Carla Quenneville's Dressmaking Essentials

  1. Schmetz Machine Universal Needles: This is the go-to brand for machine needles! The universal needles are perfect for most of your sewing needs. They are sharp enough to do rolled hems and transferable with many different fabric weights and styles. 
  2. 20 Sharps Size 9 Hand Needles: Like the Universal Needles, Size 9 Sharps are a good all-around sewing needle. Whenever I want to switch gears from my machine to hand (us older women do that) I want needles that will do as precise of a job as my Pfaff will. With these sharps, I can do that! 
  3. Embroidery Scissors: These mini shears are perfect for close snips. Not to mention the adorable yellow and red ladybug design! You'll surely never loose them! Stash a pair of these in your to-go sewing kit and keep a pair by your machine! Only $2.99 in-store. 
  4. Assorted Threads: For dressmaking, I predominately use polyester thread. I love the thread Mettler offers because of the variety of colors. A lot of the time, instead of using the basic whites, creams, and blacks, I would prefer to match the fabrics as closely as possible. They offer different shades of every color, and I always find a perfect match!
  5. Measuring Guage: Some people use a simple measuring tape. I use a measuring guage because of the precision it allows. A measuring tape easily bends and pulls, while the guage allows you to raise and lower the blue tab to make a perfect 1/4" seam. 
  6. Gingher Scissors: The legendary brand of scissors. Everyone has heard of them. They might be pricey, but they last longer than any other brand. I like to go with the 8" shears. For the smaller spots, I switch to my cute ladybug embroidery scissors. Everything else--the Gingher is cut out for!
  7. Ezy-Hem Guage: An all metal pressing tool that is huge help when measuring and pressing up hems and seam allowances. It has measured markings for both straight hems and curved ones, allowing accurate hemming on A-line, flaired skirts, and flounces. Simply fold the hem allowance around the EZY Guage to the desired depth and press right over the metal! Cool, huh? Well it's really hot...so don't burn your fingers!
  8. Taylor's Chalk: Chalk is an absolute! After all, you can't be marking on your beautiful fabric with a marker! Taylor's Chalk allows you to mark on your fabric, and it disappears with water. Or you can simply stick it in the wash, after your garment is complete! 
  9. Flexible Measuring Tape: Measure your bust, your waist, your hips...whatever you need! At Les Fabriques, we offer a variety of flexible measuring tapes in yellow, pink, purple, green, and so much more! I even catch my employees sometimes wearing them as necklaces! 
  10. Seam Ripper: When you have regrets in your sewing, this is what you use. You might shed a tear when you realize you have made a mistake, but even us pros make them. Seam rippers allow you to softly rip out the thread and start over again! Or pull your hair out, and reluctantly start over again!