Once upon a time, I started to write a post and even scheduled it to be published. But then I was away on a magical road trip, and of course, encountered some technical difficulties along the way. My recent gift list post wasn’t supposed to get published 🙁 I was going to publish this post instead, written by my mom. It contains multiple gift lists, including her list of top 10 gifts for the sewist (very similar to mine), 10 gifts for the serious sewist, 10 inexpensive gift ideas for the sewist, and 10 sewing gifts you didn’t know you needed. My apologies for the mix-up, and without further ado, here’s Trudy:
It’s that time again! The holidays just have a way of sneaking up on you, don’t they? If you’ve been following along with Danielle’s sewing series posts, you probably have been giving some thought to creating some of your own gifts through your newly learned sewing skills. Or, maybe you’re thinking to yourself that it would be a good idea to wait until next year and get an early start, but in the meantime you’d like to work on improving your skills, and you might even be thinking that this year you’d love to receive some sewing-related gifts to help you build upon what you already have. I’m going to give you a few lists, broken down into some categories that should fit one of your sewing needs or that of a newbie sewist. Here you go!
Top 10 Gifts for that Sewist on your list!
- A sewing machine. If you’re unsure of what to look for, refer back to a post earlier this year discussing what to look for when buying a sewing machine. No need to break the bank here, but read reviews online to see what will suit your needs. Extra sewing machine needles are a great idea as well.
- A good pair of scissors! My favorites are my Gingher sewing scissors that I asked my husband to buy me years ago… he so thoughtfully took them to a jewelry store and spent a few extra dollars and had them engraved! If you already have a good pair of scissors, then ask for small thread snips. I keep mine by my sewing machine and probably use them even more than my big scissors!
- Magnetic pin holder and long large-head straight pins. Pincushions are great as well, but I favor my magnetic holder because I own so many pins.
- A good seam ripper, or two! You might be thinking, what’s the difference, aren’t they all the same? No. Seam rippers come in different sizes, some even have little lights at the end of them to aid in seeing stitches, and some have bigger tips on them making it more difficult to get under tiny stitches. I have several. I have a small one I keep next to my sewing machine and I own several larger ones that can be nice when you really have some heavy-duty seam-ripping to do!
- Rotary mat, rotary cutter, and rotary ruler. I honestly can say that you will love having these, and yes, you need all three to make it worth it. Again, this isn’t something that needs to be really expensive. Extra blades for your cutter are also nice to have on hand.
- A sewing basket, or really pretty container of some sort to keep all of your sewing necessities organized and on hand. They’re especially nice to have when you like to take your hand sewing from room to room… everything is right there and easy to carry!
- An iron and/or ironing board. This also doesn’t need to be expensive. But if you already own an iron/ironing board, maybe a small travel iron and pressing mat would be in order. These are great if you have the room by your sewing machine to press small projects.
- Hand sewing needles. There are a large variety of needles out there, so a package with a variety of sizes is very handy for different projects or several packages of needles in different sizes.
- Gift card to a sewing shop, quilt shop or craft store. I cannot even begin to express how useful and fun these can be! What can be more fun than to be able to go out and shop for exactly what you want once the holidays are over? If you watch carefully for end-of-year sales and clearance items, all the better! More bang for your buck!
- Measuring and marking tools. These go hand-in-hand. They would include tape measures, hem gauges, marking pens, chalk and possibly even tracing papers and a tracing wheel (back in the olden days when I was in school, this was almost always the way we marked our sewing projects!)
Okay, so maybe you’ve been sewing a while and you have pretty much all, if not all, of the listed items. Here are some ideas for the serious sewist! I have been sewing longer than I care to admit, and these are items I have acquired over the years that I find really useful and sometimes just plain fun!
Ideas for the Serious Sewist!
- Flexible lamp to put next to your sewing machine. Even better if it’s a portable light that can be used in other areas of the home while working on hand projects. Regular household lamps rarely give off enough light to keep your eyes from feeling strained during long sewing stints.
- Sewing or Quilting books or a subscription to any number of magazines out there for either, or both!
- Lightbox for tracing. I got mine years ago, and even though I don’t use it constantly, I do use it a few times a year and it’s well worth it. Taping projects and paper to my window to trace them is a thing of the past! (Danielle: We got one of these for our oldest for Christmas last year, and he and the other kids LOVE using it.)
- Specialty table for your sewing machine. This could be an old table dedicated just to your machine. Or if your loved one is handy with tools, ask them to make you one. When I started out sewing I had a machine from my mother that was set in a table and used to drop down when not in use. After I realized that I just sew too much and preferred to keep my sewing machine out all of the time, I asked my husband for something else to use. He gave me an old computer table he acquired from his father’s business. It was really nice because it was larger than what I had been using, which was great for all of the quilting I was now doing. Eventually, I realized I wanted my sewing machine to drop into a table and the top of the arm to be flush with the top of the table, so he asked me to come up with some measurements and he made a table to my specifications. I LOVE it! He even put casters on it so I can easily move it if needed. He even went one step further and made a hole in the side with a piece of wood under it to fit my beverages in! No more worrying about spills while sewing!
- Ceramic mug or small basket to keep next to your sewing machine. I have a mug that I keep extra pens, pencils, scissors, hem gauges and even a nail file in! I also have a small heart-shaped container that I received as a gift that I keep my seam ripper, nail clipper, lip balm, and tweezers in. (Danielle: BTW, I love that mug for anybody trying to think of gift ideas for me 😉 )
- A variety of clear containers, with lids, to hold sewing essentials and projects. I have one for safety pins that I use for basting quilts, several I use for scrap fabrics I’ve cut into specific sizes for future quilting projects, one for an assortment of buttons, several for sewing projects that are in the process of being worked on, one for batting scraps, another one for interfacings and stabilizers, etc…. You could use them to hold any number of different items used regularly for sewing. I often write on the outside of the container with a Sharpie so I can tell at a glance exactly what is on my sewing shelves.
- Fat quarter bundles. Fat quarters are cuts of fabrics that are a quarter of a yard, but instead of being cut the usual 9” x 42”, they are 18” x 21” instead. You can often find these in stores bundled together with ribbon and they are usually coordinated to go together, although you don’t have to use them that way!
- Thread sets. Some thread companies sell thread in sets. They might be a new line of colors, or some of the most-used colors, or even designed to go with a fabric line.
- Thread holder/organizer. This can be a box with compartments to hold threads in place or something with pegs that hang on the wall. Years ago I ordered one for my wall through a catalog and it holds about 64 spools of thread. That may sound like a lot, but if you love to sew as much as I do, sometimes it isn’t even enough! Don’t be afraid to buy multiple spools of colors you use often, and I often buy special colors to coordinate with projects I’m working on.
- Pinking shears. I used mine more years ago when I did a lot more garment sewing, as I was usually too lazy to finish my seams any other way. I still use mine here and there and I still love them as much as I used to!
Inexpensive Sewing Gifts
(Great ideas for kids to give to an adult, or for stocking stuffers.)
- Embellishments. This could include ribbons, fabric crayons or markers, buttons, beads, rick-rack, etc…
- Special mug to keep by your sewing table. I have a few that I acquired from my favorite quilt shop, my quilt guild and one I received as a gift for completing some test blocks for a quilt magazine.
- Trail mix, nuts or candy in a pretty jar to keep in your sewing room for energy replenishment for those marathon sewing nights!
- Quilting pins. These are long straight pins with large plastic heads and usually come in a plastic box with a lid. I use mine ALL OF THE TIME!
- Safety pins. I have a small assortment of some smaller sizes, which come in handy for a variety of things, but I also have a larger plastic lidded box that I keep a lot of large safety pins in for basting quilts.
- Fabric. Need I say more? Even small amounts add up over time.
- A roll or package of batting. These come in different sizes and fiber content. There is something in every price range, but even if you don’t quilt, you can find a variety of uses for even a small package (i.e. potholders, tote bags, pillows, etc…).
- Extra- long tape measure.
- Cute pin cushion. Because even though I use my magnetic pin holder for my pins, I use my pin cushion to hold a few pins, several hand sewing needles, and some safety pins.
- Marking pens. You can never have enough!
- Thimble. I use a leather one because I find it the most comfortable, but whatever works for you!
Sewing Gifts You Didn’t Know You Needed! (Obviously, these are things for that sewist that has pretty much everything!)
- Fun cover for your sewing machine. Honestly, I use my machine so often that I rarely cover it, but truth be told, I would love a specialty cover just for the sheer fun of looking at it when I’m done for the day! Note to self: Make that cute cover that you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest already! lol (Danielle: If you sew and are giving a gift to a fellow sewist, this would be something you could make for them… or give them a pattern to make their own, along with a cute fabric.)
- Specialty sewing machine feet. This is a great idea if you’ve been sewing a long time and would like to spread your wings and try new techniques. (Danielle: I’d put in a link, but feet are not always interchangeable from one machine to another, so you’ll have to do your own research.)
- Certificate to a sewing or quilting class. There is nothing more fun than learning a new technique or making a project with others who share your passion! You’ll probably need to stop in at the shop offering the classes or call in order to get the certificate.
- If you enjoy quilting and would like to expand your horizons, there is a wide variety of rulers out there to cut different shapes/sizes of quilt pieces. Example: Dresden Plate ruler, Hexagons, Tumblers, and the list goes on. Go to any quilt shop, or look at the quilting section in stores such as JoAnn’s, and you will see what I mean.
- Laptop or iPad. Okay, this may not seem like something sewing related, but I use mine to find patterns or tutorials, to listen to my favorite music while sewing and follow blogs and websites dedicated to sewing and quilting.
- An assortment of fusible web, stabilizers, and interfacing. I always find some fun project that uses one of these items, it’s so nice to have them on hand and not have to run out and get them every time I start another project.
- Cutting Table. Okay, yes, you can use any table or countertop to do this, but if you do a lot of sewing and quilting like Danielle and I do, it’s wonderful to have a spot dedicated just to this. I keep my mat, rulers, and cutters right there so I don’t have to clear space every time I need to cut something. Even better if it has storage underneath. And old dresser or changing table works well for this too.
- Extra storage containers. Anything at all works here. I use clear containers with lids, cute tins with lids I found on clearance after the holidays, pencil boxes, baskets, stacking plastic drawers on wheels, you name it. If somebody gives you any kind of container, think about the different ways in which it could be used to organize your sewing space and supplies.
- More gift cards to your favorite sewing supply store or quilt shop. Online stores are a great option too. You can never have enough of these!
- Stencils. These can be used for quilting designs, applique designs or even painting embellishments on fabrics or completed projects!
Alright, this is Danielle taking back over… just a few notes for you. First of all, I am an Amazon affiliate. You can read my full disclosure in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page (depends on mobile vs. desktop). Second, just because we put a link into a specific set of marking pens does not mean that you should or have to buy those pens. Consider it a reference point, and do a little reading, searching, and digging yourself. Reading product descriptions, comparing prices, and asking questions is always a good idea! Third, there are some things that I didn’t put links to because it’s too subjective or broad, and you’d be better off asking questions to the sewist in your life or doing a little creative thinking on your own. And finally, if you’re planning on doing any of your Christmas shopping on Amazon, you can click through any of our links and purchase something unrelated, and it still helps us out. I get a very small commission on things sold through my links, but it doesn’t add to the cost of your purchase price. That being said, don’t feel obligated to buy items off of these lists through my links. When it comes to buying sewing things, I LOVE shopping in-store, and I feel like it’s less overwhelming than trying to find things online, and I like being able to have a better gauge of the quality of the item I am purchasing.
And there you have it! That’s 40 gift ideas for the sewists in your life 🙂 Okay, so a few things might repeat in one way or another, but hopefully, that’s a pretty good jumping off point for you! Did this list help you? Are you a sewist and feel like we missed an item on our list? While our top ten lists are mostly the same, if you missed mine, you can check it out here.
Love~Trudy and Danielle
Miss Lady let me use her artificial tree for the picture of this post, and asked if I’d take her picture with the tree, so I thought I’d share 🙂