At Stitch It, we may use some terms that you are unfamiliar with. To help you better understand our services, you should look through our glossary below. The glossary contains many terms you may hear such as hem, edgestitch, and bias. If you ever have any questions about anything we are doing for you, just contact here.

Anchoring Stitches

Machine stitches sewn with zero stitch length to keep from pulling out, or the end of seam when you stitch backwards for a few stitches to anchor the stitch.


Strong stitch that doubles back on the last stitch-perfect for securing seams and mending. There are a variety of backstitch styles; one version is the pickstitch.


True bias is a cut made on an angle 45 degrees to the selvage. This direction allows for the most stretch. Bias refers to any line diagonal to the crosswise and lengthwise grains. Most bias pattern pieces are laid on the true bias; the grainline arrow and the pattern’s layout instructions will help you align your pattern pieces.

Bias Binding

Also called bias tape, a bias cut strip used to bind or cover edges. Slightly stretchy, it sews neatly around curves. Can be purchased ready-made or cut from fabric.


A hemstitch used to join an edge to the inside of a garment. It is formed with cross-shaped stitches on either side of an edge.

Darning Foot

A presser foot with a circular opening that doesn’t clamp down over the fabric and is used with dropped feed dogs for free-motion stitching or mending

Double Needle

Two machine needles attached to a single shaft that sews two parallel rows of stitches at once with two spools of thread and one bobbin. Sometimes called a twin needle.


Straight stitching very close to the edge of a seam, trim, or outer edge. It secures seam allowances, prevents the edge from stretching, and supports the fabric.


Hand stitch used to smoothly join two layers of fabric-usually not always a seam. Also a decorative hand stitch.

Fell Stitch

Stitches works from the right side to pull a seam together invisibly. Stitches travel in fold fabric.


The orientation of the threads in woven fabric: lengthwise and crosswise. The lengthwise grain is parallel to the selvage and is the warp; cross-grain threads cross the grain and are perpendicular to the selvage.


Finished bottom edge of a garment.

Hem Allowance

Hem allowance is the distance between the cutting line and the hemline. This allowance is folded inside the garment before it is sewn. Also called “hem depth,” it varies with the garment style and sewing technique.


Hemline is the lowest edge of the garment once the hem is sewn.


Invisible Stitch

Made at 1/16-inch or 1/8-inch intervals through the side fold of the turn-under allowance. This technique hides the stitch in the fold along the edge.

Ladder Stitch

A ladder stitch is used to join two folded edges of fabric. Stitches are made at right angles to the fabric, creating a ladder-like formation between the fabrics, which are tightened and rendered invisible.

Overcast Stitch

A hand stitch that wraps around an edge like a spiral.

Pressing Template

Shaped, heat resistant plastic, metal, or even a manila folder, used to create a smooth, crisp line or edge when pressing.

Princess Seam

A vertical seam on blouses, dresses, jackets, or coats, usually positioned between a side seam and the center front and back, and passing over the bust apex.


Result of two pieces of fabric stitched together. Seamline is the line that you sew along, usually 5?8 inch in from the cutting line (outermost edge of the pattern piece that you cut along). Seam allowance is the distance between the cutting line and the seamline. This allowance is usually hidden inside the garment once it is sewn. In home sewing, the measurement is conventionally 5?8 inch, but may be as small as 1?4 inch or as wide as 1 inch. Seam finish- Any technique that finishes the raw edges of a seam.

Tapestry Needle

A needle with a blunt tip and large oval-shaped eye made for decorative stitching with bulky threads or yarns.


Term used to describe any cut length of fabric. In the U.S., fabric is measured and cut in yards (36-inch intervals). A length of fabric in an undefined amount.

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