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Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again when giving is in the air, when sewers around the world start daydreaming about their stitching wish list and wondering what to get for their fellow makers. Threads’ editors have compiled a list of things we’ve been longing for to improve, simplify, or expand our sewing. While our heads may be filled with fabric and scissors instead of sugarplums, we think these items are just as sweet. What items are on your holiday wishlist this year?

Pattern storage
After years of sewing, most sewers acquire a significant pattern collection. The new Lingo boxes from IKEA create a perfect and stylish home for those patterns. Shown here is just one size and two prints of the many available.
($4.99 for two in the size shown, IKEA.com)
—Deana Tierney May, editor

Tool kits
I’m always on the lookout for a place to store my tools that keeps them accessible. This handy keeper was originally intended for carpenter’s tools, but it’s also perfect in the sewing room. Its open top and numerous pockets make it easy to store items inside and have everything quickly visible and at the ready. (assorted, Lowes.com)
—Nicole Smith, associate editor

Mini bolts

My fabric collection outgrew my closet and under-bed storage a long time ago. On my holiday wish list is a better storage solution that’s more organized and lets me see what I have at a glance. Mini Bolts from Polar Notions look like they’ll do the trick. Unlike those awkward cardboard bolts used by fabric manufacturers, the plastic Mini Bolts are acid-free and include tabs to hold the fabric in place. ($59.75 for box of 50, PolarNotions.net)
—Jeannine Clegg, senior copy/production editor 

Thread carousel
I need a place to keep my thread where I can see what I have easily and will look great in my studio space. This adorable carousel is the perfect fit. ($89, NancysNotions.com)
—Gloria Melfi, assistant art director

Ruler organizers
I would love the Junior ruler organizer from Nancy’s Notions. Because my rulers are clear, I’m always misplacing them, and this would be the perfect storage option for them.  ($39, NancysNotions.com)
—Nicole Smith,  associate editor

Fabric scissors
I tried out Kai’s serrated fabric scissors for a story and have wanted a pair ever since. The serrated blades gently grip—not snag—silky fabric, so it doesn’t slide when you cut it. The blades are also powerful enough to sever bulletproof fabric, so I’m sure they’ll handle any sewing projects I tackle. (Professional shears starting at $59, others starting at $15, KaiScissors.com)
—Sarah McFarland, assistant editor

Lingerie kits
These bra-and-panty kits from Needle Nook Fabrics are absolutely adorable. I’ve never made my own lingerie, but the designs are cute. Having all the notions and fabric come together makes it seem entirely doable and fun to boot. I’d love to make a set for every day of the week. ($28 to $32, NeedleNookFabrics)
—Deana Tierney May, editor

Collapsible tailoring board
This is one of my essential sewing tools, and I’m glad to see it’s back in production. I can’t imagine sewing a beautiful edge without being able to press around curves and into corners the way you can with the tailoring board.  This amazing pressing tool from Golden Hands Industries is a tailor’s dream and, when not in use, it collapses for easy storage.($54.95, [770] 998-1323)
 —Judith Neukam, senior technical editor

Japanese notions
These fine Japanese silk dressmaker’s pins from Hisako Nakaya’s Professional Sewing Supplies are available in metallic- or glass-head varieties. They slide through fine fabrics with ease without snagging. The imported basting thread works beautifully for making tailor’s tacks and other basting marks. The thread’s unique texture won’t slip out of the fabric, and it breaks away easily for hassle-free removal. ($9.95 metallic pins, $8.95 glass-head pins, $3 per skein of ivory thread, ShiboriDragon.com)
—Judith Neukam, senior technical editor


Ultimate sewing furniture
Knowing where your notions are and having easy access to them is blissful. I’d love to have a full suite of Haka or Koala cabinets. Not only would ergonomic sewing furniture be a welcome comfort, I’d appreciate the calm of a clean and organized sewing space. (HakaSewingFurniture.com, Koala Cabinets available through SewingAndCraftClub.com)
—Sarah McFarland, assistant editor

Fabric-inspired wallpapers
To cheer up my sewing space, I’d love to use the new Amy Butler wallpaper collection for Graham & Brown. For the collection, Butler designed 36 vibrant motifs, which are printed in the UK on ecologically responsible paper with water-based inks.($80 for 32.8-foot by 20.5-inch roll, GrahamBrown.com)
 —Nicole Smith, associate editor

Modern Pattern Design by Harriet Pepin
Vintage sewing books are such a wealth of information. It’s good to know they are being reprinted by the Center for Pattern Design and made available for us to learn from. Among my favorites is this gem by Harriet Pepin. Originally printed in 1942, it demonstrates how to draft patterns, including styles from the 1940s. ($55, CenterForPatternDesign.com)
—Judith Neukam, senior technical editor

Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi
These amazing Japanese books are now available in English, and I couldn’t be more excited. This innovative and creative book from Laurence King Press showcases the boundary-pushing pattern work of Tomoko Nakamichi and highlights how to draft the patterns for each of the awe-inspiring designs included. ($24.95, LaurenceKing.com)
—Nicole Smith, associate editor

Take a sewing getaway

If a vacation is what you’re wishing for, check out this list of getaways with sewing themes:

• Sew Fun Eastern Caribbean Sewing and Quilting Cruise from Round Bobbin—

• Two-week Milan Fashion Tour, including fashion- and design-themed sightseeing, a personal shopper, and even an afternoon with a hairdresser—

• Countless cruises and tours around the world with quilting and sewing themes including Ireland, Tuscany, India, Japan, Africa, and more—

Check out these Web sites for details on Threads authors’ retreats, international tours, workshops, and more:

Connie Amden-Crawford—

Sandra Ericson—

Linda Lee—

Louise Cutting—

Mary Ray—

Susan Khalje—

Susan Lazear—

excerpted from Threads 152, p. 70


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  1. User avater
    samlilypepper | | #1

    If money were no object... I'd like an adjustable dress form, and a serger.

  2. copywriterMT | | #2

    I'm so lucky to have a dedicated room and am slowly tweaking it into shape.
    I'm going to ask for one more good task light, and perhaps a larger cutting mat.

  3. ItzMeSandraD | | #3

    I just had to quit working due to health reasons so I spend a LOT of time in my sewing room now. If I'm going to dream, I might as well dream really big. I would love to have a serger, the fabulous tread caddy shown in this issue of Threads, an Air-Lift sewing machine cabinet, a dress form, and nice cutting table.

    But in all honesty, I would love to have a serger.

    Keep up the good work Threads I love this magazine!

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone!

  4. SewsinOKC | | #4

    I am buying myself a new pair of KAI scissors. That way I'll get the exact ones I want. If you are an ASG member, they are on sale this month!

  5. Maurorless | | #5

    Seems I'm not the only person who would like a serger. Mine broke and couldn't be repaired. Maybe Santa could fill one huge bag with sergers for all the people who love to sew and could sew MORE with a serger!!

  6. flamingos2 | | #6

    I would like Santa to bring me a dress form! I've always had one until mine was lost in Hurricane Katrina. I have always loved draping fabric and designing for myself. Many times, I design for my 5 puppy dogs, but that takes a different modeling form. Just to make sure Santa brings me the dress form I want, I ordered it yesterday!

  7. User avater
    sewntell | | #7

    I would like to receive Wright's automatic bias tape maker which will fold and press flat bias strips into single fold bias tape with the push of a button. I like to make my own piping and bias binding so I think this would be very handy indeed.

  8. PABarnes | | #8

    I would like to receive a Benina sewing machine this christmas.

  9. nujoi1908 | | #9

    I would love a new iron or steam generator.

  10. funkified | | #10

    I wish santa can be REAL and bless me with a good serger as am so unlucky at getting it,also an adjustable bodyform -like those ones i viewed at john lewis and a moderate size cutting mat.

  11. bamastitcher | | #11

    I would like the tailor's press. It's so hard to get those little areas pressed correctly. I finally have my own room for sewing and crafts....so lucky!

  12. amma_1962 | | #12

    Love the thread spindle, very good idea, i have a peg board and don't use it anymore

  13. smockerlady | | #13

    Hi there,

    Ah, I wonder if Nicole Smith - Assistant Editor, can put me out of my misery; no one else can!

    I made a note of the book she mentioned and have just got my hands on the English Version of Pattern Magic 2. I desperately wish to make the balloon sleeve as featured on the cover......

    My problem. It states that all the patterns illustrated are for a Japanese size Medium. I cant find any charts in the book which lead you to learn how you draft for smaller sizes. I actually want to make it for a childs dress.

    Did anyone else decide to buy the book after seeing it mentioned?? It doesn't give instructions for how you attach the sleeve..........

    Would love to be able to sort this out and actually do it!!

    Thanks in advance to anyone who may be able to advise. Have written to the publishers for assistance, but no reply to date.............guess I am being a bit impatient to get on with the project.

  14. evil1 | | #14

    I am feeling very privileged as I have most of the things wished for by everyone here. I have been out of hospital after spinal surgery for a week and mending fast with a husband who couldn't be a better carer.

    If I was to wish for anything it be for more time - time to learn the things I haven't over my 40 years of sewing, time to finish all the projects I have started or not started but want to do and time to enjoy not just the journey but to bask in the glow of finished items.

    Evelynne, Australia

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