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Though basic sewing is not a difficult skill to master, even the most seasoned sewer could benefit from an update on essential measurement conversions, a breakdown of fabrics, and tips for when to use certain threads.

Follow this guide to all things sewing to refresh your skills or, perhaps, pick up some bits of information you may not have known before!

Sewing kit essentials

Best use for threads:
Cotton: use lightweight cottons and fabrics, linens, and rayon
Silk: silk and wool
Polyester: all-purpose; good with most any other fabrics
Metallic: machine embroidery; handbags, shoes, other accessories

Printable Sewing Guide

Woven
Not stretchy; made up of horizontal and vertical fibers; mostly used for apparel or decorating

Knit
Slightly stretchy; fibers loop back and forth; typically used in clothing

Cotton
Stiff or stretchy; interlocking fibers; mostly used for apparel/quilting

Natural
Comes from fibers in nature (e.g. hemp, silk, linen); can be used in clothes or home goods, like tablecloths, towels, etc.

Synthetic
Made from inorganic fibers (e.g. chiffon, rayon, velvet); used mostly for ornate clothing and drapery