I’ve been reading sewing blogs for probably over a year now and I’ve really enjoyed it and found them helpful. The sewing blog community, and in fact the wider sewing community seems to be very helpful and supportive. That said, I initially struggled to work out what a lot of the acronyms are! I have worked in several different sectors and there has been more than one occasion in my career where one half of the meeting attendees have assumed that an acronym means one thing, whereas the other half of the meeting attendees believe it to be something completely different. Jargon, therefore, is something I’m keen to make sense of!
The acronyms below are ones that stumped me initially, but seem to be relatively common in the sewing world. If you know of any others, please let me know and I can add them to the list – for my own sanity, but also in the hopes of helping others new to the hobby – it can be daunting enough without language getting in the way!
- FBA – Full Bust Adjustment…Adjusting a pattern to take into account a fuller bust than the pattern was originally drafted for.
- SBA – Small Bust Adjustment…Adjusting a pattern to take into account a smaller bust than the pattern was originally drafted for.
- FBA – Flat Bottom Adjustment…Adjusting a pattern to take into account a flatter posterior than the pattern was originally drafted for.
- FBA – Full Bottom Adjustment…Adjusting a pattern to take into account a fuller posterior than the pattern was originally drafted for. (Anyone else spot a problem here?!)
- SBA – Sway Back Adjustment…Adjusting a pattern to take into account a sway back (Whatever one of those is!)
- WIP – Work In Progress…A project that’s currently in progress
- TNT – Tried & True pattern…A pattern that you’ve tried before and properly fits you
- UFO – Un-Finished Object…Similar to a WIP, but UFO’s tend to be things that people have got part way through and then stopped working on for some reason.
- RTW – Ready To Wear…A piece of clothing bought/seen in a shop
- SA – Seam Allowance…How far away from the edge of the pattern you are expected to sew the seam
- SABLE – Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy…That point when you realise that you’re never in your lifetime going to be able to sew up all the bits of fabric that you currently own!
- FQ – Fat Quarter…0.5m* half the fabric width of material. (I assume a thin quarter would be 0.25m of the whole width of the fabric, but I’ve never seen this.)
- OOP – Out of Print…Referring to old patterns that are no longer printed
- CB – Centre Back…The seam / fold at the centre back of a garment
- CF – Centre Front…The seam / fold at the centre front of a garment
- FL – Fold Line…The line of the fold on a piece of material, for cutting a pattern piece on the fold.
- FOE – Fold Over Elastic…an elastic binding that has a fold in the middle used for lingerie etc.
- GL – Grain Line…the grain line of the fabric (cutting in line with the weave)
- RST – Right Sides Together…Sewing two pieces of fabric with the right side (side that you want showing) together.
- WST – Wrong Sides Together…Sewing two pieces of fabric with the wrong side (side that you don’t want showing) together.
- TTS – True To Size…A pattern that when made up correctly matches up with the garment size that they stated on the pattern.
There are obviously lots of other sewing related terms out there, but I haven’t found many of these represented by an acronym – if it’s a sewing term you’re looking for help with it would be much more advisable for you to look it up in a sewing book!