I work for a guy who I know couldn't sew on a button to save his life. I made him a little sewing kit with pre-threaded needles (I threaded them) in black and white, and extra shirt buttons. I then taught him to sew a button, and he now has everything he needs at his fingertips.
I visited my newly divorced son in the States last spring and one of the things I did whilst there was teach him how to sew-I even bought him a little mini-sewing machine. The gift he loved most, though, was the plastic shoe box sewing kit I built him:)
Guys love having an organised sewing kit with the basics. In the one I put together for my son I included a packet of needle threaders, and a beeswax thread waxer because I wouldn't be around to pre-thread needles for him since I would be returning to Scotland after the visit.
And the cool thing is you can get them now at the Dollar Tree!