Have you heard of the Make Nine challenge? It’s sponsored by Rochelle of the Home Row Fiber Company and this is my first time participating. My sew-jo was sorely lacking in 2017 so I’m using this as an excuse to get organized. My theory is that if I have a plan of what to make I’ll be able to set specific blocks of time aside to work on things.
Rochelle posted some questions to help people chose their Make Nine projects and I went through the exercise before finalizing my items and a few of the questions really stuck out to me.
What do you want or need? Be forgiving about pattern choice but get specific about what you want/need to make this year. NH has been so cold that I haven’t even wanted to wear any of my beloved dresses and this has really made me realize how lacking in the separates department I am. My favorite jeans from J.Crew are also starting to fall apart so I don’t even find myself reaching for those as much as I have in the past.
What types of things do you really LOVE making? What do you dislike making? If you hate making pants, you don’t have to put them on your list just to feel like you conquered some new technique. I love dresses. Modern, vintage inspired, maxi, tea length; give me all the dresses. Just because my wardrobe is lacking separates doesn’t mean I should abandon my beloved dresses. I do want to get better at making them though and plan to use more methods from my Couture Sewing Techniques book this year (and beyond).
Do you want to stash-bust? Why or why not? I really want to use some of my fabric stash. I feel like it’s taking over ever available storage space and I would like to get it down to a more contained area. Specifically my black ikea cabinet that is in the living room. I have quite a few patterns that I haven’t used yet and would like to make the time for a few of them instead of just using the same patterns all the time. At the end of 2016 I calculated how much money I had spent on sewing related items which was very eye opening for me. In 2017 I made an effort to spend less and did. I spent about 25% less in fact. I’m going to try and spend even less in 2018! I’ve been toying with the idea of allowing myself one new piece of fabric for every 3 or 4 stash pieces I use as an incentive to use what I have, but we’ll see. In future blog posts I may put an extra emphasis on when the fabric and pattern were acquired just to help me track.
Without further ado, here are my Make Nine items! My Make Nine 2018 includes a repeat so it’s only 8 patterns, but it’s 8 patterns that I’m very excited about!
1. Kelly Anorak- I have fabric, the hardware and lining fabric ready to go! I’m a little nervous for the snaps because the last time I set a snap on a dress I hammered by finger, but I bought a kit with all of the correct hardware and am excited to try! Plus, my fabric is a fabulous purple and my lining is Rifle rayon. It’s going to be a beautiful coat.
2. Venti Tote- I want to make this for my nephew to keep toys in and perhaps another for myself! I let my sister chose the exterior fabric so now I just need to chose the lining and binding fabrics and order the stabilizer. Most of the quilting cottons in my stash are smaller pieces so they won’t work for this pattern, but if you’re a quilter with a big stash this bag needs about 5 yards of fabric.
3. & 4.Elisalex dresses! This was one of the first indie patterns I ever used and I have 6 or 7 in my hand-made collection, but I haven’t made one since BHL did the refresh of the bodice in 2016. I’m planning a sleeveless green Outback wife barkcloth version and a short sleeved blue crepe version for this year. The barkcloth is all cut and ready to roll. I’m just waiting for the lining fabric to arrive, which is coming with the swatches for the blue crepe version from Mood! I was the lucky recipient of Dresses to Dream About for Christmas and now I’m obsessed with the idea of a blue silk crepe dress like the one Christian Siriano made for Michelle Obama. Stay tuned for more on that!
5. Ginger Jeans- I have my cone mills denim ready for a second go at this pattern! I had left one of my sewing machines at my parents house when I moved, but recently brought Edith (My Smarter by Pfaff 160S) home to NH to live alongside her brothers Hubert (My Bernina 350PE) and Serge (My Singer Serger). Now I have construct with one machine and top stitch with the other, life is good!
6. Quilters Planner Sampler- a bunch of us in my quilt guild purchased the 2018 Quilters Planner and I’ll be participating in their block of the month sampler quilt. My fabrics are picked and ready to go! I’m using a layer cake and coordinating solids all from my stash. The pattern calls for cuts larger than a layer cake, but I think with the coordinating solids I’ll be able to make it work.
7. Lenox Shirtdress- I plan to make this pattern as is and then do some light hacking to use it as a shirt pattern too. Many fabrics have been chosen from my stash for these projects!
8. Anderson Blouse- I love this top and have had the pattern pieces ready to go for at least a year. It’s time to get going! I do want to make a test version though before I cut into my precious Atelier Brunette lawn, but I can’t seem to find anything with the right drape that I don’t view as precious. Maybe I can find something on sale that would be wearable if too many alterations aren’t necessary. I just hate to use muslin when it’s not as drapey as the fabric I plan to use!
9. Alphonse Trousers- I have my test pair cut and ready to go. I have a few pieces of fabric that I want to make this pattern with so I’m hoping for a good fit! Like the Anderson Blouse, I didn’t want to make a test of these using muslin because the finished garment isn’t meant to be made of a muslin like fabric. I bought the cheapest stretch twill I could find (from Mood) and am hoping for a wearable muslin!
I’m hoping to blog more in 2017 so stay tuned for how these projects (and others) turn out!