The #2018MakeNine Challenge
Have you heard of the “Make Nine 2018” challenge? The idea, started by Rochelle over at the blog Lucy Lucille, is to challenge yourself to make nine things (quilts, sweaters, clothing, all of the above…) over the course of the year. Using the hashtag #2018MakeNine, you can share your goals with the world and see other people’s Make Nine. It’s accountability, but in the most supportive way possible. She has a great blog post on the whole concept, which I think is summed up nicely here:
“This is a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible, a tool you can use to evaluate your motivations and needs for working towards specific things as the year goes on. This is meant to be a challenge focused on learning more about yourself and your making habits while achieving goals. Work at your own pace and join in at any time. That’s it!”
I love to make lists, but lists are really just little goals masquerading as reminders. And sometimes having all those goals can be overwhelming. After the week is over, or the month, or the year, whatever isn’t crossed off that list can feel like a failure, no matter how much was accomplished. The Make Nine challenge is framed differently, and is meant to hone your focus without being yet another reason to feel guilty.
So how do you decide which nine projects to choose? Rochelle has posted a very thoughtful list of questions to help guide your decisions. Here at the shop we printed off these questions and mulled them over in our own time, and each of us came up with a list unique to our own goals and needs.
I think the more telling thing about my list is what isn’t on it. I did not include a single pair of pants, with the exception of bibs. I’m just not there yet, and that’s OK. I did not include things I know I’ll acquire through clothing swaps and the occasional shopping trip, such as jackets or button-up shirts. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I need, what I can realistically accomplish, and—most importantly—what I really want to sew this year. My list may change, but for now I’d like to share with you my 2018 Make Nine!
1. Queen-Size Quilt
The first project on my Make Nine list is borne of necessity… and has perpetually been on my to-do list. We have a queen-size bed with a full-size quilt. Since I’ve been told I’m a cover-stealer (I blame the dog), it’s just not cutting it. While I’ve made a handful of baby quilts, I’m looking forward to the challenge of completing a “real” quilt, and using the yards and yards of Alison Glass Handcrafted batik I’ve been hoarding. One caveat: I will do the piecing but will probably outsource the quilting! I’m not looking for that much of a challenge.
2. Sew Tessuti Bondi Dress
I’ve never made a Sew Tessuti pattern before, but several of their designs have been tempting. The Bondi Dress appears to check all the right boxes for me. It has a nice balance of style and comfort (we’re in Missoula after all–people don’t exactly get “dressed up” here!); I love the high neckline and narrow shoulders; and an A-line shape is always a plus for those of us with hips. And it looks like it’d work great in Brussels Washer Linen: my favorite!
3. True Bias Ogden Cami(s)
The Ogden Cami has been a tried-and-true pattern for me, and judging by the rave reviews online I’m not alone! It fits perfectly, has a beautiful fully-enclosed bodice (no bias tape!) and has become a staple in my wardrobe. Plus, it uses very little fabric, so it’s the perfect top for splurging on that Liberty of London fabric or a luxe silk.
4. SewHouse7 Burnside Bibs
I actually meant to make the SewHouse7 Burnside Bibs last summer, when the pattern was first released, but… who knows what happened. They’ve been a hit in our shop, and I’ve yet to see a version I don’t like. And again, living in a (very) laid-back place, they’re something I think I can get a lot of wear out of. Practical and cute, that’s the name of the game! I plan to make them in this Sage Brussels Washer Linen.
5. Dyeing/Embroidery/Quilting/ Other Fabric Art
This is the most nebulous project on my Make Nine, but that’s intentional. Since I started working at The Confident Stitch, and really sewing “seriously,” I made a goal of eventually having an entirely handmade wardrobe. And while I haven’t bought new clothing in years, I realized that this goal actually stressed me out more than I was anticipating. I’m interested in so many other things, but have always felt obligated to fill holes in my wardrobe whether I wanted to or not. And the truth is, there are some things I just don’t want to sew. I’d rather go buy some leggings, if that’s what I need, and spend more time trying my hand at embroidery, and experimenting with indigo dyeing, and playing around with different quilt blocks. Sewing should always be fun, so I’m altering my goals to reflect that. And when I do need to buy something, I’m doing my best to support ethical clothing makers and release myself from the guilt of not making it myself!
6. Underwear & Bras
I’ve been on the fence with sewing undergarments, but I’m ready to give this another go. It’s hard to find underwear that I like, and it’s even harder to justify paying so much for something so small and simple. Like most garment sewers, I have a million scraps of knit fabric that would make excellent undies: I mean, organic soy/cotton blends?! People pay good money for that kind of lingerie! I plan to experiment with different kinds of elastic and to try the Sophie Hines underwear pattern. (But I’m open to suggestions!) As for the bra, I’d like to try the Seamwork Dana yoga bra and the Mallori Lane bralette by Madelynne.
7. Sewaholic Renfrew(s)
The Renfrew is another tried-and-true staple. I’ve probably made half a dozen already, and wear them All. The. Time. There are so many variations, and we carry such great (comfortable) knits. While I love cotton lawns and rayons and silks, I tend to gravitate toward knits when I reach into my closet. That freedom! That comfort! Why wouldn’t I make more?
8. Liesl + Co. Gallery Tunic
I’ve been on a mission to find a long-sleeve top pattern meant for woven fabrics. Something uncomplicated, but not boring. Last year I made a muslin of the Gallery Tunic and really liked it. But I didn’t like the fabric I used, and then never made the “real” one. Just one of those things that fell off my radar somewhere along the way. But this is the kind of top I would buy at the store, probably in every pattern and color. I suspect this could turn into one of those patterns I use over and over again…
9. Thread Theory Finlayson Sweater in Organic Soy French Terry
I’m feeling very magnanimous by putting something for my husband on my Make Nine. It’s sheer guilt that’s motivating this decision. I’ve made myself more garments than I can count, and despite constant cajoling from Jason, I have made him absolutely nothing to wear. I’m one of those people that gives all the supplies as the gift, with the promise (and intention!) of actually making it, but another year passes and the garment has yet to materialize. Putting the Finlayson Sweater on my list of Must-Dos is my way of pinky promising him that he, too, can reap some benefits from my sewing obsession.
Are you participating in the Make Nine challenge? Be sure to tag your posts on social media with #2018MakeNine, and let’s support each other!