Sewing Glossary

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An ever-growing glossary of sewing terms and techniques.

Want to see something added to the glossary? Email us at info@sewingschool.org

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safety pins

safety pins

Safety pins are always helpful to have on hand when sewing.  You can use them to thread elastics through casings or temporarily hold a hem while doing alterations.  They are also invaluable when quilting.

seam ripper

seam ripper

As much as it hurts, sometimes you have to undo a row of stitches. When this happens a seam ripper can be your best friend. It has a sharpened hook with one pointy end and one with a protective ball. You can also use this tool to cut buttonholes, and stitches. But for Pete’s sake use […]

self-healing cutting mat

self-healing cutting mat

You’ll use a self-healing cutting mat primarily with your rotary cutter, but it also protects your table top and has markings that help you measure things. Ideally, you want one that is about the size of your cutting table, but they can get pretty pricey. We suggest you get the biggest one that you can afford. […]

selvage

selvage

The selvage is the finished edge of a piece of fabric. Bolts of fabric are usually 45” or 60” from selvage to selvage

serger

A serger is a sewing machine that finishes a seam at the same time as sewing it.  You can sew a seam, overcast the edge and trim the excess fabric with one pass of your serger.  These machines are helpful in achieving a finished look on clothing, but there are alternatives, like a zig zag […]

sewing gauge

sewing gauge

A sewing gauge is a mini ruler. It has a sliding bar that helps your mark things like buttonholes, hems or pleats.

sewing machine needles

sewing machine needles

One of the keys to a smooth sewing project is choosing the right sewing machine needle for your project. As with hand sewing needles, machine needles come in different thicknesses and points each suitable for a different kind of fabric or thread. The shank of the needle will be flat on one side. Check your machine […]

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