These are my favorite sewing stocking stuffers, especially for children who sew.
Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape
The biggest challenge for children who sew is seams. Seams are the edges of any garment. They have to be sewn, folded over, and sew again (double hem) to prevent the garment from unraveling. Seams are meant to be about 1/4″ wide. That’s a very narrow seam.
Extra wide double fold bias tape is my very favorite sewing stocking stuffer. It’s around $2-3 for each 3 yard package and it comes in beautiful colors. You can stuff quite a few in one stocking and they have multiple uses.
Some of the things I’ve used extra wide double fold bias tape for:
- Seams/hems – slide the tape right over the edge of the garment and sew one line. Simple and elegant.
- Straps for sundresses. There are hundreds of summer sundresses that have no straps, even on children’s garments. I always put straps on them. (I also have my girls wear bike shorts under their dresses for those moments when they’re running and the breeze catches their skirts).
- Lanyards – cut 24″, add a key ring with clip, and sew closed. Takes less than 10 minutes.
- Collars – collars are difficult to turn under. You can unfold one side of the bias tape and sew it to the edge, then roll under. The bias tape serves two purposes–it makes it stronger and it stops unraveling. You won’t need interfacing either.
- Underarm seams – bias tape is soft and perfect for underarm seams which can irritate sensitive skin.
- Hole repairs – sewing stores used to sell patches for mending. They don’t anymore. Bias tape makes a perfect patch and can be cut to almost any size. It also comes in some pretty convenient colors.
- Drawstring casing – I love to make pajama pants at Christmas and bias tape makes the perfect drawstring casing.
Can you ever have too much thread? Along with spools of thread, add a thread and bobbin box so the giftee can store their thread and bobbins in an organized manner.
Sewing Machine Needles
You can never have too many sewing machine needles either. A safe bet is the number 14 and number 12. Number 12 works best for kids’ clothes while 14 works well for thick cotton, corduroy, and flannel (a favorite winter fabric for my family).
Bobbins are not one size fits all. You’ll need to find a clever and secret way of discovering the giftee’s sewing machine model before you can buy the right bobbins. Children who sew become very frustrated when they’re halfway through a garment, in the middle of a seam, and the bobbin runs out. I like to have two bobbins for every thread color. That way there are no tears. Or at least no tears over bobbins.
You can never have too many straight pins. I buy them every year and still manage to break a few. I also love the magnetic holders that come in so many colors now. They make great stocking stuffers.
We use fat quarters for everything. Fat quarters are usually one fourth of a yard of fabric. Sometimes they’re odd shaped but the dimensions still come out to the equivalent of a fourth of a yard of fabric. The ones I get are all precut and prepackaged, 100% cotton, wash well, and are sturdy in beautiful colors. I use them for skirts, tops, and bags. They look especially beautiful in tiered summer skirts. We’ve made several of these and I always get asked where I bought them. 🙂
I carry at least one roll-up measuring tape in my purse at all times. I use it for everything and it takes up almost no space. It’s borrowed more than any other item in my purse. Which is probably why I have to keep buying them to replace the ones that are never returned or are lost. They carry them in the notions aisle and cost as little as $1.00.
I love buttons and so do my kids. They’ve learned to make button jewelry quite well and I have a beautiful bright collection of button rings. Lately buttons have gotten more expensive and are sometimes the last thing a seamstress will buy. Treat your little seamstress to some beautiful buttons.
Originally published on November 23, 2013.