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At HowToSew.com you’ll learn how to start (and finish) basic sewing projects. Check out our free sewing patterns and tips for sewing, and get started!

Q & A

A selvage is the tightly woven edge of a fabric. It prevents the side edges of the fabric from raveling or fraying. Don’t use the selvage in your project! 

Use this chart to figure out what machine needle size you need for your current project!

In many patterns, you'll see instructions that read "sew with right sides together." But what is the right side of the fabric or the wrong side? 

A seam allowance is the area between the fabric edges and the line of stitches. Seam allowances can range from 1/4" wide to as much as several inches. Most patterns call for a specific seam allowance. In general, our patterns call for a 1/4"  or 1/2"   seam allowance.

A template is a pattern made from extra-sturdy material so you can trace around it many times without wearing away the edges.

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