Important sewing terms for all beginners!

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever! It seems like every other week, I or someone in my family come down with something; this past weekend, it was food poisoning (not from my cooking and only three of us, thank goodness); a couple weeks before that, it was bronchitis; before that it was a head cold. Now that Spring is finally here, all the windows are open in my house and we are feeling better! It has definitely been a long Winter! 



Anyway, I figured, since I need to take it easy today (recovering from the food poisoning seems to be taking me a little longer than two of my daughters), I would come up with a list of some of the key sewing words you are bound to come across as a beginner sewer (sewist? which word do you prefer?) and what they mean. I’m trying to put them in alphabetical order, since I couldn’t think of a better way to list them. If I leave something out, or incorrectly define something, please feel free to add it to the comments and I will go back later and edit them in if I can! 

Back-tack (aka backstitch): to reverse direction of the stitches to lock them in. Wicked simple! You just use the reverse button on your machine!

Basting stitch: a long stitch used to temporarily hold pieces together (baste). This can be done by hand or by machine.

Bias tape/binding: looks very nice added to the unfinished edge of fabric. I’ll let The Haby Goddess explain this one! I will openly admit, I have a very strong dislike for bias tape! 

Bolt: a roll of one type and print of fabric. When you go to a fabric store, you choose a bolt of fabric, then have your yardage cut from it. There are different widths of fabric, such 32″, 45″, 54″ and 60″ (I’m sure I missed a few). You will need to choose the fabric type (refer to the pattern you are making, it will always recommend a fabric type/weight for the project), the fabric width and the fabric print. Don’t forget to ask for help when choosing the correct fabric if you need it! 

Dart: a v-shaped marking, used to help shape the fabric to better fit bust or waist curves. Sew It Love It is the place to go for dart instructions!

Edgestitch: to stitch 1/8″ from finished edge of fabric. I believe you don’t usually backstitch unless the pattern tells you to.

Feed dog: the teeth under the plate that “feed” the fabric under the needle to be sewn.

Gather- to make a longer piece of fabric fit a shorter one; to make ruffles. These are also fairly easy to do once you get a little practice! Again, I’ll refer to Ilse, from Sew It Love It! She really knows her stuff! 

Seam allowance: the amount of fabric between the edge of the fabric and your stitches.

Here are some simple tips for beginner sewers/sewists:

  • Always read the instruction manual that comes with your new machine. There could be some very valuable information in there!
  • Follow a maintenance schedule. You want your machine to last for as long as possible, so you need to take care of it!
  • Read a few sewing blogs. They can be very inspirational and informational!
  • Invest in the proper tools! A cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter are very important, not just for quilting! You will also need a measuring tape, thread, bobbins, a stitch ripper, stitch gauge, marking pencil or chalk (specifically made for fabric),  hand sewing needles and of course fabric! I suggest old pillowcases and sheets as practice fabric!
  • HAVE FUN! Try new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help! All sewers/sewists (seriously folks, which stinking word do you prefer??) have been beginners at some point! 

I’m hoping to actually complete my vintage dress that I started awhile ago this week or next at the latest; all I have left to do is the hem, button holes and buttons!

Have a great week everyone! 


Vintage Apron

I absolutely love this pattern! I found it at ; if you’ve never checked out this site, you should do it now! They have some awesome free patterns, not just aprons, but lots of other great things! 

My Beans wearing the apron I made for her. It's the same pattern I am using for the class apron, just without the flounce!

My Beans wearing the apron I made for her.

I picked out the fabric from JoAnn’s, like always! 


  It took me a couple days to finish this wicked cute apron, not because it’s a difficult           pattern, or a poorly written tutorial, but because I hate bias tape binding. Using it on     straight edges is really easy; it’s the curves that give me trouble! P1020372P1020369P1020363I had the most trouble with the pockets! They’re almost heart shaped, very cute, but a wicked pain!

The straps are adjustable!

The straps are adjustable!



I love how pretty it is! Some lucky raffle winner will get this cute apron, along with a bunch of baking items at the Basket Bonanza at my daughters’ school next month!

The wheels in my head are turning… I wonder if I could do a raffle here on my blog! Maybe make a fabulous small basket and include an apron with matching pot holder (or child’s apron), a few baking supplies (measuring spoons, mixing spoons, measuring cup) and some recipes.

Does anyone know how to do a raffle on a blog?

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