Starting a new hobby is bound to cost some money. There are usually tools and materials or special gear that are needed, and our wallets always take a blow. When I am able to, one of my favorite things to give as a gift (birthdays or holidays) are supplies for the person who has a hobby or is looking to start a new one Me? I have lots of hobbies. I like sewing and painting, building things, creating things, singing, playing my flute (no matter how rare), gardening… the list goes on for miles. There’s never a shortage of things for me to do! But there certainly is a shortage of money for it all, and that’s why I get just as excited about receiving gifts for my hobbies as I do about giving them. I was chatting with a friend not too long ago, and she said she’d love to know what kinds of gifts would be good to give to somebody who sews or is wanting to take up sewing. I thought she had such a great question, that I wanted to write it up for you all since we’ve been working on the sewing series. I know that at times, projects may have been more difficult for some of you because you did not have the appropriate supplies, and dishing out the cash may just not have been an option. Maybe it’s time to put those items on a Christmas list.
So here’s a list of Christmas gifts for the sewist:
- Scissors: Since I see this tool as one of the most important sewing tools, I am going to recommend a pair of GREAT scissors. Let’s face it. You CAN’T have too many scissors when you sew. Actually, I’m also going to recommend a pair of really good snips as well. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who sews semi-seriously who has complained of owning too many pairs of scissors. In fact, the joke among us is often that we’ve lost them once again (probably because they are buried under a stack of fabric somewhere). When buying shears, don’t forget to keep in mind whether the recipient of these is left or right handed!
- Sewing Machine Needles: Hand sewing needles don’t really break, but machine needles do. Sometimes, often. It never, NEVER hurts to have extra needles. Trust me.
- Hand Sewing Needles: I know this sounds like a real safety hazard, but seriously, I’ve lost so many of my hand sewing needles. One minute you are using them, the next minute, they’ve vanished. It doesn’t help that my kids like to push the pins and needles ALL the way into my one pincushion, and we have hardwood floors which equal cracks small enough to hide a needle. It’s not like I go through them like crazy, but I’ve gone through enough.
- Thimble: If you want to focus on hand-sewing, you’re going to need a good thimble. Maybe more than one. And now there are so many more options than just the basic metal thimble you probably picture, that it’s not going to have more than one so you can find what works for you and get comfortable.
- Rotary Mat, Ruler, Cutter, and/or Extra Blades: I admire people who do all of their sewing by hand… do the physical stitching by hand, and cut the pieces by hand… but if you want to do any sewing that is not for clothing, you really are probably going to want to own these tools. They’ll rock your world!
- Sewing Machine: So… somebody who’s been sewing is probably not in need of a sewing machine… at least, not one your average Christmas gift-giver is going to be able to afford. But if you have a child or grandchild who wants to learn how to sew, a decent sewing machine would make a great gift. Now, I’m not saying it will be inexpensive, but it is a really great gift and a great investment for somebody who is serious about taking on sewing. If you happen to be a husband looking to buy a really nice sewing machine for your wife, chances are, she already has a brand or model in mind. Feel her out, and find a dealer near you. It can be a pricey gift, but it’s one she’ll have for a LONG time, and I can guarantee that she’ll love it! (Sorry, guys could love a great sewing machine too. I just know most fellas don’t do the sewing 🙂 )
- Marking Tools: My go-to tools are a wax tailors “chalk” or “crayons,” and a double ended disappearing/invisible ink pen. I’d have to say my next favorite is a chalk pencil. I should point out that the tailor crayon and the disappearing pens are really great for clothing, and I think a chalk pencil is better suited for things like quilting and such, but that’s just me…
- Sewing Basket: I used to have one, and then it got broken somehow. I probably had it for close to 10 years, from the time I started sewing until after we had our first son. I don’t remember what happened to it, but I do remember that it was a birthday gift for me when I was maybe in first or second grade and L.O.V.E.D. it! I was also gifted a sewing “kit” that included a seam ripper, scissors, and some pins and needles. Really, it’s a great gift for somebody starting off.
- Gift Cards: It had to be said. I know, I know, people are always saying “But gift cards are so impersonal!” or “Why not just give them cash?” or something to that effect. The truth of the matter is, a gift card to the right place is personal. It will mean a ton to the sewist, because they are going to want to buy that book they’ve been eyeing up or that pattern for a new dress, or they have very specific fabrics they want to buy for their next project. And DON’T get hung up on the fact that they could use that fabric to make a gift for somebody else! They are enjoying doing this shopping. Trust me. And they’ll enjoy making that gift! Besides, how cool is it that your gift made not one person, but at least 2 people happy?! I’m telling you, they’ll have so much fun having the freedom to buy whatever they want. I get equally excited about gift cards to Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s as I do about places like the Home Depot or Menards. Um.. yeah. I like buying fabric and craft supplies and lumber and wall paint. I get giddy about it. Just ask my husband. I can probably list off my all-time favorite gifts to you right now: Rotary mat, ruler, cutter (and a myriad of other sewing supplies that one Christmas), paints for “art,” gift cards to Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, Fleet Farm, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, and a brad nailer. Okay, so maybe there were some toys and clothes in there when I was younger, but these obsessions started young.
- Sewing Lamp: This could be any kind of lamp, really. Preferably, it would be flexible so that you can have maximum control over your lighting while you sew. Something that clamps onto the table is all the better if you can get it. I’m not sure about you, but for me, most of my sewing is done after the kids have gone to bed which means I have far less light to work with, so a lamp like this is extra helpful.
I hope this list is helpful! We’re working on compiling a more comprehensive list, but I think this list hits on all of the big things. What would you add?