2018 in Review

Another year is over so I’m recapping what I’ve made in the last 12 months. I thought I hadn’t made as much in previous years, but I made 5 dresses, 4 sweatshirts (2 for my friend’s daughter), 2 Cleos, 4 Pairs of trousers, one of which was part of my Socialite Soiree suit, 4 shirts, and a coat. Plus I made a Freddie Mercury outfit and refashioned a bunch of things into a Miss Fisher outfit. Phew!

Here is my final Make Nine 2018 progress – I made 5 of them, which I think is the most of any Make Nine I’ve come up with. I still didn’t yet make jeans. 2019 will definitely be the year I finally tackle jeans! I made my Honetone Coat, Carnaby Dress, Ebony Dress (twice), Blaire Shirt and Portobello Trousers.

The thing I’m proudest of making this year (as I mentioned via the #myproudestmake hashtag) is my Honetone coat. I really took my time over it in February and I’m really glad I did. Apparently there is some really cold weather coming in January so this will still get lots more wear this Winter. I kind of want to make another coat, but I probably don’t need one.

My second favourite make from this year was the suit I made to wear to the Sewcialite Soiree. I made it in record time, (unlike my coat) because I left myself, like 3 full days and 3 evenings to make it in. The Joe Jacket came together really easily and I definitely want to make another one, in black and white houndstooth – if anyone has any ideas where to buy some suiting in houndstooth, let me know!

One of my favourite makes was my cropped Kalle shirt. I definitely want to make more Kalles. I did wear it quite a bit this year as we had an unusually long Summer.

2 things that I wore way more than I anticipated were my 2 Cleos. Though sadly I wore the mustard one to work a lot and when unloading a delivery from a van I got a big black mark on it, which hasn’t come out yet. Happily I have loads of mustard corduroy left over from my suit so I’m going to replace it – I think that will be one of my first makes of 2019.

Pretty much my only refashion project (except adding a hem band to a cropped Inari tee) was to make my Miss Fisher outfit for The Rafashioners. The coat will definitely get lots of wear in Spring and Autumn when it’s not too cold.

My love affair with shirts continued – I made 4, 3 of which were from patterns I hadn’t used before. (Clockwise from top left: Blaire, Honeycomb, Melilot, Kalle)

I also made 4 pairs of trousers – and I have lots more plans for more trousers in 2019. (Clockwise from top left: Persephone Pants, Simplicity 1696, Portobello Trousers, Mercury Trousers). I really want to make more Persephone Pants next year so I’m on the lookout for good fabric.

I also made 5 dresses last year, which is a lot considering I don’t wear them super often now I work hulking fabric around all day. Dresses aren’t the most practical of garments. I love the Laurel I made – definitely a good rediscovery of a forgotten pattern in my stash. (Clockwise from top right: Inari Tee Dress, Carnaby Dress, Ebony Dress (blue and gold))

Also this year I ‘launched’ my Hundred Years Wardrobe project – to sew something from each decade of the 20th century. I also completed the first project – this 70s Freddie Mercury Zandra Rhodes outfit. Sadly I didn’t dare wear it to the cinema when I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, which was amazing!

This year I joined my local brass band, and a swing band, playing the cornet/trumpet which I played for 10 years while at school. I went to their big Christmas concert last year and the year before and last year I finally plucked up the courage to talk to the band leader and then I played at the Christmas concert this year! I also spent rather a lot of money on a set of mutes so I made some storage bags to keep them from getting bashed and scratched.

The other thing I wanted to do in 2018 was to do some knitting and to make my partner some clothes. I basically didn’t do either of these for 51 weeks of the year – I have actually done some knitting over the Christmas break. I’ve been finishing a jumper I cast on probably 3 or 4 years ago!

All in all this was a pretty good year for me – I did plenty of sewing, played lots of music and got a new job which I don’t hate. My partner turned 40 and we went away for a weekend. And I’ve tweaked some stuff in our flat so it looks nicer and works better – and I’ve been clearing out cupboards this holiday season, which has been really satisfying! I finally renewed my passport and went to visit one of my best friends, with my other best friend, in Germany finally, which was really brilliant. I always feel stupidly pleased with myself when I manage to fly somewhere on my own!

I’ve also had quite a few periods of feeling low and uninspired this year but I tried to be kind to myself and not get annoyed at myself if I didn’t sew for a couple of weeks or blog as regularly as I might have liked. Sewing and blogging should be fun hobbies so if I didn’t fancy doing them, then I didn’t and I feel good about that.

#2018MakeNine recap

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while, and now we’re well over half way through the year, but I thought I would check in with myself to see how I’m doing with my #2018MakeNine.

I felt like I had made several of the things on my list of 9, but it turns out I’ve only made 3!

I’ve made the Marilla Walker Honetone Coat, 2 Closet Case Patterns Ebony dresses (1, 2), and a Nina Lee Carnaby dress (which I haven’t blogged about yet).

I sort of nominally planned one make per month and I was doing okay……until March apparently! I meant to make the 2 jeans patterns in April and May but I haven’t got around to either yet.

I’ve also decided to swap out the Victory Patterns Hannah Dress for the Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I have quite a lot of dresses in my wardrobe but I mostly wear separates, and mostly trousers and shirts (or other tops when it’s hot). And it looks like most of the last part of the year will be making jeans and trousers, which I do desperately need in my wardrobe.

I planned to join in with 3 of the Sew My Style projects and so far I’m not behind, as the bag and the bra are towards the end of the year. Although I did make my Kalle Shirt, I didn’t make it in time for the deadline, but I did make most of it in the right month.

How are you doing with your plans for the year? Are you as behind as I am?!

 

 

Gold Scuba Ebony Dress

Basically as soon as I finished my blue brushstrokes Ebony dressI ordered more scuba and made another one (though it’s only just making it to the blog)! I possibly love it even more, because of the amazing fabric and the fitting tweaks I made.

I bought the fabric from Sew Me Sunshine but they are sadly now out of stock – though I’m not surprised as it’s so nice. Fabric Godmother do still have it in stock, though, if you want to get your hands on some. I first saw the design as a cotton and was tempted to get some but wasn’t really sure what to make so I was thrilled when it became available as a scuba.

I made mostly the size 2 again, as with my first version, but I retraced the sleeves and armscyes in a size 6 as the sleeves were soooo tight in the size 2. I also again reduced the seam allowance to 0.5cm instead of 1cm to give myself even more room. The sleeves and shoulders definitely fit better on this version, though the other version is totally wearable. I also want to make the Ebony tee (probably in the cropped length) so I’ll probably make the same adjustment, though with a stretchier jersey it might not feel quite as restrictive – scuba has a relatively low amount of stretch, at least judging from the 2 I’ve used.

I still love the swingy shape of the Ebony – it is one of my favourite silhouettes out of everything I’ve made I think.

I sewed the dress on my sewing machine, with a zig zag stitch and then overlocked the seam allowances. I finished the hem and neckband with my trusty twin needle. I can’t quite get the tension right on my overlocker to feel like I’m happy sewing actual seams on it – also having had to unpick some overlocking before, I make too many mistakes to not stitch things first on my machine and then on the overlocker. Am I just being a wuss?

The only slight downside of this dress is that I recently changed jobs and am now working for a furnishing fabric company dispatching fabric (living the dream!) so I’m no longer based in an office and am lugging around bolts of fabric all day so I don’t know how much I’ll wear this. Though I’m tempted to wear it anyway, once the weather warms up a little – my workspace is really cold and I’m currently wearing 3 layers to work so this may not be warm enough until Spring finally arrives! I’ve realised I have lots of handmade dresses, so I can’t not wear any of them! Though I’m definitely going to focus on more casual basics and separates for the rest of the year.

 

 

December & January Makes and February Plans

I haven’t done one of these planning posts for a couple of months, but I want to get back into the routine so I’ll be more mindful and thoughtful in my sewing. December wasn’t super productive for me, what with Christmas and everything. I think I technically finished my New Craft House Party dress in December, though made most of it in November.

I did make the only 2 presents I successfully made in December – I also made another moss skirt for my sister, but it didn’t fit her because I forgot that the last time I made it, I reduced the seam allowances. I did make 2 Mini Chestnuts for my friend’s daughter and this Harry Potter tote bag for a secret santa present. The tote bag might have actually sneaked into January – I’m sure I’m not the only one who loses track of time over Christmas and New Year!

My first make of 2018 was my Chestnut sweater, which I blogged earlier this week. I really do love it! You can read about how much and the gorgeous snuggly sweatshirting I used in the post.

I also made 2 Ebony dresses from 2 different scubas and I love them both! And they’re really quick to run up.

I made half of a linden sweatshirt, but I was using a not very stretchy ponte for the sleeves, the neckband, cuffs and hem band but it wasn’t anywhere near stretchy enough to work for the neckband so I put it to one side and started on another project. I’ll probably finish it off this weekend.

And finally last month I made most of this spotty melilot shirt, which I’ve been planning to make for a few months I think. I’ve just got the collar stand to stitch down and topstitch, and then the buttons and button holes. I really do like shirt making, it’s so satisfying when all the pieces come together and you get to do some lovely topstitching!

So onto my plans for February. I’m going to finish the melilot and linden, hopefully in a single morning. Then my main plan is to make a coat – my first proper coat. I refashioned a coat a couple of years ago but there was none of the structure you actually need in a coat, the lining is just cotton and rolls to the outside of the coat because there is no facing.

As per my #2018MakeNine the pattern I’m going to use is Marilla Walker’s Honetone Coat.

The fabric I’ve got is some lovely electric blue and black wool I bought from Barry’s fabrics at Sew Brum. I don’t have any lining fabric yet – I want it to be the electric blue colour but I haven’t found anything I like so far. I also don’t really know what kind of fabric would work well as a coat lining – I don’t want to use that cheap acetate lining fabric. Any ideas of a good coat lining, I would be greatly appreciative!

I think this is the least I’ve ever planned for one month, but I want to take my time with the coat so it’s something I can wear for a long time and in cold weather – I might try to underline it with thinsulate or fleece or something. Again any tips gratefully received!

 

 

#2018MakeNine and Plans for the Year

Now that it’s January 2nd (and I’ve had my first day back at work, boo!), I thought I would do a little post about my sewing plans for the year – I did the same last year but this year I’m hoping to stay a bit more focussed on my Make Nine and other plans for the year so I maybe do a bit better than I did in 2017!

After careful consideration, here is my #2018MakeNine:

There are some repeats from last year – of the patterns I still want to make! And like in 2017 there are a lot of Closet Case Patterns on my list!

From left to right in rows from the top the patterns are:
1. Carolyn Pajamas – Closet Case Patterns
2. Honetone Coat – Marilla Walker
3. Ginger Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
4. Morgan Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
5. Carnaby Dress – Nina Lee
6. Ebony Dress – Closet Case Patterns
7. Hannah Dress – Victory Patterns
8 Guise Pants – Papercut Patterns
9. Portobello Trousers – Nina Lee

I have all of these patterns already and the list reflects my need for more trousers and jeans in my wardrobe. I also really, really, want to make a proper Winter coat in the first month or two of this year as I don’t have a really good coat that’s warm. The Carolyn Pajamas are also on my list as I want o level up by using piping for the first time – I already have 2 fabrics in my stash to make them so I have no excuses!

I am also again sort-of-joining in with #SewMyStyle this year – I made one pattern from the 12 last year and this year I’m planning to join in with 3 months, though I’m substituting one of the patterns.

In March it’s the Closet Case Patterns’ Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress – this would probably have made it into my Make Nine but I’ve snuck it into my plans here instead. November is lingerie month and I bought a bra kit at the New Craft House Winter Party which goes with the Harriet Bra pattern by Cloth Habit so this will be good motivation to actually use the kit and make a bra. This is part of my plans to level up my sewing this year. October has a couple of tote bag patterns as the prompts and I still want to make the Colette Cooper bag so, again, I’ve taken it off my Make Nine and added it to the Sew My Style list instead.

In theory this gives me one thing per month to make, so as long as I keep focussed I’m hoping I can get all of this done. Listening to this week’s Love To Sew Podcast definitely helped me to think about what I want to achieve this year – mostly taking on more involved, advanced projects with a few easier sews thrown in. I would definitely recommend it if you’re struggling to narrow down your choices for Make Nine, if you’re taking part.

I have a couple of other things I would like to do this year – like take up knitting again, and make some clothes for The Boyfriend – but I am also going to try to be a bit easy on myself if I don’t get all of this done. I’m sure I would have time to do everything I wanted if I didn’t have to have a job, but then I wouldn’t be able to afford fabric or patterns!

What are your plans for the year? Are you hoping to grow your skills or your wardrobe?