I’m finishing off my holiday gift guide series this year with a list of gifts for seamstresses and sewing enthusiasts under $70.
Some of these I have, and some are on my own wish list. And though these are bigger ticket items than the gifts for sewing lovers under $15 and gifts for quilters and sewers $30 and under, I’m gonna classify all of these in the super helpful for your life as a sewist category.
So have a look around and see what you like. It’ll definitely give you some ideas for your holiday shopping!
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Things to make your sewing space a little nicer
Brightech Lightview Pro ($59.99) Good task lighting is one of those things that I’m learning to think about more. Being able to have a good light when you’re doing all the close up work that we do in the course of a regular bit of sewing really makes a big difference. That time that I painted my Rose Tyler jacket the wrong shade of purple because of my bad lighting has burned in my mind the importance of a light that shows true color.
Aqua rolling cart ($49.99): I have a cart like this under my sewing table, and it’s become one of my favorite things. Right now it houses all of my trims in little jars. You could use it for button storage, to keep your project queue in order, for patterns–just about anything.
And there’s a big amount of storage space in a little footprint, so this is a great cart for really any size sewing space.
Dress form art print ($54.99) I really believe that your sewing space should be a place that you want to go and hang out in. One of the things that makes it just that can be some pretty wall art.
I love the illustration style of this print, and plus all that fabric mixing just looks like it would be a fun dress in real life! This is definitely a piece of art that would help add a little bit of inspiration glitter magic to your sewing space!
Travel sewing goodies
Oliso Mini Pro ($49.99) I saw the mini version of Oliso’s great irons on Instagram a couple weeks ago. They’re so adorable! I’ve used friends’ Olisos in the past and they’re nice little irons, so I’m intrigued about a travel-size version. Plus it’s pink! Pink + iron= more fun pressing!
Omnigrid foldaway portable pressing and cutting station ($32.70) It’s been a while since I’ve met with my sewing group (soccer season will claim your Saturdays that way), but when I’m able to go, it’s always a little annoying to have to take a jumbo cutting station situation and/or iron with you. This little fold-up combo takes care of both.
Definitely it would be better for quilters needing to cut small things, but I think you could get creative with it as a garment sewist. Portable ironing mats are definitely a good good thing for when you’re sewing out of the house.
Kai Serrated N7250-SE scissors ($65.48) If there’s one thing on this list that I would say, seriously, just treat yourself, it’s these scissors. I have 2 pairs of Kais, and these are my favorite. They’re very lightweight which is great if you have small hands like me really helps you handle them. And the serrated blades grip slippy fabrics like rayon challis, silk, lining fabrics incredibly well.
My kids all know that they don’t get to touch these ones for nefarious crafting purposes! And if I’m traveling, these are my #1 scissors to bring.
Sewing magazines you’ll love subscribing to
Threads Magazine Subscription ($32.95) There’s always so much to learn from Threads! If you can pick up an issue and can’t learn a new trick or a new way of looking at a sewing problem, you probably should be writing for them! I love all of their technique articles and reviews of patterns and tools!
Ottobre Magazine Kids subscription ($57.95) If you have kids or grandkids, Ottobre is one of the best resources you can get your hands on. They have a huge amount of patterns in any one issues in a good size range for girls AND, boys.
I was a boy Mom for a really long time before my my daughter was born, and I’ve always felt like boys get the shaft when it comes to good, interesting patterns. So my issue of Ottobre was such a treasure. There’s patterns in it that I’ve sewn in every size available and then I’ve graded them up or down. The patterns are that good in terms of drafting, and adding practical but also nice-looking details.
I reviewed one of their boys’ pants in this video, and I remember there was this weird little wing flare extension on the lower leg. The flare fastens with velcro so it’s in line with the rest of the pant. At first, you think, why on earth would you add that to pants? But then you think, oh, yeah, winter pants. You can put your big jumbo snow boots on, open up the velcro, and fasten it back into place. It’s so smart!!! Patterns should be more smart like that!
Sewing reference books not just for a shelf
Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book ($66.64) I talked about this book in 16 tips for better online fabric shopping. When you’re shopping online for fabric, or if you’re newer to sewing, the sheer amount of fabric terminology out there can be super overwhelming.
I know the first time I went into a fabric store, I spent the first hour kind of frozen trying hard not to look like a deer in headlights. The second and third hour were me trying to assess what’s this? what’s this? So much overwhelm!
One of the things that’s great about The Swatch Book is that it has actual physical fabric swatches along with helpful information about that particular fabric. Being able to touch the fabric and know how thick it is and all that can help you get a good idea of what you can make with it and just how that fabric behaves. This is definitely more of a textbook, but one that’s going to ultimately make you a better sewist.
How to Start Sewing by Assembil ($35.00): This one is on my own personal wish list! I saw this book reviewed on YouTube, and the first thing that hit me was the cover. It has this really cool fresh illustration style for all the pictures that’s really engaging.
In my other life, I love to cook and have a really decent cookbook library. I’ve heard Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything described like the newer, hipper version of the classic Joy of Cooking (totally a fair comparison). I think How to Start Sewing is a bit like that–maybe like the newer, hipper version of some of those basic sewing reference books like the Vogue Sewing Book or one of the Reader’s Digest Sewing references.
Fitting and Pattern Alteration ($51.60): this is one of my all-time favorite fitting books. It’s beyond comprehensive in how it covers fitting challenges. I think you’d be hard pressed to not be able to find a strategy in here for fitting any part of your body.
I’ve taken a couple of classes from Lorraine Henry, who is one of the big teachers of this method, and the thinking behind it is really cool. (Plus Lorraine is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.) I love that their aim really is to take care of one problem at a time in such a way that it doesn’t create problems elsewhere in your garment.
If you’re new to fitting, you’re going to get some great help here!
Draping the Complete Course($48): I had this recommended to me in a class, and I got it for Christmas last year. If you want to learn more about draping, you will absolutely learn from this book. There’s ideas, there’s techniques that they show you and then there’s exercises so that you can practice the concepts yourself.
If you really go through it, I know that you’re going to become really really good at draping! I’m working my way up to it myself, but definitely this book has you covered!
So those are some more great gifts for seamstresses and sewing enthusiasts. What’s one thing sewing themed thing you’d love to be able to give or receive?
Other gift ideas:
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Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.