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You will find us:


Located in the heart of America - Kansas, the Sunflower State!

Our workshop is located in the Metro Kansas City area just west of the state line


Contact information:


Mailing Address:  9307 Lee Blvd.

Leawood, KS 66206

Phone:  913-648-3854 - or 913-648-3980

Cell:  816-809-3261

Contact us via the web:   connie@winningwithwilliams.com

Questions?  Connie Williams - 913-648-3854

Terms Used in Sewing

    ·         Selvedge     Edge of fabric with manufacturer’s information.  Bound edge.  Does not fray – also does not stretch in woven fabrics like cotton, wool, or cotton/poly blends.

    ·         Grainline     This affects the way the fabric drapes. 

    o   The lengthwise or straight grain - along the selvedge edges - does not normally stretch.  Pattern pieces are placed on the fabric with the arrows lined up parallel to the SELVEDGE edges.   

    o   The cross grain (a 90o  turn from the selvedge) DOES have some amount of stretch – (remember we pulled across the fabric in class and it always had some stretch?) 

    o   The diagonal (a 45o turn from the selvedge) has the most stretch.  You can make your own bias tape for binding curved edges like armholes, necklines, pockets, pot holders, etc. by cutting 1½ to 3” wide strips on the diagonal – open the fabric so you cut a single layer at a time.

    ·         RST       Acronym for Right Sides Together - this means the right sides of the fabric are facing each other; normally, you will sew on the wrong side of the fabric. 

    ·         WST     Acronym for Wrong Sides Together - this means the wrong sides of the fabric are facing each other; you will sew on the right side of the fabric.  This is usually done as a first step to making a French seam or Flat-Felled Seam.

    ·         Seam allowance       Distance between stitching (seams) and raw edge of fabric.  Generally, quilting is ¼“, garments are 5/8” and home decorator items (pillows, tablecloths, curtains, etc.) are ½”.

    ·         Trim seams After sewing a seam, cut the seam allowance by approximately half to reduce the bulk – i.e., a 5/8” seam allowance is reduced to about 3/8” or 5/16”.  Excess fabric beyond a corner is also trimmed off diagonally, to reduce the bulk once the item is turned right-side out.

    ·         Clip seams  Use scissors to make perpendicular cuts toward the stitching in the seam allowance every ½” or so.  This is done so the seam allowance will easily bend or line up with a curved piece.

    o   On inside curves, it is often necessary to clip to allow for ease of wear. 

    o   On outside curves, it is essential to also make “v” shaped clips to reduce the bulk when fabric is turned right-side out.       

    ·         Finish seams     Use one of several methods to treat the raw (cut) edges after sewing a seam. 

    o   Trim the edges with pinking shears – this leaves a zigzag cut line on the edges which prevents fraying

    o   Sew a zigzag stitch over both raw edges (or each layer individually {depends on the item’s use}) to encase the edge in thread – you may or may not have trimmed the seam by half before doing so.

    o   Pinked and stitched:  a line of stitching is made ¼” away from raw edge then trimmed with pinking shears

    o   Turned-under edge finish:  Seam is pressed open; then each edge is turned under and stitched.

    o   Bound-edge:  Sew seam facing (packages are available near bias tape racks at the store) near the edges so when the seam is pressed, the seam facing material covers the raw edges.

    o   Hong Kong finish:  sew either seam facing or bias tape to totally encase raw edges.

    o   Flat-felled seam:   Pieces are joined with a 5/8” seam allowance, wrong sides together; one seam allowance layer is cut, reducing it to 3/8”; both edges are pressed towards the narrower edge; the wider edge is pressed under the narrow edge; stitch close to the resulting folded edge.  This results in two parallel lines of stitching commonly referred to as the “jeans” seam.

    o   French Seam:  fabric is joined wrong sides together with a ¼” seam allowance; both seam allowance layers are further trimmed to between 1/8” and a scant ¼”; press to one side; turn fabric over, fold so you can see the stitching on the edge and press on wrong side of fabric; stitch using a 3/8” seam allowance; press.  Results in a totally encased seam.

    ·         Straight Stitching     A simple line of stitching normally set to 2.5 on your machine’s stitch length (10-13 stitches per inch)

    ·         Stay stitching             A line of stitching done along the seam line on one layer of fabric.  This is used to designate the line at which layers of fabric will be joined and is usually done either to prevent stretching or to more easily join uneven or curved pieces of a garment (i.e., a straight collar piece to a curved piece at the neckline – or to join two uneven lengths  like two-piece sleeves.

    ·         Topstitch     A line of stitching applied to the top of the fabric; usually decorative.   For example, topstitching is usually applied along both long edges of purse straps – after the straps are pressed and before they are joined to the purse. 

    ·         Baste stitching     Extra-long stitches that are usually temporary.  Done either to temporarily join pieces together for fitting – or for gathering.  For example, to make a gathered skirt, sew two lines of baste stitching, ( one at ¾”, one at ½”) on each side of the waist seam line; pull the bobbin threads and push fabric together until it’s the width you need; pin gathered edge to band; then use regular-length stitches to join. 

    ·         Backstitch   Sewing in reverse and forward (only need 2 or 3) over the same stitch to lock stitches.

    ·         Interfacing  This material is an interior layer applied to wrong side of fabric and remains unseen.   Used to stabilize and add body and strength to fabric and is essential for areas on which buttonholes and/or buttons will be used.  Interfacing is either sew-in or fusible in a wide variety of weights.  Choose the weight to match the fabric, i.e., lightweight fabrics need lightweight interfacing.

    o     Fusible is applied as follows:  lay fabric piece to be interfaced on the ironing board with the wrong side up; place interfacing piece with the bumpy (glue) side down against the wrong side of fabric; press with an iron and hold for 15 seconds to set the glue.  (Remember to not slide the iron while applying.  Press and hold, then lift iron and move to the next area, press and hold until entire area to be interfaced is fused.)  If you are using very heavy interfacing, you may want to trim ½“ off all around before fusing to eliminate some of the bulk.

        o   Sew-in is applied by basting on the seam lines of each piece to be interfaced; unless                 otherwise indicated, the excess beyond the seam line is trimmed off prior to joining to another                 piece. 

    ·         Marking     Use tailor’s or quilter’s chalk or pencils or Mark-B-Gone pens (in Notions Department.)  You will need to indicate center of circles, dart lines, center front/back, etc. – any mark on pattern also needs to be transferred to your fabric so you can join pieces accurately.

    ·         Press     Use an iron to open seams or press to one side.  Always press seams before joining to another section of garment or project.

    More to come . . . .





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