Getting Inspiration for Sewing Gifts

I love to make gifts, but I have to have the right inspiration. A little inspiration and a lot of confidence can go a long way (and when I say confidence, I want to be 250% certain that the gift I am taking the time to make will be cherished and prized by the recipient.)

  The cardigan, high-heel Mary Jane, and black
boot were my favorite gift tags!

But when I had to come up with a gift project for Stitch Gifts 2012, I completely froze. Give me a garment to design any day of the week and I will give you back three. But don't ask me to develop a gift accessory.

In fact I put more time into developing this project than almost anything I can remember in a long time. It was even narrowed down for me by the type of project that was needed. My assignment: A gift tag.

Now that seems pretty simple, right? Well, some people (probably with extensive art training) can spew out 101 gift tag ideas in a matter of minutes. I was stumped. From the beginning, I settled on felted wool. But, try as I could, I didn't know what shape I wanted and how I would embellish it.

After gnawing on this conundrum for far too long, I had a breakthrough. I was just trying to fit my square peg into a round hole. I needed an access point for turning felted wool into a gift tag, and for me that access point was fashion.

Once I thought of my gift tags as a fashion project, there was no stopping me. I drew templates of fashion wardrobe items. I layered the felt with silk organza to give it a soft sheen. Then I embellished with vintage buttons, pretty ribbon, perle cotton, and glass beads. I worked nonstop all weekend, completely enthralled. In short, I started having fun.

It's true that as the season of giving starts to weigh upon us, it can feel a bit overwhelming. All I can say is: Remember to have fun! Because if handmade gifts aren't fun, what's the point?

Happily, Stitch Gifts 2012 is now available for pre-order in the Sew Daily Shop, and you will get more than enough inspiration (51 projects!), plus the step-by-step instructions that will give you confidence to make them beautifully.

Have you ever run into trouble in making a gift for someone? I would love to hear about.

Happy stitching!



Other sewing topics you may enjoy:



About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.