If you follow many sewists on Instagram, you probably have seen the hashtags, #MakeNine2018 or #2018MakeNine. This is an informal challenge to select nine different items to make over the course of the year. It was first started by @homerowfiberco and has really taken the maker community by storm this new year. You will see different goals for knitters. quilters, and mine happens to be just for garments. There is absolutely no pressure and you are accountable for yourself. This is a fun challenge to start and it’s so motivating to see everyone’s makes!
I’ve been sewing clothes for my kids and occasionally, for myself, over the past 8 years. However, it’s been the past two years. that I’ve been consciously planning out my handmades. I have many reasons for sewing my own clothes. My body fits several different ready-to-wear (RTW) sizes and nothing will ever beat a custom fit. I am also trying to step away from the fast fashion industry as much as I can both from the ethical labor and consumption standpoints.
Another big reason for making my own clothes is the financial aspect. Ever since I quit my corporate job years ago and had a family, my spending habits had to change drastically. But…I still had that taste for fine fabrics and high quality. For me to have clothing which will last, I would need those high quality substrates, but would only be able to afford them if I absorbed my own labor costs. This would allow me to have luxury clothing at a fraction of the retail prices. Win-win, right?!?
Drum roll, please! From left to right, top-down, I have chosen the following patterns for a number of different personal reasons. We all have our own body issues and I’ve thoughtfully chosen these patterns as part of my personal style journey. The criteria I set for myself are to select patterns (1) I have not sewn up before (2) have more year-round functionality and (3) are wearable with at least three other things in my closet.
- The Classic Shirt by Liesl & Co – I am a huge fan of the Oliver & S brand children’s patterns by the same company and had bought this pattern during a sale about a year ago. I have a hard time finding a relaxed, yet tailored button-down shirt that fits my waist, shoulders and heavier arms. If I buy RTW to fit my arms, the shoulders are huge and the shirt tends to be boxy. If I buy to fit my waist and shoulders, my arms are like sausage casings with barely any movement. I’m excited to make my very first button-down shirt to give me a full range of arm motion while fitting in the shoulders and waist.
- Ogden Cami by True Bias – This is another pattern I own and has even been copy shop printed already. But once the temperatures cooled down here in the Midwest, I moved into craft market mode and left clothing behind. Now I’m on a mission and I think this silhouette is so flattering…with the relaxed easing around the waist and shallow V-neck. I just know I’ll be living in these…especially in luxurious rayon! I have some gorgeous rayon scraps from other projects which have been set aside so I can batch sew a few for the summer. These will also be great for layering under some cardigans!
- Highlands Dress by Allie Olsen – When this pattern first came out, I loved the slim silhouette! But I try not to buy patterns on first release because of how they look on others. I really have to think about whether the style will really fit me and my lifestyle. After seeing so many additional versions these past month, I realized I really DO need this in my closet. I just love how chic the dress looks full-length and I feel like I NEED it for some date nights ;)
- Pearl Shift by Greenbee Patterns – Oh gosh…this is probably the oldest pattern I own out of this bunch. I’ve been holding onto it for probably almost two years now….along with the fabric I bought with it! I even washed the Robert Kaufman Double-Gauzee Chambray back then and it is softer than it even sounds… I’ve received many warnings from friends who have made the dress to be aware of the ease. So, I already know I will size down even though I still want all of the roominess in this dress. I envision this dress being much more casual and something I could easily slip on to wear out to the farmer’s market or run errands around town.
- Sylvie Dress by Christine Haynes – Surprise! This is yet another pattern I already own. I’m in need of a more formal little black dress (LBD) because the one I have is a bit old and has been seen by everyone in my circle numerous times. I still love the one I have, but feel like I need to add another one into the mix. I’m hoping to find some kind of black on black or primarily black print for a sophisticated look.
- Blanc Tee by Blank Slate Patterns (aff link) – I need to stock up on my basic tee collection as my old ones have become either stained or completely stretched out and lost shaping. I chose this pattern because of the nice scoop neck and cap sleeves. I will definitely make a few white tees and maybe a few stripes. These may even get a little vinyl treatment from my Silhouette Cameo.
- Chi-Town Chinos by Alina Design Co – The search for the perfect chinos has always been on my radar. I have a small waist, and thick thighs with a booty to match. Chinos tend to always have a huge gap for me at the lower back and I use to have the pockets sewn up by a tailor before I sewed myself. The slash pockets would always gape open and make my hips look wider than they are. I love the olive chino look and like an alternative to denim, but have to go much more relaxed in the leg to avoid my body issues. I’m hoping to (finally) have a nice tailored pair for a menswear look. I have a pair of saddle shoes…dying for some cute pants!
- Acacia Underwear by Megan Nelson – You know I love a great scrap-busting project and this is perfect for my lighter knits. I’m also very much interested in being able to make my own undies which have soft elastic that don’t bite into my skin. With the scraps I have, I also know these will be incredibly soft and I can’t wait to make a few!
- Holly (Jumpsuit) Trousers from By Hand London – Another pattern owned but I knew I wouldn’t get to these until the winter…so I’m just a few months behind. ;) These wide leg pants just spoke to me with the high rise and the dramatic leg. I will make a culotte version for the summer, but I really wanted a great pattern which I could later use for a traditional Ao Dai. This is a tunic and pant combo worn in Vietnam and it’s been on my list to make for years…but I’ve wanted to make a great pant to work with the tunic and I’m hoping this is it.
Have you made a commitment for your #MakeNine2018? Let me know if we have any in common! Good luck completing your list and I’ll keep you updated on my progress!