Everyone should know how to sew, boys and girls alike. I sew because I must (it is so hard to find clothes I like), which means irregularly at best, and I have only sewn a few things under the careful guidance of the more experienced. I sewed a blue velvet dress in the seventh grade, a medieval bell-sleeved gown in high school, a paisley blouse for a class, and now a skirt. I do not consider sewing a feminine talent. What if Andrew Luth thought to himself one day, "I'd rather like to wear a Victorian bathing suit to the beach today," and no one would stop him except for his own inabilities. It would be a shame to be left out in the cold, unable to make a statement with your choice of fashion, simply because you eschewed the art of sewing for something less archaic.
Sewing terms should not sway you from the pleasure of creating. They mystify me, as well, but the Oxford American Dictionary should come to my rescue. Surely.
Baste - (v. 1) to moisten with fat during cooking, (2) to thrash.
A little weird, but who am I to question?
And the rest? Nowhere to be found. So I googled.
Ease stitch - When one piece of fabric has more curve and/or volume than the other, requiring you to ease the fabric to fit the smaller piece. Usually seen when fitting sleeves.
Stay stitch - A single line of stitching through the fabric to keep it from stretching when being handled. Usually used on collars, though I used mine between the bottom and top half of my skirt. (It is a very long skirt.)
The lesson I learned is that instructions are much more difficult than the actual execution. Once you have cut out your pieces, they logically fit together, and you needn't worry about slipstitching and grain lines too much. As we say here in Sweden, frisk vågat, hälften vunnit, or directly translated, Andrew Luth, you'll never know how snappy you'd look in stripes if you've never tried them on.
Photoshop courtesy of Matt Higgins.