Sewing Terms

Fusing (also known as interfacing or stiffening)
Used to stiffen, reinforce, stabilise or stop fabric from stretching. Comes in an iron on self adhesive, double sided adhesive & non adhesive version. Usually found in black & white shades.

Press
Keep your garments seams, gathers, tucks & darts looking crisp by using your steaming iron to press, as stated throughout your pattern.

Stay stitch, stitch approx 3mm (1⁄8 inch) from stitched seam within the seam allowance at regular stitch length. This stitch is usually sewn around curved edges to keep your fabric from stretching or distorting.

Right Side & Wrong Side
The right side is the printed side of the fabric. Usually sits on the outside of the garment. Most pattern pieces are sewn right side to right side, with the seam sitting on the inside of the garment.

Finish
sew zig zag stitch on your sewing machine or overlock/serge the raw edge of your fabric to finish it so it doesn’t fray.

Backstitch
sew backwards over 2-3 stitches at the start & end of the line of stitching. This stops the stitches unraveling.


Stitch Glossary

We've listed below the different types of hand & machine stitches that are referenced throughout our Pattern and Cloth instructions.

Tacking/Basting Stitch, sometimes referred to as baste stitch. A temporary stitch used to hold fabric in place while you work on the garment. Sew by hand or machine in a long stitch to hold fabric in place.

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Gather Stitch, a technique used to shorten a fuller piece of fabric to fit a smaller piece. Stitch parallel to the seam edge, approximately 5mm (13⁄64 inch) inside the seam allowance in the longest stitch on your machine. Pull end of thread to gather as indicated on your pattern.

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Slip stitch, hand sew through folded edge to catch a thread from underneath fabric.

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Top stitch, stitch as close to your finished seam or edge as possible in regular straight stitch.

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Ease Stitch, similar to a gather stitch, however used to pull fabric with more volume/length in, so it connects with another piece easily. For example a sleeve head into an arm hole. Use the longest straight stitch on your sewing machine. Sew along the seam line & do not back stitch. Leave thread ends long. Pull thread ends to adjust to fit fabric in place.

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Finishing Stitch, sew or overlock the raw edge or your garment by the method of your choice. This can be done with your Overlocker/Serger or a finishing stitch on your sewing machine like an overcast or zigzag stitch.

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Under stitch, trim seam allowances to about half their original width. Press seams towards lining. Open garment out so RIGHT sides are facing you. Stitch 2-3mm (1⁄8 inch) along side of your seam on the lining fabric in regular stitch. Ensure you sew through lining & seam allowances underneath.

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Trimming Seams

The aim whenever you sew your garment is to reduce seam bulk where possible throughout the sewing of your garment. Here are some standard ways to trim seams to help you achieve this.

Trim corners

Trim corners

Notch outer curves

Notch outer curves

Trim enclosed seams into layers

Trim enclosed seams into layers

Clip inner curves

Clip inner curves


Seam Allowance

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Seam allowance for all of our patterns are 1.5cm (5⁄8 inch), unless otherwise stated.
The seam allowance has been included in each pattern piece unless otherwise specified.


Pattern Symbols

On each downloaded paper pattern piece, you'll see a mix of the different pattern symbols below. We've included a diagram & description of what each of these symbols means, to help make the sewing process a little clearer. When your instructions say 'transfer all pattern markings to your fabric'. The instruction is referring to these symbols needing to be transferred to your fabric with an air-erasable pen or chalk (or similar).

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Button, indicates placement of a button or alternative fastener.

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Button Hole , indicates where to create a button hole in your garment.

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Cut Line, cut your paper pattern piece along this line with paper scissors. This symbol does not need to be transferred to your fabric. It is used purely to show where to cut your paper pattern.

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Dart, transfer dart lines & dart point onto your fabric with your fabric pen. Fold fabric, dotted line to dotted line (RIGHT side to RIGHT side of fabric). Pin dart on wrong side & sew along dotted line, fading sewing line out to the point.

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Dots, show start or stopping point for sewing.

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Fold Grain, place paper pattern piece on fold of fabric. This symbol does not need to be transferred to your fabric. It's used purely to align the pattern on the fold.

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Lengthen or Shorten Garment, indicates where you can fold the paper pattern to shorten or cut & add paper to lengthen your pattern. This adjusts the finished hem of your garment. This symbol does not need to be transferred to your fabric.

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Fold Line, fold fabric on this line.

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Hem Line, finished hem of garment. 

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Hem Notch, notch on side seam showing finished hem of garment.

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Pleat, fold fabric in direction of the arrow. Dotted line to dotted line. Excess fabric falls to the back inside of the garment.

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Straight Grain Line, align parallel to the straight edge, selvedge or fold of your fabric. Measure with measuring tape to ensure equally parallel to straight edge. The grain line can run horizontal or vertical.

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Sewing Line, indicates a sewing line that needs to be transferred to your fabric as a guide to sew along during construction. This line can be transferred to your fabric if it makes it easier for you.

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Notch, align notches on fabric pieces to help keep your garment in alignment & help ensure you're matching the correct pieces together.

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Double Notch, same as the single notch, however double notches are generally placed along the back facing parts of your garment.

 

Pattern Skill Levels

Our Pattern and Cloth patterns are graded under 4 different skill levels. These are purely a guide to help you understand the level of skill & detail that is required to complete a garment or project. I believe you can sew anything, no matter what skill level or experience you have. I find www.youtube.com a really great visual resource, if I come across a step in a sewing pattern that I just can't make sense of. (Don't worry, we've all been there many times!). Detailed diagrams throughout our patterns, help give visual support for our written instruction to make it easier to follow.

Project, these sewing patterns have been designed for kids who want to sew & adult beginner sewers. Great for the tweens and teens to get sewing, with the help & guidance of an adult. Our project patterns are all free to download, so they're a great starting point for first time sewers too.

Beginner, these patterns are for anyone, however the novice sewer will find the beginner level patterns the easiest of all of our patterns to start their sewing adventures with.

Intermediate, these patterns will be easier to complete if you have some prior knowledge or understanding of steps like sewing button holes & sewing in zips.

Experienced, you'll need to take your time with these patterns if you haven't been sewing for too long. Patterns that require fly openings, waistbands & tricky sewing manoeuvres fall under this skill level.