There is a vast range and selection of different tools, equipment and materials used in dressmaking. Not all of them are necessary when you’re starting off but you can gradually build your supplies as you go. These are a few of the more common items you’ll need. Always buy the best quality you can afford as it’ll last longer but luckily many of these are made to suit a range of budgets.
These range vastly in price depending on their complexity, what you want to do and how often you sew. Good quality machines will last longer and improve the quality of your finished makes.
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Specialist Machine Feet
Most sewing machines will come with a range of feet but specialist feet such as a zip foot, buttonhole foot and roller foot will make stitching easier and neater.
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Dressmaking shears, general sewing scissors, embroidery scissors or snips.
There are a range of different lengths and thicknesses depending on the weight of your fabric.
A good steam iron is essential as well as an ironing board, Tailor’s Ham for pressing curves and a clapper for setting seams.
Always use the right needle to suit the fabric you’re sewing. Universal needles will stitch most fabrics but ballpoint needles for jersey and jeans needles for heavier weight fabrics are invaluable too.
Hand sewing needles
Essential for hand stitching hems and fastenings. Sharps are the most common as they’re short and very sharp to keep your stitches neat.
Ideal for transferring pattern markings from the pattern pieces to the fabric. Tailor’s chalk is the traditional choice but removable markers such as heat erasable and water soluble are great alternatives.
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If you’ve stitched a seam incorrectly, you’ll need one of these to remove the stitches without damaging the fabric.
Shop Seam Rippers
Retractable tape measures are easy to use and store. A metal rule for accurate marking is really useful too.
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