Sewing Gift Suggestions
In Threads #164, the Threads staff shared our wishlist of sewing-related gift ideas in the annual Gift Guide.
We love to think and write about sewing every day, and as you might imagine, we had more present suggestions and dreamed-of items than we could list in just one article!
Here is a list of additional gifts we’d love to give or receive. We hope this list inspires you – or someone who needs to buy you a gift. You can always print out a copy to leave about as a hint!
Be sure to look for the gift guide in the current issue for even more great ideas!
Journeys and Workshops
A Paris tour with Susan Khalje (SusanKhalje.com; $5900)
“Every year I ask for this, but until my kids are out of college, I don’t think it will happen. Still, I can dream! Eight days of inspiration, including shopping for fabric and notions, workshops and lectures with couturiers and artisans, and visits to museums, all in the city that is considered the premier fashion destination in the world.”
– Carol Fresia, special issues technical editor.
ASG Tour: Sew Much Fun Hong Kong (www.asg.org/html/tours.html; price TBA)
“I think of Hong Kong as a fascinating, exotic destination that’s usually considered in the traditional fashion triumvirate (Paris- London-New York). This American Sewing Guild tour, hosted by former Sew News editor Linda Griepentrog and writer Pauline Richards, offers to take me to some of the region’s most celebrated sewing-related shopping and learning opportunities. Sign me up!” – Sarah McFarland, associate editor.
Burnley & Trowbridge’s historical garment-making workshops (BurnleyAndTrowbridge.com/thehistoricfashionworkshopseries.aspx; prices vary)
“Any of Burnley & Trowbridge’s historical garment making workshops are right up my alley. The specific topics vary every season, but past workshops have focused on stay making and fitting, gown draping, hand sewing, men’s tailoring, millinery, and more. Most workshops range from a single day to two and a half days, and the cost is downright reasonable (although more intensive workshops typically involve additional days and higher cost).” – Stephani Miller, associate editor.
A trip to Premiere Vision, the fabric show (PremiereVision.com/en)
“I want to go to the Paris show for international fabrics.Even though it’s really for the trade, I have friends in high places. It would be so interesting to see how textiles are made and marketed, and how textile trends relate to technology.” – Judith Neukam, senior technical editor.
Fitting workshop (Conselle.com/fashion-makeover-retreat.php; $795)
“I would like an intense course/seminar on fitting myself. I have some special fitting issues (like most folks) and am not sure how to proceed, especially with semi-fitted and fitted garments. I don’t have a dress form, but I would like some guidance. The Conselle Institute of Image Management Fabulous Fit Retreat is six days and promises one-on-one guidance from master fitters.” – Jeannine Clegg, Threads copy editor.
Reliable Digital Velocity V100 steam iron ( ReliableCorporation.com; $139)
“I was always frustrated by my iron’s auto shut-off feature. It seemed half my sewing time was spent waiting for the iron to heat up enough for a quick shot of steam before I turned back to the sewing machine. The Reliable V100 is the iron for me. It has the Steam Ready feature, a manual override to the auto shut-off so that I can use steam continuously. I also love the audible ‘Beep!’ it emits when it’s heated to the correct temperature. The digital display has easy-to- read symbols (my last iron saw so much use that the temperature settings were rubbed off the dial) and the iron holds nearly two cups of water. When I’m not using the Steam Ready feature, the Reliable V100 has a 3-second steam shut-off to conserve water. It also steams vertically, a wonderful feature when a work outfit just needs a little de-wrinkling.” – Sarah McFarland, associate editor.
Arrow Gidget Sewing Table (SingerSewingSanDiego.com; about $125 at various sources)
“My sewing space is limited, so I need small furniture to accommodate my sewing machine and serger. Two of these 40-inch-by-20 inch tables would fit better than one large table, and then can be put together to make a larger surface if desired. The adjustable platform in the center can lowered for flatbed sewing.” – Carol Fresia, special issues technical editor.
Janome CoverPro 900CPX Serger Machine (CoverStitch) (SewingMachinesPlus.com; $399)
“I want this to sew smooth, professional-looking hems on knits. I love my serger and I think I’m ready for a designated coverstitch machine.” – Sarah McFarland, associate editor.
Arrow Olivia 1004 Pistachio Green Sewing Cabinet (MrVacAndMrsSew.com; $629.99 MSRP)
“This sewing machine table has just the right amount of storage for my purposes. It’s also attractive and would fit right into the decor of my sewing room without being too utilitarian. The wide top allows you to sit center needle. The sewing machine shelf switches between flatbed and free-arm positions easily. The leg opening is framed by two deep cubbies, each large enough for a sewing machine or serger. With both machines stowed away, I could use the surface for crafts. It is really all I need and I like the way it looks. I wish I could have the serger and sewing machine up at the same time, though – maybe I need two of these tables!” – Sarah McFarland, associate editor.
Lance French Curve Ruler (VogueFabricsStore.com; $17.99)
“I would love a French curve for making smooth pattern alterations.” – Jeannine Clegg, Threads copy editor.
Bernina’s embroidery collection, Retro Birds (CozyQuilt.com; $59.99)
Whimsical and folksy “Retro Birds,” from the OESD Crafters Collection, has 27 designs all inspired by 1970s pop art. This exclusive-to-Bernina collection features groovy flowers and cute birds with fanciful tails.– Annie O’Connor, assistant editor.
Custom DIY garment kits from Alabama Chanin (AlabamaChanin.com; prices vary)
“Pick the garment style, pick the fabric colors, pick your size, and the company sends a kit to you to stitch together yourself. You’ll need a copy of ‘The Alabama Stitch Book’ or ‘Alabama Studio Sewing & Design’ to make some of the garments or accessories, but a flip through those books just adds to the appeal of the designer’s hand-stitched aesthetic and hand-made manufacturing process. I particularly like Anna’s Garden Fitted Dress.” – Stephani Miller, associate editor.
“Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer” (Amazon.com; list price $75)
“Edith Head is considered the best film costume designer of all time. Depicted in hit movies such as Funny Face, Sunset Blvd, and The Ten Commandments, her work swept the audience away to a different time or place. In the book, Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer (Running Press, 2010), you’ll enjoy never-seen-before photos and sketches as well as a thorough history of her life and work.” – Annie O’Connor, assistant editor.
Gift certificate to Mood Fabrics (MoodFabrics.com; $10 to $1000)
“When a sewer seems to have everything, buy her fabric. And when you think she must own all the fabric in the world, buy her a fabric gift-certificate. A store loved by designers and sewers alike, Mood has 3 floors packed with nearly every kind of fabric imaginable-there may even be a few yards she doesn’t already own! And, if she’s not local to New York, Mood has an equally well-stocked e-store.” – Annie O’Connor, assistant editor.
“Draping Basics” by Sally Di Marco (Fairchild Publications; $94.50)
“This book has been called a draping class in a book. Sally DiMarco has taught fashion design and created fashion design programs at the college level, so it’s not surprising that this book is substantial in both length and scope. I’m not sure, but it may in fact be intended as a text book for fashion design classes. I’d love to work my way through this book.” – Stephani Miller, associate editor.
Arrow Olivia 1004 Pistachio Green Sewing Cabinet
Arrow Gidget Sewing Table
"Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer" (Running Press, 2010)
Susan Khalje with Dominique Fallecker and Didier Ludot in the Palais Royale, just outside Didier's vintage clothing store. Susan's annual Paris Tour takes participants on an insider's journey through the sewing side of the famous city.
Bernina's embroidery collection, Retro Birds
"Draping Basics" by Sally DiMarco (Fairchild Publications)