What Did (or Would) You Want to Know…..

I want to make a sewing terms sheet to send with my patterns and to have available online. I remember when I first started sewing, I had to search so many terms to figure out what they meant! I want to make it easy and try to put the basic terms in one place. This would not only be good for beginner sewers, but others for whom English is not their first language. The other week one of my friends called me asking me what certain terms were on this sewing pattern because she was used to hearing the terms in her first language. Here is what I thought of so far that I had to look up or am asked about frequently via email:



Raw Edge

Right side of fabric

Wrong side of fabric



Zig-zag Stitch


Finish seam

Top stitch

Any other sewing terms you can think of?

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  1. says

    clip and notch are words I had to look up the first few times. I may be dense, but it did take me a few patterns to understand what ‘finish all seams’ meant too.

  2. says

    I dont know if a French seam is the same a Finish seam, but I just recently sewed a dressed that called for a french seam and I had to search and search for a good description for a french seam.

  3. says

    As someone who JUST finished her FIRST pattern ever, I’m thinking you should market this idea to the pattern companies. :) stay stitch, baste, with nap, yoke, selvage, ease…just open a pattern and put about every other word in there. lol.

  4. says

    The different kinds of stitches.

    And ditto on the kinds of hems.

    Maybe even go through one of your tutorials and explain EXACTLY what you mean…

  5. says

    Oh man this is a great idea!!! I’ a beginner and am sewing with a pattern for the first time ( started last night)! The thing I dont get is – what are all those triangle on the pattern for??

  6. says

    I’ve been sewing for a really long time and learned from the best (my mom), but in trying to explain to my nieces, the terms that come up are straight of grain, both lenghwise and crosswise, and the importance of cutting on grain. Grade and trim seams and interfacing are a couple others. Oh, and I was in a fabric store with my engineer husband who thought they measured fabric by square yards! Maybe an explanation of how fabric is measured would help too.

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