1. Mechanics Parts Tray - A metal bowl with a strong magnet on the bottom. Guys use it to keep track of small parts when they take a car apart. It is a much better pin dish than the weak magnets sold at the sewing store. It spreads the pins out so that they are easier to pick up. The parts tray will magnet on to the ironing board and also hold a small pair of scissors. Keep it away from computerized sewing machines.
2. Mono-filament Fishing Line - 10, 20, and 30 pound test line. The inexpensive kind is best because it has more 'spring'.
a. Can be sewn in when making rolled hems on the bottom of skirts or on the edges of ruffles. This makes the edges crisper and look newer longer.
b. Zig-zag over the line along the bottom edge of a petticoat to give it renewed lift. This is the only way to permanently revive a petticoat.
c. Hanging decorations at the hall and a variety of craft projects. It is handy to have around when you need some thin strong string.
3. Hemostats - Look near the fishing line. They are the gismos that guys use to tie fishing flies. They look like little needle nose pliers. Handy to have for getting bits of thread out of the sewing machine and working in other tight spaces. Great for glue gun projects, to prevent burnt finger tips.
4. Scratch Awl - This is a sharp pointy tool like an ice pick. You don't know you need it until you have it. It works like a skinny finger for positioning fabric under the presser foot, especially when working with ruffles. It pokes holes where needed.
5. 60 inch Metal Ruler - Sometimes more than a yard stick is needed. Most fabric is 45 inches or 60 inches wide. This ruler is perfect for rotary cutting single layers of fleece. Its a handy thing to have around the house for lots of measuring chores.
6. Pretty Tools - When she needs a pair of pliers she really doesn't want to borrow the greasy pair you were using on your truck. Ben Franklin and Ace Hardware stores have carried a line of tools with pretty flower print handles. There are also sets that come in red or pink molded plastic cases. These tools are guaranteed to repel teen age boys. If you have several women in your life get them each a set of tools.
7. Tool Box - The hardware store has better sewing and craft boxes than the fabric store does. They just call them tool boxes. If she goes to any sewing or craft classes she needs something big to carry all the stuff. Stanley Tools has one called Mobile Work Center. The wheels on these boxes make moving the stuff much easier. Just don't get to carried away and get one that is to big for her to lift in and out of the car.
8. Cheap Scissors - From the dollar store. Get several pair. Put a pair in each room of the house, including the bathrooms. Each kid gets their own pair. Keep a pair in the garage and put a small pair in the glove box of each car. Then keep your hands off of her sewing scissors. Her scissors should be an expensive pair that are only used to cut cloth. They should be professionally sharpened once a year.
9. Miniature Vacuum Cleaner Attachments - These small attachments fit onto the hose of the regular vacuum cleaner. They allow you to get into little places like the bobbin area of the sewing machine. Never blow at the lint in the bobbin area, all that does is send it deeper into the machine. Also breath is wet and moistens the lint, causing it to stick better. Whenever the sewing area is vacuumed the machine should be vacuumed also. The miniature vacuum attachments are good for computer key boards and other small places. They can be found in hobby and craft stores as well as hardware stores.
10. A Space of Her Own - The very best thing for a sewer is a place where they can leave their sewing machine set up and ready to go. This does not have to be a big space. There is a book called 'Dream Sewing Spaces' by Lynette Black that shows all sorts of sewing set ups in small nooks. Proper height of the table and chair are vital to comfortable and efficient sewing. Sewing requires twice the light of reading. A sewing place with these factors considered will result in a very happy seamstress.