Dressmaking Essentials with Jenni Smith: The Big Finish!

We’ve arrived at our final week of our Dressmaking Essentials series with Jenni Smith and we’ve had so much fun learning all about how to use various weights of Aurifil thread in a variety of apparel projects! A quick review…

Why Cotton?
Jenni says: I can’t imagine sewing a silk or lawn cotton blouse now with a polyester thread – it just doesn’t feel right.  I had the same experience when I started quilting with Aurifil – just as it seems to lay so flat on patchwork seams, it creates crisp lines on garments and that is very satisfying!

Jenni says: “For me, Aurifil 40wt thread is my go-to thread when I’m dressmaking. I’ve included three in this collection — a denim blue, an off-white, and a black. They are a little bit stronger than the 50wt thread, so if you’re making a project in a Cotton, in a Cotton/Linen Blend, or Linen, then it will work beautifully…You’ll find that the thread really complements the fabric and melts into it, but it also provides strength. It’s a really good all around thread to have!”

Jenni Says: “50wt Aurifil thread first came in to my life because I am a keen quilter and I use it for piecing and machine quilting.  Realising that I could also use my beautiful colours for dressmaking projects was a real game changer for me – not only did it save me money, it taught me that clothes stitched with a thread that compliments the cloth gets you a better result.  Polyester on fine silk is not a match made in heaven!

Jenni Says: “The orange 28wt thread in my collection is proving to be hugely popular in my studio classes. I have just top stitched my new Riley dress with it and it works so well with linen and denims. Little details can make big statements. I would recommend a top stitch needle when using this one.”

Jenni Says: “You might not expect to find 12wt threads in a dressmaking collection, but I think these give you so many creative possibilities. I’ve included a lovely navy and a white, so if you want to do some sashiko details or visible mending on garments, they work. And then the gorgeous golden color is my absolute favorite for top-stitching on denim or darker colors as well for real impact.””

Thanks so much Jenni! We are so grateful that you took some time to share your knowledge!

For you readers out there, we hope that you grabbed a few tips along the way that might empower you to get adventurous with your own dressmaking. We’d love to see what you’re up to, so if you’re posting, tag us and Jenni so that we can applaud your work!

If you’re ready to grab your own collection, make sure to check with your local quilt shop. If they’re not currently carrying the collection, they might be willing to special order from their favored distributor:). And… if you do grab a copy, Jenni has made up this handy little insert.

Make your own, or simply drop us a line and we’ll send you one, courtesy of the lovely Jenni!

Jenni will be traveling from the UK to join us for QuiltCon in Nashville in February. If you’ll be attending, make sure to follow Aurifil on IG for more info regarding her in-booth visible mending demos. If you’ll be following along from home, we’ll share via our FB Live & IG Stories!

Lastly, don’t forget to follow Jenni at @jennismithsews on Instagram to check out her #toptiptuesday videos for even more great ideas and inspiration.

check out each post for a handy video from Jenni!

October 26 – Dressmaking Essentials Collection & Giveaway
November 2 – Dressmaking Essentials: Why Cotton?
November 9 – Dressmaking Essentials: 40wt
November 16 – Dressmaking Essentials: 50wt
November 23 – Dressmaking Essentials: 28wt
November 30 – Dressmaking Essentials: 12wt
December 7 – Dressmaking Essentials: The Big Finish! (YOU ARE HERE)


We are giving away 1 Small Dressmaking Essentials Thread Collection by Jenni Smith for Aurifil! To enter-to-win, please click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, December 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, December 17. Good luck!

10 Small Spools, 100% Aurifil Cotton
28wt: 2240, 2318 | 12wt: 2021, 2975, 2784
40wt: 2783, 2692, 2309 | 50wt: 5020, 2630

To view this info on our website, click here. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.


Jenni has been sewing for the last 25 years. She grew up in a house where her mum and nan stitched upholstery for the caravans and trailer tents designed by her grandfather.  She studied History of Art and Italian at University before working as an Associate Producer in documentaries. In 2006 she spent a year in Toronto where she learned how to quilt and her love of dressmaking grew with the birth of her daughter a few years later.

For the past three years Jenni has been taught by sewing veteran Ann Ladbury. She has also developed her own series of textile art and has made original pieces for Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis and US artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon.

Jenni’s goal is to share her knowledge and enthusiasm, inspiring a new generation of people to embrace the handmade revolution.

** Images by Jenni Smith


  1. I’m currently sewing some T-Shirt style tops. They are my favorite to wear and they’re fast and easy to sew.

  2. I enjoyed this series! I have lots on quilting weight Aurifil threads in my collection, but I would be interested in trying the heavier weights for top-stitching garments. Thanks!

    1. Right now I’m on a bit of a sewing binge on knit shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts! It’s that time of year!

  3. I haven’t done much garment sewing in the past several years. Maybe someday soon I will have grandchildren to make clothes for.

  4. I really haven’t done much garment sewing for a while, but I have certainly enjoyed this series. Thanks so much for the chance to win 🙂

  5. I really love making simple tops and jackets, but am looking forward to making more fitted pieces after the holidays!

  6. I love skirts. I really like when the artist shares how your thread works and what to use it with.

  7. I don’t sew garments, but I do make purses and bags — does that count? This series was informative for that type of sewing too.

  8. I make lots of pajamas, but also shirts and children’s clothes. I’ve even done a number of prom dresses and wedding gowns. It’s all fun. Thanks for the info.

  9. I don’t know if this qualifies as a garment, but I love to sew slippers. Home sewn slippers are so comfortable and make excellent gifts. Thanks!

  10. I love sewing most of my clothes! T-shirts, shirts, pants, dresses, still working on bras & panties, though!

  11. I like to sew trousers. I love the custom fit I get by making my own. That being said, mostly in the last few years I’ve been making them for my daughter. The latest was a pair of black trousers (for a uniform) out of a beautiful cotton sateen, instead of buying scratchy polyester uniform pants.

  12. Good evening, I tried to send you an email off the link above to get a copy of the insert but it came back undeliverable. Is there a better way to contact you?

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