As read my blog you will frequently see these key terms. More key terms will be added as we go along. If you are looking for something specific, then press Ctrl+F and type in what you are searching for.


The stretchy part of the fabric. It runs at a 45-degree angle to the fabric grain and selvage.

Fabric Grain (Leslie, n.d.)

The fabric grain will always run parallel of the selvage. Feel along the fabric for a crease running parallel the selvage. Mark this spot as your grain just in case you have to cut off the selvage.

Synthetic Fabrics (Synthetic Fabric, n.d.)

An example includes fabrics like polyester, acrylic, acetate, nylon, rayon. These fabrics a chemically produced to last longer and provide certain properties. Needs like stretching, water-resistance, stain-resistance, and wrinkle-free are not found in natural fabrics.

Natural Fabrics (Geertsen, 2014)

Those of you that love to eco-friendly products than natural fabrics are for you. This includes cotton linen, silk, wool, cashmere, and hemp.

Hem (Colette, 2014)

This is the finished edge of your project. Go find a pair of jeans. Look at the bottom of the leg where the fabric is folded under. This is the hem. There are many types and ways to create a hem. Most common hems consist of a folded edge.

Pressing (New, 2014)

This is a method requiring an iron to create seams and getting rid of tough wrinkles in your fabric. This method is different from “ironing” because you are literally pressing your iron on top of the fabric then lift and repeat; not dragging it on top of the fabric.

Raw Edges

It’s always the unsewn edge of a fabric. A cut edge is a raw edge.

Seam Allowance (, 2012)

An area between your stitches and fabric edge. I usually leave a ½ inch seam allowance so there would be enough room to correct my mistakes. If you are using store a bought pattern, then the seam allowance would be mentioned in the directions.


An area of the fabric that has the manufacturer logo. It can also include blend percentage and care instructions. The selvage lets you know where the grain is.

Right-Side (Julie, 2013)

This side is what everyone will see on your finished product. Sometimes it’s obvious which is the wrong side. Some will have print on both sides but the wrong side will be faded.

Wrong-Side (Julie, 2013)

This side people won’t see when your project is done. If both sides look the same then it is up to you to decide. Remember to mark the wrong side with a washable marker or fabric pencil. Trust me! Starting all over because there is confusion between the right and wrong side is a pain.

Top Stitches

Top stitches are meant to be seen. Lengthening or shortening the stitches will improve the look of your projects. Top stitches are the same as straight stitches.


Colette. (2014, September 8). 6 ways to finish the edge of your hem. Retrieved from Colette:

Geertsen, L. (2014, July 24). 5 Reasons To Switch To Natural Fiber Clothing. Retrieved from Empowered Sustenance: (2012, November 16). What Is A Seam Allowance? Retrieved from

Julie. (2013, February 1). Retrieved from Ginger Root Design:

Leslie. (n.d.). Finding the Fabric Grain. Retrieved from The Seasoned Homemaker:

New, R. (2014, September 11). What is the Difference Between Pressing and Ironing? Retrieved from

Synthetic Fabric. (n.d.). Retrieved from