* awl: a fine, pointed metal tool that is very useful for distributing gathers and pushing out corners.
* clip corners: after assembling two pieces, remove extra fabric either by reducing the seam allowance by half for a curve or cutting the seam allowance diagonally for a corner.
* create notches: after stitching two pieces together, small V-shaped slots are cut at regular intervals in the seam allowance, for greater flexibility in a curve, such as a neckline, collar, armhole, etc.
* cutting layout: a miniature drawing showing the layout of all pieces to be cut from the same piece of cloth, for optimal use of fabric without waste.
* finish a seam with a bias tape: to enclose a seam allowance with a strip of fabric. Allows a clean finish.
* fullness: the extra length of one piece of fabric which is gathered to match the length of a shorter piece, providing a better fit in curved areas.
* gathering (or gathers): a technique for bunching the fabric or creating ruffles. Begin by loosening the thread tension and selecting a very long straight stitch setting. On the right side of the edge to be gathered, stitch 2 parallel gathering threads 5 mm apart: one on the seamline and the other 5 mm away in the seam allowance. Pull simultaneously on both bobbin threads to gather the fabric. During stitching, use an awl* to help distribute the gathers. Another way to create gathers is by applying clear elastic.
* interface: reinforce a piece of fabric by fusing a separate fabric to the wrong side.
* knit: knitted cloth, which gives it stretch in both directions
* lengthwise grain: are the threads going parallel to the selvedge* of the fabric
* notch: a small cut slot indicating how to position two garment pieces before they are stitched together. A notch indicated on the pattern must be transferred to the fabric by cutting a slot several millimetres long. For a sleeve, there are 2 notches in front and 1 notch in back.
* on fold: means the fabric must be folded in half, right sides together, with each piece to be cut “on fold” positioned along this centre fold.
* overcast: a row of continuous stitching close to a fabric seam to prevent fraying using a zigzag or 3-thread serger stitch.
* pintuck seam: seam created 2mm from the edge
* press a fold: press a fold onto the reverse side of the fabric
* selvedge: the finished edge of fabric on either side of its width
* sewing gauge: a small piece of graded cardboard
* stretch factor : your fabric may have a stretch factor even if it does not contain stretchy material. To measure this, cut a 10cm x 10cm square of fabric. Stretch it in the direction of the grain line* and measure its new length. Then apply the formula (y=new length): [(y-10)/10] x 100. This gives you the stretch factor in %.
* understitch: press the seam allowance towards the inside of the garment (facing or lining) and stitch at 2 mm from the edge on the facing/lining side. This seam will keep the facing/lining securely on the inside of the garment.
* warp and weft: cloth formed of two interwoven sets of threads, the warp (vertical) and the weft (horizontal), which gives it a certain stiffness, i.e., no stretch, unless a small percentage of elastic fibres are used.
* width: the breadth of the fabric between opposite selvedges.