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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 How to Organize Your Sewing Tools & Supplies.

Sewing Machine

RELATED: Read Understanding Your Sewing Machine!


RELATED: The Ergonomics of Sewing

Sewing Pattern Supplies

RELATED: 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

the-big-four-pattern-companies: simplicity, mccalls, butterick, and vogue

Once upon a time, there were four BIG commercial pattern companies: Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, and Vogue. It now 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

janine's favorite 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!

So I suggest that in the beginning you control yourself, save your cash, and just choose ONE technique resource.

To help you choose the resource that is right for you, click any of the hyperlinks below, you’ll be taken to Amazon. Here you can click the “Look Inside” feature to determine which sewing resource speaks to you:

I own them all! And you can’t go wrong with any resource on this list.

And these are my two favorite fabric resources:

And if you are looking for fitting resources, then here are some excellent books on the subject:

Sewing Magazines

janine's favorite sewing magazines: vogue patterns, threads, and sew news

When I’m not sewing or spending time with the ones I adore, I love to curl up on my loveseat, surrounded by my favorite sewing magazines.


Sewing Machine Manuals

janine's janome dc2014 sewing machine manual

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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