Auxiliary Reference Information | Test Garment Creation | 1. Tools Required

Re It is recommended to collect up your required tools prior to starting any Module.

For the drafting element refer to the Auxiliary Reference Information - Draft - Drafting Tools List.


This tools list is useful for drafting any test garment whether for a Base Template, a Working Template or Flexible Patterns.

Extra to the drafting tools to create a Test Garment you will need the following;

  • Paper Weights I use steal discs that I found in my local hardware store, they were the biggest I could find in diameter and I have a couple of sizes. I dozen would be more than enough.

  • 2 metres of Muslin I use a quilters fabric as I think it is good enough for test muslin and I use a natural cream as it helps with my visualisation, although you could use up fabric that you already have but ensure that you have selvages to work from when layout out your pattern otherwise you may end up not cutting to the grain of the fabric. Sometimes buying it by the bolt is cheaper.

  • Thread I use Black for thread tracing then white or another colour for sewing seams (use up your bobbin leftovers here from other projects).

  • Good Fabric Scissors and or a Rotary cutter Don't skimp on buying a pair of good scissors and blades for a Rotary cutter. I use both and if you look after them they will last for years remember they are for cutting fabric only so guard them with your life away from other family members!

  • Iron Use a good quality iron that has a steam option. I am privilaged because I have a separate iron and ironing board for sewing not used for house laundry. That way no one can mess up the plate or the cover.

  • Ironing Board I like a large ironing board with a padded cover and it is important to keep it clean.

  • Pins I use white and red glass head pins they are not too large but sharp and work well for dress making and great for silks and chiffon and don't often snag. They do however bend easily, so be careful and don’t ever use bent pins – although I never throw out my bent pins I straighten them with a jewellery making wire straightening plier that does the job quite nicely. Waste not want not! Always through away damaged pins that snag, I have a glass container that I throw all of my sharps into then I will do a final check through before I dispose of them carefully.

  • Quilters fork pins Construction is key when making anything. Its even more important for a Base Template when all of your future garments rely on getting this right. Quilters fork pins are a double point pin that I use to line up all seam points when sewing and not just form my quilting - it will get you 99% accurate if you use them, and I do confess that I do sew over them with the machine to keep everything in place, I am very careful, it does not bend these pins as they are very strong and I have never broken a needle yet and I don’t think it blunts my needle either. 1 packet is sufficient.

  • Un-picker Any sort will do really.

  • Snipping scissors A smaller snipping scissor is useful when snipping into seam allowances around necklines and armholes, check out a few brands before you buy because some brands are just not sharp enough at the tips.

  • Sewing Machine You can sew a garment completely by hand and I often do this. But if you can get hold of one or borrow one it is going to help you work through all Modules. A good quality sewing machine is a good investment and will last more than a lifetime if properly looked after. Don’t be tempted to buy really cheap otherwise you may regret it later, you want to fall in love with your machine not hate it! If you can push the budget invest in an Overlock Machine also, I dream of buying a Cover Stitch machine!

  • Tailors wax paper If you can get hold of the large A3 sheets then all the better, they are more expensive but last for years so worth the investment and you can get them in lots of different colours.

  • Pressing Ham and Seam Ham If you are new to sewing you may not have these so don’t worry you can get one in time. I make my own from offcuts of fabric, the advantage to doing this is that you could make any number of them in various shapes and size to match different body sizes, I stuff them with wood shavings from my local carpenter.

  • Pattern Notcher This is not essential you could use your paper scissors or just punch through a hole in the card with a stamp. A Notcher does make a good job of it though and you are less likely to damage your hard work. I use a Notcher has a hole punch in it as well which is very useful.

  • Plumb Line Either buy one or make one from a heavy object and string. I make my own from a long length or ribbon or string attached to a cotton reel.

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