In Knitting/ Sewing

Nine New Projects for the New Year

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times already, but I can’t believe it’s almost 2016. Where did this year go?! Time flies when you’re having fun? Time flies when you’re getting older? Probably both… but in any case, it’s that time of year again. The time where I make some new goals for myself and do my best to not immediately rebel against those goals – Ha!

In 2016 I’m really looking to concentrate on sewing for comfort, advancing my knitting, and making projects where I can showcase my block printing.

So, here are nine new-to-me patterns I’d like to make in the new year. And hey, if these exact patterns don’t make it out of the envelope, I’ll still know I’m working towards similar styles and themes.


1.) One of the first patterns in my 2016 queue is Fen by Fancy Tiger Crafts. I bought it earlier this month at Finch on a whimsical trip through Leesburg, VA and I was drawn to it for many reasons. Mainly: Comfort factor! It looks like the ultimate comfy dress. I also like that there is a real Capsule Wardrobe appeal with all the different variations in one pattern. Not to mention, Fen can be made in both woven and knit fabrics, AND! …pockets.



2.) The Darling Ranges pattern by Megan Neilsen has been on my radar for years but I never committed to buying it online, so when I saw it for sale at Finch I scooped it up along with Fen. I could also see this dress made with a stable knit as well as a woven fabric, and again, the comfy-but-still-cute factor appeals to me.



3.) The Lark Tee by Grainline Studio is one I don’t own yet but I really want it. I love all the neckline/sleeve variations and the casual fit. There’s good Capsule Wardrobe potential with the Lark pattern. I’m finding that I don’t mind making the same pattern over and over (Hollyburn and Archer ring a bell?) so lots of style variations within one pattern appeals to me, too.



4.) The 241 Tote by Noodlehead is one I bought several months ago, and planned to make with some of my block printed fabric, but then it got pushed to the back burner. I’m a ‘one bag’ kind of girl so I’m looking forward to taking my time with this one and sewing it in a fabric combination that will go with mostly everything.



5.) The Watson Lingerie Set by Cloth Habit is a pattern I had very little interest in last year, but now that I’ve been sewing more with knits I’m starting to collect quite a bit of sizable scraps that I’d like to put to good use! It’s funny how things change. This lingerie set seems to be a good introduction to sewing undergarments, and looks comfortable to boot!



6 & 7.) Sweater Coats for Lucille and I! I’ve been meaning to sew something for Lucille for years now and I haven’t done it yet. The poor dog has more fitting issues than I do with her “sturdy” chest and narrower waist (little lady has a more womanly figure than me, haha!). Finding store bought clothes meant for Bully Breeds is tough and she could definitely use a new winter coat. I’ve also been on the hunt for a nice, simple fleece sweater for myself. This Mimi G pattern looks like a good one.



8.) The Bough Hat and Cowl by Brooklyn Tweed looks ambitious for me but if I want to advance my knitting I need to just dive in and go for it. According to Instagram, I taught myself to knit exactly 157 weeks ago (98 weeks since I learned to knit in the round) and since then I’ve been playing it pretty safe. I’ve dipped my toe into the world of cables and lace but now I want to knit something that really challenges me. Let’s see how  many times I have to turn to YouTube to get through this one!



9.) Ah yes, Leggings. How many times am I going to write about needing leggings before I actually sew a pair?! The leggings and tunics combo is kind of my thing and I’m definitely going to dedicate some time to sewing a pair of leggings I’ll actually wear. I did actually sew a pair of leggings, almost exactly a year ago (a Burda sloper pattern), but the waist was too loose and the hips were a bit too snug. I never went back to adjusting them and therefore I never wear them. I’m hoping the Manila Leggings by Seamwork will have a more modern cut that needs very few flat pattern adjustments. We’ll see!


Last year, around this time, I told myself I would treat 2015 as a stepping stone for better things to come in 2016, and I can honestly say I did that! I tend to be more successful when I give myself a clear focus and something to push towards, but also permission to jump ship when that feels like the best option. Also, TIME! Everything always takes more time than I think (hope) it will. That goes for sewing, knitting, and pretty much everything else in my life.

Finding comfort in clothing, breaching my comfort zone with knitting, pushing myself to create better design work, and learning patience with everything – I’d say those are the greater goals here. …but also just simply making cute things. Because I can 😉

What are some things you’re working towards, or are excited to make, in 2016?


(EDIT: I didn’t originally intend for this little project to have an accompanying hashtag when I first published this post, but then I saw the #2015BestNine tag on Instagram and thought I’d share my Make Nine plans instead. I’m glad it’s getting shared around because it’s been SO inspiring to see/read about everyone’s #2016MakeNine plans! So awesome!)

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  • Dude, you can do the Bough hat, easily! It’s funny- cabled stuff with a chart looks super scary, but after you’ve done the repeat once or twice you’re like, “ohhhhhhhh” and it’s easy as pie. 🙂 With those Brooklyn Tweed patterns that have different charts, I just cut out the charts and tape them together in order so I don’t get confused, but anyone slightly more organized than me probably won’t need to do that. 🙂

    • Aww thanks for the vote of confidence! 🙂 That’s a really good idea to tape the charts together in order. I could totally see myself doing that. I’d like to think I’m pretty organized, but I also have craft ADD and get confused with chart situations. We’ll see how I do!

  • Elena Rosa Brown

    It’s like we’re sewing pattern twins. Most of these are on my 2016 hit list – including the Fen, Watson and Lark. I’m also aiming to make Closet Case File’s Clare coat and Ginger jeans. Man, 2016 sure is looking busy isn’t it?

    • Awesome! Pattern Twins! I’m excited to see your versions 🙂

  • Lovely, diverse array of patterns. The shape of the tote bag in particular really jumped out at me. It’s fun, modern (but in a classic-in-the-making kind of way), and looks like it would hold a lot (always a plus with such bags :)).

    Happy sewing in 2016, sweet lady – and a very joyful year to you on all other fronts as well.

    ♥ Jessica

    • Thanks, Dear! I hope you have a super stellar 2016 as well. Best of luck with your Etsy shop, not that you need it with all your incredible success thus far!! You’re such an inspiration 🙂

  • If you make a Watson and have any questions, let me know! I’m the admin of a Facebook group for Bra Making and there are tons of questions that have been answered about the Watson. Would LOVE for you to join.

    • Thanks, Maddie! I really appreciate that 🙂 I’m off to check out the Facebook group now!

  • Ha, I so know about setting goals and then immediately rebelling… I did spend a good month focusing on sewing for cold weather like I promised myself this fall I would, but maybe it’s the Niño winter, but now I’m all “la la la I can’t hear you, I wanna sew cotton dreeeesses”. 😛 Sounds like you have a good handful of ideas and even if you switch things up it gives you an idea where you want to go with things! I realized myself I was extremely disappointed with my knitting this year, so it’s going to be a big focus next year although I’m not making concrete plans to rebel against. lol All the things (namely cropped cardis) in my head I want to fill in and continue to not have (but have the skills to make)… no more excuses!

    • Well, we both know you have the skills to make absolutely anything you come up with in your head! Make it happen, lady! You’ll always be my biggest knitspiration. And I really wouldn’t beat yourself up too much about “La lalala cotton dresssseesss” 😉 😉 Can one really have too many cute cotton dresses?! Yeah I don’t think so 🙂

  • Piper Springs

    Thanks, as always for the inspiration! I will sew pretty things because I can, too. Words to live by!

    • You’re so welcome! I’m happy to share words of inspiration 🙂

  • Faustine

    Sewing for comfort is in a sense also my goal for 2016. I have never been one to sew “frosting”. I have never sewn something that I did not wear in regular rotation, and all of my sewing has always saved me money. But, it has been vintage, and if there is one thing I’ve realised in the past year, it’s that my style as an adult has evolved not to please me, but to please everyone else. To make a very long story short: in high school it wasn’t entirely uncommon for me to be harassed in the streets over the way I looked. Middle aged men who should know better spat at my feet. I learned that small tweaks in my style made people friendly. And then I changed it more, and more, and more. Finally, strangers LOVED me. People stopped to chat with me out of nowhere, in a culture where you REALLY don’t talk to strangers. So, I was hooked. But, here I am, many years down the road, realising that I’ve never felt strong in all that time. So, I’m developing a whole new look for myself, which is basically the look that used to feel like strong and in-control me, but if she was all grown up (because I am) and ran a creative business (because I do). And it’s in ways a huge step away from my vintage looks colour palette, fabric patterns and silhouettes, which makes it feel weird and un-cool, since I’m in a vintage frame of mind these days, but the changes I’ve already made make me feel SO much more comfortable.

    • That’s such an inspiring story! I love that you’re making it a point to sew for YOU this year, not anyone else. That’s so important, especially when it impacts your self image and happiness so much. I also want to feel more comfortable in my own skin and more like “me”. Isn’t it amazing how empowering it can be to sew for yourself?

      I wish you the very best of luck with your goals. When your heart is in the right place, aspirations tend to get so much more achievable.

  • Nice choices! I haven’t seen Fen before, it’s super cute. It looks a bit like the Washi dress, a pattern I just adore. For leggings I HIGHLY recommend the Espresso Leggings by Cake Patterns. They’re very basic, but connect the dots approach means you get a pretty perfect fit every time. I’ve re-made it over and over for myself and others, and everyone loves them. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you make in the new year! My goal is to actually get back to blogging.

    • I’ve made a Washi dress before and I do like that pattern! Very cute! Also, thanks for the heads-up on Espresso. I have heard that’s a really great pattern now that you mention it. I guess I’ll have to try a bunch of different ones and see what works best for me 🙂

      p.s. another one of my goals is to get back to blogging too, haha! I’ve been slacking as of late!

  • Sarah Koch

    I’m just learning to knit and that scarf does look ambitious. There is so much going on, almost like a knitting sampler. It’s so inspiring that you were a knitting newb just a 157 weeks ago. Gives me hope.
    Also, I understand the leggings thing. I wear them ALL THE TIME, but hate sewing them and avoid it unless I can due it out of some crazy print that I rarely wear. Who wants to sew black leggings?

    • Yeah I have a sneaky suspicion I’m going to knit several not so scary looking hats and cowls in order to work up to that one! …or maybe I’ll get wild and just go for it lol! We’ll see. There’s always the hope!

      I am soooooo struggling with the “who wants to sew black leggings?!” (or t-shirts for that matter) dilemma but I dislike buying them more than I dislike the idea of sewing them at this point, so it’s time for me to bite the bullet! Wish me luck 😉

  • Hurrah! This is a great list 🙂 The Fen dress would be a great platform for your block/screen printing. I’m feeling the need to make a shirtdress, too, using McCall’s 6696. I’ve heard that the Manilla leggings are quite short and need a fair amount of tweaking. Simplicity 1256 has a great basic leggings option.

    I’ve been noticing a shift in my style to include the 40’s separates aesthetic – nice blouses tucked into smart high-waist trousers. Those and skinny trousers with tunics are on my to-sew list this year.

    • Thanks, Sarah! Yeah you’re the second or third person who’s mentioned the length on Manila. I guess we’ll see how they turn out 🙂

      Everything you make looks great on you!

  • Hélène

    Great inspiration for 2016. I wish you a wonderful sewing and knitting year. I love the idea of a Darling Range dress in stable knit like ponti di roma and I might give it a try as well. Just to let you know, I made Colette’s Manila leggings pattern earlier this year and they are nice but rather short. You might want to add some length beforehand.

    • Yes, I think a ponte knit is the way to go! I’m glad you agree 🙂 Oh, and thanks for the tip about Manila!

      Wishing you a new year of fantastic sewing and knitting, too!

  • sewinsteady

    Fun plans! I love thinking of all the things I could sew/add to my wardrobe in a year, if I were to simply focus, ha! Also: The Finch! I’m in Northern VA and love that adorable store/studio. Next time you’re in town, we should coordinate a shopping trip!

    • Oh absolutely! I’d love to visit Finch again! Such a gorgeous shop. One of my very favorites now.

  • Victoria Anderson

    Great goals! My goal is to complete an 1850s outfit. And maybe a couple modern dresses.

    • Oh wow, 1850s would be so fun to sew! Best of luck with your projects 🙂

  • That Mimi G cardigan looks perfect for you! (First I was trying to picture you sewing the skirt or crop top, but the cardigan makes much more sense! 😉
    Happy sewing, and happy 2016!

    • Haha, yeah I’m not sure a crop top suits me. Though I have seen some suuuuuper cute ones floating around out there that make me curious to try the look! I’ll start with the sweater coat. Much more seasonally appropriate anyways 😉 😉

      Happy Sew-y 2016!! <3