Sunday, 14 January 2018

My #MakeNine and Top 5 Sewing Goals for 2018

Hi everyone!

How this year shaping up for you so far? I have to confess I haven't even started sewing yet, but I have some lovely plans that I'm keen to get cracking with. I've mashed up two social sewing tags with Crafting a Rainbow's Top 5 for the skills I want to work on this year, plus Lucky Lucille's Make Nine which I like the open-ness and flexibility of. 

Make Nine Plans


Inspiration image from Old Town

1. Popover Shirt
I have to make this as it's Angus's Christmas present and is already overdue! There isn't a pattern for a men's popover that I can currently find. I was going to hack the Colette Negroni, which I've made for Angus once before, but having bookmarked all the tutorials I got frozen with fear at how many changes would need to be made to the pattern to change the neckline to a stand collar and convert the front to popover. Instead I decided to draft a shirt on Freesewing.org which hopefully should be a bit easier to hack. Will let you know how I get on! I'm hoping it will go well so I can use these skills to play with popover shirts for myself too...



2. Mimi G Flares (Simplicity 1283)
I've had a nice little run of making fun black trousers for myself and am keen to get cracking with these; I've had the pattern for years but have just bought myself some black ponte (although it seems they can also be made up in a stretch woven, which isn't listed on the envelope but perhaps I might prefer). 



3. Mimi G Polo Necks (also Simplicity 1283)
I also really like the polo neck that comes in the same pattern pack, but would need to lengthen it as I most certainly do not have washboard abs! I think this could be a great candidate for using up some merino jersey I've been holding onto for too long. I have a black polo neck jumper that I've had since I was at university, over ten years, and it still gets almost weekly wear during the colder months. I definitely need to increase my offering in this department.

© Marilla Walker


I follow What Katie Sews and have been stalking her travel blog lately for Japan tips; I'm very late to the party with this pattern (it was released in 2014) but think it would be quite fun and hopefully good travel wear for Japan. I like the woven tee as well, am hoping it will be a candidate for some lovely rabbit-print Japanese fabric I have (as the Patrones woven tee is out the window).

© Marilla Walker


I'm not sure if the dress version is really me, but I love the shirt! I'd like to make this up in chambray or something solid with a bit of texture or interest like the sample, I love the interesting design lines.


6. A short sleeved Surf to Summit Cycling Jersey
I meant to make this up last summer and have all the materials; I just never got it ready in time for the weather and ended up pushing up the sleeves of my winter one all summer instead. I do already have a pair of unblogged cycling shorts that are meant to be part of the set with hilarious knock-off Olympics 2012 fabric! I need to make more of the long-sleeved version too, and lengthen the duathlon shorts to leggings for winter cycling...

© True Bias


7. More Lander Pants
Either the long version or the shorts – or both! I love this pattern, but I would have to do some shopping for new fabric as this is not stashable and I am trying to get through it all.

© Secondo Piano


8. Basic InstincTt-shirt (Free pattern!)
I really need to make myself some basic black and white t-shirts as, when I wear tees that's what I like to wear. Plus, I need to have some instant gratification basics in the mix for low-sewjo days.

© Self Assembly Required


Ruffles may have been a big hit last year but this looks like fun and I'd like to have a go. It's a free pattern after all!

I'm sure I'll make a dress at some point; I have a hankering for a wrap dress but haven't fixed on the pattern, and still want to sew the French Gypsy dress I still haven't got around to, and I have denim for more jeans (I need to make a better fitting pair of high-waisted Gingers but am scared of cutting into the Cone Mills denim I've had in my stash forever).

I also plan to use up my scrap stash a bit more by making “reusable wrapping paper” gift bags like I did for Christmas. They're quick to make and a great alternative to wasteful paper, and the recipient can gift them on too if they like, or keep the bags as a souvenir. Plus they clear out space for fabric I actually want!


Top 5 Sewing Goals for 2018:


1. Waistbands. I'd like to nail my perfect curved waistband and learn how reinforce it with stay tape or whatever, not be lazy and fall back on straight waistbands provided with the pattern that crumple and gape.

2. Improve my finishing – particularly at the top of zips. I often manage to distort my neckline with a messy top of the zip finish and need to learn the tips and tricks to get this looking good going forward.

3. Continue to improve on my fitting journey. I need to remind myself not to rush ahead for a quick finish and get an ill-fitting garment out of it, and learn to take it a bit more slow.

4. Learn how to use some of the other functions on my overlocker and sewing machine.

5. Try and plan to use up seasonally appropriate fabrics! I have some merino that I've been holding onto for too long that I need to prioritise into making something snuggly while it's still cold. I have a habit of trying to stick to my queue even if there've been delays because I want to wear that thing *right now* even if that means only wearing it a few times before having to put it away for the season.


I hope that's a sensible mix of fun and practical. Here's to a more thoughtful sewing year!

NorseOtter xx








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