2017 Make Nine

December 21, 2016

Almost a year ago to the day I decided to blog about nine new projects I wanted to make in the new year. Inspired by the ever popular “Best Nine” roundup on Instagram I shared a “Make Nine” instead. While I didn’t finish every single pattern I set out to make over the course of 2016, it was still really helpful to kick off the new year with a solid plan of action with some visible goals to work towards. I allowed myself to be flexible and make adjustments as the year went by, working towards similar silhouettes and themes rather than exact patterns.

First I want to recap what I actually completed over the course of this year. I made some small changes to my initial 2016 Make Nine list, and out of those nine patterns I completed five: Lark Tees (soooo many Lark tees!), Hudson Pants, a Dog Coat for Lucille, Fen, and Driftless (not blogged). I did not finish a handmade bag, me-made underwear, the Bough hat, or the Darling Ranges dress. I didn’t finish those things simply because I realized I wasn’t that into them as the year went by and that’s totally okay. In fact I gave myself permission to “jump ship” when that felt like the right thing to do.

My most important goal, then and now, is to work towards a me-made wardrobe that I actually love to wear and wear all the time, and from that standpoint this was my most successful year of sewing to date! I made way more than nine things all together and I wore more homemade garments this year than I ever have – YES!

(images sources clockwise from top left: Newcastle // Bough // Button-Up // Jacket // Sweater // Leggings // Jul // Lark // Quilt )

In no particular order, here are nine patterns and goals I’m going to work towards in 2017. Following my theme from last year I’m going to set myself up for success and allow myself to be forgiving and flexible. My overall goal is to focus on quality over quantity. I want to create wearable pieces to replace what I already know I love about my RTW wardrobe, as well as re-make a few homemade things I got wrong the first time.

Number 1.) This is actually a menswear pattern but the Newcastle Cardigan by Thread Theory has been sitting unmade in my stash for too long, especially considering how many boyfriend sweaters I own and love! I want to experiment and make versions in all different kinds of knit fabrics. I’m picturing traditional sweatshirt fleece as well as lighter weight drape-y jerseys. I’m really drawn to the foldover shawl collar on this pattern. I think that’s what’s missing from the Driftless I made last month and why I’m not quite as excited about it as I thought I would be. My most favorite RTW sweaters have shawl collars.

Number 2.) The Bough Hat by Brooklyn Tweed was on my 2016 list and I’m actually glad I haven’t started it yet. I’ve improved my knitting posture and tensioning technique SO much over the last few months which I desperately needed to work on. Not to mention I’ve learned a few new stitches, I’ve gotten a taste of charted knitting patterns, plus I have a much better idea of what kinds of colors I like to wear near my face. Turns out color wearability is pretty important for the success of a hand-knit!

Number 3.) I’ve made a lot of button-up shirts in the past but there’s only one that I wore in 2016 and it wasn’t actually made by me. The button-up shirt I wear the most is actually a hand-me-down that a friend of mine bought at a thrift store and it’s graced this blog randomly many times (like in this post). I’m seriously considering cutting it apart in order to make a pattern from it since I don’t have too much personal attachment to it other than it’s the only non-tee shirt I have that is long sleeved and features all my favorite flattering colors. I wore more solids and classic neutral prints this year than I ever have before, which seems very uncharacteristic of me if you’re a long time blog reader but I just didn’t feel happy in bold prints this year for some reason. I’m loving the soft earthy brown of the Anthropologie shirt shown above and I’d like to copy it.

 Number 4.) I am SO super in love with this moto jacket designed by Mimi G for Simplicity patterns! I love the style, the color, the fabric – everything! I’d like to take my time, do a proper muslin fitting, and then make a jacket just like this that I can be really, really proud of.

Number 5.) I just found this sweater on Pinterest the other day and totally fell in love with it. I love the colors, the stripes and even the weird patch things on the sleeves. I’m thinking I could hack a Grainline Studio Hemlock tee or a Linden to make a very similar sweater. I’m already searching for oatmeal and black striped french terry and coral rib knit fabrics 😉

Number 6.) My passion project for this year is going to be leggings. That is, creating the most perfect-for-me pair of best-fit-ever leggings. All of last month I was wrestling with the fit of the Sloan Leggings by Hey June and after 8 or 9 alterations they still aren’t wearable. They’re cut for a woman with much more athletic proportions than I have and it’s been pretty frustrating coming to the realization that I’m just not built like that …but! One of my goals for 2017 is to get back into athletic-y things so maybe some day I will be. But until then I’m considering drafting my own custom pair and starting from the ground up. I’d love a crushed velvet pair like the ones from this seller on Etsy and I’m swooning over this fabric from Blackbird – it’s my favorite color to wear!

Number 7.) I’ve actually made two Wiksten Jul hats since learning how to knit, one in a blue color that’s a poor match for my skin tone, and one in bright salmon pink that I really, really love (I’m quite literally wearing it right now as I type this) but pink doesn’t always go with everything. Out of all the hats I’ve made so far in my knitting career I love the fit of this one the best. It has the perfect amount of slouch for my small head and I feel like it fits me really well. I’d like to make another one this year in a neutral color, or one of my “core” warm colors that will go with pretty much everything. I actually just ordered some color cards from O-Wool to help me narrow that down.

Number 8.) I have one sorta big ambitious goal for sewing this year and that’s to replace all of the RTW t-shirts in my wardrobe with me-made versions. That actually isn’t as big of an undertaking as it may sound because I’ve been whittling down my clothing and taking more of a capsule wardrobe approach as of late. That’s something I’ve been gravitating towards naturally, apparently I really love wearing the same things over and over and over, and even having 5 or 6 tees in various solids and neutral prints would be plenty. I made more than five Lark tees this past year so I know I can accomplish this!

Number 9.) Last but not least, I really want to make another quilt. I’ve only made two quilts in the past but they get so much love in my house and I always enjoy piecing them together. It’s so satisfying to me. I’ve got some scraps pulled aside already and I’ve downloaded the Picnic Quilt by Cotton & Steel so I’m off to a good start on this goal. Obviously it’s the doing, not the planning that gets goals accomplished but still… off to a good start.

Well that wraps up my #2017MakeNine list! If you’d like to play along you can share your list on Instagram using that hashtag, and tag me at @rochelle_new so I can see – I’d love to check out your plans for the new year!