Last year I was introduced to the lovely Make Nine challenge started by Rochelle at Lucky Lucille. I love her gentle, thoughtful approach to making sewing plans and her rejection of ‘fast fashion sewing’ (which I admit to having done too much of lately). In 2018, I decided to create three lists for myself because I wanted to reserve the Make Nine challenge for things that are more, well, challenging. Plus, I have a deep love of pattern hacking and wanted to document my hack ideas. As a result, I made a Make Nine, a Hack Nine and a Basics list. You can see the full post here. As I sashay into 2019 I took a look back at what I made in 2018. This is my Make Nine review.
For starters, I have to say this was an immensely helpful way for me to approach sewing in 2018. As the challenge encourages, I didn’t take it on in an excessively rigid manner. I was totally easy on myself if I changed my mind or just fully questioned my choices. I moved on. There is no way for me to predict what styles will appeal to me in January of 2018 versus November of 2018. I’m influenced by pattern releases and fabrics and the whims of street style. I am able to fully embrace that. It doesn’t diminish the fact that having a reference list at the beginning of the year helped me avoid ‘sewing aimlessness”. I was able to assess my current wardrobe at the beginning of the year and take a more mindful approach to what gaps I needed to fill. Many times during the year I checked back on this list and used it to help me figure out what I wanted out of a collaboration or fabric purchase. I didn’t fully step away from what Rochelle brilliantly calls “fast fashion sewing” but I think it kept me more on track that I would have been.
This was my 2018 grid for the Make Nine. Anything blocked out means I didn’t make it.
So, I was able to make 2/3rds of what I planned to make. Because I am a chronic pattern hacker these were the ‘straight out of the box’ patterns I planned to make in left to right, top to bottom order:
The Cascade Duffle from Grainline, Acacia Underwear from Megan Nielsen, the Lisbon Slip from Seamwork, Lander Pants from True Bias, Sandbridge Skirt from Hey June, The Sophie Swimsuit from Closet Case Patterns, Salie Jumpsuit from Closet Case Patterns, Sonya from Seamwork and theView Ridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs.
Here is what I made in 2018 following the original structure of the grid while filling in the gaps:
+ I made the Grainline! I am so proud of this jacket and wear it all the time. I even got to collaborate with the Confident Stitch in Montana to use deadstock, beautiful Italian wool and scrap leather for the toggles.
+ I made myself skivvies! They are, as of yet, un-blogged but they are in circulation if you know what I mean. I love Megan Nielsen’s Acacia pattern (and it’s free!). I will definitely use scrap jersey fabric to make more in 2019.
+ I had the great opportunity to play with the Santa Fe from Hey June Handmade for activewear tops that don’t ride up. I just realized that this is actually a pattern hack! Dang. I can’t even stop myself! I did buy new fabric for these.
+ Lander Pants! This True Bias pattern made the blog rounds all year long and I finally made them. I ended up making two pairs both made in fabric I had in my stash. I’m completely joining the cult of high waisted, wide leg pants.
+ I didn’t get around to a second Sandbridge skirt (I’m looking at you 2019!) but I did bust out a pair of Chi-Town Chinos for the Sew Frosting challenge (which I still haven’t blogged). Sadly, the fit isn’t right on me. It hits right at the wide part of my waist which makes them slip down because of my juicy hips. These are the perfect pants for people with narrow hips that’s just not me. The fun of sewing a statement pair of pants, however, was a profound experience. I always feel like sustainable sewing has to be all about adaptable basics but these pants changed my mind. I would wear these A LOT if they were a good fit and I love, love, love the stripe. Fun pants with a stripe are also on my 2019 list now. They match with any plain top! The fabric for these was new as well.
+ The Sophie Bikini! Hidden in that exclamation mark is the sound of the dance party that happens in my head every time I think about the fact that I made this bikini. I love how it looks and fits and am immensely proud. I also haven’t blogged this (dang!) I think I will make a second pair of bikini bottoms, though, that aren’t so high. I like the juicy bottom coverage but not the navel chafing. My fabric came from Spoonflower.
+ My Sallie Jumpsuit. I did make a second Sallie. This is the picture of the first one I made because the 2018 version was also in black just like the cover of the sewing pattern. Pretty exciting stuff here. In truth, my second Sallie was in thicker, sturdier, not translucent (!) fabric and I wear it for all of my airplane travel because it’s perfect.
+ I swapped out the Sonya Dress, I just couldn’t ever get excited about making it, for two matcha tops (the second is below)! This pattern from Sew Liberated is on my list for top favorite patterns of all time.
+ The View Ridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs gave me the perfect opportunity to use a single yard of Nani Iro from CattyWampus in Ojai and just enough thrifted fabric! This is the top I wear on spring days working at home when I want to feel light and creative.
Up above are a few of the extras that popped on my list: A Phoenix blouse from Hey June Handmade, a nightie set from the British Sewing Bee book From Stitch to Style*, the Tofo Jumpsuit from Halfmoon Atelier in stunning rayon from Jones and Vandemeer, my second Matcha Top and a second View Ridge top made from a used scarf.
Moving on to the things I hacked, which I am realizing isn’t always a clear line. I just want to play with all the patterns!
My pattern hacking plans included making a shirt dress out of the Marigold Dress from Blank Slate Patterns, a second Georgia dress from Seamwork, the Sallie Jumpsuit as an a-line dress, a Biscayne and Sanibel mash up from Hey June, a tunic length Datura from Deer and Doe , a tunic length Halifax Hoodie from Hey June, a split tank, a linen and lace top and a yoga jumpsuit like this one from Ripple Yoga. In the end, I pattern hacked six of the nine.
I successfully made the Marigold dress into a shirt dress in chambray from Imagine Gnats, added another Georgia (without color-blocking) to my wardrobe, mashed up the Biscayne and the Sanibel, and created a Datura in Irish linen given to me from Maker Mountain fabrics and a Halifax Hoodie (unblogged) that can both accommodate leggings rather than jeans. The Sallie adaptation (upper right corner) was technically created as an a-line dress but the muslin was such a horrendous sack that I gave up. I tried!
It’s in making the basics that I really failed. Two. I made two.
My plans were for a Plantain Tee from Deer and Doe, Sloan Leggings from Hey June, a basic striped skirt, a pencil skirt following this tutorial from Delia Creates, the Mesa from Seamwork, and the chambray tunic from Noodlehead* and a I had this idea for a layering dress that looks good under fancy tops.
I made the plantain tees and the sloan leggings. In the business of this year, however, I couldn’t drum up the enthusiasm to create the rest. I did, however add an Everyday Sweatshirt from Ensemble Patterns and a pair of Monal Lounge pants from Wendy Ward’s latest book.* Both of which I wear a lot and are definitely basics (yes. star sweatpants are basics. See! Sew Frosting really changed me.)
All in all, I’m glad I had a reference to look back at and even though I didn’t tick every box it was worth it. In fact, I found it very illuminating to look at what I decided to make and what I ignored. In short, I like sewing the fun stuff and the things that are more basic can perhaps be found at the thrift store. Also, I’m very bad at blogging everything I make.
I’ll be back soon with a look at my sewing plans for 2019! Did you do Make Nine? What did you think of the results? Planning on participating again?
Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon (the ones with an *). I appreciate the support if you are already shopping on Amazon but encourage you to seek out these special books at a local book store or quilt store if you can.
I enjoyed reading your thoughts about what you’ve made and how having a plan like this at the beginning the of year was a helpful guideline rather than a ball and chain. I love your duffle coat!
Melissa Q. says
Yes! That’s a great way of putting it. It was a guideline and not a ball and chain. Love it. Thanks for the coat love. It was one of my favorite makes for sure.
You certainly had a great year of super makes! I like the gentle direction of the Make 9, as well as the idea of avoiding fast fashion sewing (because sustainability is high on my list of concerns). We share a love of similar fabrics, and you inspire me to look at pattern designs in a new way. (And buy too many of them. lol.) Thanks for inspiring me, and happy new year!
Melissa Q. says
Lodi, I’m so happy to hear that you find it inspiring. What a compliment! Happiest of the New Year to you as well. <3