it makes a ditch.  Stitch-in-the-Ditch-
 Stuffing or Filler  There are all kinds of things used to fill or stuff into your art. I use a polyester stuffing that comes most often in a 1 pound bag.  
 Textile  This another name for it is fabric or material.  Textile
 Thimble  This is usually made from some kinds of metal that goes on the end of your finger so you don’t cut into your fingers with the back of your needle when hand sewing.  Thimble
 Thread  Long fiber use to connect two or more pieces of fabric together.  Thread
 Thread Painting  Using thread to fill in the space one stitch at a time to make a picture. This is a thread painting of my granddaughter Bri and her pony.  Thread-Painting
 Topstitch  Use this stitch on the top of your piece so everyone can see it. A good example is your jeans in your closet.  Top-Stitch
 Tracing  This is just like it sound you put paper or fabric over your pattern going over the design you want to duplicate with a marker or pencil.  
 Trapunto  After you have quilted an area you go back and fill it with stuffing material.  Trapunto---Copy
 Trim  A) Cut down a seam at an angle to keep the layers from becoming too bulky. B) A piece of lace or fringe to add to your art piece or clothing.  Trim
 Wadding  Wadding is the word that the English people use instead of batting.  Wadding
 Walking Foot  This foot keeps the tension on the fabric with the needle both up and down.  
 Wearable Art  Making your art work into clothing.  Wearable-Art-2 Wearable-Art
 Webbing  See Wonder Under  Webbing
 Whip Stitch  I use this stitch to attach two pieces of batting that have to be butted together than put in your art to be quilted.  
 Wonder under/webbing  It is a web of non-woven material that is attached with heat usually from an iron.  Wonder-Under-Webbing---Copy
 Wrong Side  When your fabric has a print on it and one side is clear than the other side.  Wrong-side
 Yard & Yardage  One yard of fabric is 36” multiple yards is called yardage.  Yard
 Yarn Tie  Using yarn or embroidery thread to attach layers together and making a square knot to secure the knot together. Use this instead of quilting.  Yarn-Tie
 Yo-yo  No this is not the yo-yo on a string you would play with as a child. You take a circle of fabric and turn under the outside edge a ¼ inch than baste it down pulling the thread tight to make a gathered circle. You can see the center of the yo-yo back side of the fabric in the picture.  yo-yo2
 Zigzag Stitch  You use this stitch as a utilitarian one or a specialty one you want everyone to see.  Zigzag-Stitch
 Zipper  A fastener for skirts, pants and uses for your art.  Zipper
 Zipper foot  This machine foot is used to sew on one side of usually a zipper or piping. You sew with this foot to secure it in a ledge place like a zipper.  Zipper-Foot