As sewists, we often cringe at the number of times people ask us to utilize our skills to hem their pants. Still, when birthdays, holidays, or any number of other gift-giving occasions arise we love the opportunity to use our sewing superpowers to create thoughtful and unique handmade presents. Whether it is creating the perfect gift for tucking under the tree, congratulating someone on their new home, or you are welcoming a new baby into the world, there are plenty of handmade ideas. We've put together a list of our favorites, along with tips for taking the stress out of gift sewing and how to make them truly unique!
First up, the tips!
1. Batch-Sewing is the Best
Need to make something for all ten members of your book club? Batch sew some bookmarks! Want to sew thoughtful and practical gifts for your kids’ teachers and coaches? Try batch sewing them all cup cozies. The main benefit to batch sewing is that it is incredibly time-saving! Instead of starting from scratch for each gift, you can complete each step once for your entire group of gifts.
Sew Smart! Another tip to simply sewing is to choose a thread color that pairs well with each of your fabrics. That means no thread changing in between each one! If one thread doesn't work for all of them, try separating them into as few groups as possible.
2. Sew Sustainable
Scraps can be used for a variety of unique gifts. What could be better than putting a smile on someone’s face while ALSO finding a use for all of those extra pieces of fabric you have laying around? Not to mention that also means less waste and you doing one small part for the planet, it also means no extra cost! It sounds like a win, win, win. From sachets to zippered pouches and eyeglass cases to headbands, there are a ton of options that you can make sustainably with remnants already in your stash!
3. Even Better Embellished
If you’re looking to take a me-made gift to the next level, we have some ideas for you! The quickest and easiest is to add a sweet or funny label to a hat, tote bag, or scarf. They can guarantee a smile on the face of its recipient with every use while also making the gift look more "store-bought."
Eye-catching hand stitching or embroidery can also add a bit of extra visual interest to your gifts and enhance an otherwise plain fabric. From napkins and table runners to lap quilts and garments, a bit of stitching can show off your creativity while also adding a bit of visual interest and zhuzh to your finished product. Whether it is the initials of the recipient, a simple floral or geometric design, or something more intricate, embroidery is among the most versatile tools for personalization and making your gift totally unique.
Now for our list of just a few of our favorite hand-sewn gifts. We have roughly organized them by cost/time commitment, so you can consider for whom they might be best suited. You likely won't be sewing up a new pair of pajamas for your dog walker, or giving your significant other a bookmark.
Note: For most of these gift ideas we have not included links to instructions. You likely can figure them out on your own or can find a tutorial/pattern online with a simple search. We have linked specific sewing patterns or sites for the more elaborate suggestions (watch for the underline).
Show Your Appreciation
(Token Gifts / $)
Family & Friends
(Mid-Sized Gifts / $$$)
|Spa Favorites (Sachets, Eye Pillows/Masks)||
Table Linens (Napkins, Table Runner)
Zipper or Drawstring Pouch
|Yoga Mat Bag, Bolster, Weighted Bag|
|Hand Sanitizer Holder/Keychain||Kitchen Apron (ex. Allspice Apron or Tessuti Apron)|
|Key Fob||Garden Apron (ex. Dogwood Apron)|
|Eye Glass Case||Mimosa T-Shirt|
|Cup Cozie||Hudson Pant|
Hair Headbands and Scrunchies
Dog Bandana or Fabric Toy
Baby Bib or Beanie
|Mini Tissue Holder||Sayward Raglan|
|Charger/Cord Holder||Pepin Tote|
(Small Gifts / $$)
Nearest & Dearest
(Large Gifts / $$$$)
|Scarf, Beanie, and Accessories||Pieced Lap Quilt|
|Reusable Grocery Bag||Duvet Cover|
|Reusable "Paper" Towels||Floor Pouf|
|Mesh Produce Bags||Carolyn Pajamas|
|Kitchen Trivets, Coasters, Pot Holders||Jeanne Knit PJ Set|
|Waxed Food Wraps||Wynwood Robe|
|Stuffed Toy||Lahja Unisex Robe|
|Tag Blanket||Hovea Jacket|
|Yoga Mat Sling||Fairfield Button-Up|
|Camera, Guitar, or Bag Strap||Carmanah Sweater|
|Throw Pillow or Pillow Case||Making Backpack|
|Needle Case||Firefly Tote|
|Pencil/Paintbrush Roll-Up||Sandhill Sling|
|Dog Collar or Leash|
We SEW Want To Know What You Think! We would love to hear what kind of gifts are your favorites to sew!