The Dressmaker’s Companion

Introducing The Dressmaker’s Companion – A practical guide to sewing clothes

The Dressmaker's Companion with trophy

The Dressmaker’s Companion has received a gold medal for best craft/hobby/how-to book, and a silver medal for best large format cover at the 30th Benjamin Franklin Book Awards.  More about the awards here.

New book cover front
New book cover back

A comprehensive sewing reference you’ll refer to again and again for reliable, practical advice.

Whether you’re a dressmaker, fashion student or simply enjoy sewing for yourself and the people you love, this is a sewing book as helpful as your own personal teacher.

With over 3,000 illustrations, step-by-step instructions, clever ideas, troubleshooting and fitting advice, The Dressmaker’s Companion will enable you to sew with confidence.

Winner of the 30th Benjamin Franklin Award for best craft book and silver medal winner for best large format cover.

About the author: Elizabeth Haywood always loved making clothes.  She trained as a patternmaker and worked in the fashion industry for 20 years.  She now lives in the country with her young family, where she’s re-discovering sewing for pleasure.

What people are saying about The Dressmaker’s Companion

“If you can have only one sewing reference book, THIS IS IT! ” –Australian Sewing Guild

“A lovely well written and illustrated book. Very informative, easy to comprehend even for a novice sewer. So many sewing and pattern making tips and ideas from an expert in her field. I highly recommend this book be added to any sewers library.” –Lis Moritz, Catwalk Fabrics

“An excellent gift for sewists!” –The Drapery

“This book includes instructions on a range of techniques you will come across once you have mastered the basics. A valuable resource.” –House of Cloth

“A great book! Highly recommend. I keep it right next to my sewing machine and refer it often, even on steps I know- I always learn a new tip or variation. And the illustrations are super helpful.” –@tri2sew

“I adore it so so helpful” –@running_bel

“Great to see locally produced sewing texts.” –@jennyramosdiaz

Best Christmas present I ever got! 😍 It is consulted on a regular basis. –@gather_n_stitch

Your voice gave me the confidence with the aid of your book to get back into dressmaking after an almost 15year break. Thank you. –@elenaboas

Liz, I love this book! Not just for the serious, for anyone who wants to improve their skills. You have a wonderful writing ‘voice’ and so much helpful experience. It’s fun to flip through and learn something new, and awesome for solving problems 👍😊 – @dandyfeathers

It’s already useful. Now I know why my sleeves didn’t match the arm holes on the current project and more importantly, I know what to do. Great pictures and explanations! –@marmaladysews

Hello – just to say I’m really enjoying The Dressmaker’s Companion, it is full of great content and personality, so thanks for writing such a useful resource! Regards, Caroline – @csheep40

Where to buy The Dressmaker’s Companion

Like to flip through a copy before buying?  Your local library might have it.  If they don’t, why not ask your librarian to purchase a copy for the library? (you could be the first to borrow it).

You can buy an autographed copy from me here.

Are you a small retailer, independent fabric shop owner or sewing school proprietor and want to stock The Dressmaker’s Companion?  I have excellent wholesale rates, very low minimum orders and can drop ship to your door; please send a no obligation enquiry to: liz@lizhaywood (dot) com (dot) au

To buy retail, try your local bookshop; the book’s ISBN is 978 0 646 98547 3 and the distributor is Ingram.

In Adelaide, South Australia, The Drapery on Glen Osmond Road and All Make Sewing Centre in Stirling.

In Clare, South Australia, KnitSpinWeave and Clare Fashion and Fabrics and The Olive Bus stock autographed copies.

In the Barossa Valley, South Australia, The Raven’s Parlour Bookstore in Tanunda has autographed copies.

In Gawler, South Australia, Kornacraft

In Pt Lincoln, South Australia, Ruby + Kate

In Bendigo, Victoria, House of Cloth

In Australia, Booktopia, Fishpond and online independent fabric store Paper Scissors Frock.

In the UK, The Book Depository,, Blackwells, and independent online fabric store Fleur et Ours.

In the US, (affiliate link + supporting independent bookshops),, Alibris, Superbookdeals, Barnes and Noble,,,

In Canada, Chapters/Indigo

In Japan,

In France,

In Germany,

In Sweden, Adlibris

In Italy,

In Spain,

Book details

ISBN: 978 0 646 96824 7 (paperback), second edition 978 0 646 98547 3

Size: 297 x 210mm (8.268″ x 11.693″) A4

Spine width: 22.22mm (.875″), second edition 23.597mm (.929″)

Weight: 1025.5g (2.261lb), second edition 1094.95g (2.414lb)

Number of pages: 430, second edition 460

Cover is matt laminate and interior is black and white text with line drawings

RRP: $AU64.99, $US49.99, £39.99, Є44.99

Publication date: 1st September 2017, second edition 30th April 2018

The second edition is identifiable by the seals on the front cover, the number of pages (460), the year of publication (2018) and the ISBN (ends with a 3)

Distributor: Ingram

Download a PDF of the contents page Contents page The Dressmaker’s Companion

Download a PDF of the index (7 pages) Index The Dressmaker’s Companion

Download a PDF of the introduction Introduction to The Dressmaker’s Companion

View blog posts about The Dressmaker’s Companion here.

The Dressmaker’s Companion is available as a print book only. 

Author contact details




Email: liz@lizhaywood (dot) com (dot) au

Visit Elizabeth Haywood’s blog home page here.

The book’s downloadable PDFs are here:

Page 304 Boomerang sleeve header

Page 303 Shoulder pad raglans

Page 302 Shoulder pad large raglan

Page 301 Shoulder pad large square

Page 300 Shoulder pad small square

Page 256 Pressing tools tailors ham

Page 255 Pressing tools seam roll square end

Page 254 Pressing tools seam roll round end

Page 253 Pressing tools mitt