I made 5. Not bad, because I sewed many other things.
For this year, I thought in more general terms. I’d like to sew 3 pairs of pants, 2 tees, 1 tank, 1 blouse, and a dress. I also want to make a second make of many of the patterns I have recently sewn.
But then I did come up with an official Make Nine.
1) Itch to Stitch Angelia Shorts. I made view B of these shorts last year, but I intend to lengthen view C into pants with a zipper fly and add a partial elastic waistband.
2) New Look 6515. Wide leg pants with a partial elastic waist.
3) Itch to Stitch Mountain View Pull-on Pants. Again. This time in stretch twill.
4) Rhapsody Blouse by Love Notions. I started to put the pattern together in December, so this will be my first make of the year.
5) Phoenix Blouse by Hey June Handmade. This was on my list last year but wasn’t made.
6) McCalls 7331- the cardigan. This is a Nancy Zeiman pattern. I’ve never sewn a cardigan, but frequently wear a ready-to-wear cardigan with a business logo. I also have another McCalls cardigan pattern, 6802. One thing I notice about all of the cardigan patterns I’m aware of is they don’t have any closure and I would prefer a few buttons.
7) Classic Tee by Love Notions. My most basic clothes are the ones I wear the most.
8) Laundry Day Tee by Love Notions. I already made this as a tank.
9) Bardon Dress by Peppermint Magazine and Elbe Textiles. This is a tiered, gathered dress with pockets, and looks like it would be a great everyday, summer dress. It’s a free pattern.
My sewing goals:
To use more of my printed patterns, mostly McCalls, Simplicity, and New Look. I own a large number of them, and most of them have never been unfolded.
To adapt more patterns for my preferences. I especially want to alter pants’ waistbands to have a combination of zipper fly and elastic for comfort and weight variability.
To work on a quilt. I sewed 20 star blocks a few years ago and I have a new plan to alternate them with plain squares of various fabrics.
To do projects to reduce my hoarded items. I come across things when I’m reorganizing that I’ve kept for a reason that wouldn’t be apparent to the average person. For example, I saved an old ripped quilt with the idea of making pillows from the good part. It’s great to be thrifty and reuse fabrics, but there comes a time to use or get rid of things.
Oddly enough, I’ve also had the thought to sew less. I’m not sure what I mean by that. Maybe to do some other needle arts, or to do other things entirely. I don’t need very many clothes, and I like to wear a small number of favorites 75% of the time. Last year, I felt very motivated to sew and really needed more summer clothes. Another reason I mainly sew is using a machine is easier on my hands than handwork. I have problems with carpal tunnel and arthritis in some fingers. So I’ll keep sewing, but I want to remember to stop, take a breath, and look around.
I also want to continue to:
Use my serger more.
Use stash fabric, especially for tops.
Sew Saturday afternoons. I started staying home on the weekends due to the pandemic, and look forward to this time set aside.
2020 was a great year to be a sewist. With stay at home orders, and dressing rooms closed, making my own clothes (and masks!) was not only a useful skill but a satisfying creative pursuit.
I sewed clothes! To be precise I sewed 17 clothing items: 5 pairs of pants, 3 shorts, 7 tops, 1 dress, and 1 skirt. This is 3 more than last year, despite being sick in the winter and then needing to change my sewing plans to sew masks. I think nearly everyone with a sewing machine sewed masks this year, especially early on when they weren’t available at the store. I not only sewed masks but I spent a lot of time looking up mask patterns and reading how to make masks that were more protective. Sewing to survive, literally.
I knitted quite a bit less this year due to hand problems, only completing 1 hat. I didn’t finish any other needlework, although I did start a cross stitch project toward the end of the year.
Of the bottoms I made I wore the navy ponte knit pants, the pull-on jeans, and the denim shorts the most – 1, 3, and 4 in the photos. The traditional zipper fly jeans I made were nicely sewn but the waist didn’t fit right so I never wore them. The last 2 pairs of pants were just finished in December so I don’t know their frequency of wear yet.
The tops I wore the most are the tee shirt and swing tank, 3 and 5. With tops I’m able to use more diverse fabric sources: a refashion from my own closet, a thrift store refashion, fabric from an estate sale, and a garage sale sarong.
Of this group I wore the masks the most.
Some of my stand out outfits:
I sewed 5 items from my Make Nine list from last year:
My other sewing goals were:
To buy and learn how to use a serger – I did this toward the end of the year. I haven’t used it very much as of yet.
To match stashed fabric with patterns, especially for tops – I did this well.
To buy fabric wisely, especially to buy more bottomweight fabric for pants – I did well with this, I also bought some knit fabric as I had none in stash.
Techniques I want to learn are sewing a collar and welt pockets – I only sewed a collar without a stand and no welt pockets yet, so this one did not happen.
I sewed 14 clothing items: 2 pairs of pants, shorts, a knit romper, 3 knit tops, a knit dress, 2 woven tops, a dress to woven top refashion, a spring jacket, a hat, and a knit nightshirt. I also sewed a zippered pouch. I knit a short sleeve pullover, 2 scarves, a dog sweater, and dog bandanas. The striped pullover is the first sweater I completed since 2010.
How did I do on my 2019 Make Nine challenge? I completed 6 items.
Out of the three items I didn’t make, only the cross stitch picture was started. I didn’t get very far, even though it seemed like I spent many hours on it. I can see the roof of a house, and the wing of a goose. It was tough going, and then I stopped.
I preferred to be sewing last year than doing anything else. I also sewed more with knit fabrics than ever before.
Besides underwear, the only ready to wear item I bought in 2019 was a Hanes hooded zippered sweatshirt for under $10. I’ve been wearing them since I was in high school! I don’t have a ban on buying ready to wear. I just prefer to sew most things. I still have a lot of ready to wear clothes in my closet that I enjoy wearing. Some of my clothes get light wear and I keep things for a very long time.
My favorite sewing related thing I bought was a huge table at my local hardware store. This 6 foot long table has become my fabric cutting table, and has made that part of sewing so much easier than getting down on the floor. It folds up and fits under my couch when not in use.
On to my 2020 Make Nine:
Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns. The high waisted version. Stretch denim with a zipper fly and hardware.
Mama Bear Joggers by Patterns for Pirates. I want slim knit pants, but not leggings. Making these from ponte de roma for comfort, and without cuffs.
Angelia Shorts from Itch to Stitch. My fabric is khaki twill.
The next 3 pieces are from Vogue 9246 (Vogue Five Easy Pieces). The jacket. I will make it in tan twill in a medium length.
Vogue 9246 top. I have a striped knit in mind for this.
Vogue 9246 pants. The pattern has a cropped wide legged pant and a slimmer full length pants, both with an elastic back. I have a cropped linen blend in mind for this.
Willamette Shirt by Hey June Patterns. I want a collared woven shirt. I have a gingham from an estate sale in mind for this.
Paisley thrifted fabric. I bought this in 2015 and I want to sew it up. I want a peasant/boho type top, and think Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse may be the one.
Phoenix Top by Hey June Patterns. Interesting lines with a bib inset and gathers. Reminds me of a top I wore in the 70s. I plan on making the view with the pictured bell sleeves.
I’m still sewing on the same basic mechanical machine I bought in 2010, a Brother XL2600i with 25 stitches and a 1 step buttonhole. At the time I bought it, I wasn’t sure if I would actually use it, or if it would end up stored in the garage. Sewing has become a way of life to me. To elevate the quality of my sewing, I’ve decided to buy a serger. It is time for me to learn.
My other sewing goals for 2020:
To match stashed fabric with patterns, especially for tops.
To buy fabric wisely, especially to buy more bottomweight fabric for pants.
Techniques I want to learn are sewing a collar and welt pockets.