Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
If you’re like me, you love putting thought, time, and effort into creating unique gifts for Christmas and birthdays. Especially if you’re a crafty sewer, it seems wasteful to spend money on disposable items when you can easily sew a high quality alternative.
I’ve found the best gifts to sew for friends that hit the sweet spot between cute and practical, with enough variety to find the perfect gift for everyone. The projects are suitable for sewers from beginner to intermediate, and the end results are oh sew cute!
20 Unique Gift Ideas to Sew for Friends
1. Upcycled Sari Fabric Gift Bag
Most gift bags on the market are standard and easily forgotten, serving their purpose of holding a gift and then quickly thrown away. I love projects that are environmentally friendly, and these gift bags hit the mark and are also super cute!
The gift bag kit includes recycled sari fabric and an easy to follow sewing pattern to create vibrantly bright and sustainable bags. The Upcycled Sari Fabric Gift Bags are adorable, and you can easily fill them with candles, sweets, or other small items to create a wonderful gift for friends.
2. Fabric Scrap Bookmarks
I love curling up with a good book and spending hours turning the pages and getting immersed in the story. However, like many, I have a bad memory and often lose my page if I put down the book. If your friends are also voracious readers, there’s nothing better to make for them than adorable, hand sewn bookmarks.
These bookmarks are made from scrap fabric, which is perfect if you have a lot left over from other projects. They have a simple but attractive design that is suitable for beginners, making the Fabric Scrap Bookmarks an accessible project. They’re definitely an excellent gift to sew for friends who love books.
3. The Sew Sari Placemat
If your friends love vintage decor, they will delight in these simple but beautiful placemats made from recycled sari fabric. The simple sewing pattern makes this one of the easiest gifts to sew for friends, but the unique and high quality fabric makes the placemats look truly professional.
The kit includes enough fabric for just one placemat, but you can easily grab some more and whip up an entire set. Many premade placemats are made of tacky plastic or run of the mill fabric, but the Sew Sari Placemats add the perfect touch of style and personality to any dining table.
4. Sunglasses Case
Summer is one of the most stylish seasons of the year, with gorgeous swimsuits, sundresses, and trendy sunglasses to top off a look. Sunglasses are one of my favorite accessories but resting them on top of your head or through your clothes damages the frames over time.
A cute Sunglasses Case is a great gift to sew for summer-loving friends who want to keep their shades in mint condition. This pattern is simple enough to be completed in just 10-15 minutes but looks great and keeps the frames and lenses safe for the whole season.
5. Rustic Christmas Trees
I’m one of those people who simply loves Christmas. I spend hours putting up the tree and covering my entire house in decorations just to get in the festive spirit. If your friends are like me, they’ll love receiving these vintage-style decorations sewn by you.
This design is more suited to intermediate sewers and you’ll need a sewing machine handy to get the job done. Armed with soft sari silk and nettle yarn, you can sew Rustic Christmas Trees that will look gorgeous hanging on your friend’s tree or mantelpiece.
6. Indygo Junction Infinity Pocket Scarf
World travellers know how tricky it is to hit the sweet spot between fashionable and functional. We’ve all seen the backpackers with their adventure gear and money bags strapped to their body, avoiding petty theft but compromising their style at the same time. This pocket scarf is a great gift to sew for friends who love to travel light and look great doing it.
The pattern is easy enough to follow for beginner and intermediate sewers, with a hidden pocket that can easily hold money and a passport. The IndyGo Junction Infinity Pocket Scarf pattern is also extremely chic, making it ideal for winters at home too.
7. Multi-Pocket Gardening Apron
There’s never a bad time to be in the garden! Whether you love cultivating sweet-smelling roses or growing your own vegetables for delicious soups, there’s nothing more satisfying than putting your hands in the earth. If your friend is a green thumb, there’s no better gift to sew for them than a gardener’s apron.
The Multi-Pocket Gardening Apron can hold all gardening tools and seeds and looks darn cute doing it, with layered fabrics and a playful design. The apron can be sewn in an hour and has adjustable straps, making it perfect for any gardening friends.
8. The Sew What Box
If you’re like me, come Christmas time you have an endless list of friends and family to get gifts for. Rather than get stuck in the Christmas shopping rush, I prefer to arrange gifts all throughout the year.
This beginner-friendly subscription kit helps you to work on all kinds of gifts to sew for friends, from a duffel bag, to an attractive table runner, or fabric flowerpots. Each month the Sew What Box includes all the fabric and patterns, allowing you to expertly create beautiful gifts for your loved ones.
9. Soft Baby Photo Book
A baby’s first months and years are full of the most precious memories. Parents will look back fondly on these times for the rest of their lives and there’s nothing better to immortalize memories than a photo book. If your friends are expecting or have just had a baby, a photo book is a considerate gift to sew for them.
This project is suitable for beginners, with simple instructions and all included fabric. The Soft Baby Photo Book is brightly colored and soft to the touch, which also allows kids to safely look at themselves as they get older.
Fashionista friends are always on the lookout for new and unique threads to add to their extensive wardrobe. If you can grab a hold of their measurements, this subscription box delivers all the fabric and patterns needed to sew anything from summer shorts to a tank dress.
IndieStitch sources their patterns from independent designers that cater to all kinds of body types, allowing you to customize according to your friend’s personality. Each box also comes with some extra goodies that you can keep for yourself after sewing a beautiful piece of clothing for your friend.
11. Unicorn Plushie
Who doesn’t love plushies? It’s a great gift to sew for friends who have kids, animals, or just love having soft toys in their bedroom. Even adults love channeling their childhood and having something cozy to cuddle while they sleep.
This adorable Unicorn Plushie has a simple cut and sew pattern that even complete beginners can easily follow. It’s brightly colored and adorable, with a sweet face that any of your friends will fall in love with. I’m tempted to even get one for myself!
12. Log Pillow
I’m obsessed with these cut and sew patterns. They make it so easy for even complete novices to create beautiful pieces that wouldn’t look out of place on a gift shop shelf. This cute log plushie doubles as a bolster pillow that can support your neck while sleeping, reading, or watching TV.
The Log Pillow is the perfect gift to sew for friends who love the outdoors and want to bring a taste of it into their bedroom. It’s the perfect combination of cute, comfortable, and practical, with a unique design that will make anyone smile.
13. Winter Purse
A woman can never have too many purses! You need one in every different color and style to coordinate with different outfits, so a new purse is always a welcome gift. This beginner-friendly purse is a great gift to sew for friends who are fashion-conscious, with the option to personalize for their style.
The Winter Purse is designed with repurposed sweatshirt fabric, which means you don’t need to invest in expensive fabric. However, the resulting bag is so cute and fashionable that your friends will never suspect that you made it unless you tell them.
14. Superhero Cape
All kids dream of being superheroes. Whether that’s Superman, saving the world, Spider-Man, saving his city, or Wonder Woman, showing that girls can fight too. Something about donning a cape or full costume makes kids feel powerful and like they can do anything they put their minds to.
If your friends have super kids, they’ll love this simple but effective cape to add to the dress up box. The SuperHero Cape has a simple cut and sew pattern that doesn’t take very long but looks just as good as anything you would find in the store.
15. Vintage Christmas Ornaments
You can never have too many Christmas ornaments! I love filling my living room and bedroom with all kinds of decorations that really get me in the holiday spirit. If you’re looking for unique gifts for your friends come Christmastime, these vintage ornaments hit the sweet spot between cute and classy.
They have a simple cut and sew pattern that is accessible for beginners, allowing you to work together on them with your kids. You can then wrap them up neatly and give the Vintage Christmas Ornaments as a unique gift made with love.
16. DIY Reusable Tea Bags
Tea is comforting and delicious at all times of day or night. Whether you love chamomile, green tea, or English breakfast, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting down with a hot cuppa. However, disposable tea bags always come with a twinge of guilt, contributing to the ever-growing pile of landfill.
Reusable Tea Bags are a great gift to sew for friends who are environmentally conscious, allowing them to enjoy their delicious brew guilt-free. You can even pre-fill them with high quality tea leaves for a truly indulgent gift.
17. Fruit Stand Plushies
A lot of people have a fruit bowl for decor in their house, but these fun plushies allow you to create one with a twist. The cut and sew project includes a variety of different fruit and vegetables in bright and fun fabrics. It’s a simple enough project for beginners, with results that are classy and adorable.
When finished, you can put the Fruit Stand Plushies together in an attractive ceramic bowl, making a fun and attractive gift for your friends. However, make sure to warn them that the fruit isn’t real, because it looks good enough to eat!
18. Fabric-Covered Notebook with Applique
Friends who write can be a little more introverted and secretive about their interests, so you usually find yourself defaulting to books and notebooks for their gifts. With this simple but attractive pattern, you can sew a unique fabric-covered notebook that is sure to spark more inspiration.
The Fabric-Covered Notebook with Applique is an easy design that simply looks great, with brightly colored patterns, decorative elastic, and a unique applique that you can customize. It can be whipped up in just over an hour but is sure to give your writer friend hours of dedicated use.
19. Pizza Stuffed Pillow
If you’re looking for a gift to sew for your foodie friend, you can’t go wrong with this pizza-themed pillow. It features a pepperoni and vegetable design that is realistic enough to get your mouth watering, with a simple cut and sew pattern that won’t pose many problems.
Pizza is the original comfort food and you can bring that to your friend’s life, guilt-free, with the Pizza Stuffed Pillow. However, they might blame you for how much they are tempted to skip cooking and order a pizza! Just make sure you’re there to grab a slice or two.
20. Vintage Embroidered Apron
When you hear the word apron, you might automatically think of the kitchen, but these handy cover ups are also taking over the fashion world. This cut and sew apron is designed to look like vintage embroidery but is a printed design, bringing modern styling to a classic look.
The Vintage Embroidered Apron is designed to look great over a shirt and jeans, or even with a dress for the true fashion-conscious. You can sew it in no time and create a look that your friend won’t be able to distinguish from designer fashion.
The Best Gifts to Sew for Friends
Rather than buying gifts just for the sake of it, it’s always worth creating something meaningful that your friends will actually love and use. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, there’s nothing better than whipping up unique designs that you couldn’t find in any store.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite gifts to sew for friends, spanning from the practical to the decorative. All the gifts are high quality, attractive, and sure to please at Christmas or birthdays.