At the start of this year I made myself a Make Nine list in hopes that I could strategically cross some projects off of my to do list. I’m proud to say I accomplished most of what was on my list, although (unsurprisingly) not all of it. I love dreaming & making goals, but I’ll admit that I can get carried away and overbook myself. The Make Nine prompt was a great exercise because it forced me to to curb my “do everything!” impulse and try and be realistic about what I could actually accomplish over the course of a year. I also love that nine is a reasonable number and it leaves room for improvisation & filling in the gaps with projects that spontaneously grab your heart. So how did 2019 look?
Make Nine 2019
1. Dani Pinafore by Seamwork Magazine. A pre-blog make so the details are hazy – but there’s lots of funky stuff happening with this one. I opted for a stretch fabric instead of a woven, took in the waist, removed the zipper, removed the lining, and scooped out the armholes after I finished it because they were way too tight (I couldn’t tell you if this was Seamwork’s fault or my own . . . but I am weary of SW bodices). Most of these changes I made because I found the lining and zipper installation intimidating, and in hindsight . . . lol! The project was NOT any easier without them! The insides are a disaster if you look too closely. But! I still love the garment and it gets a lot of wear relative to my other makes. All in all this pattern deserves to be revisited, although maybe with less free-styling.
2. Freya Sweater by Tilly and the Buttons. Another pre-blog item. Once I realized the miracle that these are to my closet I went crazy and ended up making . . . five? This is the pattern that elevated my cold weather style with ALL the mock turtlenecks, taught me the importance of stretch percentage (a couple of them are tiiiiiight), solidified my love for my serger, and gifted me the first long-sleeved shirts that actually fit my arms. I now extend the sleeves on all my patterns 2″ and IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I have worn these so much over the course of 2019 that they are starting to wear out, and I should probably make myself another set.
3. Meridian Dress by Papercut Patterns. Post-blog make and my most viral share on Instagram. This one got reposted by Papercut Patterns AND Blackbird fabrics which is basically a sewing Instagramer’s dream (or at least mine). I know it’s not cool to admit it, but it was super fun getting all those likes for a few days. I’ve already written about this piece so I won’t go back into the construction details – but instead I will share the IG vs. original photo photo for you:
4. Knitted socks. Shortly after creating this list, it was brought to my attention that one does not go straight into knitting socks as their first knitting project. Le sigh. So I found a cute Purl Soho scarf pattern, sat down with my grandma who is a fantastic knitter, and got started knitting. 10+ hours later, that same scarf is 90% complete and sitting in a project bag waiting to be finished.
. . . It’s been there since February.
5. Rumana Coat by By Hand London. My other make nine flop – in this case I didn’t even get started. I love this coat design, and I would still love to make one in a beautiful red wool like the sample above. But between the ambition of making my Ginger jeans in September, how much it would have cost to make this garment the way I wanted to (only wool! only silk!), and end of the year project creep (all the xmas presents!) – it just never came into fruition. Oh, and I’ve been working on a jean jacket since May, lol! It’s hard to start a another piece of outerwear when you’ve got another one in the works. Did I mention that I live in southern California?
6. Jordy Bralette by Emerald Erin Patterns. Not the same pattern included in the photo, but I’m counting it. Another pre-blog make, facilitated by a bra kit I received for Christmas last year (also by Emerald Erin, and a great gift idea!). This project was a technically challenge for me (lace is fidddddly), but it was fun and the bra is comfortable. I don’t know if I’ve graduated past the needing-a-kit phase, but I’d love to sew another at some point.
7. Anna Dress by By Hand London. This was one of my favorite makes of the year. I only wish I could wear it more often – the eternal conundrum of sewing formal wear. In an attempt to make the dress more casual for future wear, I took about 6 inches off the hem so it hits just above the ankle (not photographed). The dress still feels too formal for most things, and now I like it a lot less! 🙁 At some point when I’m not busy regretting that decision, I’ll go back and take the hem higher so it sits closer to the knee and farther from the ankle.
8. Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns. This is the project that I can guarantee would not have happened if not for the Make Nine list. In planning out 2019, I scheduled them for September and bought all the supplies I needed. So when September rolled around, despite fear and major inertia, I didn’t feel like I had say in whether I was making the Gingers or not. It was scheduled!!! And I’m sooooo glad I did. Sewing jeans is a whole new world!
9. Fairfield Button-up Shirt by Thread Theory. Whew – glad to say I finished this one because it means I haven’t neglected my husband tooo much in the sewing room. Typically I spend six+ months promising to make him something before actually getting around to it. Oops! In all seriousness though, the Fairfield is a great pattern and one I’ll be sticking to for the foreseeable future.
Success! Of my nine, I finished 7 of the projects, and kind of, almost, started the 8th. I’m not couning it but I still feel good about the experience because now I know I don’t care about knitting. Most of these projects I finished in the first half of year, which in hindsight makes perfect sense, and I anticipate something similar happening in 2020.
It was my most “productive” sewing year year yet, and in total I sewed over 30 garments (25 if we don’t count the five christmas Suki’s). That’s a new garment every 1.5 or two weeks, which is a pace I’m happy with especially considering how much I still learn from every piece. I don’t have any sense of not doing “enough” and I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and learn this year.
So what is on the docket for 2020?
2020 Make Nine
- Dawn Shorts by Megan Nielson Patterns. This one feels like a bit of a cop out since I made the jeans earlier this year. But! I have extra fabric for shorts, summer is coming, and I want to perfect the fit! Who says these all have to be new patterns, anyway?!
- Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet. I’ve had the fabric sitting and waiting for months now. Just need to do it!
- McCalls 7998. The internet is real torn over this design but I am Here! For! It! This dress is slotted for the end of January 2020.
- A quilt!! I recently acquired a quilt book and a cute lil stack of fat quarters. I am both excited and terrified at the prospect of yet another hobby in my aresenal.
- Something with this gorgeous silk velvet my husband bought me 3.5 meters of for Christmas. I am still very undecided on a pattern but it will definitely be a maxi dress of dreams.
- Dogwood Apron by Helen’s Closet. This is a pattern I desperately need in my life but I know I will never get around to unless I put it on a list like this. So here it is. On a list like this. Responsibility!
- Pona Jacket by Helen’s Closet. I love, love, love this pattern. I have a faux black suede for it already and I’m anticipating I’ll finish it by February.
- Pussy Bow Blouse by Sew Over It. Again, I’ve got the fabric for this top already. Just need to do the dang thing!
- Hampton Jean Jacket by Alina Sewing + Design Co. This one is technically already in progress. I’ve got the denim cut and I’ve been embroidering the back panel since May. So here’s to hoping I finish it in the next six months!
Basically, my 2020 project list is everything I didn’t get to in 2019. It’s called keeping myself accountable, I think.
Anywho, 2019 has been a year of lots of growth and really fun makes. I’ve so enjoyed the journey of sharing them and following along with the community for their makes, too. Here’s to 2020!