This is a "Lisa tries to answer one your "Bag Making Queries" posts. I'll keep an eye on that post to check out your queries and try to answer some maybe once or twice a week (depending on how my rabid inbox is looking...).
This time I am replying to Lindsey who said:
"Hello from one of those sewing newbies! I am just starting out and would love to try sewing a bag. What are the basic things I should know before/as I get started?"
**Find Part 2 of Bag Making for Newbies (Bag Making Fabrics & Interfacings) here.**
So I thought I would start off with sewing terms because trying to use a pattern that appears to be written in Martian is kind of a drag. Here are some bag making basics that will hopefully be useful to newbies (Hi and welcome. Ohh! You're gonna have so much fun...!) and maybe a bit of a refresher for us older hands isn't a bad thing either :) Please feel free to add more advice or correct me in your comments - don't be shy!
This list is not exhaustive by any means. These are terms that as a bag maker I regularly come across. I'll add some links to glossaries at the end.
- Right/wrong side out = this simply means the front (or back) side of your fabric or in other words the good (or reverse) side.
- Right/wrong sides together = see above. Bringing layers of fabric together like a sandwich.
- Turn right/wrong side out = turn your item good/inside out.
- Seam allowance = this is the width from the edge of the fabric to which you will sew. So if a pattern states that you sew with a 1cm seam allowance, you sew 1cm in from the edge of the fabric. On all patterns you need to check to see if the seam allowance has been added to the pattern shapes.
- Top/side/bottom edge = the top/side/bottom edge of the pattern piece/item.
- Top stitching = a decorative line of stitches quite close (3/4mms or so) from the edge of the thing you are sewing.
- Notches = those V shaped things that you sometimes see on pattern outlines. You don't have to cut out the V shapes themselves, you should just mark them onto your fabric pieces. Notches are used to help you line up 2 or more pattern pieces together.
- Raw edge = the cut edge of fabric.
- Selvedge = the woven edge of the fabric (usually the margin in which the fabric company name is written).
- Baste in place = using long length easily removable stitches to temporarily hold fabric pieces together. Basting is handy when pins aren't up to the job of holding things together.
- Press = another word for iron.
- Press seam open = open the seam out with your fingers (like book covers) and iron the 'covers' open.
- Fuse = another word for 'bond' Often involves using an iron and a substance which is 'fusible' (and heat activated) such as fusible interfacing (more about interfacing in another post) or fusible web. Fusible web is a fine mesh adhesive used for bonding layers of fabric together.
- Trim = just another word for 'cut'.
- Clip corners = cutting off excess fabric (but not too close to your stitching!) from cornered seams because this reduces bumps at the corner when you turn your item right side out. Try it and see, it works wonders.
- Pivot = when you need to turn a corner or change angle whilst you are sewing, stop the sewing machine with the needle in the 'down' position (the needle anchors your work to your sewing machine), lift up the machine presser foot and pivot (or on other words change the angle) of your work before lowering the foot and sewing merrily on your way again.
Some helpful sewing glossaries;
Please feel free to add more advice or correct me in your comments and link to yourself too - don't be shy!
Next time: Part 2 - a chat about bag making fabrics and Interfacings.