Last night I spent too much time searching the internet for gift ideas for all the men and almost men in my life. Didn’t really get a solid idea except for this one – a post about what sewers might like to receive.
Here are my ten quick ideas. Some are tiny gifts and some are for beginners but all are useful in the sewing room, saving the sewer countless hours of frustration and we all know, if the creative person in the house gets mad then the entire family will know about it and it usually isn’t pretty.
1. A must have; a see-through ruler, clearly marked increments in 1/16ths of an inch unless you use the metric system, 2″ wide and 18 ” long. I use it to add seam allowance, hems, cutting bias strips, marking a seam allowance guide on my machine with sharpie and pattern drafting.
2. If you can afford one buy your sewer a dress form. They are uber useful, not as expensive as they once were and look cool. I bought mine recently from amazon and can’t believe I’ve gone this long without one. Buy one close to the sewer’s size (smaller if you have to. They can always add padding to the form to mimic their size but they will not be cutting the form up to make it smaller). And although I’m a few sizes larger than my daughter I put her tutu skirt on the form when cutting the hem. So much easier. Look for a form with collapsible shoulders.
3. Sewing machine needles in various sizes. I love the Schmetz brand universal needles. I don’t have to change them out when I go from woven to knit fabric (because they are universal) but I am suppose to change the needle with every new project which I might do if i knew I had a stash of needles in the drawer (Notice I sharpie on the plastic cover the weight of fabric the needle is meant to sew).
4. Scissors are key. Every sewer should have the best scissors they can afford and if they can’t afford great scissors then get a new, cheaper pair frequently. When I first started sewing I had the orange handled Fiskars. I moved up to Gingher and now I have Horn Collection. I keep the Fiskars for cutting pattern tissue and threads because they are still good; they just aren’t as good as my Horn scissors.
5. Snips. There are different variations of snips but basically they are two blades with spring action so clipping threads is super easy and convenient. Many of them have a loop designed in them in some way so you can put them on a ribbon or twill tape and hang them around your neck. Mine, pictured here, are no longer useable because a different creative member of the family decided he would use them to snip wire. Nope.. not what they were meant for. Snips are on my wish list this year.
6. A tailor ham and a sleeve roll. Can’t press with out them. I had no idea what they were until I went to fashion design school but they were required on our list of supplies and now I use them with almost every project.
7. After my machine, an iron was the next thing I bought. If your sewer is still using some $25 iron from K-Mart it’s time to upgrade. A sewer needs an iron with the ability to produce large amounts of steam. I like a heavy iron but what’s most important is the size of the water reservoir. I thought I needed a gravity feed iron but I find my Rowenta to be doing the job just fine.
8. A large, self-healing cutting mat. Designed for use with a rotary cutter which I use sometimes, but I also use it as a hard surface for drafting on as well. They come in all sorts of sizes. I had a smaller 18″ x 24″ which I used until my son adopted it. Now I have three that line up together to form a 36″ x 70″ mat. Whoa doggie, that’s big!
9. Nice straight pins. I love these pins. They can be used with any fabric as they will not leave a mark, are a perfect length and are thin enough to sew over when I have to. They are the absolute best.
10. This one is easy and good for every level of sewer; a gift certificate to a favorite, local fabric store.
11. (I had to have an 11) If you are crafty and need to give a gift, check out what my mother-in-law gave me one year: a tray (for portability) lined with felt with a felt pin cushion, a felt heart pin cushion, a felt needle book, decorated with buttons bought at an antique store, a pair of scissors and two spools of thread. There was a felt case for the scissors but I’ve misplaced it. She’s a crafty woman who knew that my sewing room is upstairs but my television is downstairs and that I might want to bring a small hand sewing project downstairs every once in awhile.
Check out my 2014 Gifts for People Who Sew list and little Gifts for People Who Sew; The Little Things and Gifts for People Who Sew; 2015
And here are some gifts I’ve made in years past.