We’re creators. We’re artisans. Creators and artisans must have tools. And because we sew, we get notions too.
Here is my list of resources that I think you will enjoy and find immensely helpful and/or crucial for making insanely pretty dresses or for increasing the enjoyment of our craft.
Now, before you dig into some of these tools, notions, and resources that I’ve used and love, I must make an important disclosure:
If you’re sweet enough to use an affiliate link that I provide below to make a purchase (thank you!), I’ll earn a commission. This commission comes at NO additional cost to you.
And I promise that I’ll ONLY recommend tools and supplies that I’ve used personally and companies that I’ve done happy business with.
Please do NOT spend money on any tool, supply, or another resource on this list unless you need it to help you dream it, sew it, and flaunt it.
Sewing Tools + Notions
For your convenience, here are the absolute essentials that you need to join me on this journey to unleashing our dressmaking superpowers:
- Fiskars RazorEdge Fabric Shears
- Kai 5210 Dressmaking Shears
- Gingher 8-Inch Micro-Serrated Edge Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears
- Gingher 7.5″ Pinking Shears
- Gingher 4-Inch Lightweight Embroidery Scissors
- Gingher 4-Inch Large Handle Embroidery Scissors
- Fons and Porter Thread Snippers
- Seam-Fix Seam Ripper Thread Remover
- Dritz Seam-Fix Seam Ripper
- Dritz Extra-Fine Glass-Head Pins (White Pinhead)
- Dritz Ball Point Pins, Size 20
- Dritz Flat Flower Head Pins
- Dritz Long Pearlized Pins
- Dritz Tomato Pin Cushion
- Wrist Pin Cushion
- Dritz Ultimate Magnetic Pin Caddy
Sewing Machine Needles
- Schmetz Universal ~ Size 80/12
- Schmetz Universal ~ Assorted Pack
- Schmetz Jersey / Ballpoint ~ 80/12
- Schmetz Microtex (Sharps) ~ 80/12
- Schmetz Topstitching ~ 80/12
- Janome Blue Tipped Needles
Hand Sewing Needles
- Gutterman’s Sew-All Thread, White
- Gutterman’s Sew-All Thread, Black
- Gutterman’s Sew-All Thread, Eggshell
- Gutterman’s Sew-All Thread, Slate
- Coats & Clark Dual Duty All-Purpose Thread – 2 Black + 1 White Spools
- Coats & Clark – Dual Duty XP Heavy Weight Thread – 4 Color Value Pack – (Black+White+Slate+Natural)
- Dritz 60-inch measuring tape
- 2×18 Dritz Quilting See-Thru Drafting Ruler
- 2×18 Cottage Mills Ruler with Easy Grip knob
- Dritz 7-inch Seam Gauge with Point Turner
- Clover’s 5n1 Sliding Seam Gauge
- Clover’s Supersize 5n1 Sliding Seam Gauge
- Dritz Omnigrid Invisigrip
- Ogrmar Professional Tailor’s Chalk Triangle
- Clover Chacopel Fine Point Pencils with Brush Cap &cSharpener
- Clover Thin Line Chalk Wheel Liner Marker
- Dritz Ergonomic Serrated Tracing Wheel
- Prym Smooth Edge Ergonomic Tracing Wheel
- Fons and Porter Mechanical Fabric Pencil, White
- Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Crayons
- Crayola Washable Markers ~ Super Tips
- Shark Ultimate Professional Iron
- Dritz Iron-Off Hot Iron Cleaner
- Faultless Hot Iron Cleaner
- Dritz Sheer Press Cloth ~ 100% Silk Organza
- Polder Deluxe Ironing Station with Iron Holster
- White T-Shirt Cloth Rags
- Dritz Tailor’s Ham
- Scotch-Brite Lint Roller ~ Twin Pack
- Sterilite Layer Stack & Carry Box
- Snapware Snap ‘N Stack Square Layer Storage Container
- Husky 10-inch All-Purpose Tote
- Over The Door Shoe Organizer 24 LARGE Mesh Pockets
- Over the Door Hanging Shoe Organizer
- Bobbin Box Tray Organizers or Bobbin Rings
- Business Page Holder
- Wonder Hanger Max NEW & IMPROVED
- Janome DC2014 Computerized Sewing Machine with 50 Built-In Stitches
- Janome DC2015 Computerized Sewing Machine
Whether you’ve cut it, crumpled it, opened it, or sewn it, w promise no-hassle returns on any purchase. There are absolutely no restrictions and no restocking fees. If you’re not completely satisfied, simply return the product for a replacement or refund of the purchase price.
Definitely, check out this site. Even if you buy nothing, it is an education in what’s new and cool in sewing heaven.
Commercial Pattern Companies
Once upon a time, there were four BIG commercial pattern companies: Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, and Vogue. It now seems like Simplicity and McCalls own everybody else.
- Burda (part of the Simplicity brand)
- Burda Style (separate website)
- Butterick (part of the McCalls brand)
- New Look (part of the Simplicity brand)
- Vogue Patterns (part of the McCalls brand)
Our art is sewing and our medium is fabric and textiles. Therefore, a good fabric reference resource is priceless. Here are some great resources to get your fabric fix on… Enjoy!
Do as I say. And don’t do as I did. Because the truth is, overwhelm is the enemy laying out, cutting, marking, and sewing!
So I suggest that in the beginning you control yourself, save your cash, and just choose ONE technique resource.
To help you choose the resource that is right for you, click any of the hyperlinks below, you’ll be taken to Amazon. Here you can click the “Look Inside” feature to determine which sewing resource speaks to you:
- Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing (I have the 1978 version!)
- Vogue Sewing, Revised (2006)
- Singer The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing, Revised and Expanded Edition: 1200 Full Color How To Photos (2009)
I own them all! And you can’t go wrong with any resource on this list.
And these are my two favorite fabric resources:
- Fabric A to Z: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using Fabric for Sewing by Dana Willard
- The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion: The Essential Guide from the World’s Most Famous Fabric Store
When I’m not sewing or spending time with the ones I adore, I love to curl up on my loveseat, surrounded by my favorite sewing magazines.
Sewing Machine Manuals
If your sewing machine manual has taken a walk or has been dog-eared to death, Sewing Parts Online Instruction Manuals is a great place to start. There are names here I’ve never even heard of.
However, many sewing machine manuals are available online FREE. Just Google the brand and model of your sewing machine followed by PDF. For example:
Janome 415 PDF (with or without quotes)
Finally, because nobody likes stale bread, I’ll be updating this page as I discover new tools, notions, books, and fabric resources to swoon over.
So make it your business to bookmark this page and check back regularly to find the latest and the greatest goodies I’ve added just for you.
Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!
If you found this resource dreamy, then please share it on your favorite social media platform. And thank you!