The Funny A-Z Of Sewing

Sometimes you need a break from the frustrations that can come with sewing. The cotton running out mid seam, the unpicking for the second time or the confusing instructions. You just need a break with a cup of tea, a biscuit, maybe your cat on your lap and a bit of a laugh. Life is too short to take it all too seriously.
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A List Of Sewing Terms For Laughs

There are so many wonderful and complete sewing lists out there that are genuinely helpful. They take the mystery out of making anything. But I thought it might be time to create a list for laughs.

It may not be all that educational but it will make you feel good. And when it boils down to it, that is why you sew.

Download This List

Who Wrote This List?

I invited a friend of mine that has this lovely gift. She is effortlessly funny.

She generously took the time to pen this funny A-Z Of Sewing Terms for you. Sarah goes by the name of Safety Sares among her friends and she has shared a little introduction in the download.

I have chosen a selection of terms for you here in the blog. You can grab the complete list in the download.

sewing patterns for boys and men making the perfect gift

Origins of The Funny A-Z Of Sewing List

Sometimes we need to not take our craft too seriously. It is to be enjoyed.

There is a lot of science around the health benefits of smiling and laughing so consider this a wellbeing piece from me to you.


    There is nothing like a French word to get the A to Z of Sewing going. It’s a sewing technique where you cut fabric into small shapes (if you are clever maybe you’d do a champagne glass with a champagne bottle in a bucket with some cheese) and then you sew them on a larger piece of fabric. And then you’d have something lovely to sit on whilst sipping your champagne. Get busy appliqueing.


    Clipping and notching despite what it sounds like is not a sheep shearing technique. A clip is a snip towards the stitching and a notch is a v-shaped (wedge) cut out towards the stitching. Clipping and notching will apparently give you a much better result in convex (scalloped hem) and concave (neckline) curves. To get the best result, cut close to the stitch line but not through. Got that – close but not through otherwise you’ll probably have to start again. Ring Jane she’ll know what to do.

  • D. DART

    A dart is when you get bored with sewing, and you dart off to get a Tim Tam or it’s that thing that you put in a shirt that helps to define your bosom/boobies/bust or in a skirt or trousers to define your waist. And heaven help us most of us need a bit of waist defining. So get busy and put some darts in to shape your garments. You need lots of pins and just follow the pattern instructions. It’s so easy to make a dart Or…maybe not. Remember to dart away for a Tim Tam if required.


    Eyelet is Piglet’s first cousin. But in the sewing world it is a very small hole with finely stitched edges.


    This stuff is so important. Without it, you literally can’t sew anything. There are so many different fabrics – light weight, heavy weight, cotton, linen, silk, crepe, denim, lace, satin.  Go to your nearest fabric store and just wander amongst the fabric. It’s a delightful experience or can be a little stressful if you don’t know what to choose. Or just go to Jane’s store Jane Harbison Designs and buy some fabric.

  • H. HAPPY

    Happy is what you are when your project is completed and looks exactly like the pattern picture.


    No one, no one wants to see your knickers. So lining is important. It’s that piece of material used to finish the inside of a garment. Linings can hide the seam and apparently make your masterpieces easier to wear.

  • N. NAP

    A nap happens when you get tired during your sewing project. It’s okay to take a nap as you’ll be refreshed and ready to go again. It is also the term for a fabric texture that runs in a particular direction and requires all other pattern pieces to be cut facing the same orientation. But remember to nap often.


    These are the great templates that Jane has been whipping up for everyone, that give us all the pieces of the garment that we then cut out and assemble to create the final piece. Remember to cut the pattern out carefully. If you cut one piece in a different size, it will impact how it all goes together.


    A small tool that has a sharp pointed end, that when slid between stitches, will cut and unpick them. Makes for speedy work for when you stuff things up. It’s also known as a sewer’s best friend. 


    These are those really big stitches used to hold two pieces of cloth together to make it easier to sew. There are just temporary stitches which are removed once a permanent seam is completed. This is where you can use your Quick Unpick.


    Safety Sares is all about safety, so a thimble is a very important piece of safety equipment. It is a protective implement worn on the finger or thumb when sewing.

  • Y. YARN

    A continuous length of interlocked fibres. A yarn can be made from natural or synthetic fibres. Or a yarn is when you ring up one of your girlfriends to yarn about your sewing project.


    The Zipper is a fun and refreshing cocktail made from raspberry liqueur and a punch of vodka but it can also be a fastening or unfastening device that is used to open or close parts of clothing or other articles. It consists of a slider with a tab, facilitating the opening or closing of two interlocking teeth or coils connected to a fabric tape strip.

Download The Funny A-Z Of Sewing Terms

Some Familiar And Not So Familiar Terms

Get the print version of this list so you always have it handy for a laugh.

Yes Please!