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A decorative trim similar to piping. In general, piping usually refers to garment sewing whereas welting refers to home decor.

A fabric loom is set with rows of thread criss-crossing each other to form the fabric. Vertical (lengthwise) threads are attached to the loom itself. These are called…

A single line of stitching that simply helps stabilize the fabric to prevent stretching or distortion. It can also provide a seam line to follow when inserting one…

Entredeux is from French, meaning “between two.” In sewing it is a popular heirloom sewing technique used to join pieces of fabric and/or lace trims together.

A wave tuck starts as a modified pin tuck. The “wave” happens when the tuck is pressed in opposite directions along the length of the fold, creating an…

A simple, single fold or pleat, usually one that is sewn into the fabric.

A decorative treatment that covers just the top of a window. A valance can be made from draped fabric, a wooden or styrofoam box covered in fabric, or…

A special sewing foot used to move multiple layers of fabric under the needle. This foot itself contains a set of feed dogs that work in combination with…

A machine needle that has “blades” on either side of the shaft to make a wider hole for a decorative look. Often used in heirloom sewing.

WOF is an abbreviation for Width of Fabric. If given as a cutting direction, it means cut the pieces of fabric as long as the width of the…

The side of the fabric with no design. The side that will face the interior or back of your project. If you can see no difference between the…

A wide stitch that crosses back and forth a zig zagging pattern. Can be used as a seam, as a finishing stitch or as a decorative stitch.

To lock the beginning or end of a seam by sewing forward for a few stitches and then reversing to sew backwards directly over the same stitches. Modern…

A companion of “drape,” hand refers to the feel of the fabric against your skin. It can be soft, stiff, loose, heavy, smooth, etc. It’s important because different projects…

That large round thing on the right side of your machine in your hand wheel. It manually raises and lowers the needle. Depending on your style of machine,…

The finishing touch along a raw edge of a projects, created by folding the fabric. Hems can be a variety of widths and can consist of one or…

An open part of a seam often at the bottom. For example, the slit on a skirt. Can also mean to rip into fabric with the edge of…

A small cylinder thread is wound onto. Spools can be wooden, plastic, metal or cardboard.

The length of each complete stitch on a sewing machine. Stitch length is measured in millimeters on most machines.

The distance across a stitch. A common variable stitch width is when using a zig zag. You can set the swing of the needle left and right to…

The standard sewing stitch made by most machines without a specialty foot. As the name implies, the needle moves in a straight line.

A stitch used to temporarily hold two pieces of fabric together. It is most often done by hand, but when additional security is needed, it can be done…

The amount of resistance your sewing machine gives to the thread in your sewing needle and lower bobbin. Some sewing situations will call for you to adjust the…

A little cap worn on your finger or thumb to protect it from the needle during hand sewing. Thimbles can be made of wood, metal or plastic.

A fine cord of spun out fiber used by a needle to create stitches. Thread may be made from cotton, polyester, silk, wool or other fibers and combinations.…

A device for holding curtains or drapes off to the side so that they are not hanging in front of the window. As its name implies, a tie…

A stitch done on the right side of the fabric, usually to hold a fold in place or to stabilize an edge. If along the edge, it is…

A decorative item such as ribbon lace or rick rack that is added onto a background panel. It is used as both a noun and a verb, as…

The side of the fabric with the design – the side you see when looking at the finished project. In cases where both sides of the fabric are…

It looks a little bit like a pizza cutter. The blade is round and razor sharp. Used with a cutting mat and see-through ruler, it allows you to…

Ruching is a technique used to gather fabric or ribbon. When a panel (again fabric or trim) is gathered along both sides, it is considered to be ruched.…

A straight edge tool with standard and metric measurements marked out. Sewing rulers are often clear and often include intersecting grid lines to make alignment easier and more…

A hand stitch most often used for basting. Simple in-and-out stitching in a straight line. Can also be used in hand embroidery.

A piece of embroidery, traditionally hand embroidery, demonstrating skill with various stitches.

A short, and usually very dense zig zag stitch used for appliqué and other decorative effects. Most sewing machines have a built-in satin stitch. But if not, it’s…

The amount of space between the edge of the fabric and the line of stitching. Most home décor projects have a ½” seam allowance. Most garment projects use…

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