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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > The words ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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The words
When did these words come into use?
Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/7/13 4:01 PM

I scrolled up and down the message boards trying to decide where to ask this. Not sure if this is a good place but here goes anyway.

My Mom taught me to sew and I took sewing in high school too just because I loved it and it was an easy credit.

All my life myself and all the sewers I ever knew called ourselves sewers and we called an armhole an armhole.

It was not until I happened upon PR and other places on the Internet that I read the words sewist and armscye. I know I've lived most of my life in my own little world, but I have wondered many times when these word changes came about?

I think if I was involved in casual conversation with a group of people and said I was a sewist (rather than sewer) they'd think I was uppity. Or if I said armscye instead of armhole they'd think I was trying to impress them.

Just wondering why I don't feel comfortable using the words sewist or armscye. And is it offensive to some sewists to use the word sewer? Or is it that professionals are sewists and we who are home sewers are just that?

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

JTink
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JTink
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 4:04 PM

I've always said Armhole. Didn't know what an "armscye" was till I read it on PR and then had to look it up I think folks have gone towards "sewist" because when you see "sewer" in print it look like what under ground water travels though

61sew4fun
61sew4fun
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Subject: The words Sewist and Armscye Date: 8/7/13 4:24 PM

The term armscye is what is used in pattern making and sewist is the politically correct term now-a- days to include men and women. Sewing was differentiated between tailors and seamstresses or dressmakers, but now clothes making is not divided between the sexes.

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61sew4fun

Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 4:27 PM

Quote: JTink
I've always said Armhole. Didn't know what an "armscye" was till I read it on PR and then had to look it up I think folks have gone towards "sewist" because when you see "sewer" in print it look like what under ground water travels though

So funny! I had to look up the word armscye too!!! Feels so good to know I am not alone with that word!

After I looked it up and found out armscye is the hole of the arm, the spelling still threw me. Shouldn't it be spelled armseye?

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

Vintage Joan
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 4:36 PM

"Armscye" has been around for a long time, but it's not really a common word outside sewing contexts like PR etc. etc.

"Sewist" is an invented word, apparently coined as an alternative to "sewer," which is written the same way as another word which in a very different context means those drains that take unwanted stuff away, lol. I have no problem with the ambiguous spelling, but some people do.

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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Vintage Joan
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 4:39 PM

Quote:
Shouldn't it be spelled armseye?


It looks like it used to be, or close --

(etymology)
arm + scye armhole (orig. Scottish, Ulster dial. s(e)y, sie, of uncertain origin)


-- Edited on 8/7/13 4:40 PM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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a7yrstitch
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 4:54 PM

I'm warming up to sewist and think it can serve us well when you consider the word sewist along the same lines as the word artist.

I was just asked about sewing something for a retail environment that I had hoped to be able to create for. It is an art gallery/gift shop setting. I had hoped to contribute creations as any other artist - not make something ordinary just because the owner wants high quality ordinary at a bargain basement price. He even thought I could make the items from 'scraps'.

I had recently read an article discussing the term sewist being used instead of the word seamstress. I thought, how appropriate, this sums it up, we are artists in our craft. All level and manner of artists.

In trying to think of a courteous and gracious way to say, no way, that project is a poor reflection of my output and who I am, I thought of the term sewist. It does work.

Now I just need to find a sweet way (yes, I really do have to be nice about this) to explain that you would not ask another of the displaying artists to paint numbers on a curb and that you should also not request that a sewist produce similarly.

Upgrading my vocabulary has been an important part of participating on PR. I want to be able to communicate in a universal language - to be able to learn more and to be able to help more.

So, armscye it is, whether Apple autocorrect recognizes it or not.

And sewist just happens to be quite handy right now.
-- Edited on 8/7/13 9:06 PM --

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 5:04 PM

I think sewist is mainly because we are not the big pipes where the drains lead - but I like that it is also a gender neutral version of seamstress. But saying sew -er when in conversion is probably not much different. I would tend to use the verb form more often - "I sew" rather than "I am a __."

Armscye is just one of those correct technical terms. Many of which are also the common term (like sleeve or collar), but I must have seen it on a pattern somehwere, because I didn't think anything of it when I saw it used here (or on sewing blogs).

The word that gets me is elasticated. What ever happened to elasticized? Is there a difference? Elasticated sounds too much like masticated - and makes me think that the waistband (or whatever is elasticated) is chewed up! I certainly don't want anything I make to be/look/feel chewed!

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Subject: The words "Sewist" and "Armscye" Date: 8/7/13 5:43 PM

According to Wikipedia, the phrase "arm's eye" was used to describe the armhole opening in older sewing texts (Wikipedia refers to an 1887 sewing book).

The supposition here is that perhaps indistinct print quality in those 19-th century texts caused people to read "arm's eye" as "armscye" -- omitting the apostrophe and reading that first "e" in "eye" as a "c". Once "armscye" appeared in print, one writer copied another, and there you have it.

CMC

Vivienne
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Vivienne
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Subject: The words Sewist and Armscye Date: 8/7/13 5:50 PM

I learned armscye as a child, shopping with my mom in the 1970's, as in "the armscye of this jacket is cut much higher in this jacket vs. that jacket"

I think of "sewist" as a hipster word, it does not come naturally to me.

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Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

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