This year’s list of gift ideas for your fashion-sewing friends (or you!) is heavy on print. Included are things to read and things to use, all with the goal of adding knowledge, inspiration and enjoyment to a sewing life.
First up is what I believe to be the definitive book on the golden years of Christian Dior. Christian Dior: History and Modernity, 1947-1957, by Alexandra Palmer, is both a fashion book and a dressmaker’s book. Replete with line drawings of patterns for some of Dior’s most famous silhouettes, this book explores construction techniques as well as design preferences for the women who commissioned these haute couture garments. I really should write an in-depth review of this book at some point, but trust me – if you or someone you know is interested in fashion history at this pivotal point of the 20th century – then this book is a necessity.
Of course, no list this year is complete without the newest book from Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr, A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing. Excellent for a sewing friend or anyone interested in dressing with classic style, this book is sure to please. I wrote a complete review of this book earlier in the month should you still need convincing!
Another book which was new to me this year (but published in 2006) is one of those sweet go-to books whenever you are thinking of making a gift for a friend. The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort, by EllynAnne Geisel documents aprons for every use, such as kitchen aprons, house aprons, “Daddy” aprons, holiday aprons, to mention just a few. The bonus is a full size pattern included so you can make a basic bib apron, using inspiration from the history, pictures and diagrams included in the book. Many thanks are due to my friend Jane for giving me this book earlier in the year.
A magazine which deserves your attention is Classic Sewing for Everyday and Special Occasions, published by Hoffman Media. I was introduced to this magazine by Farmhouse Fabrics in South Carolina, where it is available for purchase quarterly. Ostensibly a magazine devoted to sewing for children, it also provides endless inspiration for sewing for adults, and often includes patterns for adults. Each issue has a separate full-size pattern included with it. The Holiday 2019 issue features classic capes for children as well as a delicate, heirloom type blouse for adults.
If you have a young girl in your life who is very special to you, then you really should go to the Clara and Macy Etsy store and purchase this wrapping paper. It will be like two gifts in one to present a package with this cute paper doll tag, including a complete holiday wardrobe printed and ready to cut out.
Well, no Christmas list of mine is complete without a notepad. Another tried and true friend gave me this very appropriate notepad earlier in the year. How can you not be inspired reading its catchy message! Thank you, Nancy!
Finally there is one item on my list which deviates from the printed theme this year. I treated myself to a pair of these Kai (7000 series) dressmaking shears when I needed to set up my sewing room in our new vacation home in Wyoming. I was flabbergasted at how wonderful they are! Somehow they grip the fabric as they cut, giving you incredible control and precision. Smooth as silk, and tough as nails. When I got back to my sewing room in Pennsylvania, I promptly ordered another pair. I really don’t know how I ever sewed without them. Available from Susan Khalje and also from Amazon.
That completes my list for this year’s holiday gift-giving. Of course the most coveted sewing gift I could recommend is MORE TIME TO SEW. I’m still working on that one, although I am grateful every day for having this passion and so many lovely sewing friends worldwide with whom to share it. Thank you to you, my readers, for all you give me every month of the year!