The Ultimate 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Sewists

‘Tis the season for giving (especially to your favorite sewist). Our staff at Cate’s Sew Modern has compiled a list of some customer favorites and items on their own wish lists! Some items are too large to ship and are only available in-store. Items available online are followed by a “Buy Now” button. Happy Shopping!

1) Wooly Felted Ironing Mat

Wooly Felted Ironing Mat

Get your quilting blocks done twice as fast! The wool wicks moisture from the air and radiates moist heat from below, pressing your blocks from the bottom at the same time as you press from above. These Wooly Felted Ironing Mats from Wooly Felted Wonders also have a Teflon pressing sheet on the bottom that reflects heat up, and act as a moisture barrier for your surface below.

Go All Out and Complete your Ironing Set!

Reliable Iron – Staff Favorite

Reliable Irons

We don’t know about you, but it drives us crazy when our steam irons drop white bits all over our projects because of the mineral build up, or drips/spits water on your project and ironing board. We promise there’s a better way, and it will change your life.

The Reliable Irons are made with a separate steam condenser reservoir, so it comes out as true steam, not water that gets turned into steam from the heat of the soleplate! No more dripping, spitting, or hissing – it’s the iron we use in our store, and the only iron we recommend. In the words of one of our employees, “I’m obsessed. It’s the best iron I’ve ever used, like, EVER… I usually hate ironing! …I think I’m in love with it…” We couldn’t agree more!  Reliable has just released a new generation of these irons, simplifying them and including a sensor handle that activates steam, a manual override for constant heat, and many more features.

Flatter Spray

Flatter Spray

While we’re on the subject of making ironing easier, let’s talk about Flatter by Soak. It’s a starch-free, wrinkle-relaxing, fabric freshening, smoothing spray! Use it on some of those more stubborn wrinkles and creases (like the where the fold is on your fabric off the bolt).

Misting Spray Bottle

We always pair Flatter with our Misting Spray Bottles. They aerosolize any ironing aid (whether Best Press or Flatter), applying the product finely and evenly, conserving product while saving money and time!  These aerosol bottles make one bottle of Flatter last, in our experience, 4-6 times longer!

2) Stocking Stuffers

Rose Gold Sewing Kit

A compact rose gold mending and sewing kit is perfect for any on-the-go fixes you may need. Smaller than the size of your palm, it tucks perfectly into interior purse pockets!

Unicorn Tape Measure

As the saying goes: measure twice, cut once. This unicorn tape measure will make you want to measure over and over again!

Tula Pink Hardware

These Tula Pink tools will quickly become your favorite hardware set! With bold, bright reflective colors created by the high-quality German anodized steel, you’re going to love them as soon as you use them. We can vouch for that:  our favorite in-store pair of fabric shears are from this collection!

Stash n' Store

Who hasn’t spent way too much time rummaging for a notion in drawers, mugs and tins? For organizing tools, we love the Stash n’ Store, whose magic lies in its colorful floral “weave” of soft silicone, which keeps your hard-to-find tools accessible and easy to grab. It holds everything from scissors to seam rippers with ease.  The Stash n’ Store comes in several yummy colors to match your mood and decor.

Go All Out and Add a Custom Stocking Ornament!

Stocking Ornament Pattern

Stocking Ornament Pattern

We remember the days of hand sewn stockings made with love and care, embroidered with a curly name.  Why not bring that tradition back in a miniature way? Joyful from Cotton Way by Bonnie Olaveson shows you how to make small 4”x7” stocking ornaments, personalized for each person in your household, and perfect to stuff in their larger stocking!

3) EverSewn Sparrow Sewing Machines – Customer Favorite

EverSewn Sewing Machines

The perfect beginner series, the EverSewn Sparrow 15 and Sparrow 20 machines are a cinch to learn on! The Sparrow 15 features 32 different stitches and comes with 4 presser feet. It is a mechanical model without the computer control, with two dials on the front to adjust your stitches. The Sparrow 20 model is a computerized model that has 80 stitches programmed in with 15 different needle positions, while still being very simple to master.  With adjustable speed, tacking, needle up/down feature and a start/stop button option instead of using the foot pedal, this model is our favorite to use in-store. It even comes with 7 different presser feet! Imagine being ready to take your next step in sewing and unwrapping such a beautiful, easy to use machine! Can you say “best gift ever”?

Go All Out to Start Sewing on Christmas Morning!

Aurifil Thread

Aurifil Thread

You’re going to want to make sure you pick up some thread for your new machine! Whatever your project, Aurifil has so many different colors to choose from, you’re sure to find your perfect match! But why Aurifil? We choose Aurifil because it’s a lint-free, ultra-strong, high-sheen cotton thread that comes in weights ranging from ultra-fine for hand-stitched needle-turn applique to highly visible sashiko weight. We also love that they have a sustainability partnership with Plastic Bank, which aims to clean up plastic waste from our oceans while providing valuable opportunities for people living in poverty.

4) Fat Quarter Bundles

Fisherman's Village Fat Quarter Bundle

That shiny new sewing machine isn’t going to do any good without something to sew! Fat Quarter Bundles are the perfect pair for a new sewist! With every print and colorway of an artist’s entire collection, or hand-curated by staff to play well together,  a bundle can form the basis of dozens of quilts that are designed just for this 18” x 22” size of fabric.  You can use fat quarter bundles for everything from quilting to masks to cosmetic kits to scrunchies!

Go All Out and Start Quilting

EASY Fat Quarter Pattern

Book Nerd Quilt Pattern

And one way to get started with that bundle?  An EASY Fat Quarter Pattern – The Book Nerd by Angela Pingel. Book Nerd is a fat quarter friendly design, aimed at advanced beginner sewists. It requires 20 fat quarters (plus a little extra fabric for details and backing) to sew a complete quilt!

5) Infinity Scarf Kit

Infinity Scarf

It’s getting cold outside! When the temperature dips, warm clothing and accessories are always appreciated. The infinity scarf kits come with a pre-cut piece of cuddle fabric for a fluffy and luxurious scarf. Easy to sew, and even easier to gift! Makes a perfect pre-made gift, or wonderful as a kit for the DIY-er in your life. Your little sewist will love this kit!

Go All Out and Make Multiple Scarves

Additional Cuddle Fabric

Boa Cuddle Fabric

Maybe the kit doesn’t have quite the color you’re looking for, or maybe you want to make more than one! We have some fluffy fabrics that are best-sellers for making infinity scarfs! Our Boa pattern is perfect for a more sophisticated look, and the Pink is a hit with our sewists with sass.

6) Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

We’re all about safe blade handling at Cate’s, and so we love to recommend the Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter. It features a self-retracting blade and safety button, so accidents become a thing of the past! It’s also designed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue, so you can spend more time crafting!

Go All Out and Upgrade your Cutting System

Fiskar’s Rotary Cutter – Staff Favorite

Fiskars Rotary Cutter/Ruler Combo

This is it, the creme-de-la-creme for both safety and precision.  If you’ve ever been to visit us in store, and envied our fabric cutters, envy no more! Cut straight and true every time with a transparent 6.5” x 24.5” ruler integrated with a 45 mm blade. It’s a ruler and rotary cutter all in one! Once you cut with it, you’ll never want to go back to your old mat and rotary blade setup. Trust us.  Invest in the ultimate safety AND precision.

7) Masks

Stack of Masks

It wouldn’t be 2020 if we didn’t mention masks as a wonderful (and easy) holiday gift. The best-made non-medical grade masks all share some common features:  

  1. a high thread count cotton (120 -225 thread count is as high as it goes; please note that sheets claiming 400 – 600 thread count are cheating by using poorer quality threads and then counting plies within a thread as separate.  They are actually quite hard to breathe through) 
  2. Two layers of woven fabric and a third layer between the two that is non-woven and integrated into the whole mask
  3. ⅛” elastic or cording 
  4. A nose bridge that prevents air escape and fogging at the top
  5. Adjustable silicone stoppers that keep the sides of the mask from leaking air as well

We carry all these items, along with fat quarters of high thread-count fabrics, so you can make mask kits or masks for your loved ones. As for the best non-woven lining, we love Pellon Red Dot Tracing Material – Staff Favorite – it is 100% polyester, is much less stiff than traditional interfacing, and sew-in so you don’t have glue to breathe through.  Just like cotton, it can be washed and dried indefinitely.  Quilting cotton has a high thread count, and makes for sturdy masks with fun designs. With so many different patterns, you’re sure to find the perfect design for your giftee! 

Just a reminder: we are not doctors, please check the CDC mask guidelines for the most up-to-date information regarding mask materials and recommendations.

Go All Out with Custom Made Mask Designs

Mask Up! Fabrics

Mask Up Fabric

Looking for cute mask fabric that your little ones will want to keep on their faces? Look no further than Mask Up from Paintbrush Studios! The featured animals range from sharks and bears, to kitties and bunnies, to elephants and zebras – all wearing their own tiny masks!

Ruby Star Society Mask Panels – Staff Favorite

Ruby Star Society Masks

For the most playful and hip mask aficionados/as, a panel from Ruby Star Society (which has two styles:  pleat and curved) or Stacey Iest Hsu’s cut and sew masks designs (in two pleat-style sizes) are the perfect fit. Comprised of iconic designs from these designers, there is sure to be a design (or few) and mask style that you love!  Specially-made of 200 thread-count cotton with directions printed right on the 36” panel.

8) Kylie and the Machine Tags

Kylie and the Machine Tags

You worked so hard on your handmade creations, why not add a witty and/or loving tag so the recipient can show off your handmade masterpiece? Kylie and the Machine makes wonderfully hilarious “handmade” tags that will fit the personality of any sewist! Our personal favorite is the Sweary Sewist multipack (for those sewists with attitude).

Go All Out with Handmade

Clothing Patterns

Dress Pattern

We offer patterns, in a wide range of sizes, from independent designers based in Australia, New Zealand, France, Finland, the UK, and of course, the US that will delight beginners and accomplished sewists alike.  Whether you like sewing for kids, men or women, we have too many to list!

9) Purse or Bag Patterns – Customer Favorite

Bag Pattern

Why not gift a gift they can use all year round? We have a multitude of purse and bag patterns that have become best-sellers and staff-favorites alike. We are confident they’ll become yours too!

Go All Out and Sew Professional

Cork Fabric – Staff Favorite

Cork Fabric

Add that professional touch to your homemade bag or purse and use cork fabric! It’s so simple to work with, and gives your item a sturdy look and feel, all without having to use additional interfacing. It’s vegan, it’s waterproof, it’s easier to sew with than leather, it has nicer finishes, and it’s incredibly easy to clean!  We know you’ll love it, which is why we recommend it with our bag patterns!

Hardware Kits

Hardware Kits

The piece-de-resistance of any bag or purse is the hardware the comes with it! We offer specific hardware items as well as hardware kits created specifically for individual bag patterns. We even have zippers in every color, and magnetic closures! It’s so simple to make a professional looking bag for the ultimate holiday gift.

10) Zirkel Magnet

Zirkel Magnet

Go on a journey with us: you’re trucking along on your project, as your fabric feeds through your machine, you take a pin out and try to place it back in your pincushion – oh no! – you hear the light tinkling sound of a pin bouncing out of sight, waiting to be discovered by being stepped on. We don’t think this is acceptable at all! The Zirkel was invented to eliminate this classic sewing annoyance.  It easily picks up any dropped pins or needles, just turn the magnet upside down and sweep the floor the way those people at the beach do with their metal detectors.  Your floor will be safe for little feet in a flash. The super strong magnet is also designed to lay objects out in a sunburst pattern, pinheads out, making whatever you need easier and safer to grab! 

Go All Out for Heavy Duty Projects

Clover Wonder Clips – Staff Favorite

Clover Wonder Clips

If you’re interested in the Zirkel, you clearly already have pins, but sometimes pins aren’t so great — e.g., holding bias tape or a quilt binding in place, or items such as leather or cork where pin holes damage the material. Wonder Clips from Clover will change the way you craft. They have amazing hold power, and even markings on them for seam allowances. They clip instead of pin, so no more skewed fabric, sewing over pins or struggling through thick interfacing! These clips allow you to sew with ease – we use them in the store for clipping all of our fabric bolts in place, and they even hang on through the wash when we mistakenly wear them home! 

11) Cut and Sew Kits

Cut and Sew Farm

Still looking for that perfect gift for a little one in your life? We have adorable cut and sew panels that are designed to be as simple as it sounds. Cut along the outline of the doll, farm, or animal, sew both sides together, stuff and finish! It couldn’t be simpler. You’ll gift a handmade toy that any little crafter will love.  Instructions are right on the panel.  For a special treat, add a little lavender flower to the stuffing for a good night’s sleep.  Don’t forget to pick up some Poly-fil while you’re at it, a good toy needs good stuffing!

12) Gift Card to Cate’s Sew Modern

Not sure what to give? That’s okay, we’ve got your back. Our gift cards are valid for in-store use and can be used on anything – even classes when they start up again! For the sewist who is a little bit pickier, or for the collector who’s always looking for the next standout fabric for their stash – this is a wonderful gift for anyone! 

We have something for everyone at Cate’s and we are so excited to share the joy of crafting and sewing with you! As of writing, our store hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. On Thursday, December 24th we will be open from 10am – 3pm for any last minute gifts. We are closed on Christmas day.  (The same hours will hold true for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).

Our online Etsy store is open 24 hours, but keep in mind shipping deadlines!  Everything has slowed during the pandemic, especially during the holiday walk-up.   When possible, curbside delivery is the best option.  Just use the promo code CURBSIDEPICKUP and no shipping charges will be applied.  We ship through USPS, and do our best to ship out all items quickly and efficiently, though of course we cannot be responsible for delays and lost parcels.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Especially at the end of this incredibly challenging year, we could all use a little holiday cheer.  Happy Crafting!

The Team at Cate’s Sew Modern

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