12.12.12

9 Gifts for Sewers


It's safe to say I know a thing or two about sewing, and aside from the usual staples like fabric, thread, and a decent sewing machine, there are a few extra tools and gadgets that I've discovered throughout the years that I'm not sure I could live without now. So, if you have a person on your list this year that likes to sew, you're in luck, there's surely a few things here that they will love in their stocking!

1. Sewing Basics Book:  There are lots of sewing books out there, but I highly recommend this one. Mike bought it for me last Christmas and I turn to it often to research everything from fabric types, to sewing machine problems, to embroidery stitches.

2. Ergonomic Seam Ripper: A seam ripper is probably the most used sewing tool next to a needle and thread for beginners and advanced sewers alike. The tiny go-to dollar store variety works just fine, but step it up to the ergonomic version and your fingers, back and eyes will all thank you.

3. Magnetic Pin Cushion: At first I thought this was a silly novelty, but oh how I was wrong! The real value isn't in being able to pick up all your pins at once (how often do you need to do that?), but how you can basically toss your pin in the general direction of the thing without even looking and it snaps in place, allowing you to keep your eyes on your work and your machine running at full speed. You know you want to try it!

4. Fabric Scissors: Nothing compares to a pair of good fabric scissors, so this is a tool you shouldn't skimp out on. I love my handcrafted Gingher Shears, and they have a lifetime no-questions-asked guarantee. It's true, I've used it. A pair of little embroidery scissors or snips is also a must-have for light trimming.

5. Iron: Non-sewers would be surprised at how much ironing is involved in sewing. In fact, for some projects, I think I spend more time behind the ironing board than the sewing machine. An investment in a good quality iron, like my darling Rowenta here, goes a long way.

6. Pins: Quality pins save quite a few headaches as well. I recently started using long, flat quilting pins and now I reach for them first. Because they're larger, you catch more fabric with one pin, you can place a ruler flat on top of them, and these particular ones can be safely ironed over!

7. Rotary Cutting Set: This actually consists of three things, a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat. Together they make the cutting process ten times faster and more accurate. But please be careful... I've nipped off fingertips. Oops.

8. Patterns: This can be a tricky one unless you know your friend pretty well, but you know it's the thought that counts. My advice: don't overestimate skills, keep it pretty simple and beginner-friendly, like this Wiksten tank. Some other pattern companies I like are Burda, Collette and Megan Nielsen.

9. Gift Certificate: A lot about sewing is personal and subjective, so don't underestimate the value of a gift certificate to a local fabric shop. This way your sewer can choose their own fabric, thread, tools, or even sign up for a class!

3 comments:

the corbett kid. said...

these are awesome awesome suggestions!

AnnieBeeKnits said...

What a great list! I've been reading lots of lists of suggestions for knitters, and it's interesting to see the crossovers and the similarities within the sewing community.

I love that most of these items could be bought by a person who knows relatively little about the actual sewing process. A couple of other items to include (borrowed from knitting lists, but equally applicable to sewing) might be:

1) Good task lighting, like an Ott light. You don't need to know much about sewing to know that it's easy to strain the eyes working on details, whether it's fancy embroidery or stitch-ripping going on.

2) Storage bins/shelves/baskets/containers. There are so many tools, threads, and fabrics that a sewing enthusiast can accumulate. Who doesn't like having a nice, safe, attractive way to store it all?

Erin said...

Thanks! Those are great ideas too, Annie! I finally installed an overhead lamp a few weeks ago and it has made such a difference in terms of eye strain. Storage is a constant struggle too. :)

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