I must have been good this year…

Well, I must have been good this year… because there were sewing goodies for me under the tree! I know I asked for sewing gifts this year – but it’s still exciting to unwrap useful, pretty and fun sewing-related goodies. Thought I’d share some of the fun sewing things I got this year, for a little Tuesday morning eye-candy!

On to the highlights!

Thread racks! Yay for organization by colour! I was so excited, I hung these up right away. I nailed them into the wall and proceeded to hang and organize all of my threads. (First, I google-searched on how to hang thread racks.)

Mine are suspended by the top crossbar, hanging on two nails. I’m thinking of adding a few nails at the bottom for extra support. Thread isn’t heavy, but I’d hate to see it come crashing down!

It’s fun to see what colours I must sew a lot – tons of blue! I don’t remember sewing a lot of pale pink, but I have lots of threads in pink, rose and fuchsia. This is so wonderful, now I’ll be able to see whether I have matching threads on hand before hitting the store.

Can you believe this is all thread purchased for projects? I don’t stash thread at all. The only thread I’ve bought that wasn’t for a project was black, white and cream. (And only when it’s on sale.)

Books! Endless hours of entertainment, information and inspiration. I’m most excited about the Tailoring book and the Party Dress book, for completely different reasons. The Party Dress Book is full of fun, frilly and ruffled goodness, full skirts and swishy petticoats, and beautiful colour combinations. I’ve had a read-through already, and there are several techniques I’m dying to try out.

The Tailoring book is full of great photos and clear explanations, and I’m looking forward to trying out some tailoring techniques this year. (When I make that fantastic knee-length coat…)

Plus now I have my own copy of Shirtmaking! From Mr Sewaholic, no doubt. Looks like there will be another men’s shirt project in my future! I’ll sew his next shirt more slowly this time, with step-by-step photo tutorials. We can all conquer our fear of sewing men’s dress shirts together!

Buttons! I’ve held two giveaways for these vintage pound bags this year, so these were a fun surprise. I’ve already poked through and picked out a few favourites. This year, I’ll have to make some dresses to match the buttons, instead of the other way around!

Pins, a chalk marker, and a beautiful piece of wool coating! I saw it in Fabricana when picking up last-minute shirt supplies for the Christmas shirt and coveted it instantly! It’s wool with a touch of lurex, in gorgeous chocolate brown and teal blue. Wouldn’t it make the perfect knee-length coat? With gold buttons, perhaps a faux-fur collar? Can’t wait to wear it!

The older I get, the more I feel like my life is complete without stuff. Christmas isn’t about racking up the gifts and hoping for a big haul. I hope you don’t see this post as bragging, or a tally of all the things I got. It’s more that I’m delighted to receive gifts that suit me, gifts that will be used and loved, and gifts that will be very useful in my new business pursuits.

Plus, I’m sharing my goodies with you guys as eye candy, as well as a sign of things to come! (Party dresses! Tailored wool-and-lurex coats! Making Trousers, perhaps!)

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas and a delightful end to the year. Good food, good company – definitely the least stressful holiday season in a long time.

Did anyone else get sewing gifts this year? Sergers? Dress forms? Books? Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend if you celebrate, or a fun few days off if you don’t!

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30 Responses to I must have been good this year…

  1. The Cupcake Goddess December 28, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    Oh that fabric is just gorgeous! It will make a lovely coat! And the books! I’m completely jealous about the Making Trousers book as I asked for it for Christmas, but did not receive it. Might just have to go buy it for myself anyway. Did get money with which I bought a….serger! Yay! I’m terribly happy about it! Oh I can’t wait for my first project to have finished edges. Sigh…Bliss….

  2. Tilly December 28, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    No excuses needed for showing off Christmas prezzies (she says, having just published such a post herself)! It’s great to have a peek into someone else’s stocking (wait – that sounds wrong), especially if they’re sewing-related gifts! Wow, such lovely things you got – and so many books! Those thread racks are particularly covetable.

  3. Laurel December 28, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    I also got The Party Dress Book for Christmas! That’s really strange, actually – I just finished my first real blog post about my mostly-sewing-related-kinda-Christmas-presents. (“Kinda” because I had to buy most of them myself…my family tends to prefer the kind of gifts that come in envelopes.)

    I envy you your thread racks. You must not have cats. I’m still trying to figure out a method of thread storage that displays the thread AND prevents the cat from climbing the thing like it’s a chainlink fence and methodically unrolling every spool.

  4. alice December 28, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    oh wow! you’re so very fortunate! Those thread racks are beautiful!

    Your comment on shirtmaking has me thinking… colette patterns negroni sewalong?

  5. auzzi December 28, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    As a matter of fact, under the tree this year I found the Pendrell blouse pattern and a gift certificate to spool of thread! I cannot wait to buy some beautiful fabric and start sewing.

  6. Amanda December 28, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    I got a dress form (!), sewing books, and gift certificates to fabric stores! And I took the 15% off I got from taking the Colette Patterns survey to buy myself the Ceylon and Cinnamon patterns :) I have a thread rack half the size of yours and it’s so handy for organization. I put the matching bobbin thread on the same “post” as the thread so I always know what bobbin goes where. Enjoy your gifts!

  7. Suzy December 28, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    Great presents! I have the tailoring an the party dress book and love them. Also planning on doing something with the wonderful things shown on the latter.

  8. Jane December 28, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    I got a dress form from my husband and a fantastic Cupcake Goddess pressing set (which was my present to myself!). I first saw the seam roll on your blog so thanks for sharing! I’m particularly envious of your thread racks and I LOVE your coat fabric. x

  9. TanitIsis December 28, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    I didn’t get a huge sewing haul, but I got pinking shears from my mother and the tailoring book as a gift to myself. I’m excited about it too! I love your thread racks, too.

    @Laurel With the cats, what about making or finding a shallow cabinet (like an old medicine cabinet) with a glass door? Remove shelves, insert thread rack… Voila!

  10. Jill/laughbutnotloudly December 28, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    I got a dress form, “Fit for Real People” and pinking shears. I can’t wait to use them all!

  11. Corinne December 28, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Your gifts are wonderful. I have learned through a long sewing career that sewing things are indeed the best present. There is always a new notion (or great vintage find) that will make your day. While I have a very large collection of all things sewing, there is always a new book that intrigues me. I am fortunate to have access to a large lending library system (Carnegie of Pittsburgh) and there has not been a book so far that I requested and could not borrow. Then after I study it, I decide if I need it for my collection. I am always amazed at someones interpretation of a technique that is different from mine. That is why sewing is so great, always something new with great respect for the old. (like me!) I keep a wish list for my friends and family to make giving easier for them…and so nice for me! Good luck everyone with all your new toys, may we all find grand creative outlets in the New Year, and thanks Tasia again for all the work you do creating this blog, Happy New Year all.

  12. Caroline December 28, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    My row of thread racks is a lot like that (except I have three, going on four now :). I really recommend drilling holes in the vertical beams (I drill four – one in each corner, but two would do at top) and mounting that way. The horizontal beams are mounted with tiny nails and sometimes just carpentry staples, and thus bound to fail eventually with weight or stress. My holes are just big enough for the screw to go through, and the head of the screw sits atop the wood up front. Looks nice and very sturdy! I think about painting the racks a vibrant color all the time. The wood is pretty, but… Wouldn’t a color be great?

  13. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) December 28, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    the thread racks look great – I have the same set up and I love to admire the rainbow-ness of the thread all organized and pretty. Books – that Fit for Real People book is amazingly handy, helps with all kinds of fitting questions.

  14. HipDroppedStitches December 28, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    I love that coating! Thank you for sharing your goodies with us. It’s helpful to see what books and tools others like to read and use!

  15. Clare December 28, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    What lovely gifts – I’m sure you’ll enjoy them! I could really use those thread racks and that wool fabric is gorgeous. I have the corset book and have found it very useful. I’d love a peek at the party dress book and to hear your verdict on it. I got yarn, since my cross-over to the dark side (knitting), and a fab new sewing box to replace my old damaged one.

  16. Liz December 28, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    What wonderful gifts from your loved ones. :) That fabric is so lovely too.

    My hubby bought me a two-wheeled tracing wheel so I can add in additional seam allowances. It’s such a simple, wonderful invention. My hub also got me the ‘Fit for real people” book. I can’t wait to sink into that one as I’m doing my muslins this week.

    I bought the tailoring book when I was doing Gertie’s Lady Grey sew-along and it was so great to read on the train to and from work every day. Tons of great illustrations and information.

    Happy Holidays to you!

  17. Susan - Knitters Delight December 28, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Santa was very happy with you!

  18. Andrea December 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    I got the Party Dress Book for Christmas also, and it has inspired me to start a full-skirted 50s dress as my next project. (FWIW — my previous two projects were Pendrell blouses.) I loved the techniques Mary Adams used in the book, and while her aesthetic isn’t exactly mine, I admire the way she approaches dressmaking as an artistic endeavor.

  19. Rebecca December 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    I got a dress form and I’m so excited about it! I already used it with a dress I’m working on…it made fixing problem spots on the back of the collar SO much easier! I also got a bunch of embroidery books that I’m really excited to play around with. That fabric is gorgeous!

  20. jadestar December 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I love that coat fabric. I’ve just ordered a couple of the books in your hoard, the Claire Shaffer one especially I’ve been wanting for a while. You’ll have to do a few book reviews as you work your way through them.
    Also, its definitely not bragging. I love seeing all the sewing related stuff people accumulate. I’ve come across some very nifty little tools that way. Plus its always fun to live vicariously.

  21. Tamsin December 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    My favourite is the material – lovely!

  22. gwen December 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    What a “sewey” Christmas! Good for you! Enjoy your new toys.

  23. Cara December 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Swoon! I love all the books! Lucky duck! I have cool couture – it is a neat book with great photos.

  24. Kristie December 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    It’s so fun to see what another sewer gets for sewing related gifts! Wow, all those great books! fun fun fun And another beautiful visual of organization. I organized my buttons like you, now I’ll have to get the thread racks… I got a serger! Yahoooo! Sooo excited for my next projects.

  25. Clare December 29, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    I saw some fabric just like that wool yesterday. Almost snapped it up but then realised that with one coat already in progress I should probably behave…

    Excited to hear about your planned series of men’s shirt posts – that will come in very useful when I start teaching my man how to make his own!

  26. Crystal December 29, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    I didn’t receive any sewing-related gifts this year, but earlier in December I used up the last of a stash of spending money to buy myself a serger, can’t wait to try something on it. And through a couple of Amazon Christmas orders for other family members I threw in a couple of sewing wish list books to make the Free Super Saver Shipping quota – Fit for Real People and Claire Schaeffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques. I am about 75 pages into the first one and it is great so far.

  27. Becky December 29, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    My main present this year was also a dress form– I’d had a store mannequin that I’d duct-taped and padded to approximately my dimensions, but it wasn’t quite right and had a tendency to fall over. So now I have a more adjustable, much sturdier one! I also got several pieces of fabric (mostly knits), “Fit for Real People” and “The Perfect Fit” (can you tell what my sewing goal for 2011 is?) Also, I have that Fabric Guide that you got–great resource.

  28. Tasia December 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Yay! Glad no one thought I was showing off – I was showing off, kind of, but more for informational purposes. So many of you got the party dress book, and several of the same books! Tons of information to absorb and savour.

    Happy Holidays and I’m glad Santa was good to you all too! :)

  29. miss 1940 January 5, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Nice to see people getting items that you know they will use christmas can be such a waste love the books and racks.

  30. amber January 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    The thread racks and that coat fabric are making me drool!