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2018 Make Nine

Hello old friends and new readers! It’s that time of year again. Time for a fresh start, new goals to reach and new ambitions to make ALL THE THINGS!!!!! Well, if you’re like me you start out with the best intentions but then life happens and before you know it it’s December and you find yourself looking back on the previous year wondering where all the time went and why you couldn’t physically make ALL THE THINGS.

Spoiler Alert: It’s because you’re a human.

So here we are, back at the start of a new year equipped with 12 months of lessons learned to propel us forward towards Making success. So instead of making ALL THE THINGS, let’s really sit down and focus on just a few. Nine to be exact…

The “Make Nine” challenge first came to light by accident back in December of 2015 when the increasingly popular “Best Nine” hashtag was circling its way around Instagram. Instead of sharing my best nine photos from the past year, I looked to the future and decided to share nine projects I wanted to sew/knit/quilt in the new year. Thus, the inaugural #2016MakeNine challenge was born. Three years later the mini maker’s challenge continues, encouraging you to buckle down your focus and work towards a few solid goals.

Of course you can make more than nine things in a year if you want to! I usually do. But this challenge is especially helpful for those pressed for time (like me), looking to build a capsule wardrobe (also me), or pinpoint a mini collection of projects under a particular theme.

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!

(also goals: drink coffee, make art, read books, take naps, pet dogs ^^)

After you decide on your nine projects, be sure to share them on Instagram using the hashtag #2018MakeNine. I’ll be kicking off a fun photo challenge, #2018TakeNine starting January 1st, too! I’m @homerowfiberco on IG if you don’t know that already.

You can use a free app like Pic Frame, or stylize your own way to share your nine projects. Be sure to tag and give proper credit to any pattern-makers when you share.

 Need some help narrowing it down?

Here are 9 questions to consider when choosing your 9 projects:

  1. What do you want or need? Be forgiving about pattern choice but get specific about what you want/need to make this year.
  2. What did you learn from last year’s successes and “failures”? If you didn’t finish something on last year’s list, ask yourself why.
  3. What values are important to you? Are you working towards a capsule wardrobe? A more ethical one? Are you on a budget? Being practical about what you choose to make is not boring or against the spirit of a challenge. There is success in logic.
  4. What’s in your laundry basket right now that you wear all the time? Are you interested in trying to recreate it?
  5. What types of things do you really LOVE making? What do you dislike making? If you hate making pants, you don’t have to put them on your list just to feel like you conquered some new technique.
  6. Are you a seasonal maker? Maybe your Make Nine list only includes summer patterns. Or winter knits. That’s totally okay!
  7. Look at your calendar. Time isn’t found, it’s made. How much time can you make for each of the projects on your list?
  8. Do you want to stash-bust? Why or why not? Don’t force yourself to make something just because you’ve owned the pattern for years. If you haven’t made it yet, maybe your tastes have changed. That’s normal. No need to feel guilty about that. Maybe it’s time to re-home some patterns that no longer speak to you and start fresh.
  9. Is there a completely new-to-you type of project that you want to explore? Do you have the time and patience to explore it, knowing it’s possible you won’t like/wear it in the end? If yes, by all means branch out and try new things! That’s how you grow and get better.


I’m still working on my #2018MakeNine list and will share it in the coming weeks after I go through each of these questions myself. I can’t wait to see what you all make! Thanks for playing along with me 🙂


  • Tahlia Ewing

    I am so excited to have found this challenge! I started brainstorming this weekend while taking breaks from trying to turn the craft room into a functional guest room, and hope I to have my list done tonight! Thank you for the inspiration!

    On a style-related note, where on earth did you get those cute boots in the last picture?

  • agirlsewgeeky

    I’m taking part again and hope to do better this year! I have chosen my patterns with much more thought this time! Is it ok if I link the hashtag picture and this post on my blog, in case anyone else wants to check it out? x

  • Rochelle…I have a facebook group for the 2018 Make 9 challenge in case anyone is looking for accountability and inspiration. Could I link your blog post there for members to read?

    • Hi Danni, that’s great you’ve set up a Facebook group! It’s important to have accountability. Yes, please link to my post so everyone joining the challenge is working from the same starting point and has the same information moving into the new year. Also make sure you’re using the official hashtag: #2018MakeNine, not #makenine2018. Thanks so much for joining in! 🙂

  • Wendie Lowe

    I’m in. I’ve tried doing my Christmas gifts early and lose steam halfway through. I’m hoping this will help me stay focused.

    • It’s so tough to juggle many projects all at once. It’s easy for anyone to lose steam. I definitely do! I hope you find some value in Make Nine and are able to narrow down your focus a bit 🙂

  • Sharon

    I am only new to IG and have found a lot of references to TakeNine and this sounds perfect for me. I do sew, knit, bead, work full time and have husband and a 9 month old Border Collie Pup so my time is precious to me. I have tried Make A Garment a Month, I start off well but usually finish it the next month which doesn’t make me feel that I am participating at all. 3 less garments/items makes this a lot more appealing so I’m off to work out what my plans are.

    • Hooray! Happy to have you join in! Small challenges are great ways to make new friends on instagram, especially when you can browse everyone’s projects under one hashtag. I hope you enjoy taking part and feel excited about the challenge! Give your pup a pat on the head for me 🙂

  • Lillian Couture

    Count me in …

  • K. I’m in this year. But I’m sure I’m going to change some plans halfway through the year 😛

    • That’s totally allowed! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you pick!

  • Caroline Varney Cook

    Should this be all selfish makes or can you plan into it makes for other peopl?

    • Could be a mix of both selfish and gift making, or just one or the other – anything you want! 🙂

      • Caroline Varney Cook

        I love it. My wife loves that I sew and she has wants and needs! 🤩

        • That’s great! Can’t wait to see what projects you come up with for her! 🙂

  • S Creighton

    What a great idea! Thanks for including the questions – a perfect way to narrow the focus. I’m printing them and pinning them to the board in my sewing room.

    • I’m so happy you’re on board! Happy New Year!

  • As someone that is constantly downloading all the things in hopes of doing and making all the things, I’m in. Last year, I was in overdrive for the most part, for awhile it was two dresses a week, until I just couldn’t anymore. Can’t even tell you what happened, but December I completed not one thing and cried trying to finish the one Christmas project I had planned. Lately, I’m trying to sort all of the things to winnow stuff down, because I can’t make or do all the things even when I don’t work or have kids, nobody can.

    • Here’s to a new year, a fresh start, and being much more gentle and forgiving on ourselves for just doing the best we can (which is not finishing every single thing!) <3 Happy New Year

  • Great idea! Thank you for sharing! I look forward to participating and seeing everyone’s projects.

    • You’re welcome! Can’t wait to see what you come up with 🙂

  • Jenn DePersis

    I’m in! Thanks for doing this. I can start with the few things I gave up on for this year. : )

  • Leslie Blair

    I love this challenge too, because it’s not focussed on just one kind of making. With knitting and quilting, I can do this. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • You’re welcome! Can’t wait to see which projects you come up with 🙂

  • I love this challenge. It’s so achievable for me 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your list.

    • Thanks, Sarah! I love everything you’ve chosen for your list! <3

  • I keep reading and hearing (youtube) so much about this challenge which has made its way around the world in true “viral” style 🙂 I’d love to participate but I’m not an Instagram person (I don’t do cell phone – I know! WHAT??? – but when I’m out I have no desire to talk on the phone which is something I do enough at home) and Instagram is very cell phone-centric. In fact, you can’t use instagram except from a cell which is probably how it suddenly zoomed to incredible popularity so quickly. I will be watching from the sidelines however, and enjoying what everyone is making as part of this fun challenge 🙂

    • Steely Seamstress

      Instagram is phone-centric. It is possible to use it through a normal browser though, which is what I do as I don’t have a Smart phone and only a Nokia brick! I wrote a post about it here – I haven’t posted much on it lately as I much more a fan of blogs, rather than just “picture browsing” which is what seems to be the allure of Instagram!

      • Thank you for posting your article on instagram & apps! I hadn’t read anything like it before 🙂 I’m pretty tech savvy (we’re all rather hesitant to admit this – there are so many gradations of this description – talk about RELATIVITY 🙂 ) however I would say I matured with it having been a cpu operator for a library in 1982, married to a programmer also back in the ’80’s (I know so old-fashioned sounding now right?) and have had web sites since ’97. I’m 63 and would describe myself as sort of nerdy (aren’t most sewists?) but instagram really got away from me, not that it’s a major problem but it does mean I’m feeling more and more out of the loop. Recently while listening to the Love to Sew podcast I was crestfallen to hear them lightly joke about how fb is now for the older generation 🙂 and Instagram is for the young (read hip, with it, in the loop in this comment) I doubt I will go to the trouble of acquiring a third party app however tempted I am 🙂 If I’m not involved in the sewing community on Instagram I don’t think it’s a major loss. I do love blogs, vlogs and have joined several fb groups that are great fun.

        • You could easily turn your Make Nine list into a series of blog posts, too! That’s totally encouraged! I’ll be sharing my progress here and on instagram 🙂 No need to jump on a bandwagon you’re not interested in riding 😉 The important thing is to simply MAKE stuff. It doesn’t matter how you choose to share it.

          Happy New Year, Kathleen!