Holiday Sewist Gift Guide 2014

Stumped on a quick, last-minute gift for your favorite sewist or crafter? These are a few things that are on MY list, and I know for a FACT that most (if not all) sewists would love any of these!

1) Gift Cards

These are the PERFECT gift for anyone who crafts, really. It is so hard to choose the appropriate gift. You may know where your loved one prefers to shop for crafting and sewing supplies, but if you’re not a crafter or sewist yourself, entering one of those stores can be intimidating at the very least and terrifying at most. Your favorite person of crafting bent probably has very specific projects in mind, and who knows if what you choose will be the right item? Solve the question with a gift card – this not only allows your sewist to choose what they would like to work with, but will be so welcome, especially if they are on a tight budget (as most of us are nowadays!). A gift card opens up the entire store for their shopping pleasure! An e-gift card from Etsy or Mood Fabrics can be an added bonus – Etsy and Mood both have amazing selections of unique, uncommon, and luxury fabrics and crafting supplies, with frequent sales from Mood on their designer fabrics opening up possibilities for a beautiful wool coat or silk blouse.

2) Sewing Notions

Believe it or not, the items I am ALWAYS hunting for when I get a spare moment to sew include measuring tapes, pins, safety pins, scissors and seam rippers. You literally can never have too many pins (glass head ones are the best, FYI!). Over the years, I’ve acquired many duplicates of these, and I can guarantee you that at any given moment I have no idea where my seam ripper is (any of them!). Extras are always a good idea, with the added benefit that every sewing supply store is going to have these on hand, and they are inexpensive. Not to mention, if you’re concerned about quality, don’t be! The seam rippers you would buy at JoAnn Fabrics or Hancock Fabrics are the exact same ones (or at least very similar) you would find at a notions shop in the garment district of New York City or at an online or brick-and-mortar specialty store like your local high-end quilt shop. Same goes for scissors – while Gingher is definitely an excellent brand, Fiskars isn’t too shabby, either. Bonus? You can usually find a coupon online to print out and take with you! So don’t be afraid to ask your friendly big-box fabric or craft store employee where their sewing notions aisle is, and feel free to go to town.

3) Storage bins

Maybe I’m alone in this (heh, I really don’t think I am!) but a bunch of storage bins, especially the shoebox-sized ones, is a good thought as well! I am always planning new projects, and way to keep everything I need for one project together is so nice to have, so when I’m ready to sit down and work on something, everything is right where I need it. Stores like Target and Wal-Mart typically have bundles of 5-6 bins that actually typically cost around $6 or $7 – and they are sooo handy. Having several of the same kind makes them easy to stack and stash!

4) Specialty PDF patterns

One item that I always really enjoy sewing is clothing for myself and my family! The big-box stores have a nice selection of what is known as the Big 3 (Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity) patterns, but while the volume and cost of these is nice (they usually go on sale for $1-2), I do enjoy supporting independent pattern designers like Thread Theory, Oliver + S, and Colette. The nice thing about PDF patterns is that you can print the same pattern multiple times, which cuts back on tracing, and allows me to make multiple versions of the same pattern with no issues. These three companies in particular have beautiful, timeless designs, easy-to-follow instructions, and lovely graphics. The price is a little prohibitive for every day, so a gift of any of these would be quite a treat, while also fairly reasonable for a gifting budget.

5) Fabric bundles

If you do have a pretty good handle on your sewist’s tastes, feel free to buy fabric bundles! Especially items like fat quarter bundles and pre-cuts (also known as charm packs, jelly rolls, and layer cakes). The nice thing about pre-cuts and pre-bundled fabric is that you get lots of coordinated fabrics in one package, so there are plenty of opportunities for projects involving several different fabrics, and no need to worry about whether they’ll like it – when there are so many patterns in one place, it’s easy to find one you love! If you are leery of picking something out, these pre-cuts and bundles can be found at nicer quilt shops, so feel free to go and ask for a recommendation. Chances are, the sales associate will know the latest trends and be able to point you in the right direction, whether it’s by most popular, latest releases, or type of project. They may even be able to point you in the direction of a pattern to go with the bundle!

Well, that’s all for now! Can you think of any other really great gift ideas for sewists and crafters? Speak up in the comments!

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