Wishful, Giftful Sewing

If you were putting together a holiday basket of gifts for a fashion-sewing friend (a very good friend, that is), what would you include? The tried and true? Something practical or something whimsical? Or maybe a few things to cover all those attributes?   I always think some of the best gifts are those you didn’t know you needed, but now wonder how you lived without them! Some of the following meet that criteria – and some are just plain lovely to live with.

First up is this handy little needle threader.

My needle threader is brown, but now they are available in an assortment of nicer colors.

My needle threader is brown, but now they are available in an assortment of nicer colors.

It certainly is a funny looking contraption, but oh does it work well! Thread your needles, big or small, with nary a squint of the eye. From Clover, who creates so many wonderful gadgets for those of us who sew.

If you use couture techniques in your sewing, then you, like me, do a lot of basting. Make that job go faster with these long and lovely basting needles.

Wishful sewing

Hug Snug rayon seam tape is one of the loveliest sewing products around. I always have to order this product online – and selecting  the correct color is an imprecise science.  A Hug Snug Seam Binding Color Card  would make identifying the perfect match so much easier!

So many colors from which to choose. This tape also is perfect for wrapping gifts.

So many colors from which to choose. This tape also is perfect for wrapping gifts.

Books always make wonderful gifts and these are two I would want my sewing friend to have:

the fashions in this book are a bit dated (1980s-ish), but the techniques and tips are timeless.

The fashions in this book are a bit dated (1980s-ish), but the techniques and tips are timeless.

Why, do you ask, is this such a good gift for a sewing friend? Because it is filled with so much information that makes you more informed about your sewing, fashion, and fashion history in general. I love that pronunciations are given for some of those words about which you always wondered.

Why, do you ask, is this such a good gift for a sewing friend? Because it is filled with so much information that makes you more informed about your sewing, fashion, and fashion history in general. I love that pronunciations are given for some of those words about which you always wondered.

Along those same lines, a subscription to Threads Magazine is a must for anyone doing serious sewing.

Wishful sewing - threads cover

I have two favorite sources on Etsy for beautiful padded hangers – indispensable for taking care of all those couture dresses and outfits we make for ourselves. These also make lovely gifts for any good friend or relative – they are luxurious, useful and so pretty!

The hanger on the top is from Out of the Closet Hangers; the one on the bottom is from GrandmasChalkboard.

The hanger on the top is from Out of the Closet Hangers; the hangers from this company tend to be elegant and sophisticated.  The hanger on the bottom is from GrandmasChalkboard; these hangers tend to be casual and whimsical.  Both are beautiful products.

Another beautiful product that comes in handy for couture sewing are these lovely Hanah hand-dyed silk ribbons, available from Britex Fabrics. They are cut on the bias, making them perfect for adding a piped edge detail to coat, jacket and dress linings.

Wishful sewing

Available in various widths, they are lightweight, but sturdy.

I would definitely tuck this note card into the basket:

"Balenciaga Coat 1960"

“Balenciaga Coat 1960” – Illustration by Tod Draz; card produced by the Dean Rhys Morgan Company.

The only problem with a note card like this is the hesitation to actually use it. (Maybe two would be best – one to keep and one to use!)

Another nod to vintage would be a Tammis Keefe handkerchief , similar to this one:

Wishful sewing

A close-up of the designer's famous signature.

A close-up of the designer’s famous signature.

Various ones are available on eBay and in Etsy stores – and their charm is legendary. Any lover of fine design and textiles, vintage or otherwise, would appreciate one of these!

Finally I would top off the basket with a Little Black Dress cookie cutter:

LBD cookie cutter

The tags which come with the cuttetters themselves! (All images copyright by Ann Clark Ltd.)

Image copyright by Ann Clark Ltd

Now – what have I forgotten?

 

 

 

15 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

15 responses to “Wishful, Giftful Sewing

  1. What a great post for the holidays!
    Three of the best sewing gifts I ever received were: 1) a heart-shaped beeswax with a gold hanging string — made from a friend’s beehive’s output. The string made it easy to hang it on the wall near my sewing machine. The only problem was my hesitation in using such a pretty thing! 2) Another great gift was a gold (brass) seam ripper with a cap; it hung from a ribbon around my neck to be always handy in a fitting. http://www.createforless.com/heritage-crafts-brass-seam-ripper-gift-boxed/pid58491.aspx The ripper itself could be replaced when dull.
    3) My all-time favorite thimble is black leather with a small metal piece inside it, just in the right place for pushing the needle. There’s a slit on top for your fingernail, so the thimble’s metal stays right over the cushion of your finger. I did have to stitch it to fit snugly after use had stretched it a bit. I’m on my third! Not sure this is the same, but looks right: https://www.etsy.com/listing/258786604/reserved-for-sally-leather-thimble?ref=related-1

  2. Looks like you’ve got it covered!

  3. Jacqueline

    Wow – those are all really *great* suggestions – so much more interesting and unusual than the fairly pedestrian fare marketed in sewing stores for Christmas giving. Thanks so much for the ideas — I may need to make some discreet suggestions to the family about my own gift preferences based on your list, too!

  4. What grand ideas you have here! The Dictionary of Sewing is particulalry intriguing. Annnnd, since I’m the only one I know who is sewing right now……they probably need to go on my own list! 🙂

  5. Great suggestions. Any sewer would love to receive a basket like this. Thanks for the tip on the basting needles. I just tried them and they are wonderful for thread tracing seam lines. Maybe add some Japanese basting cotton; wonderfully soft and has just enough texture to stay put. I get mine from Shibori Dragon, but I’m sure there are loads of other sources.

    • Yes, that Japanese basting thread is the best! I, too, get mine from Shibori Dragon, although Susan Khalje carries it now in her store, too. So glad you like the basting needles – how can something so small be such a big help?

  6. Mery

    What a treat your blog is! This one’s a treat full of treats. I have a long, tedious bureaucratic project I must complete; meanwhile, I allow myself only brief treats like reading your blog and planning what I’ll reward myself with when project finished (Pucci).
    I have the sweetest friend who’s an Italian couturier, who had a big atelier in a different USA state for many years before moving near me to be involved with her grandchildren and do very little sewing for a few established clients. When I met her 6 years ago she was as thrilled that I immediately understood and appreciated her talents as I was to meet her. I was so looking forward to giving her “The Pink Suit,” and got the chance last weekend to confirm with a mutual friend that she does indeed enjoy reading in English. He read the review, discussed stories of her early years and thought it such a great idea that he beat me to buying it for her! All in good fun. Hmmm, what to console myself with, and now what to give her? Then immediately my phone dinged and it was this gift basket blog. I don’t know about her gift now (she could use the basting needles but they’re not a delightful treat she wouldn’t buy for herself), but there will definitely be a plate of dress cookies when I make a little party of visiting with her. Butter cookies, though they break easier, are tastier than the usual sugar cookie. Definitely colored dresses along with some black: we wear color in this sunbleached Southwest.
    Happy holiday season to you and yours, and thank you for sharing what you’re fond of with your friends from all over.

    • I got up a little extra early this morning, trying to get some chores done and therefore to give me more time to concentrate on all my Christmas activities. When I finally sat down with my coffee and my iPad, I found this delightful comment waiting for me! Thank you, Mery, for taking the time to tell me about your couturier friend and your plans for a plate of colorful “dress” cookies. She can munch away while reading The Pink Suit!
      Wishing you the same good thoughts for the holiday season!

  7. Kati

    Thank you for the great ideas! I especially love the cookie cutter as at the moment I’m a lot more comfortable with my baking skills than my sewing, but working on changing that! They may all have to go on my own list as I don’t know anyone who sews either. I’m thinking of placing an order with Susan Khalje as I’m having trouble finding most of the things she sells in her store, here, in the UK. May pop her jacket class into my basket as well. It’s so very tempting! I have had my eye on that class for such a long time. 🙂
    I own all of Claire Shaeffer’s couture books, do you think I still need Roberta Carr’s?
    I’m really enjoying reading your blog, you are such an inspiration and your work is beyond beautiful!

    • I took Susan Khalje’s jacket class with her in Baltimore – and it was wonderful. I am sure the video is excellent – I probably will purchase it when I make my next French jacket. As far as the books go, I find myself going to Roberta Carr’s book more than to Claire Shaeffer’s – it seems more inspirational to me for some reason. Hope this helps. And – thank you so much for reading my blog.

      • Kati

        Hi Karen,
        Thank you for taking the time to respond!
        I did buy the Couture Jacket Class. 🙂
        It is very good, however, I don’t think it is necessary if you have already made two jackets and attended the class in person as well. Your work is impeccable!
        I may cross reference the class with Claire Shaeffer’s DVD and book and also with the Craftsy class just out of interest.
        I will definitely get the book you have suggested.
        Best wishes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s