From a Sewist, With Love: Handmade Gift Ideas & Tips

From a Sewist, With Love: Handmade Gift Ideas & Tips

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. 

Handmade Zipper Pouches from Scraps

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!

Sandhill Sling Bag with Metal Label

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.

Be sure to also check out our additional gift guide article for creative ways you can bundle some of these handmade gifts with a few thoughtful store-bought items to create the perfect present!

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


Linden Sweatshirt

Hair Headbands and Scrunchies

Tabor V-Neck

Dog Bandana or Fabric Toy

Coram Top

Pin Cushion

Ogden Cami

Baby Bib or Beanie

Eastwood Pajamas
Mini Tissue Holder Sayward Raglan
Charger/Cord Holder Pepin Tote

Being Friendly

(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
Fabric Basket
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!

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