The 2018 sewist Gift Guide

20181120_074109770135974.jpgOdds are that YOU are the sewist in your life and need no help looking for gift ideas for yourself. This gift guide is meant for your families and friends, so feel free to forward this to everyone you know.

The following are gift suggestions that are probably good for sewists of all ages and skill levels. That said, always get gift receipts, just in case ūüôā

*** UPDATE*** Closet Case patterns released THESE AMAZING NECKLACES the day I published this post. Both the “maker” and “sewist” are amazing and I can’t decide which one I want more. I can tell you that gold is my metal so if anyone out there is buying for me…

1. Fabric. My husband got me several metres of fabric from my favourite local shop for our two-year anniversary (year two is cotton) and it was probably the beat gift I’ve ever received. Because cut fabric is non-refundable, make sure you know the gift-receiver’s taste. I recommend doing some research on their blog and/or instagram to figure out what colours, fabrics and garments they make. Better yet, show the shop employees their page and help you pick out fabrics that are suitable to the types of garments they make, an appropriate amount for such garments, and colours or patterns they may like. Some of my favourite shops include:

20180301_082649-1586353313.jpg
This fabric is CHANEL, people! Give the gift of designer fabric and maaaaaayyyybe that special sewist in your life will agree to do some mending for you.
  • Blackbird Fabrics (ships internationally) for beautiful basics;
  • Fabrications (ships internationally) for high quality but often unique garment fabrics in fun colours and patterns; and
  • Darrell Thomas Textiles (local to Ottawa, but will ship internationally if you call) for designer fabrics (like Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana) most of us only dream of.

2. Gift cards. Sewing is an expensive habit (errr… I mean hobby) and it’s sometimes hard to justify getting really nice fabric when you need to choose between sewing and groceries. If you don’t feel confident you could pick out fabric your loved one might like, get them a gift card instead from any of the shops I mentioned above!

2. Pre-paid gift credit card. Some people consider gift cards a cop-out, but I think they can be really thoughtful if there is some intent behind them. These multi-purpose gift cards could be ear-marked for things like PDF patterns or getting large-scale printing done at staples (for aforementioned PDF patterns.20181022_1510321535975255.jpg

3. A machine tune-up. I know that, personally, this is the LAST thing I want to spend my sewing budget on (lol like there is actually a budget), but sewing machines need regular maintenance. You’ll have to look up what’s available in your area, but in Ottawa, I recommend The Ottawa Sewing Centre¬†or the Sewing Machine Hospital.¬†

4. Books. When we’re not sewing we’re thinking about sewing, dreaming about sewing and reading about sewing. A couple of solid choices are:

  • Women in Clothes. This one is a few years old, but still so interesting to anyone who loves clothes. This series of essays explores women’s relationships with what they wear.
  • The Curated Closet. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my list. This book is all about developing your personal style and creating the perfect wardrobe for you.
  • Couture Sewing Techniques. This continues to be one of my favourite sewing books. When I’m looking for ways to up my sewing game, I take a gander through this tome. It also includes a lot of great photos of vintage an couture garments.

5. Tools. Here are a selection of tools that are nice to have, but not everyone has in their arsenal yet.

  • A clapper. I got one of these from my mother-in-law (who also sews – she gets it!!) and I don’t actually know how I lived without it. This is for pressing creases really nicely and takes pretty much everything from okay to amazing!
  • A buttonhole gauge. If the person in your life makes shirts, they probably want one of these.¬† It makes measuring the distance between buttons¬†way easier. 20171002_123729
  • A buttonhole awl. Similarly, this makes cutting buttonholes easier and cleaner. It makes everything look more professional. I like that this one comes with a little cutting mat.
  • A phone tripod with remote.¬†¬†Sewists who participate in the online community (instagram, blogging) take a ridiculous amount of photos of themselves. Make it easier by gifting them a tripod and remote. This seriously changed my ability to take half-decent photos of my makes and my husband has to deal much less with my asking for 13,000 photos because the first 12,999 weren’t goof.

Stocking stuffers:

  1. Chalk pens. You can never have enough of these. Bonus points for grabbing refills, too. 20180409_072746-11874755596.jpg
  2. Fray check. I go through this stuff so quickly you’d swear I drink it.
  3. Pattern weights. You can buy them on Etsy  or make them yourself! 
  4. Scotch tape re-fills. Odds are they have already invested in a dispenser (but maybe not – do check!), so restock their supplies on refills. We go through A LOT taping together PDF patterns. The matte finish is best because you can move it once stuck and you can still write on it. wp-image-2042549656
  5. Silicone finger protectors. I used to burn myself constantly until I discovered these little rubber thimbles for when working with my iron.
  6. Cute pencils. We do a lot of sketching and drafting, so we use a lot of pencils. Bonus points if they are ‘gram worthy!

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