7 quick gifts to sew for Dad

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 15. Feeling gift-stumped?

Sure, time’s ticking. But if you’ve got an hour here and there to spare, there’s still plenty of time to stitch a special gift. Our gift ideas for dads are quick enough to sew in less than a weekend, and yes, macho enough to impress even the manliest of men.

Now, we know that our female designers often use brights, florals, pastels—PINK!—in the projects they create. If you have a hard time seeing beyond the colors and fabrics presented in a project, we offer you this palette to work from:

Neutrals--the perfect color palette for Father's Day!
Color palette from Modern Neutrals—an unusually guy-friendly quilt book!

You simply can’t go wrong with neutrals for guys, right? Search your stash for these hues, add a sprinkle of Dad’s favorite color to the fabric pile, and you’ll be ready to sew.

Here’s to celebrating Dad with something handmade and from the heart!


7 quick gifts to sew for Dad

Tech Dad
Got a Dad’s who’s never without his iPad? Personalize a tablet cover that he’ll use every day. A flannel piece inside the cover gives added protection to the screen.

Color Block iPad Cover
Get the “Color-Block iPad Cover” pattern in
Sew Gifts!

What dad wouldn’t want a quilt made in his honor? We love Amy Ellis’s “Circuit Board” quilt not only for its cool geometric design, but also because it’s made of simple repeat blocks. Whip up a small wall quilt for Dad’s office with just a few blocks, or stitch a larger lap quilt for couch time.

Circuit Board quilt
Get the pattern for “Circuit Board” in
Modern Neutrals

Coffee Dad
Know a dad who’s crazy for coffee? Sew one or both of these coffee-friendly projects. You can repurpose one of dad’s old sweaters to make the coffee cozy! Include a gift card to his favorite java joint.

Coffee gift ideas for dads
Find the “Recycled Wool Cup Cozy” pattern in
Sew the Perfect Gift; find the “I ♥ Coffee French-Press Cozy” pattern in The New Handmade or get the ePattern here.

Chef Dad
If you know a dad who loves to cook or barbecue, make him a signature set of kitchen staples to bring out his inner foodie. Create this quick-to-sew potholder and oven mitt in more masculine colors: think contrasting blues, taupes and browns, or even black and white.

Gift ideas for dad--pot holder and oven mitt
See both projects in
The New Handmade or download the individual ePatterns here and here.

On-the-Go Dad
If the dad you’re sewing for is like many dads, he carries only the essentials when he’s out and about: keys, plastic, and cash. This nifty little design holds all three. Consider light and dark grays, browns, or blacks to mimic a man’s leather wallet.

Card and Key Wallet
Get the “Card Key and Wallet” pattern in
Sew Gifts! (+ 24 more fun gift ideas)

What have you made for your dad in years past? Share your gift ideas!


13 Comments (leave a comment)

  • Years ago my father was into model planes, trucks & tanks, etc. So one year (I was about 20 years old maybe) I sewed up a tote for his newest tank out of a heavy nylon camouflage print, with snap-tape access so it opened up completely, pockets inside for accessories, etc. When we were cleaning out my parents’ house preparing to sell it, I found it stashed away, and I have to say I was really impressed with my workmanship back then ; ) Now it’s in my garage holding other stuff. I also made him the obligatory flannel robes.

    lisa shepard stewart on June 3, 2014
  • Sometime during the late 1960’s, I made a leisure suit for my dad and a suede jacket. I also knitted him a V-neck pullover vest. Wish he were still here. He would be celebrating his 100th birthday tomorrow.

    —Patricia Hill on June 3, 2014
  • Sometime during the late 1960’s, I made a leisure suit for my dad and a suede jacket. I also knitted him a V-neck pullover vest. Wish he were still here. He would be celebrating his 100th birthday today.

    —Patricia Hill on June 3, 2014
  • When I was young, I noticed that every time my dad sat in his recliner to watch a football game, he fell asleep by the end of the first quarter. He kept a large towel thrown over the back of the recliner and when he would get chilled "watching" football, he would cover up with the towel. After I became a quilter, I made him a twin sized quilt to use while "watching" football. He also loves to fish, so the quilt had a fishing theme. I’m happy to report that the quilt replaced the large towel.

    —Pam B on June 3, 2014
  • just this past winter I made my ailing dad a cover for his heating pad

    Debbie D. on June 3, 2014
  • In 2001 I made my dad a lap throw to cover him up when he fell asleep in his recliner for a "nap". In 2012, as he lay in a skilled nursing facility, in his last days, he used that throw to top his bed. The simple rail fence in 1.5″ finished strips, five to a square, in neutrals and browns, garnered many comments from hospice and nurses alike. I have that throw now, and cherish the memories.

    —Ginger on June 3, 2014
  • My husband’s parents lived at the beach near San Diego, and had company all summer. When the house was full, Mother and Dad would sleep on army cots on the patio. Over the years, I made Dad many pairs of shorty pajamas in bright Hawaiian prints, and lined the pants so they were a heavier weight. He said he could encounter guests on his way into the house in the morning, and not be embarrassed, because he looked like he was already dressed.

    —Dot on June 3, 2014
  • Many years ago, before I was a ‘Quilter’, I made my father-in-law a wrap and tie pouch for his carving chisels. I guess even back then I had quilting in my veins. We have the pouch and chisels now and one day when his grandchildren, who are all adults now, get the desire to try their hand at carving we will pass it onto one of them.

    —Debi Sexsmith on June 6, 2014
  • Miss my Dad, he was such a friend and mentor to me. He was my Dad! He was my protector and hero. Many years ago, when I was just beginning to make quilts, I made him a flag wall hanging. It was so cute and he really liked it. Unfortunately, Mom destroyed it by cutting it up. She was not a happy person. But the quilt that I made him survived and today I have it.

    —Marjorie on June 6, 2014
  • Over the years, my father got a lot of gifts that I made for him. Often it was a new flannel or wool shirt. When I ran out of time before the project was complete, it would get boxed up with the pattern, buttons and anything else that was needed, gift wrapped and given to him. He would always laugh and then hand it back to me, knowing that it would be done soon. He sometimes put in special requests: saddlebags and feedbags for his horses, a deer skin jacket for my brother. In his later years, he didn’t need any more shirts or jackets, so my gift was often a letter thanking him for being my dad, recalling many happy memories (including some of the sewn projects), and telling him how much I loved him. I miss my Dad a lot.

    —Pearl on June 7, 2014
  • When I gave my dad the quilt I’d made him for his 85th birthday he said, "What do I need a quilt for?" I told him I thought maybe he’d like something I made just for him. He draped it over the couch and never used it because he said it might get dirty. I said if it got dirty he could just put in the the washing machine and wash it. But he never used it and when he passed away I got the quilt back.

    —Sandy on June 7, 2014
  • Man landed on the moon the day of my dad’s 41st birthday, so a few years ago when it was the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, I decided to make a photo quilt for my dad. I set space pictures on a background of black with a tiny star print and made him a lap quilt and gave it to him for his 81st birthday. He became ill shortly after that and spent a lot of time in hospital and then in a nursing home. My mum was the same as in the previous post – she didn’t want him to use the quilt and get it dirty, so sewed curtain rings on the back and hung it on a rod on the wall for him to look at in his room. Since he died it has been folded up in a cupboard at mum’s place – I will probably get it back when she goes….

    Jenny Birthisel on June 11, 2014
  • I, at one time, had a part time leatherwork business and made my dad a wallet, he carried for years. When he died, he still had that wallet in his posession and if someone offered to buy him a new one; he’d say what’s wrong with this one, it still works. I miss you, daddy.

    Keep smiling,

    Lynnita Shipman on December 15, 2014

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