The Sewing Terms You Need to Know When Learning How To Sew

To be honest, when I started sewing I didn't do much research. I jumped right into the practical part of it and skipped the theory because I'm so lazy! But now that I think about it, I wish I just took a few minutes to study some basic sewing terms. It would have saved me time and would have made some tutorials look less complicated if I knew the technical terms. So I've decided to compile a small list of basic terms for you. There are loads of expressions out there but I've kept this dictionary concise so you remember the essential and don't get overwhelmed. Let me know if I forgot any essential term!


The action of stitching backward with the sewing machine, generally done at the start and the end of a seam to secure it.


Material that is used to bring some thickness to a sewing project like a mat or a jacket.

Batting, Source:


Stretchiest part of a fabric that runs diagonally on it.

Bias tape, Source:

Bias Tape

Strip of fabric that was cute on the diagonal of a fabric. It is often used to finish raw edges on a curve like a neckline or an armhole.


Piece of fabric used to finish the fabric edges and to make the garment look professionally finished by hiding the seams inside the fold of the facing.

French seam

Enclosed seam used for sheer fabric or in haute couture.​


Technique to shorten a long piece of fabric​ so that it can be sewn onto a shorter piece. Gives a nice look on skirts or sleeves.


Action of turning the raw edge of the fabric towards the inside once or twice and sewing it. It gives a finished look to the garment.


Also known as stabiliser, is a light piece of fabric that sewn ​or fused onto pieces that need an added stiffness. You would commonly use it for collars, cuffs, shirts or jackets. (source: wikipedia)

Iron On Interfacing, Source:


Light weight fabric used to finish the inside of a garment and make it look neat without seams showing up. It's cut out from the same pattern as the garment.​


Technique to create a 90 degree angle on a garment like jackets, quilts...


Cheap woven fabric often used to make trial garments.​

Raw edge

Fabric edge that hasn't been finished or stitched.​

Seam Allowance

Space between the fabric edges and the stitching line while ​sewing.


Edge of the fabric that doesn't fray and often included written elements.​


Temporary stitch that hold the fabric together and will be removed later. ​

​That's it for now! I hope this helps you in your future projects, don't hesitate to ask me any questions and share with your sewing buddies if you want them to benefit from this article too! And if you want to know what tools you absolutely need to start sewing, check out this article. See you soon xx

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