If you fancy trying your hand at dressmaking or are already proficient in running up a new outfit, there is a select set of tools that you will need to get off the mark. Here we look at what are primarily the most essential pieces of equipment needed for the job.
I Want to Make a Dress – What Do I Need?
When it comes to making a dress, or indeed repairing a dress or any other garment, you should have to hand some of the following:
- Sewing Machine
- Tape Measure
- Dressmaker’s Shears (Scissors)
- Tailor’s Chalk
- Paper Scissors
- Pencil and Ruler
Before you begin the task of making or repairing your dress, you should ensure that you have as many of these tools to hand before you start. This will make the job a lot easier, and you will save a lot of time in the long run.
Choosing a Sewing Machine
Surprisingly, not everyone owns a sewing machine, even though they have fallen dramatically in price over the years. As time and technology have passed, so have the functions of the sewing machine. Not only can you sew hems and seams with a sewing machine, but you can now sew intricate patterns into your material as you go.
A tape measure, preferably a paper or plastic one, is an invaluable tool in any dressmaking kit. Using your tape measure, not only to take hip and waist measurements, the tape measure also allows you to measure alterations before they are sewn in. A flexible tape measure is better than the ones used in DIY jobs.
Many call them Dressmaker’s Scissors, but with their serrated edges, they are ideal for cutting through materials such as denim or leather. It is important to keep these shears in pristine condition, so if they have a plastic sheath, then you should return them to it after each use. Also, it is wise to remember that although they are scissors, they are not designed to cut paper, and cutting paper will only blunt their edges.
Ideal for marking out areas that need to be cut or sewn. Tailor’s Chalk can – unlike ordinary chalk – be used on coarse materials such as leather, suede and denim. But, just like ordinary chalk, can still be rubbed out afterwards.
We have already mentioned Dressmakers Shears and the fact that they should not be used for cutting paper. It is always an idea to have an ordinary pair of scissors in your dressmaking kit ready for you to cut out patterns as and when you need to. Again, as with Dressmakers Shears, it is important to keep them sharp, so returning them to their sheath when you have finished is always good practice. Also keeping them away from children who may use them for purposes other than they are designed is a good way of ensuring longevity too.
Pencil and Ruler
No dressmaking kit would be complete without the trusty pencil and ruler. Both are very common and are essential to any dressmaking or garment repair job. Although you would be surprised at how many people sit down to start their dressmaking without these trusty old friends to hand.
If you are unsure of what you will need when it comes to dressmaking, you can ask at your local garment alteration shop. Most towns and villages have one, and it will cost nothing to ask a member of staff what they keep in their equipment box.