Stitching and Turning Tools. 

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Stitching and Turning Tools.

Not all of your sewing will be done on a machine. Every garment requires a bit of hand stitching to add finishing touches. The assorted tools used for hand sewing are called notions. Your hand sewing job will be easy if you have a good supply of notions.Even a beginner’s sewing box should include the stitching and turning tools listed.

1. Hand sewing needles –various needles designed for specific purposes. They vary in length and eye shape. There are four basic categories: general hand sewing, needlecraft, darning, and heavy-duty sewing.

2. Needle threader – makes threading of needles easier.

3. Thimble – covers and protects the middle finger as it pushes a needle through fabric. It should fit the middle finger properly.

4. Pointer and creaser – a wooden tool designed to help turn corners and hold seams open while pressing.

Exercise 6. Answer the questions.

1.What measuring tools do you know?

2.What kind of pinning tools do you use?

3.Name the main cutting tools.What is the difference between them?

4.What tools do you use for transfering pattern markings to fabric?

5.What is tracing wheel?

6.What are the most important pressing tools?

7.What stitching and turning tools do you usually use?

Unit 4

Text A: Machine Stitches


Key Words and Phrases:

Tension – натяг, basting – наметування, regulation stitch–звичайний стібок, clip – обрізати, anchor – закріпити, reinforcement–закріплення, strain – деформація, напруження, зусилля, splitting – розрив, overcasting– обметування.


Machine stitches are divided into two types—straight and zigzag. The straight-needle machine makes only straight stitches, unless a special attachment is used; whereas the zigzag machine can create both.

Regulation Stitch

This is the stitch used for permanent stitching such as seams, darts and tucks. The length and tension of the stitch may vary according to the fabric used. On most medium-weight fabrics, the regulation stitch is about 12 stitches to the inch; sheers require a finer stitch (16 to the inch); heavy or coarse fabrics generally take 8 to 10 stitches to the inch (Fig.1).

Fig.1 Fig.2

Basting Stitch

Basting stitches are used for temporary joining of sections or details which may require reworking when the garment is fitted or for marking. Use the longest stitch on the machine (6 to 8 per inch) and a contrasting thread so that the markings and bastings are easily seen and easily removed. Use the same tension on the machine as you do for permanent stitching on your fabric. To remove basting, clip the needle thread every few inches and pull out the bobbin thread using small, sharp-pointed scissors (Fig.2).

Stitching for Gathering

Sections which require easing or gathering should be stitched with a long stitch (6 to 10 to the inch) in matching color thread. Leave long threads at the ends of the stitching. Anchor threads at one end around a pin, then pick up the bobbin thread at the other end and gently draw it up to form the amount of easing or gathering needed. The shorter stitch (10 to the inch) will form finer easing or gathering; the longer (6 to the inch) will create fuller easing or gathering. Sometimes a heavier thread is used on the bobbin (Fig.3).

Fig.3 Fig.4

Stitching for Reinforcement

Areas where there is strain or a need for reinforcement, such as points of collars, cuffs, gussets, pointed faced openings of necklines, underarm seam of kimono sleeves, will need a finer, tighter stitch, usually 16 to 20 stitches to the inch (Fig.4).

Zigzag Stitch

Zigzag machines are capable of making the zigzag stitch but a straight-needle machine will require a special zigzag attachment. The small zigzag stitch may be used to stitch seams in jersey and loosely woven fabric with bias

seams, giving greater elasticity which helps prevent seam splitting. It can also be used as a seam finish for edges that ravel by stitching close to the raw edge or by overcasting the edge (Fig.5).


Exercise 1. Answer the following questions:

1. How is the stitch used?

2. What is the regulation stitch on most medium-weight fabrics?

3. When are basting stitches used?

4. How can you form the amount of easing or gathering?

5. What kinds of stitches are used for points of collars, cuffs, gussets,

and so on?

6. What does a straight-needle machine require for making the zigzag


7. How can you use the zigzag stitch?


Exercise 2. Find the English equivalents of such words from the text:

Виточка, складка, прозорі (легкі), грубі, гострі кінці, лицьова сторона, косий, трикотажна тканина (джерсі), розходитись (обтріпуватись, обсипатись).


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