What are the Different Types of Dressmaking Supplies?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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The different types of dressmaking supplies are all used together to make many different kinds of clothing. A small sewing room can hold the basic supplies. For dressmakers with more workspace, additional sewing tables as well as shelving for storing fabric can be added. A dressmaker should have at least a sewing machine, a dressmaker’s form, a large table for cutting and pinning fabric, plus supplies such as thread, a tape measure, scissors, trims, pins and needles.

Needles for sewing machines as well as the hand sewing type of needle should be included in dressmaking supplies. Extra sewing machine needles are good to have on hand in case the one in the machine breaks. Different types of needle styles may be needed, such as a heavy duty kind for sewing tough denim fabric. A selection of different hand sewing needles are desirable for use on basting, or loose stitching, dress or pant hems. Assorted hand needle kits often include upholstery repair needles as well as those with a wide eye section to use in sewing with yarn.

Pins are needed to pin pattern pieces to fabric before cutting. Pins are also used to pin up hems on garments before they're sewn. Ball headed pins are often easy to grip and are preferred to the straight pin design by many dressmakers. Trims such as lace and braid as well as fasteners such as snaps and buttons are other necessary dressmaking supplies.


Sharp scissors are necessary to get straight edges on pattern pieces. Pinking shears are the scissor type most used for cutting out pattern pieces as the result is a jagged edge that resists fraying on garment seams. Dressmaking scissors shouldn't be used for cutting paper, as this may dull the scissor blades.

A cloth or vinyl tape measure is used for taking measurements of the person for whom a dress or other garment will be sewn. The measurements may be set into an adjustable style of dress form. Dress forms are dressmaking supplies that feature a torso shape from the neck to the top of the thighs. A dress form usually has a stand so the dressmaker has easy access while standing and is usually mounted at a height that allows the dressmaker easy access.

A table may be required for a sewing machine. Sewing machines are necessary dressmaking supplies. They may be simple or complex. Some types of sewing machines produce elaborate embroidery stitches, while others are used for basic garment stitching. Shelves to store dressmaking supplies is convenient if the sewing area has enough room for shelves. A large table for working with fabric is a good addition to any dressmaking room.


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