Learning to sew on sewing machines like the Janome DC2014 can be exciting and perhaps a little confusing to some. There are so many new words and terms to learn. While many sewing phrases can be picked up gradually as skills increase, it is always a good idea for beginners to start out with some basic sewing terminology. To get the most from sewing lessons, see the important terms and phrases below that every person who sews should learn before attempting great projects with Janome sewing machines.

  • Selvage and Raw Edge - Selvage is the two finished edges of any fabric. The selvage is made during the weaving process and runs parallel to the fabric grain. The other two edges that run perpendicular to the selvage are the raw edges.
  • Grain, Crossgrain, and Bias  - All three of these terms refer to different directions of fabric grain. The grain runs parallel with the finished the fabric edges. The crossgrain runs perpendicular to the grain and the selvage, as these are the cross threads. Bias grain is the 45-degree angle between the grain and the crossgrain. All three of these terms are important, as patterns will usually state whether fabric needs to be cut with the grain, against the grain (crossgrain), or on the bias.
  • Right Side and Wrong Side - Another pair of essential terms denotes sides of the fabric. The right side is the side with the pattern or the side that will show on the finished item after stitching with sewing machines. The wrong side is the unfinished side or the side that will be on the inside of the finished project.
  • Seams and Stitches - Stitches are formed when the needle pushes the thread through the fabric to loop with the bobbin thread, making a complete unit. There are many types of stitches that can be done using machines like the Janome DC2014, each with a different look and purpose. Seams are a long line of stitches sewn to hold two layers of fabric together. Just as there are many kinds of stitches, there are many kinds of seams that can be made as well.
  • Seam Allowance - Allowance is the extra bit of fabric that spans from the seam to the raw edge. The allowance sits to the inside of a garment once the fabric is opened up. Recommended seam allowances will differ based on the fabric type and the type of garment being sewn. For neat and tidy seams, most patterns call for a seam allowance of between 1/4 and 5/8 of an inch. The 1/4 inch allowance is standard for quilting.
  • Topstitching and Edgestitching - These are two types of stitching that can be done on Janome sewing machinesd on the top side of the fabric. Each can be functional, decorative, or both. Edgestitching is done at the edge of seams or hems, while topstitching is done further in from the edge and elsewhere on a garment or project. Many machines have various topstitch options that allow anyone to simply and easily make an attractive decoration.
  • Backstitching - Backstitching is the process of sewing backwards for a few stitches at the start and end of any stitching. This is done to prevent the ends of the thread from unravelling and the fabric coming apart as a result.  It eliminates the need to tie off thread ends at the beginning and end of stitching.
  • Basting - Basting is the process of adding a long, loose, temporary stitch that holds layers of fabric together before they are stitched permanently on the machine. It can be done by hand or with the machine by using a basting stitch. The thread is removed afterward.
  • Staystitching - Staystitching is a straight stitch sewn around the edge of collars, sleeve insets, and other curved areas to hold fabric layers in place and prevent distortion or stretch. Similar to basting, staystitching is pulled out after the project is complete.  It is done with a regular, more secure stitch, to reduce stretch around curved and bias cut edges.
  • Notch - A notch is a cut into the seam allowance that removes a triangular piece of fabric. Notching is usually done when working with curved seams, as it reduces the amount of bulk that must be gathered on the inside of the seam.

While there are countless other terms that beginners will come to know over time, these are the most important and most commonly used sewing phrases to learn. Those who are just starting out using sewing machines like the Janome DC2014 will have an easier time with their projects if they understand the standard terminology and what it means. Stitching on Janome sewing machines can be great fun with the right knowledge!

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