10 amazing gifts using a sewing machine

The best gifts are the heartfelt ones made with love. No one said a store-bought gift is a bad idea, but people seem to appreciate handmade gifts more because of the thought and energy put into it. If you want to give a gift that is thoughtful, beautiful and doesn’t break the bank, keep reading to see creative options.

#1 Potluck bowl cover

A reusable fabric cover will help anyone carry dishes to a family event or social gathering in style. It’s so easy to make these that we recommend creating a set of 4 – 6 covers as a gift set.

Who is it for

Grandmothers and mothers who cook for gatherings.

What you will need

– Large fabric square

– Double fold tape

– Rotary cutter

– Thin elastic

– Safety pin

– Sewing machine

How to make it

– Place a guide bowl on the fabric and cut a circle about 2 inches wider than the bowl.

– Sew the bias tape around the edge of the fabric. Leave a safety pin-sized space.

– Measure and cut elastic. Stick a safety pin in it and thread the bias tape. Stitch the edges together and close the space in the bias tape.

#2 Mishmash neck pillow

You can mix up the design of this gift to fit the receiver. It can be a solid color, single pattern or patchwork. You can also fill it with fiberfill or rice for more flexibility.

Who is it for

An avid traveler.

What you will need

– Travel neck pillow pattern

– Fabric fragments

– Stuffing (fiberfill or alternative)

– one-sided fusible fleece

– Basic sewing gear

– Scissors

How to make it

– Print out the pillow pattern. Place it on a large piece of fabric and cut out a back piece.

– Cut fabric fragments into equal squares and lay them out.

– Using a layout that fits your pillow pattern, sew the squares together to form rows. Sew the rows together to make 1 piece.

– Use the back piece to cut out the front piece from the patchwork layout.

– Apply fusible to the wrong side of the back piece. Repeat for the front piece.

– Lay both pieces right sides together and pin down. Stitch all around leaving a 3 inch opening for stuffing.

– Turn right side out and press the seams.

– Stuff the pillow and close up the opening with a hand stitch.

#3 Bohemian phone case

Not every sewing gift has to be made out of cloth. This simple rustic leather phone pouch is easy and stylish. You can use scrap leather from an old project or repurpose an old handbag.

Who is it for

A simple and elegant lady.

What you will need

– 7-inch white lace

– Some pieces of leather

– White cotton yarn

– Magnetic button

– Leather glue

– Eyelet punch

How to make it

– Cut two pieces of leather to your desired size of the pouch.

– Layer them and punch holes along the sides and bottom.

– Fasten both pieces together with the yarn stitch.

– Cut a piece of leather for the pocket closing and glue it to the back of the pouch.

– Measure the placing of the button and glue it down. Cover the inner with a piece of cloth so it doesn’t scratch the phone.

– Measure, cut and glue on the decorative lace to finish.

#4 Leather trim laptop carrier

You can use faux leather or the real deal on this gift and pair a color combination that will suit the personality of the receiver. You can also make this to specific dimensions for their laptop.

Who is it for

Anyone who has a laptop.

What you will need

– Colored canvas

– Fabric lining

– Leather scrap

– ΒΌ inch thick foam

– Button

– Rotary cutter

– Binding clips

How to make it

– Cut leather and canvas to desired dimensions. Make 2 pieces each.

– Use the binding clips to hold leather and canvas together. Stitch each set together.

– Use aΒ  round cutting guide to round off the bottom of the leather edges.

– Lay both sides right side together and stitch the edges together except the top.

– Trim the seam allowance and notch the edges. Turn the pouch right side out.

– Cut 2 pieces each of fabric lining and foam. Pin the foam on the wrong side and round the bottom corners. Stitch together to make lining and trim allowance.

– Slide the lining into the case wrong sides together.

– Cut a leather strip and slip 1 inch in between the lining and pouch. Stitch the top lining of the pouch closed including the strap.

– Measure the button and cut a hole in the strap. Stitch the button to the pouch and clasp shut.

#5 Scarf with hidden pocket

Scarf with hidden pocket

Not every lady wants to walk around with a purse all day. This unique gift will serve in cold weather, spruce up style and provide an extra pocket for accessories.

Who is it for

A stylish lady who doesn’t carry purses.

What you will need

– Basic sewing gear

– Exterior fabric

– Interior lining

– Zip

How to make it

– Cut both fabrics to your desired size and length.

– Position the zip on the outside of the scarf and sew one side down.

– Layer the fabrics right sides together, pin down and sew. Leave the zip open.

– Trim the seam allowance and edges. Pull through the zip to turn right side out.

– Pin along the bottom of the zip and sew to create a pocket.

#6 Kid’s quilted chess set

Kids can forget about flimsy boards and feeble chess pieces with this wonderful gift set. It can double as a checkers board too.

Who is it for

Kids who love chess

What you will need

– Flannel quarters in 4 colors

– Thread

– Bottle caps

– Wax paper or sharpie

How to make it

– Pick 2 colors for the checkered board and cut out 4 strips each. Stitch the long side of opposite colors together. Repeat in alternating colors with the other strips.

– Cut patched strips crosswise into 8 strips. Flip the strips around to form a chessboard design and stitch together again.

– Cut a back piece from a third flannel. Pin it to the chessboard and stitch.

– Bind the chessboard with the fourth flannel.

– Draw chess symbols on the bottle caps.

#7 Reversible mishmash bag

If you have plenty of leftover fabric from working on different sewing projects, you don’t have to throw them away! This gift requires different styles to achieve that patchwork look.

Who is it for

Adults and teenagers.

What you will need

– Different fabrics

How to make it

– Cut 32 squares out of different fabrics (2 squares per fabric) and split them into 2 sets.

– Sew 4 rows of 4 squares each. Press seams in the same direction and sew all 4 rows together. Press seams open.

– Repeat for the second set of squares.

– Sew the right side together, cut the bottom corners and turn the bag out.

– Cut out 2 pieces of fabric for cords casing. Fold and sew them to the top of the bag

– Cut 2 squares for the reversed side.

– Lay them right sides together and sew 2 edges. Cut the corners and insert into your bag. Line one open edge with the top of the bag and sew to secure.

– Turn right side out through the last opening. Stitch the opening close by hand.

Prepare 2 long cords and thread the cord casing. Knot the edges together.

#8 Patchwork quilt

This is another amazing use of scrap fabric. The dimensions used here are for a 64-inch x 80-inch quilt. Measurements can be tweaked to achieve a bigger or smaller size.

Who is it for

Anyone as a Christmas gift

What you will need

– 160 print fabric squares (4 Β½ inches)

– 20 solid fabric squares (2 Β½ inches)

– 20 white fabric squares (2 Β½ inches)

How to make it

– Pair each solid fabric with a white fabric. Sew together to make 20 strips. Press seams.

– Cut each strip into 16 pieces of 2 Β½ inch x 4 Β½ inch to make 320 pieces. Sew 2 pieces each together. This will make 160 pieces with 4 patch blocks.

– Match each set of patch blocks with 1 set of print fabric. Sew together and press seams.

– Assemble the pieces into 20 rows of 8 blocks. Pin the seams up.

– Sew everything together to finish up.

#9 Cushioned camera strap

This customized camera strap is not only cushioned for comfort, but you can also personalize the style with any fabric to fit the receiver.

Who is it for

A photographer or camera lover

What you will need

– Printed fabric

– Solid color fabric

– Matching thread

– Thin fusible fleece

– Scissors

– Iron

How to make it

– Cut 1 piece each of printed and solid fabric. Place them right sides together and sew the long edges. Put aside.

– Cut 1-inch fusible fleece. Make it 2 inches shorter and 1 inch thinner than the other fabrics. Place at the center of the sewn fabrics, on the solid color side and press with an iron.

– Allow hot fleece to cool. Turn right side out and press the seams.

– Tuck in the opened edges and sew down.

– Fold the strap in half lengthwise. Make sure the printed fabric is outside.

– Sew down the open edges.

#10 Sunglass case

Sunglasses can be quite expensive. You can put a pair in this case or gift only the case to a friend who desperately needs them.

Who is it for

A fan sunglasses

What you will need

– 2 matching fabric scraps

– fusible fleece

How to make it

– Cut each fabric into 2 matching rectangles. Lay right sides together and pair with a fusible fleece cut Β½ inch smaller on all sides.

– Fuse the fleece with the fabric and sew down all sides except one short side.

– Turn one rectangle right side out and stuff it into the other rectangle which is still wrong side out.

– Match the top edges and sew it around. Leave some space for turning.

– Turn everything right side out and stuff the inner lining square into the outer square

– Fold it flat and stitch around the top.

ConclusionA close up of someone's hands as the sew a gift using their sewing machine.

Do you know how to sew? Do you know somebody who can? If you said yes to either one of those questions, you will never lack thoughtful gifts to give your friends and family. There are so many things you can sew for different occasions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a birthday, Christmas, Halloween or you’re in the gift-giving spirit without an occasion, hand-sewn gifts will always do the trick. Take inspiration from our list and get sewing!

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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