Strangely enough, one of my least favorite things about Christmas is the pressure to get the perfect gift for everyone. Bridget Jones' Diary expresses it best:
Dread the exchange of presents with friends as, unlike with the family, there is no way of knowing who is and isn't going to give and whether gifts should be tokens of affection or proper presents, so all becomes like hideous exchange of sealed bids...Ugh. Would that Christmas could just be, without presents. It is just so stupid, everyone exhausting themselves, miserably hemorrhaging money on pointless items nobody wants: no longer tokens of love but angst-ridden solutions to problems...What is the point of entire nation rushing round in a bad mood preparing for utterly pointless Taste-of-Others exam which entire nation fails and gets stuck with unwanted merchandise as fallout? Why not make it that everyone must go out and spend £500 on themselves then distribute the items among their relatives and friends to wrap up and give to them instead of this psychic-failure torment?Which I realize sounds horribly Grinch-y of me. But really, I'd love for Christmas to just be about gathering with loved ones and singing Christmas carols and eating yummy food and celebrating the birth of Christ. And now I'm going to be really hypocritical (but not, too, as this list makes things abundantly clear, thereby rectifying the Taste-of-Others exam anxiety) and share what I'd like this Christmas. These are all things that I think sewists would love, very useful-type tools, but if you're anything like me, haven't purchased for yourself because you already have an inferior tool that you feel like you should just make do with.
Clover Chaco Liner, Pen Style: for tracing and making lines and marking darts and things; I keep trying to make do with the cheapy fabric pencils from Joann's, but they pull at fabric and the lines don't show up well, but simultaneously are really hard to erase. Which is like the worst combination ever. Anyway, these chalk pens have refills in different colors, so you can use them no matter what color fabric you're working on. I vote for yellow just because I don't think I'll ever sew anything that shade.
Grabbit Magnetic Pincushion: I have two(!) of those ubiquitous tomato pincushions, but my pins spend half their lives in a little pile on my desk or on the ironing board because I can't be bothered to stick them back into the tomato, only to have to wrestle them out one-handed while pinning. With a magnetic pincushion, not only can you drop the pins on and have them stick and stay while sewing, you can wave the whole thing over your floor like a pin vacuum! My husband and has definitely found his fair share of pins in unexpected locations.
Now if you were married to Handmade Ryan Gosling, that wouldn't be a problem, but that's neither here nor there.
3. Some kind of thread rack: I have all my spools of thread stuffed into an old tea box, and I have to go digging through it every time I need to find a certain color. Also, I have three different red spools because every time I'm at Joann's, I don't remember having any. This rack means that you can see all your threads at once and remember what you have. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the $5 thread rack I saw at a thrift store right before we moved, but at the time I thought packing it would be too much trouble.
4. Tailor's ham and seam roll: Again, I try to make do with my normal ironing board, but things get tricky. I keep telling myself I'll make a set one day, but why would I want to stuff a thing with sawdust (where do you even get it?!) when I could be making a dress instead? This way, I tell myself, independent artists get support.
5. Fabric store gift certificates: Because the stash always has room, no matter what husbands say. Or you could just go ahead and buy me some nice wool or lace trim, but with a gift certificate the sewist gets to pick!
So that's my peasly little round up of practical, but still a bit of a splurge gifts for a sewist. They all fall into the category of gosh-that'd-be-nice-but-I-can't-justify-the-expense-when-I-have-a-mostly-serviceable-if-not-ideal-equivalent-at-home, with the exception of #5. Although I guess #5 falls into the category of yes-I-make-most-of-my-dresses-from-old-bedsheets-but-just-once-it'd-be-nice-to-make-winter-appropriate-dresses-with-some-embellishment.
Knitter's Gift Basket" that enables a family to clothe themselves through alpacas, sheep, and angora rabbits. Alternately, One Mango Tree empowers women in Uganda by giving them jobs; they make some lovely clothes and accessories. I know it's too late to order in time for Christmas, but I'm a firm believer in New Year's presents!
Tomorrow: my "anything goes" dress. And believe me, it's a prime example of what happens when you tell me that anything goes.