why dressmake?

Basic dressmaking sewing tools

Here is a post about basic sewing tools that is needed for sewing a simple dress. I am writing the post as I felt I haven’t touch and said much about the basics of sewing. I have written post on why dress make? In which is a great post all together as my non sewing friends kept asking me all the time why on earth I am spending my time sewing?!

free pattern

Crazy isn’t it? Many believe ready make it’s just so much easier than having to go thru the process of sewing. Have a read in detail in my post on why dress make?

This post does contain affiliate banners and links which means I will make a small commission at NO COST to you should you decide to click thru the links or banners and make a sale. For more information on disclosure policy click here.

Basic sewing tool list

In order to sew one is most likely need a sewing machine. Not unless you plan to hand sew all your garments. That would take far too long. There is a slow craft which hand sews but only if you have lots of time and dedication. I would love too but I have just too much on my hands at the moment.


Sewing machine

A simple basic sewing machine will do the job as most entry level sewing machines do buttonholes, have the ability to change to different foot, can sew different types of fabric. Most basic entry level sewing machine will have all these function. You will also need accessories for the sewing machine like spare needles and bobbin. Depending what you are planning to sewing you might need other add accessories like fine sewing needle for sewing sheer fabric, twin needle for sewing jersey fabric. This can be bought latter with time.

scissors dressmaking


For other tools for tracing and transferring a pattern from a magazine or book, you will need a tape measure to measure your size. Then you decide the closest size, then you will need tracing paper, tracing wheel and fabric carbon paper. There are a few other ways to trace out a pattern. It depend whether if you are using a ready made printed pattern or one that requires you to trace out the pattern.

Then there is headed pins to pin all the patterns or use something weighted so that the pattern stays and no movement while you cut out the fabric. Headed pins would be also useful when sewing the traced fabric together.

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A good pair of scissors

A good fabric scissors or a very sharp scissors dedicated for cutting out fabric is essential. Sewing is a lot of precision therefore a good pair of sharp scissors will last a long time. Don’t use this pair of scissors for anything else to cut out tracing paper as it would make it blunt.

Some places/ shops will do a sharpening service so that they will stay nice and sharp. They will last longer and no need for service if it is just used solely for cutting fabric.

buttonhole setting on machine

There are lots of different types of scissors so have a look around. Basically, you will need scissors for cutting fabric and one for fine work like cutting buttonholes out.

If you are sewing a dress you might want to invest in an invisible zip foot.

An overlocker would be a great machine to have around as well. It cost more than a sewing machine but it is not essential there are many ways to get around and not having to use an overlocker.

sewing foot picture

In summary in my own personal opinion these are the basic sewing tools:

  1. Sewing machine
  2. Materials for tracing out patterns eg. tracing paper, tracing wheel and carbon paper.
  3. Tape measure
  4. Headed pins.
  5. Fabric cutting scissors
  6. Fine scissors for buttonholes.
  7. Spare sewing machine needles and bobbins.
  8. Sewing thread- colors that match with the fabric that you are planning to sew.
  9. Maybe – an overlocker for finish frayed hems but most entry-level sewing machines have an overlock option. it is something to consider later on
  10. Accessories for the specific type of sewing like invisible zip foot, twin sewing needle, fine sewing machine needle for sewing sheer fabric.
basic tools for dressmaking
basic tools for dressmaking

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  1. Pingback: How to sew tailored trousers at home - Maker gardener

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