An FYI Post You Need ASAP – Sewing Abbreviations Explained

Abbreviations are really common place these days; I bet everyone reading this will know at least a handful. But when abbreviations move beyond general text message or chatter and into specific topics (like sewing) it can become a little overwhelming. In my experience, people don’t speak out-loud using sewing abbreviations but they appear a lot in places like Facebook groups when information and chat is being typed. I often see posts in the Team Waves & Wild Facebook group that make total sense to me but must look like a foreign language to beginners or more experienced makers who are new to online learning…

“Should I use CL or FT for my next HC? I’m fed up of RTW stuff that doesn’t fit.”


Here at Waves & Wild we don’t like the idea of anyone being confused so we’ve put together this Sewing Abbreviations list. We tried to choose the most commonly used ones, and ones that you might see most often in the Team Waves & Wild Facebook group, otherwise the list could have gone on forever!


BL – bamboo Lycra

CL – cotton Lycra

DBP – double brushed polyester

DG – double gauze

ETA – edited to add (used when someone makes a change to their Facebook post)

FBA – full bust adjustment

FOE – fold over elastic

FT – French terry

GIB – gone in bin

HC – Hot Chocolate or Hot Coffee (Waves & Wild patterns)

MBJM – Made By Jack’s Mum (former name for Waves & Wild)

OIAs – Over It Alls (Waves & Wild patterns)

PUL – polyurethane laminate

PYO – print your own (could refer to paper pattern pieces or fabric)

RST – right sides together

RTW – ready to wear

SA – seam allowance

UFO – unfinished object

WIP – work in progress

WOF – width of fabric

WST – wrong sides together

W&W –  Waves & Wild


Comment below if there are any other abbreviations you regularly see and don’t understand, and we could add them to the list.