The Sara Project’s Favorite Things Gift Guide for the Home Sewist

This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Hey everyone! Christmas is nearly here and I’ve gathered some of my favorite things to add to either your own Christmas wishlist, or to give to your favorite sewist! This list is also great for birthdays, or any other gift giving occasion. Scroll down to read why I love each item on my list, and to find a direct link to each one.

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1.Brother 1034 D 3/4 Thread Serger with Differential Feed: My husband bought this serger for me for Christmas 2 years ago and it has been SUCH a game changer for my sewing projects and capabilities. I use mine to finish off my seams giving them a professional look, or to sew knit projects. I couldn’t sew without this! I haven’t had any issues with mine, it always works great. It’s also super easy to thread and use- not at all intimidating as I once thought sergers would be.

2. Slim Flex Expanding Sewing Gauge: this is something that is on my wish list this year. This sewing tool is so awesome! It’s an expandable gauge to mark button holes evenly along a garment placket, as well as mark pleats, hooks, gathers, etc- saving so much time!

3. Life Is Hard, Sewing Is Easy Tee: Another item on my wishlist is this t-shirt. I think it pretty much speaks for itself!! Need for an everyday top. Any Sewist woud love this.

4. Fiskars Micro Tip Scissors: I have a lot of scissors. A lot. I’ve found I’m constantly reaching for these guys. These small scissors are super sharp and just the right size for trimming threads, adding notches, clipping, trimming seam allowances, etc. Perfect stocking stuffer!

5. Bobbinsaver: This item is something I never knew I needed. It’s a little rubber donut, and makes for the most perfect bobbin storage holder. Bobbins fit just right into the hollowed donut slot, and all of the threads stay inside instead of unraveling into a big mess. Love my bobbinsaver!!

6. Sewist Necklace: I’ve wanted this sweet necklace ever since it launched last year. If you’re looking for a more meaningful gift, this would be perfect. It also comes in two metal options: silver or gold. Just in case my husband is reading this- I would choose the gold! 😉

7. Tulip Patchwork Glass Head Pins 60 pk: My mom has these pins and I admire them every time I walk into her sewing room. Their glass heads are not only beautiful but allow you to iron over them, they wont melt under your iron like the plastic ones tend to do. These are really great quality too. I’ve stolen a few and they have held up really nicely.

8. Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion: If you’re looking for a good book option for the sewist in your life (or yourself!), this book is a fabulous choice. Anyone that makes their own clothes will really appreciate this book. This book is eye opening and packed full of information about the world of fast fashion and consumerism. I’lll never look at H&M the same way again. It’s also helped me make better choices when it comes to working towards making most of my clothes and what I buy in stores. Okay, writing this review is just making me want to go read it again! It’s that good.

9. Fashionary Women’s A4 Sketchbook: A few months ago I was shopping with a friend and she pointed this book out to me. Husband if you’re reading this- I want this one too! This fashion dictionary, sketchbook, diary combo looks really awesome. Perfect for planning projects, and sketching out ideas. It includes blended figure templates to brainstorm and design your next sewing project.

10. Clover Chaco Liner: I used this tool with almost every sewing project. This is one tool I have to have. It’s a chalk liner pen that makes marking, well anything, super easy, clean and fast. In fact, this is what I chose to give my friends at a favorite things sewing party one year.

11. Fiskars Tabletop Fabric Shears: These scissors are a game changer, and the only ones I use for cutting out projects now. These are made for cutting along a table top (or floor if you’re like me), and the angled blades make cutting really smooth. You don’t have to slightly lift the fabric as you cut, and it keeps everything laying nice and flat during the cutting process. LOVE THESE!

12. Riley Blake Blue and Gold Magnetic Pin Bowl: I also have a magnetic pin bowl and I love it. Sometimes I throw sewing feet or small scissors into it as well when I’m transporting things around my sewing room.

13. Olfa Frosted Ruler 6″ x 12″: I got this ruler recently and I’ve found I use it all of the time. It’s the perfect size for most of my pattern alterations/hacks and also while sewing. Not too big or small, it meets a lot of my needs. It’s also really pretty with the frosted finish on it!

14. Medical Pattern Paper: Another must have for my sewing room, is medical pattern paper. I’m always hacking patterns and I’m constantly pulling this paper out. It’s great for tracing pattern pieces, and making pattern adjustments.

15. Oliso Pro TG1600 Smart Iron iTouch: I started using this iron a few months ago and it’s sooo good. Basically you can leave the metal plate laying down on your ironing board and when you let go of the handle a little foot pops up to hold the iron a few inches above the ironing board. ( very convenient to use). The steam functions are amazing, and it’s really cute too! If you’re looking for an iron upgrade or a bigger gifting option- go for this!

16. Clover Seam Ripper: if you don’t already have this seam ripper, you need it. It ergonomic shape fits perfectly into your hand, and the rubber grip makes it easy to use. Another tool I need and use with every single sewing project.

17. Sewing is My Therapy T-Shirt: These shirts kill me! I feel this way all of the time. The way sewing calms me down and clears my head is my perfect therapy!!! Love this hilarious t-shirt- great gift for any kind of sewist!

18. OttLite Craft Anywhere Rechargable LED Lamp: I’ve been on the market for a new light for my sewing room and recently found this one. What caught my eye about this one is that it’s cordless! I have so many things already plugged in under my desk I didn’t need on more thing. I love that this lamp is easy to move around to where ever you need it! It’s currently in the mail on it’s way to me!

19. Kylie and The Machine Clothing Labels: Hands down, these are the best, funniest, cutest sew in clothing labels out there, personalizing any handmade garment. There are a lot of fun options to choose fun and any sewist would love these. I have this particular pack and I’ve really enjoyed them! Another great stocking stuffer!

20. Mrs. Meyer’s Rain Water Hand Lotion: I recently started using this lotion and it smells amazing! I love using it after a sewing session when my hands feel a little dry. You’re hands are your most important tool when it comes to sewing- don’t forget to take care of them!

I hope you you find these ideas helpful for either yourself or someone you love. I feel really proud of this list, and as you’ve noticed- some of these things are also on my Christmas list this year too. Wink wink husband! 😉 Happy gift giving season everyone!

Mixed Plaid Cheyenne Button-Up

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

Every single year I make a plaid flannel button up shirt. It’s become a fall tradition! When JOANN asked me if I could make something using their Plaiditude fabrics, I knew the tradition would continue on this year! I wanted to mix things up a little bit this time around and I came up with the idea of using a few different plaids from the very plentiful plaid JOANN line up to create a unique, mixed plaid button up shirt.

I had a lot of fun choosing the fabrics and deciding where to use each of the three plaids. When I finally decided, I laid all of the pieces together on the floor to get a rough idea of the finished look.

These are the three fabrics I used for my shirt:

White and Navy Plaid, Light Blue, Navy and Mustard Plaid, Mustard, Navy and White Plaid (found in store).

Buttons and Interfacing were also found at my local JOANN stores.

I used the Cheyenne Tunic pattern by Hey June. This was my third time sewing up this pattern. (One of my tried and true patterns!). I sewed up the size XS, and straightened out the side seams from the under arm to the hemline for a more oversized look. For the shirt front, I made/drew a line across the bodice 6 1/2″ down from the center front, and added an additional 1/2″ for the seam allowance along the cut edge. I also added 1/2″ for seam allowance along the top edge of the bottom of the shirt.

I also increased the pocket size and placed the pockets where I thought they looked best instead of the following the pattern markings. Lastly, I added 3/4″ in length to the shirt bodice front and back. No other changes were made.

This fabric was great to work with. Make sure to pay attention to grain-lines while cutting out your pieces when using plaid fabrics. It can be helpful to cut out one pattern piece at a time instead of two at a time so everything is straight!

I love the blended look of this shirt! It’s an easy top to throw on with jeans and yet adds a lot of fun to the entire outfit. Did I mention how cozy it is, too?! So. Cozy.

I love this shirt tucked in on one side, or tied up in a knot, too. It would even be cute layered with a t-shirt underneath or a cute jacket on top. I’m telling you, everyone (everywhere) needs a good button up shirt in their fall wardrobe!

Thanks for reading along! For fun, I’ve linked my past fall button up shirts here, here, here and here. Happy fall sewing!

A Wilder Gown for Fall

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

Ever since The Wilder Gown was first released, it has been at the top of my to-make list. JOANN recently released this seriously gorgeous textured dark green crane fabric that is perfect for this pattern. I love the dark, moody colors with the bright contrasting cranes for a very chic, fall look.

This fabric is 100% polyester, and while I usually don’t prefer polyester fabric (like most of us), this print and texture was just too good to pass up. My only complaint is the static cling polyester fabric tends to have- but I used some static guard spray and I was good to go. Just spray some on your finished garment before wearing to eliminate any clinging.

This fabric was great to work with and has a really great thickness and weight to it. I didn’t need to line my dress, (I do have a nude skirt slip on underneath though). I personally like to wear slips under most of my dresses- hot tip to avoid lining dresses that might tend to be a little sheer in certain lighting.

Okay, now on to the wilder gown pattern. I love this dress!! It was a quick and straight forward sew. I personally enjoy using the gathering technique so overall it was an enjoyable make for me. I made the size XS and added 1″ to my bodice length and removed 1/2″ from the bottom skirt tier.

Although this dress is very voluminous, it still looks very flattering. I love the gathered neck detail with the added tie, and give me all the tiered dresses all day, everyday. This dress is a big win for my wardrobe.

The evening I took these pictures, I was headed to a Gala and the attire was black tie. I don’t really consider this to be black tie but throw on some heels and some pretty hair pins and this dress looks more formal. I’m excited to dress it down a little for church or a girls night out as well.

This is a great pattern overall, and I can’t wait to make another one. Thanks for reading along, and happy sewing!!

Cheetah Suede Pinafore Dress with JOANN

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

I am so excited to share this project with you all today. JOANN stores recently asked if I would make something using their brand new faux suede cheetah fabric and I thought of the Dani Pinafore Dress by Seamwork. I’ve had this pattern in my “patterns to make someday” folder and this faux suede was perfect for it. I don’t usually tend to go for animal prints so I was excited to try something new!

Upon finishing and photographing this dress, I now want all the animal print. I am thrilled with this cheetah print dress!

Now, it does look a little “loose” on me, but it’s made to be that way. This dress doesn’t have any closures so you simply pull it on over your head to put it on. For that reason, it does have a looser fit. You can always add a zipper to this pattern if you do desire a more fitted look.

I sewed up the size 0, my measurements being: Bust-33, Waist-27, Hips-35. I did add 6″ of length to the skirt pieces with no other modifications to the pattern. This dress is fully lined, and interesting to sew. (Interesting in a good way!). The suede fabric was fun to work with, and I felt so professional fully lining the inside of my dress. I used a brown lining fabric from my local JOANN store. Check out the “guts” of my dress below. I found using clips instead of pins to be SUPER handy with this fabric.

I would note that when using faux suede- make sure to use a low heat setting on your iron and lots of steam. I also used some linen fabric (cotton would work too) as a press cloth when ironing on the front side of the dress as to not leave any burn marks on my fabric.

It’s also very important to grade all of your seams really well to eliminate unnecessary bulk in your seams.

This faux suede fabric is machine washable (crazy, right!?). I did not prewash my fabric because I didn’t realize this until the project was finished. I might try testing a swatch through the wash and see how it goes. I plan to wear this to church or special occasions (like a rare fancy date night) so I’m mostly not too worried about it getting dirty.

I styled my Dani Pinafore dress with a black ready to wear turtle neck that I happened to have on hand, although I would have preferred to make the Nikko Top if time had permitted. I want to make a short sleeve turtle neck to pair with this dress for “California winters” ahead. I think this dress would also be super cute styled down with a white tee and black vans. Lots of fun style options here!

Overall, I’m obsessed with this cheetah dress! This fabric also comes in this gray color way. JOANN also has a really pretty cheetah/ leopard silky print and I think I need to go buy for a fun top for fall. Rawr, gimme all the animal print. Also, I really want this sweater from Madewell now, too. I went to the mall recently and lemme tell yah- cheetah/leopard print was evvverywhere. So there you go.

Thanks for being here and happy fall sewing everyone! Now go snag yourself some cheetah fabric!

Wide Wale Corduroy Chore Jacket

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

Does anyone else jump into fall mode come August? I sure do! For the past few weeks JOANN has been rolling out all of their new fall fabrics and my mind has been racing through my mental pattern catalogue trying to decide what to make with them all!

One thing my wardrobe is seriously lacking is sweaters and jackets. I’m not big on layering, and living in California I don’t need more than a light jacket most of the time. I’ve been wearing my Lonetree Jacket for the past few years and it was finally time to add a new jacket to the line up.

I have a big thing for the chore jacket trend that’s been happening lately. I love the utilitarian look, and they are a wardrobe workhorse; something I know I would wear over and over again. Queue the Julien Chore Jacket by Ready to Sew. This pattern most closely resembled what I had in mind for my jacket so I snatched it up and went to work.

I’ve also been loving the wide wale corduroy trend I noticed last winter and I freaked out when I saw it in JOANN’s new fall line up. There are so many gorgeous colors, but I went with this neutral tan color for a more minimal, laid back fall vibe. I also wanted something I would reach for over and over again and tan goes with most everything.

Okay you guys, so this fabric!!! I washed it on a normal setting, and hung it dry. I threw it in the dryer when it was just slightly still damp. When I pulled it out, it was puffy and soft and ammmazing. I was really impressed. The inside of this jacket is so soft, and it keeps me really warm for being a semi light jacket. This fabric is about 9.5 oz. in weight.

I found all of the other notions I needed for this pattern also at JOANN. I felt so happy when I found these great buttons that match this corduroy fabric almost perfectly.

This fabric has a bit of stretch to it width wise, but this wasn’t a problem for me while sewing up this jacket.

For this pattern, I sewed up a size 35. I took away 3/4″ of length. Looking back now, I still keep going back and forth on what length I would prefer. I probably could have left the pattern as is. I felt like it looked so much longer on everyone else while scouting around on Instagram. I’m am happy with this length though; I didn’t want it to be too overbearing on my small frame.

I also drafted the bottom pocket myself. I wanted to have big, square pockets like all of the traditional chore jackets I’ve been seeing. For reference, my lower pockets measured at 7.5″ wide x 10 1/4″ long including a 2″ seam allowance for the top of the pocket. I also added two breast pockets instead of one. No other modifications were made.

Paired with my jacket are these Nike sneakers, ripped 10-Inch high waist crop Madewell skinny jeans (sold out), and a Madewell Bandana.

I am so thrilled with this project, and I know it will be such a great addition to my wardrobe. I love the texture the wide wale adds to any outfit. Don’t forget to check out all of the other great colors it comes in, too! There’s a color called Atlantic Deep I was also envisioning for this jacket. You can’t go wrong!

Wishing you all the best as you begin to plan your fall sewing projects! You’re definitely going to want to take a stroll though your local JOANN for some fall sewing inspiration!

Summertime On Cloud Nine: Modal Shelby Dress with JOANN.

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago I went into JOANN looking for some thread and saw some SERIOUSLY amazing bottom weight fabrics that had just been added to the shelves. There it was. Blue dip dye 100% modal (I can’t find this fabric online but here is the item#156501, and barcode: 1641-5648)- what summer dreams are made of; I’m telling you. It also comes in a peach and white dip dye color way too. I went home and brainstormed what I could do it with it. Kelli of True Bias’s Shelby Dress instantly came to mind- a gorgeous 90’s throw back dress/romper pattern just perfect for this fabric.


It’s just dreamy! The fabric has some great weight to it, just right for this dress. (Any heavier and it would be too heavy for this pattern). I washed and dried it, and got to work. I went with the maxi length to took away 2″ to create a midi length dress. I sewed up a size 2, and just barely took it in on the side seams, and using the regular sleeve option. I also raised the front neckline by 1″, although in retrospect I wish I would have raised it about another 1/2″or so. I get a lot of questions about how to raise neckline, this is how mine looks. First I marked 1″ above the neckline and then I redrew/blended the new neckline.

The dress came together easily and this fabric was fabulous to work with. I enjoyed sewing all of the princess seam panels together, and the bust fit was really good right out of the gate. I thought for sure it would be a little big, but I think it’s just right. I have a little extra room under the arm and side seam, but not enough that it’s too big of a problem for me. It looks looser than it really is in these photo.

This dress is so fun to wear! It’s floaty and shows of my “curves” just right. I feel like it really accentuates the body, especially mine with my lack of curves. My husband commented right away at how flattering this dress is on me. Throw on a rattan bag and some sandals or strappy heels and you’re ready for summer.

My shoes and rattan circle bag are both from Target.

My wardrobe is really lacking in good summer dresses for church and I’m so excited to add this one to the line up. Happy summer sewing!

wiksten shift dress with Telio + a sewing meet up

Sewing meet-ups are one of my most favorite things. I love meeting with talented makers from all over and especially those I’ve been virtual friends with. Star from Wellfibre recently reached out letting me know she would be visiting California in July and was wondering if I would be in town to meet up. I instantly agreed to meet her. We’ve been friends on Instagram for a few years now, and recently started chatting through Marco Polo, so I was thrilled we would get to meet up in person.

I really love Star’s personal style, and the way she puts outfits together. I find myself constantly inspired by her makes!

A few weeks before the meet up we decided to sew something for the occasion, and agreed on the Wiksten Shift Dress. It worked out that we both had fabric in our stash that paired well together and also worked for the Fourth of July. Her lovely sister photographed us together with our dresses.

This is my first time sewing the Wiksten Shift dress pattern. Worried about how shapeless the pattern is, I sized down one size to XS. I also sewed the side seams at 5/8ths seam allowance. I made the long version and cut off about 1 1/2″ off the bottom (mostly because I couldn’t fit the pattern on my fabric).

The fabric I used is this gorgeous white with red and blue stripes rayon linen from Telio. They recently gifted this fabric to me and I’ve been waiting for the perfect project to make with it. It washes up beautifully and is a dream to work with.

I was so nervous this dress would be huge on me, but add the waist tie and it is LOVE! The design is so simple and yet just right. It’s comfortable, and also flattering. It’s also cute paired without the waist tie but for my smaller frame I feel slightly drowned without the tie.

I played with the stripes a little by cutting out the back yoke and pockets horizontally for a little contrast.

Shout out to Telio for gifting this fabric to me, and to Star’s sister, Breea, for the gorgeous photos! This was such a fun meet up which also included dinner with Elise Joy and Alina of Alina Design Co. down in San Diego.

Telio has very generously offered to give away 3 meters of this amazing fabric to one randomly chosen winner. Head over to my Instagram account to enter! Winner will be chosen this Wednesday, July 10th, at 10:00 am PDT!