Sewing Gift Guide for Amazon
In this post, I'll show you the best last minute sewing gifts to get on Amazon. With Amazon's two day shipping, you can easily get these gifts delivered before the holidays. I buy most of my sewing supplies online, and I've personally tested out everything I'm recommending here. I use all of these items regularly, and in many cases, I've spent a lot of time finding just the right tool.
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Sewing Gift Guide
I didn't know I could have such strong feelings about scissors, but after you've used a pair of Ginghers, you'll never go back. These scissors are angled so that you can cut without shifting your pattern or fabric around. They have a knife edge, and a lifetime sharpness guarantee. They're a little pricey, but they're 100% worth it.
Not only are these scissors beautiful, but they're perfect for more delicate cutting needs. If you need to clip a piece to remove bulk or trim close to a line of stitching, these scissors are perfect for the job. Similar to the dressmaker's shears, they're very sharp, but they're more maneuverable for precision cutting.
These thread clippers are similar to the embroidery scissors, but they allow you to cut even closer to the fabric. They can also be used to puncture a hole in fabric when you need to cut into the middle of a piece of fabric, as the ends are very sharp.
When I first started sewing, I used a larger 45mm Fiskars rotary cutter, and I really struggled with it. I had trouble controlling it when cutting around curves or sharp angles. It fought me every step of the way, and I cut myself on it more than once. I had nearly resigned myself to just not having the necessary skills to use a rotary cutter. The 28mm Olfa rotary cutter was a game changer for me. The smaller size allows for greater control, the blades are higher quality, and the design of the cutter just worked better for me. My pattern cutting time was dreastically reduced by this tool, which is great because it leaves more time for sewing! It looks like the 28mm cutter isn't readily available on Amazon anymore, so you might try the 45mm Olfa cutter instead. I'm probably going to get one to try it out, too, but I haven't gotten around to it just yet.
I love Fiskars' mats, however. Get the biggest mat you can afford because it will make your life so much easier in the long run. This particular mat is large enough for most projects, but small enough to easily store when you're not using it. I like the fact that Fiskars prints the grid on both sides of the mat, so you can use either the white or the gray side, depending on the color of your fabric. This way, it's easy to see what you're doing by selecting the best contrasting mat color. It also means that you get two mats in one, if one side starts to get sliced up. It is self-healing, but these mats do wear out over time.
I have several rulers, but this one is my favorite by far. It's long enough to use for bigger projects, but great for smaller projects, too. The colored edges easily mark off 1/2" for reference on the bottom and side. It's great for squaring up fabric, evening edges, and cutting precisely. It includes various angle lines as well, in case you need to cut on the bias or use other angles for pattern drafting. If you need a general purpose ruler, this is a good choice.
I love my clear, acrylic rulers, but sometimes they slip or move while I'm cutting. It's so frustrating when you've lined everything up perfectly, and then your ruler slides off course! These ruler grips have changed my fabric cutting. I never have problems with ruler slippage anymore.
These are consistently high quality needles, and I recommend buying them in bulk. Remember, you should change your needle roughly every 5-6 hours of sewing. You can use a size 90/14 universal needle for most projects, and it's nice to know that you won't run out any time soon.
I love this tape. Using it feels a bit like cheating, but that's okay. The tape is double-sided, safe to sew through on your sewing machine, and it washes away in the laundry. It's perfect matching up seams, holding hems in place, or making sure you have the perfect mitered corner on a quilt or pot holder. If you only need single-sided tape, surgical tape works well for that. I use single-sided tape to hold zippers in place and keep purse straps where I want them.
Swedish tracing paper is great for pattern drafting, copying patterns, and creating muslins to test out a pattern before using your good fabric. It's a hybrid between regular paper and fabric, and you can sew it like fabric, as well as drape it like fabric (it is a little stiffer than most fabric, however).
These are a cheaper knock off of a more expensive version of quilt clips, but I find that they work well, and you get a lot more for your money. Quilt clips are great for holding pieces together when you don't want to use pins (or when you're too lazy to use pins). Pins will leave permanent holes in leather or vinyl, so quilt clips are perfect for holding these materials. You can even hold your quilt binding on with them, as they were originally meant to do!
These pens are excellent. They're not specifically formulated to use on fabric, but they work well as fabric markers, and best of all, the ink comes off easily when heated with an iron. You can get them in a bunch of different colors, which is helpful when you want to use a contrasting color to make sure the mark stands out.
It's important to be able to mark your fabric to note any darts, center points, notches, or other key points on your pattern. I've struggled to find a marker/pencil that works well, but this ceramic pencil does a great job of marking the fabric, while remaining removable, but not easily wiping off/disappearing. With fabric markers, I've found myself going over and over a point on the fabric just to get a decent mark. This pencil marks fabric easily and clearly. You can also get dark colored lead for this pencil.
Everyone knows that ironing is a key step in sewing, and that ironing can make or break a project. When I first started sewing, I got a second hand iron from a thrift store. I think it was $3. It served its purpose initially, but I found that I was spending sooo much time ironing, and sometimes my fabric was still wrinkled, even after I'd spent ages ironing!
I decided to get a better iron, and after reading a bunch of reviews and doing some research, I decided on a Rowenta iron. Using the Rowenta iron saves so much time and results in a much better press. I don't know how I ever lived without it!
This hem gauge makes it easy to create the perfect hem, whether it's straight or curved. You can iron right on this metal hem gauge, and it has clear markings to show the most common hem sizes. The back of it is marked as well with more lines for straight hems. Be careful, though--it can get hot when you're ironing on it!
This set of presser feet is really useful, particularly because it has a walking foot and a foot for holding a button in place while you sew it on. It also has a buttonhole foot and low shank adaptor. Other than that, it contains a lot of the same presser feet as the set below, but the presser feet in this kit are better quality.
I'll be honest with you, the presser feet in this kit are not super high quality, but they are plentiful and the price is very reasonable. If you need an invisible zipper foot, egdgestitch foot, gathering foot, cording foot, freemotion quilting foot, bias binding foot, and some other useful feet that don't usually come with your machine, this set has it. These presser feet will tide you over until you upgrade your collection. It's not the best set of presser feet, but it's a useable set of presser feet and it won't break the bank.
I have a Singer Fashion Mate, which I reviewed here, but it doesn't seem to be for sale anymore. However, I really like my Janome Coverstitch machine, and I would recommend this mechanical, beginner machine for those who want a sturdy, well-built sewing machine.
Having a serger will maker your sewing life infinitely easier. Finishing raw edges is a breeze, as is creating rolled hems to finish garments. It drastically reduces the time it takes to finish a piece of clothing and makes those clothes likely to last longer. I've written more about my love for the Singer Profinish here.
Last year, I got a Janome Cover Pro 100CPX, which I reviewed on my blog here. The Cover Pro is great for sewing with knit fabrics, finishing edges, and hemming. You get that nice serged edge on the back of your fabric, but a neat straight stitch on the right side of your fabric. I prefer the 1000CPX to the 900CPX because of the greater variety of stitches.
Die Cutting for Fabric
One of my favorite finds from the last year was my die cutter. I love using this to cut out different shapes and to speed up the cutting process for charm squares, binding pieces, hexies, triangles, circles, jelly roll strips, and more. You can use the sturdy, Bigz dies to cut pretty much any fabric. I have a huge collection of these dies, and I'm going to share some of my favorites below.