Tag Archives: Gifts for Sewing

Santa’s Sewing Sack

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.

Published by the Royal Ontario Museum, 2018.

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.

Published by Andrews McMeel Publishibng, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri, 2006

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!

3 Comments

Filed under Book reviews, Christian Dior, Gifts for Sewing, Uncategorized

Season for Sewing: Gift Ideas

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.

These come in various colors and every one is just a little bit different.

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.

These come in various sizes, too!

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.

The flat surface is water resistant, and also excellent for holding a laptop computer.

And the wooden rim around its edge keeps your supplies from rolling all over the place.  This is a winner!

This item is available at Bas Bleu, an online bookseller.

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.

You can purchase this from Idlewild.

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.

Unfortunately there was no manufacturer listed on this item.  It also is not listed on the website for the Museum Store, but you can check out the store’s website for some other fashion related ornaments.

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.

The pressing surface is nicely cushioned, too!

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 Comments

Filed under Gifts for Sewing, Uncategorized