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Tools & Supplies

2021 Holiday Gift Guide for People Who Sew

Practical to aspirational presents for creative spirits
Threads #216, Winter 2021

Every holiday season, Threads suggests gifts intended to celebrate and share your love of sewing. Whether you are shopping for yourself or a friend, there are thoughtful choices to consider, from practical notions or interesting books to spectacular sewing machines. 

When you refresh your sewing toolkit, it recharges your interest and builds your foundation of sewing expertise. When you give a new sewer tools or materials, it enables them to try fresh techniques and become more efficient and confident. Enjoy getting—or giving—some of the following sewing gifts.

Celebrate sewing

Away from the sewing machine, these charming items and services offer a connection to our favorite pastime.

Pieces of hope
Stitched Puzzles series by C&T Publishing

Pieces of hope

Enjoy the message and workmanship of artist Meri Henriques Vahl’s award-winning Free Tibet Quilt in a 1,000-piece puzzle. Part of the Stitched Puzzles series by C&T Publishing, it depicts her intricate, colorful, and hopeful vision of the Dalai Lama’s eventual return to his homeland. The puzzle’s assembled dimensions are 29-1⁄2 inches by 19-1⁄2 inches, and it is intended for ages 14 and up. A portion of sales goes to Free Tibet, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization (FreeTibet.org). CTPub.com; $19.95 

Front of Kylie and the Machine 2021 Advent calendar Kylie and the Machine 2021 Advent calendar

Day by day

The Kylie and the Machine 2021 Advent calendar unfolds to reveal 24 paper windows. Open them to discover 66 high-quality woven garment labels (three a day) and two iron-on patches. Intended as special finishing touches for your self-made garments and gifts, the labels feature affirmational and witty messages. The labels and iron-on patches are not holiday-themed but are  suitable for garments of any season. 

KylieAndTheMachine.shop; $78.00 AUD


Digital inspiration

in a haystack logoIn a Haystack is a subscription service that curates a monthly collection of sewing-related digital content and sends it to your inbox. Each Haystack Pack includes a PDF pattern (usually swappable), discount codes for independent fabric shops in Europe and North America, interviews, stories, tips and tricks, and more. The packs are also available in audio versions. In a Haystack was founded in 2019 by London-based researcher Kate Smith, who has also developed an online community for subscribers. 

InAHaystack.co.uk; £10.00 monthly

Dream machines

If a sewing machine upgrade is on the wish list, investigate options that offer contemporary features along with dealer support.

Baby Lock Vesta

Baby Lock Vesta

Ease-of-use features abound on this new embroidery and sewing machine. Fabric-sensing technology automatically adjusts the foot pressure and thread tension. The advanced needle-threading system can be operated one-handed. The Vesta also has 293 built-in designs, plus Wi-Fi-enabled design transfer and built-in editing features. It is technology that enables sewers to create their own embroidery designs. Visit the website or contact a dealer to learn about additional features.

BabyLock.com; price on request from dealers

Brother BQ2500

Brother BQ2500

The versatile Innov-ís BQ2500 is a potential upgrade for the advanced sewer. It has features and accessories for quilt-making as well as garment and home décor sewing. The 11-1⁄4-inch-deep bed accommodates larger projects and has enhanced LED lighting. The 7-inch, LCD touch screen makes it easy to change settings and watch tutorials. There are 729 built-in utility and decorative stitches, plus the My Custom Stitch feature to design your own. Contact a dealer to learn about all the features. 

Brother.com; price on request from dealers

Bernina B880 Plus

Bernina B880 Plus

For the serious machine-embroidery enthusiast who also appreciates sparkle, the top-of-the-line Bernina B880 Plus Crystal Edition comes adorned with Swarovski crystals along with inspiration and tools for crystal embroidery. It is equipped with the latest Bernina technology, which offers enhanced stitch quality and faster embroidery speeds. The machine comes with an extensive Crystal Edition gift-with-purchase bundle, including an inspiration kit with sew-on crystals, travel cases, online lessons, more than 300 embroidery designs, specialty feet, and other items, totaling up to $4,600. Visit the website and ask a dealer for complete details.

Bernina.com; MSRP $16,499

Page turners 

Check out these new books that cover sewing topics of interest.

couture tailoring book book with jacket pictures

Classic Techniques

See stunning examples of designer jackets  and learn the steps to sew your own custom versions. Couture Tailoring: A Construction Guide for Women’s Jackets by Claire Shaeffer (Laurence King, 2021) is a definitive guide to sewing couture-level tailoring. The author has an extensive collec-tion and made close study of garments from the great houses, including Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Dior. Her insights offer a master course in jacket construction, as practiced in the world’s top ateliers.

LaurenceKing.com; $90.00

Sewing with African Wax Print Fabric: 25 Vibrant Projects for Handmade Clothes and Accessories Sewing with African Wax Print Fabric: 25 Vibrant Projects for Handmade Clothes and Accessories inside pages

Color Play

Envigorate your sewing—and your wardrobe—with new pieces sewn in the often bold and brightly colored cotton fabrics known as African wax prints, or ankara fabric. Sewing with African Wax Print Fabric: 25 Vibrant Projects for Handmade Clothes and Accessories (CICO Books, 2021) is a charming introduction and guide to begin sewing with them. The 128-page book was written by Adaku Parker, the founder and owner of Dovetailed.co.uk, a website retailing African wax prints, patterns, and sewing kits. A pullout contains 14 patterns, including dresses, tops, pants, skirts, and a number of bags and accessories. Extensively illustrated instructions are included for each project. The author briefly covers the history, meaning, and care of African wax prints, then turns the focus to making easy projects that let the fabrics shine. 

MakeEtc.com/; $21.99

Ahead of the Curve: Learn to Fit and Sew Amazing Clothes for Your Curves Ahead of the Curve: Learn to Fit and Sew Amazing Clothes for Your Curves inside pages

Fitting Insight

Discover fitting techniques for plus-size figures—and sew stylish garments while you’re at it—through Ahead of the Curve: Learn to Fit and Sew Amazing Clothes for Your Curves (Quadrille, available November 9, 2021, in the United States). Written by Jenny Rushmore, founder of Cashmerette Patterns, the book includes five new patterns and explains common fitting adjustments in detail with before-and-after photographs. A body-positive message sets the tone in this detailed guide.

Target.com; $37.00

Nifty notions

Make your life easier with these sewing aids.

Brother Compact Dual Feed MuVit Foot on sewing machine

Brother Compact Dual Feed MuVit Foot Brother Compact Dual Feed MuVit Foot in use

Keep it Moving

Small and powerful, the Brother Compact Dual Feed MuVit Foot is a motor-driven presser foot able to create precise stitches on tricky fabrics such as slippery silk or thick leather. The foot feeds the fabric accurately from above, coordinated with the motion of the feed dogs below. The powered foot is digitally controlled and programmed to work with more than 100 stitch designs. Check with your dealer for machine model compatibility and pricing. 

Brother.com; price on request from dealers

The Open Ring Scissors by ToolTron

Scissors for any Fingers

Cutting can be uncomfortable enough without having to smoosh your fingers into inconveniently small scissor handles. The Open Ring Scissors by ToolTron accommodate any size fingers, plus their other features make them an appealing notion for sewing, embroidery, and fiber arts. The scissors are suited for close cutting tasks, with an overall length of 4 inches and 1-inch-long, slim blades that cut to the tip. The stainless-steel blades are serrated to gently grip materials. The open “rings,” or hook-shaped handles, are coated with a nonslip vinyl coating.

ToolTron.com; $6.95 

The Ruler Grip by EverSewn


Steady now

Get a good hold on rulers or templates with The Ruler Grip by EverSewn. This ergonomic notion, in a pretty aqua shade, has two suction cups on the bottom. Press down with gentle pressure to apply it. Repeat the pressure and lift, while holding down the ruler or template, to remove the grip. EverSewn products are useful for sewers of all skill levels, with appealing packaging and product design, making this a nice gift to encourage a beginner. 

Amazon.com; $8.99

Taylor Seville Original Wonder Grip & Thimble

Get a grip

Speed up hand sewing and save delicate fingertips with the Taylor Seville Original Wonder Grip & Thimble, a useful two-in-one tool. The soft, textured silicone thumb tip is connected by a silicone strip to the metal-tipped thimble. The notion enhances grip on a needle while protecting fingers and providing needle leverage as a traditional thimble does. The grip-and-thimble device fits on the right or left hand, and comes in a single, one-size-fits-most size. The joined construction makes it more difficult to lose the thumb-tip grip or the thimble. 

AnniesCatalog.com; $8.49

Smart solutions

Save resources and solve problems with these interesting products and sources.

Wad-Free in packaging Wad-Free on grey sheets in basket

Laundry saver

Originally designed for bedsheets, but worthwhile for prepping yardage, Wad-Free is a tool that prevents large fabric pieces from tangling up in the washer or dryer. Simply clip the four corners of your yardage into the two-part tool before loading the fabric into the washer or dryer. Wad-Free prevents the yardage from twisting into a wad,
and laundry comes out cleaner, dries more swiftly, and holds fewer wrinkles. Wad-Free is made in the United States out of nontoxic materials. 

Amazon.com; $18.99

HangOn Drying Rack from Brabantia

No Clothesline, No problem

For a space-saving alternative to the clothes dryer, look into the HangOn Drying Rack from Brabantia. It is ideal for air-drying sewing and quilting projects. It’s lightweight and folds up compactly for storage. The rack comes in white, black, or metallic gray. The version shown has 82 linear feet of drying space, enough to support three washing-machine loads of fabric, plus a hanging rod for garments. HangOn racks are made partially from recycled materials and are fully recyclable. 

Brabantia.com; $46.50-$80.00, options vary

core fabrics branding core fabrics tissue paper and packaging

Feel-good Fabric

Cofounded by the creators of Closet Core Patterns, Core Fabrics is devoted to sourcing and supplying textiles that are kinder to the planet and the people who produce them. The site offers a curated selection for sewers seeking high-quality fabrics manufactured and distributed in environmentally and ethically responsible ways. Core Fabrics prioritizes natural and renewable fibers; eco-certified fabrics manufactured by responsible producers; and deadstock fabric recycled from the fashion industry. Gift cards in $25 increments
are available.


2021 Holiday Gift Guide for People Who SewCompiled by the Threads staff.

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