I’m always late to the party but this year I decided to jump on board with the Make nine hashtag on Instagram. I don’t know about it’s origin, all I know is that some people find it a good tool for organising their makes. I’m not an organised person but I really, really want to be.
I really mean that. It gets tiring and stressful saying yes to everything, not getting a grip on just how much time I really have and being so last minute. It’s hard when you feel swayed by every trend or challenge and pulled by new and popular patterns and fabulous fabrics. But this year, I want to start out at least, conscious of the fact that I want to be organised, I want to be slower and more deliberate in my sewing.
I must confess, I didn’t do a lot of deep thinking when choosing my nine makes. I had the general idea that I want to make more shirts this year because I like wearing shirts. My new sewing machine makes button holes a breeze but I’d like to improve on my collar and placket construction. I’m not that pleased with any of the shirts I’ve made with collar stands, could do better I think. I’d like not to be terrified by sleeve plackets too.
The Marie pattern by By Hand London is a shirt and shirt dress pattern with dramatic sleeves, loose, smock design, pin tucks and two collar options; classic or ruffled. I want to make the shirt option with a ruffled collar and sleeve, see, I’m avoiding the very things I said I wanted to perfect! Well, you’ve got to ease into things. Much as I’d love to make a white shirt, I’m opting for a blue and green check for this I think. Ever since I saw this checked shirt from Endelea designs, I’ve known I’ve wanted to make my own. I haven’t got quite as bright a check though.
Another shirt I’d like to try is the Lennox by Homer and Howells. It’s a boiler suit with a separate shirt option. I would make mine a tad longer in the body. I like the concealed button placket, and look, it has a classic collar! Not sure what fabric I’d use for this. I have some dark green linen that might work, we’ll see.
Speaking of boilersuits, I would like to make the grown-up onesie a staple in my wardrobe. It’s the ultimate in ‘grab and go’ dressing surely. Such ease of dressing far outweighs the inconvenience of stripping to go to the loo, would you agree? I have a couple of jumpsuits already but they are in lighter fabrics. I’d like some winter and autumn suitable ones. So the Lennox as mentioned above is on my make nine. I love this version by Alice – polkadotpalace on Instagram. I have some chambray in my stash that should work.
I’d also like to make the Lin jumpsuit by Selkie Patterns. I was given the pattern last year and also given some fabric so I’m ready to go. This is going to be a slow involved project, there are several pieces to it and getting the fit right is going to be important.
It is quite an elegant looking garment. I will be using some rust coloured linen. I haven’t worked much with linen so this should be good learning for me. I think I might switch the sleeves up a bit, make them more full. I feel inspired by this faux jumpsuit look:
I also want to make better fitting trousers, including jeans. All my jeans are a little tight for me and I only own a couple of pairs or trousers. Fit is always an issue with me when buying ready to wear jeans or trousers but I haven’t perfected my me made trousers yet. I’ve had my eye on the Heroine jeans by Merchant and Mills for a little while. They look sturdy yet comfy, with the utilitarian vibe that I enjoy.
I know that I’m going to have to toile to get a good fit and I’m actually looking forward to this. Today I’m sitting in a pair of rtw jeans that are cutting into my waist yet gaping at the small of my back. The prospect of have comfortable jeans is quite exciting. I may document my progress on instagram when I’m ready, and if you see me daring to forgo the toile stage, please rebuke me severely. I’m thinking I’ll make these into a pair of shorts first, get that fit right before moving on to the full jeans.
As well as those jeans, I’d love to make the Max pants by Lena Line patterns (nice name). I fell in love with these huge trousers after seeing this pair by Cortney-S is for sew on Instagram.
I’m thinking of getting some light weight denim, heavier than chambray but not as heavy as what I’m hoping to use for the Heroine jeans. But I’m also considering some corduroy. My eldest daughter recently bought some second hand similarly flared jumbo cord trousers and I’m a little bit jealous.
Last year, I made so many dresses, not a problem as I love dresses. So this year I’m not so focused on making dresses. But I do want to give the Davenport by Friday Pattern Company a try.
This indie pattern company is proving to be a favourite of mine. The patterns are so wearable and cool. I’ve also discovered that I’m very much a visual learner and the sew-alongs on the Friday Pattern Company website are so good. The Davenport is a tiered knee length dress but Juliet – JulietUzor on Instagram, lengthened hers and I really like it, I might just do that too. I might have the fabric for this already.
The Assembly Line is a new to me pattern company and the Cap Sleeve Vest is their new pattern, as I write. As soon as I saw it, I was keen to make it. My style is eclectic, I’m drawn to a number of things but I think this jacket will fit into my wardrobe quite well, for those days when I’m feeling the need for stylish, simple, clean lines.
I want to make it in either a black or navy coating fabric. I’m going to try hard to keep it in a solid colour, I’m always tempted to colour block or use patterned fabric, but I shall resist the temptation… but now as I look at it, I’m wondering about colour blocking, that lower portion is crying out for it!
Another piece of outerwear on my make list is something that I’ve had in my mind for ages and just keep pushing to the back burner. It’s the Jasika blazer by Closet Core patterns.
This is a tailored jacket, a classic piece to lift an outfit and hopefully be around for a long while. This is another item that’s going to need a toile and slow, careful work. Over the holidays, I read somewhere on my social media about taking time over makes to perfect techniques and finish things beautifully. This is my desire for all my projects this year but especially for this. I really want this to be good. I don’t have the fabric yet, I want something in wool, a tweed or herringbone design. I shall enjoy researching fabric for this.
Lastly, from my make nine list is the Fielder from Merchant and Mills and I’ve made it already!
Last year, at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexander Palace, I treated myself to some Merchant and Mills linen and ribbing and the Fielder pattern. And last week, I put them altogether to make this bright, casual top for a bit of winter sunshine. It’s a clever little woven jumper, a quick and easy pattern that I can see myself repeating.
So, that’s my make nine for 2022 and no sooner as I had posted this on Instagram, I began to think of all the things I hadn’t included that I would really like to make. The Zadie jumpsuit by Paper Theory, The Rya coat by Fibre Mood, another Adrienne blouse by Friday Pattern Company, the Azania by Sewphilia Studio the Lyra shirtdress by Tilly and the Buttons, the Lander pants by True Bias, plus a couple of simplicity patterns I had in my stash. And then there’s active wear, I really want to get into sewing leggings and sports vests this year. See, that’s at least a whole other make nine right there and I could go on! Well, judging from my previous track record, I’m under no illusion that I’ll only make nine garments this year! But these nine are certainly more than just a guideline. I hope to make these, I hope to focus on shirts, trousers, jumpsuits and new techniques when considering what else to make this year. This should help me narrow my options when I get the Fibre Mood patterns each month to choose from. When I’m offered free fabric, I’ll have these 9 items in mind.
But I also want my making to continue being fun, so I’m not going to trap myself. If I change my mind on any of these, that’s okay. If I don’t complete it, there’s always next year. It does feel good though to have a goal. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can be as organised throughout the year as I’m feeling now at the making plans stage. Let’s see if this spills out to the rest of my life; my house could be tidier, the laundry basket no longer overflowing, I could stop double booking or forgetting I’m supposed to be somewhere. One step at a time.