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Hey, you!

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.

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:

Cutting Tools

RELATED: Read An Ultimate Guide to Cutting Tools.

Straight Pins

RELATED: Read An Ultimate Guide to Sewing Straight Pins.

Sewing Machine Needles

RELATED: Read An Ultimate Guide to Sewing Machine Needles.

Hand Sewing Needles

Sewing Thread

RELATED: Read An Ultimate Guide to Sewing Thread.

Measuring Tools

RELATED: Read The Three Essential Measuring Tools.

Marking Tools

RELATED: Read An Ultimate Guide to Sewing Marking Tools.

Pressing Tools

RELATED: Read An Ultimate Guide to Pressing Tools.


RELATED: Read What Are Sewing Notions?


RELATED:  Read How to Organize Your Sewing Tools & Supplies.

Sewing Machine

RELATED:  Read Understanding Your Sewing Machine!


RELATED:Read The Ergonomics of Sewing

Sewing Pattern Supplies

RELATED: Read Duplicating Your Sewing Patterns

Nancy’s Notions

Nancy’s Notions sells so many cool sewing-related stuff. And they have the most amazing 100% LIFETIME customer satisfaction guarantee.

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

From what I can tell, once upon a time, there were a lot of pattern companies. For example, there was Advance Patterns (exclusively sold at J.C. Penny); Spadea Design Patterns; Polynesian Patterns (so interesting); and Hollywood Patterns (Created by Conde Nast and glamorous), Burda, New Look, Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, Vogue, and more I’m sure.


Over the decades, pattern houses have come and gone. And when the dust settled, in the US, we were left with the four BIG commercial pattern companies: Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, and Vogue. However, today, it seems like Simplicity and McCalls own everybody else.

Fabric Resources

2 stacks of gorgeous fabrics

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!

RELATED: Read Fabric 101 & 201.

Sewing Books

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!


Honestly, I’ve found in my studies that no one book is ever going to tell the every thing about anything!

A single book — or article or video — just can’t do that! BUT…

… with that said, I still suggest that in the beginning you control yourself, save your cash, and just choose ONE technique resource. And as a beginner, let’s keep our chosen technique resource super simple! I like the following:

And these are my two favorite fabric resources:

Finally, if you ever plan to sew fitted garments, you need a good fitting resource! For me, this book connected so many lost and confused dots on the subject of fit that I donated all other fitting books to the Goodwill! Yes, it is that good — and I do NOT tissue fit then or now. But this fitting resource is the bomb! So if you’re ready for a fitting resource, then this is the one you need:


Sewing Magazines


When I’m not sewing, making photos, or writing, I do love to curl up on my loveseat with 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)

searching for a sewing machine manual pdf

The End

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.

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

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