Every year, it seems, I come across a few select items which either enhance my sewing experience or give me pleasure because of their fashion/sewing connections. Happily, this year is no different. The following is my list of those items, eight this year, in no particular order.
1) I actually purchased this needle case a couple of years ago, and for some reason only really started to use it this year. Perhaps I thought it was too pretty to use. Whatever the reason, I have been making up for lost time. I am misplacing and losing far fewer needles with this lovely little case. Susan Khalje sells them on her website. It is made out of a vintage linen cocktail napkin, and the leaves upon which you fasten your needles are lanolin-infused wool. This not only protects your needles from rust, it also seems to make them glide more smoothly through your fabric.
2) If you are a fan of ribbons and trims like I am, then you probably have lots of short or long pieces which can difficult to store and preserve in any logical way. I found these super winding boards at Farmhouse Fabrics, and oh, my, they help at least one of my storage drawers stay neat and tidy and organized.
Just beware: once you get on the website for Farmhouse Fabrics, you may not want to leave. They carry some amazing fabrics, including an extensive selection of beautiful cottons.
3) With all the books on Coco Chanel on the market, you probably do not think you need one more. But take a look at this book of Chanel quotes. I thought I had heard every sage bit of wisdom and advice she ever gave, but I was mistaken. There are quotes in here that are new to me and which further convince me of her wisdom, fashion and otherwise, biting though it is at times. It is divided into sections on Style, Women, Herself, Life and Success. I find this book endlessly fascinating; I hope you will, too.
4) From the sublime to the basic! Here is a spray bottle which I have found to be perfect for misting. Wool especially, I find, needs to be misted, not just steamed and this is the best bottle I have found for the job. I mist lengths of wool when I am getting them ready for sewing, and heavy weight wool responds well to more then just steam. Made by Dritz, this bottle is available at JoAnn’s or Amazon. (It also works well on linen.)
5) Oh my goodness, I love this Lap Desk. It’s perfect for those times when I am doing handsewing in the evening and would rather be sitting in front of a nice cozy fire instead of squirreled away in my sewing room.
As you can see, the cushion that is supported on your lap is ample, but very soft and lightweight.
And the wooden rim around its edge keeps your supplies from rolling all over the place. This is a winner!
6) I am constantly making notes while I sew. I’ll be the first to admit that I am addicted to cute notepads. And when they have a sewing/couture connection, then I am a happy person. This one even has a vintage theme to it, making it even better in my eyes.
7) On a visit to the Fabulous Fashion Exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this Fall, my friends and I spent ample time in the Exhibit Shop as it was filled with all kinds of delights. Among those delights was this “dressform” Christmas ornament. The body of the form is out of papiermâché.
8) I had been eyeing this Sleeve board with built-in presser and clapper in Helen Haughey’s Etsy store for quite a while. I finally took the plunge and purchased it. It is beautifully made and the width of the pressing board seems calculated excellently for most sleeves. I am very glad to have it as another one of my essential pressing/sewing tools.
No doubt by next year at this time, I will have come across more sewing essentials, but this will do for 2018. Perhaps you will find something among this selection to add to your holiday wishlist. Happy Sewing in this season for gifting!
5 responses to “Season for Sewing: Gift Ideas”
Oh, what perfect timing! I need this list and I need it today. Thank you, thank you. A niece is having surgery today and she has historically been a very slow healer. I envision me keeping her young daughter occupied with making the ornament. Tho I enjoy shopping at museum stores, this time I am eager to see our version. Keepsakes for sure.
I’ve never seen such an attractive lap desk. The Stewart plaid (?) is so pleasing. I like my lap desk but the frame would be a desirable upgrade.
I am shocked! Everything is not bigger in Texas. My sleeve board’s stuffing is puny. I could redo it to be as full as yours. My bottom clapper board could be a better shape. Sigh. I usually hate shopping and dislike buying new things before the old are worn to shreds – the opposite of all my family and friends. One friend teases me that it’s downright unAmerican to hate to shop. That puffy sleeve board just might make a better American out of me.
I really do enjoy good notepapers. A lady should have good stationery even if she’s just writing notes to herself. I have an ample supply and I enjoy it. One notepad in particular was a gift from a colleague with dressy ladies hats and gloves because I often wore good gloves with my suits. Now that I’m not working I use it exclusively for listing things I need from the city.
Needle books. Now you’ve pushed me over the top of the hump. I definitely need to make a set of sewing gifts and supplies. I usually have gifts done by now but this year not so. Several old books mention giving needle books as Christmas gifts to young servants. (I might be cheap about some things for myself, but I’m definitely not thinking of giving these to servants.) They’re mentioned once or twice by Agatha Christie. I figured they must be something a little more than just a package of needles, and I’ve often wondered what. In this part of the country, moths would’ve carried off antique wool ones by now, so I’ve never seen one. Now I know the wool is key. I have some fabrics from my older sister’s infancy that I never put in a quilt as intended. They’d be great as needle book covers for her and her daughters and granddaughters. Stuffing pincushions with one’s haircut trimmings was said to have a little of the same oil effect. Of course, I’d like to support Susan Khalje in every way possible, but this one too will be personalized here. To make up for it, I guess I’ll just have to buy myself some extra silk organza from her. I believe I’ll take up shopping as a New Year’s resolution.
I hope your busy holiday season runneth over with blessings. Can’t wait to see your granddaughters’ dresses.
I am so glad you found this post useful! And I might just follow your lead and make shopping a New Year’s resolution, too!
Great ideas there, Karen. I especially like that sleeve board, beautifully done!
Thank you, Kathy! The sleeveboard is a wonderful tool!
Thanks for all the great sewing tips! I liked your mention of the PMA’s Fabulous Fashion too! I really enjoyed the miniature scale ensembles in the gift shop as well in the cases! It’s a fun exhibit and shop for fashion lovers for sure!