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Christmas gifts for sewists

If as a sewist, you are lucky enough to have anyone asking you what to get you for Christmas, here are some of my thoughts.  If you’re looking for something to buy for a family or friend sewist, then welcome to the site, I hope I can offer some inspiration!

I’ve not mentioned a certain large online retailer, if you can, try to shop small and/or local this year.  Covid has been, and continues to be tough on many small businesses.

Machines

Maybe a sewing machine upgrade is on the cards? Or an overlocker?  Contact your local sewing shop to see if they can deliver, many will given the current restrictions. 

The New Craft House also sell fantastic Pfaff machines, and occasionally sell their ex workshop machines at a discount https://shop.thenewcrafthouse.com/collections/pfaff

Cutting tools

There are so many different scissors that can be useful to sewists, from small snips (you can’t have too many of these) to heavy duty shears and pinking shears.

Again, try sourcing these locally, some well known brands include:

Ernest Wright – based in Sheffield – http://www.ernestwright.co.uk

Kai – a Japanese brand

https://www.kai-europe.com/kitchen/allroundscheren.php?lang=en

Also Friskars, LDH, Millward and Wiss are all popular brands of scissors for sewing.  Check out these beautiful ones from Sew Me Sunshine

https://sewmesunshine.co.uk/collections/scissors-seam-rippers/products/9-5-prism-fabric-shears-ldhv

I tend to use my rotary cutter more for jersey projects, I find it easier to get around curves.  The one I have is by Olfa and has a 45mm blade. https://www.williamgee.co.uk/shop/olfa-rotary-cutter-45mm/

 Smaller ones are also available, useful for smaller projects like lingerie.  You do need a cutting mat to go with these though, I got mine from Hobbycraft.

Books

I always love getting books for Christmas, and a sewing book gives that craft hit without disappearing into my sewing space. 

Wendy Ward has some great books, including this one for garments suitable for any body regadless of gender, age or body shape:

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Sewing-Basics-for-Every-Body-by-Wendy-Ward-author/9781782497509

Breaking the Pattern is a book I received last Christmas and I love it! There are also links to download the patterns in A0 format, so we can print them out for you, instead of having to trace them from the paper patterns in the back of the book

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Breaking-the-Pattern-by-Saara-Huhta-Laura-Huhta-Arto-Markkanen-photographer/9781787131835

The Palmer Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting was one of the reasons we went down the lightweight paper route.  She shows you how to fit your garments by tissue fitting.  I have this book and it’s really useful

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Palmer-Pletsch-Complete-Guide-to-Fitting-by-Pati-Palmer-author-Marta-Alto-author/9781618471017

And here’s Tilly’s latest book, Make it simple.  I’ve seen some fantastic versions of these projects on Instagram.  Her first book, Love at First Stitch, was my introduction to sewing.

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Make-It-Simple-by-Tilly-Walnes-Tilly-and-the-Buttons-Firm-associated-with-work/9781787134676

This category on Blackwells, has so many sewing books, it is well worth a browse! And is slightly less overwhelming than Amazon.https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/category/WFB?offset=144

Stocking fillers/small gifts

Here are a few suggestions for smaller but nonetheless useful gifts for sewists:

Labels are great for adding that finishing touch to your garment, and being able to tell the front from the back! I keep forgetting to add them to my garments though!

 We stock Kylie and the Machine labels https://fabulosew.co.uk/shop/kylie-and-the-machine-labels/

But others are available e.g Pink Coat Club.  My Favourite Pink Coat Club label is the one that says ‘contains pet hair’ with a paw print image.  There are other great products too https://pinkcoatclub.com/collections/shop-all

Needles.  You should switch your needle between every project.  I don’t do this, it really depends on the project, and how big it is.  Would you really want to change your needle after sewing just a T shirt?  So I try to do a few woven projects together, then change to making a few jersey and obviously switch the needle then.  Always good to have a stash of needles to hand!

Pins.  Nice pins really do make a difference.  Merchant and Mills ones are apparently fantastic, although I don’t actually have any.  Also quilting clips, like small bulldog clips are useful for jersey fabrics, or thicker fabrics.

https://merchantandmills.com/product-category/equipment/notions

Pin cushions/magnetic pin dish.  Always handy to have more than one of these around!

Pattern weights.  I was given a Foxglove and Field pattern weight for my birthday and it is one of my favourite things.  Magnetic, weighty, beautiful and also stabbable!

https://www.foxgloveandfield.co.uk/product-category/pin-cushions/

Measuring equipment

Tape measures are obvious, but also seam gauges are extremely useful to have multiple of.  But also a quilting ruler is useful for drawing straight lines and lining up with another straight line.  And if you’re making changes to patterns, a French Curve for blending between sizes would be useful.  So I’m told! There is also a gadget that kind of concertinas up to enable you to mark evenly spaced buttonholes.  Genius!

https://www.bobbinsandbolts.co.uk/shop/haberdashery/marking-tools/simflex-expanding-sewing-gauge/

Jen Hogg of Sewing Bee fame has created a range of beautiful and extremely useful sewing and knitting rulers, including ones that say ‘Sew over 2020’ So true!

https://www.jenhogg.co.uk/shop

Marking equipment

Chalk, chalk pens, frixion pens (that apparently fade with heat)https://fabulosew.co.uk/shop/chaco-chalk-pen-blue-sew-easy/

Kits

I love dressmaking kits, where you get the fabric, a pattern, thread and any notions such as buttons, zips, interfacing all in one package.  These often sell out really quickly, but today on Instagram I saw one advertised by Stitched in Wonderland which as of 1st November is on pre order for Christmas.  I think the pattern is timeless and would suit a variety of different body shapes and ages.https://stitchedinwonderland.com/product/the-dunga-dress-christmas-gift-box-preorder/

In a Haystack has a monthly subscription plan which includes a digital sewing pattern, interviews and discount codes. They’ve just launched a menswear version. Maybe I’ll get that for John! https://inahaystack.co.uk/

Gift vouchers

Of course, if you want to build your fabric stash, or would just like the opportunity to choose a special fabric for a particular project, gift vouchers for fabric shops are a great idea.  Some of my favourites are

Sister Mintaka https://sistermintaka.com/product/gift-card/

Sew Me Sunshine https://sewmesunshine.co.uk/products/gift-card

Sewisfaction https://www.sewisfaction.co.uk/product/gift-vouchers-online-in-store/

Stitchy Bee https://stitchybee.co.uk/collections/gift-voucher

Lamazi Fabrics https://lamazifabrics.com/products/gift-card

But there are many more too.

Online classes

There are many out there, but below are a selection that I’ve encountered personally.  An online class, combined with the gift of time to work through the lessons, would really help to progress your sewing.

Tilly and the Buttons have a great selection, when I started sewing I did the introduction to knits class, and have since made quite a few Agnes tops that comes as part of the class.  I also did the shirt dress class.

Sew over it also have a lot to offer, I have done their Chloe coat workshop, and the trouser fitting one too.  Their format has changed, and I don’t know much about the whole stitch school thing, but it would definitely be worth checking out.

For jeans, you can’t go wrong with Closet Core Patterns.  Heather Lou talks you through the process of making your first pair of jeans, which is my most favourite thing to make.  She also has a swimming costume class, and a blazer class as well as a learn how to sew clothing class.  Closet Core patterns also have a brilliant selection of sewing patterns.

The Stitch sisters have some great classes, I’m working my way through the bust adjustments and overlocker classes, but they have many more too

https://www.thestitchsisters.co.uk/all-classes/

Jewellery

If an actual sewing accessory doesn’t appeal, then how about some sewing themed jewellery?

Check out these gorgeous scissor necklaces from Sew Dainty

And many other fantastic necklace and brooch designs.

Cepheid Studio has a beautiful range of accurate, wooden, laser cut sewing themed jewellery as well as astronomy themed gifts and Christmas decorations

https://www.cepheidstudio.com/shop/ruler-jewellery-bundle

I hope that’s given you a few ideas.

Happy sewing!

Heather