First, check the back of your pattern envelope for tools and supplies needed.
In addition to these, here are a few more things you might want:
- Dressmaker's tracing paper and tracing wheel. These are my favorite tools for transferring darts and other pattern marks.
- Underlining fabric in the same yardage as your shell fabric. This is optional, and really only necessary if your fabric is on the sheer or semi-sheer side. I like batiste to underline cotton dresses. The stuff I use is called Imperial Batiste, an inexpensive cotton/poly blend. (It's available at many places online; give it a quick Google. I buy mine at B&J Fabrics in New York for about $4.50 a yard.) Test your shell and underlining fabrics together in your hand to make sure they're compatible.
- 1/2 yard silk organza to stay your front and back neckline. We'll be using this method, which I'm officially obsessed with. Your organza should be a color that won't show through your shell fabric when sandwiched between two layers.
- A couple yards of medium weight muslin. We'll be making bodice muslins to perfect our fit.
- Tracing paper. If you need to make any pattern changes, it helps to trace off your pattern. You can use freezer paper, medical supply paper, computer paper taped together, whatever. As long as it's paper and you can trace things onto it, you're good.
- Tailor's ham. This is optional, but a great thing to have if you're pressing darts. A ham provides a shaped surface that mimics the body's curves.
- Fitting book. If you have a figure that requires a lot of alterations, you really should have a good reference on pattern alterations. I like Fit for Real People. I'm going to do my best to cover FBAs (full bust alterations), but I recommend having a text of your own.
- Pinking shears. I like to pink my facings on lightweight dresses for a bulk-free finish.
- Seam binding or bias tape. (Optional) I usually finish off my waist seams with Hug Snug seam binding.
- A slip. (Optional) If you're worried about friction against your tights, static cling, gusts of wind up your back wrap skirt, etc, etc., you should probably have a full or half slip ready to wear with this dress. Bonus points for a cute vintage slip. Double bonus points for one made from my tutorial!
Questions? Let's hear them!