When you are sewing one of my patterns, you will be given instructions for different techniques. Sometimes these sewing terms and techniques can very from country to country or even person to person. On this page, I will list what I mean when I use certain sewing terms and techniques.
This page is a work in progress, I will be add to it over time, so check back to see what’s new, and if there is a particular term are technique you would like explained, please leave a comment below 🙂
Woven fabric grain refers to the direction of the weft and warp threads. The warp threads create the straight grain and are the threads that run parallel to the selvage or edges of the fabric. It usually has the least amount of stretch.
The weft threads run from selvage to selvage across the fabric. It creates the cross grain. An easy way to remember which is which … the weft thread runs from Weft to right (left to right) – imagine the action of the shuttle as it runs back and forth to weave the fabric. The cross grain generally has more stretch than the straight grain since the weft threads are generally looser than the warp during weaving.
The bias runs at a 40* angle to these and has the greatest stretch. When you cut something out on the bias, you need to be careful when handling and stitching it as it is very easy to stretch the fabric out of shape. Cutting out a pattern template on the bias is a technique used by designers to utilize the greater stretch in the bias or diagonal direction of the fabric, causing it to accentuate body lines and curves and drape softly — and it’s makes for a nice round shape in things like fabric balls.
When something has ‘Ease’, it simply means there is a little extra fabric on one piece that needs to be evenly ‘eased’ into the length when joining it to another piece. Sometimes this is the result of the shape of the piece – for example a convex or concave curve.
Click here for a more detailed explanation and short tutorial.
What does it really mean when a pattern says to ‘Firmly fill’ with toy filling or how about ‘Soft fill’?
The squish test …
Fabric with ‘Nap’, has some kind of texture or protruding fibre. This fibre general lays in one direction. This means if you brush the fibre in different direction, you can create different looks and colours.
It is very important to keep this in mind when cutting out your pattern pieces. Most pattern require you to lay all the piece in the one direction.
More coming soon 🙂