Wondering what to get for the costume shop gift exchange? Or, do you wish you had a handy list to share with friends and family when they ask what you want for Christmas, or Hanukkah, or your birthday, or graduation, or...etc.? Here are ten great items for the costume maker!
- Bias tape makers - This gift set features three of these indispensable tools to make bias tape in 1", 1/2", and 1/4". Comes in a decorative tin, under $15!
- Tube-turners - A set of six tube-turners isn't cheap (just over $50) but if you've ever struggled with turning a spaghetti strap without one, this will change your LIFE. Not just a time-saver, but a sanity-saver, too.
- Hemp hand cream from the Body Shop - I swear by this stuff. Garment construction does a number on your skin, but my beef with most lotions is that they leave your hands greasy. This restores your pin-ravaged fingertips and chapped hands, while leaving your skin unsticky for immediate resumption of fabric-touching. $20
- Lasting pliers - ...Or, as we call them in my shop, Plammers. A cross between pliers and a hammer, this shoemaking tool is one of my faves, especially when blocking hats on wood blocks. This is a great price (under $20) as they are usually over $50, too.
- One of these costume/hair/makeup titles from Routledge - A whole list of great reference and history books for the professional costumer, cosplayer, reenactor, or fashion history enthusiast!
- Sailor's palm - Like a thimble for your hand, you can use one of these to stitch through even the thickest, craziest stuff! Under $20! Make sure you get the right type for your recipient, right or left handed.
- Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee - I have gone on at length about how much i adored this novel. I've talked it up in every professional context and watched while costumer friends whipped out their phones to buy it on the spot. Seriously, if you want to give a book that even the most historically anal costumer will adore, this is that book. No rolling your eyes when an ingenue pulls her corset off like a tee shirt--instead, swoon over the historically accurate description of Empress Eugenie's fur collection and its storage facility.
- Curved needles - You can never have too many of these, seriously. This assorted pack is under $10.
- Needle board - This is a big-ticket one, $140, but for ironing velvet, velour and other fabrics with a pile, it's a must-have!
- Spoonflower gift certificate - Who doesn't want free fabric? You can upload your own design or choose from loads and loads of offerings! Or wallpaper, or gift wrap! A designer can use it toward test swatches or color charts, too.
Stay warm, happy holidays, and keep on making things. The world needs all the art, beauty, magic, and creativity we can generate.