Thursday, 30 January 2020

2020 Make Nine Challenge

Wow 2020 is already well and truly underway and with February just around the corner time is flying by fast! 

When I look back at 2019 it was a roller coaster ride of sewing, painting and renovating a pretty stone outbuilding to be my new sewing workshop. I'm so excited to finally have this happy creative space! I'll do a tour of my sewing space later but for now here's a quick sneak peek of this beautiful space 💝 I feel so blessed to have this chance and I thank everyone involved in making this possible ... especially the talented Sergio Patron 💖

Setting Goals

The quiet period between Christmas and New Year was the perfect time to reflect on my sewing journey in 2019 and to develop sewing related goals for 2020. 

Last year my sewing seemed rather ad hoc and driven by stumbling across a must have pattern or some totally gorgeous fabric I couldn't live without. I didn't have any real focus or plan other than to sew some nice things.

This year I want to be a little more organised and make my sewing about developing skills and developing a capsule wardrobe. To help achieve this I decided to participate in the Make Nine Challenge on Instagram. I'm sure I'll sew much more than this but after much deliberation here are my nine chosen projects. 

Make Nine 2020

Each one made it to the list for a reason. Some are there because I want to learn a new technique, others to build a seasonal capsule wardrobe and others just for the fun!

Projects in Perspective

Sew Over It features largely in my list for 2020. I just love the retro style and wonderfully versatile patterns. I've made quite a few already and find the patterns so well drafted and the instructions simple to follow. Lisa Comfort provides so much additional support material through her You Tube tutorials and Stitch School. A great place to start if you are new to sewing. Her patterns offer something for everyone.

Erin Skirt by Sew Over It

I'm planning a short version of this skirt in a stretch denim or a corduroy. This will be my first time making a sewn on waist band, inset pockets and button holes so plenty of techniques to learn here. I will definitely start with a toile to get a good fit and to practice techniques before letting myself loose on my special fabric 😁  

1940's Tea Dress by Sew Over It

My Sew Over It love affair continues with the 1940's Tea Dress. I have wanted to make this dress since forever but with health problems and subsequent weight gain over the last year I've kept putting it off. So I recently gave myself a stiff talking to and decided to embrace my curves and make it anyway.....who knows when I'll see skinny again and in the mean time I could be strutting this gorgeous vintage robe ! The technical challenge with this project is fitting a tailored bodice. I have yet to make a such a fitted garment in a woven fabric. This  bodice will really test my skills and be a steep learning curve. I will start with a toile to nail the bodice fitting before I use this super cute dusty blue mini dot crepe from Knitpop (aff) to make the final version.

Portland Pants & Summit Peak Hoodie by New Horizons Designs
Here we're on a whole different vibe, relaxed and chilling out in style with the Summit Peak Hoodie and the Portland Pants. I've heard and seen such good things about both these patterns by New Horizons Designs and I can't wait to try them out. The challenge for me in this project will be inserting a zip into stretch fabric and getting a nice flat finish. The other will be fitting the joggers. I see this as a good way to practice fitting before venturing into woven jeans and trousers. I anticipate this being a really fun project with the lovely colour blocking features on the hoodie.

I've earmarked this gorgeous lavender grey floral for the pants and hoodie front bodice panels.. now to find some contrasting fabrics of the same weight. Another gorgeous fabric I'm hording from Knitpop (aff)

Betty Dress by Sew Over It

Yes you guessed it, another dreamy Sew Over It pattern with a retro vibe. This time the Betty Dress which I can see becoming a staple of my summer wardrobe for 2020. Another pattern I've been wanting to make for ages but felt I lacked the skills. With such a flattering silhouette created by combining a fitted bodice and circle skirt I can see me making a few of these. The Betty is the perfect capsule wardrobe essential to dress down for day time and jazz up with heels, clutch and a pretty silk cardigan for evenings out. I chose this pattern for the challenge of bodice fitting and tailoring and versatility as part of a capsule wardrobe . 

Sahara Dress by Bella Sunshine Designs

For the Sahara I plan to make the dress version with short sleeves, plunging back, scooped neck line and circle skirt. Whilst not necessarily a technically challenging sew the Sahara made the list as a versatile, easy to wear summer wardrobe staple. I think it will look stunning in this butter soft sage green floral double brushed poly.


Eve Wrap Dress by Sew Over It

When I first started sewing I went on a bit of a pattern buying frenzy (especially at SOI 😂) snapping up lots of patterns that I dreamed of wearing but didn't have the skills to make. Now nearly two years down the line and with more experience under my belt, it's time! 

I love love love the Eve Dress for it's flattering wrap over style and pure elegance. Different sleeve and hem options make it possible to create several versions which will all look unique. Living in the hot south of France I'm really excited to add the freshness of Eve to my spring and summer wardrobe. The technical challenge of this dress will be working with fine weight fabrics... which I'm begging my machine not to eat !! Also handling the bodice cut on the bias without stretching out the fabric ... wish me luck 😬 

Three dreamy fabrics with Eve written all over them !

Wrapped Cardigan by Seamly

I'm such a lover of swishy, drapy, waterfall cardigans and this design by Seamly is just screaming to be made up in lots of different colours and fabric weights. Perfect for an easy evening cover up over a floaty dress and equally wonderful for a comfy relaxing Sunday over a tee and jeans. This cardigan made it to the list as a practical and versatile addition to my mid season wardrobe. 

I'm planning to make another Sahara dress in this pretty floral DBP and the Seamly Wrap Cardigan in the plain burgundy which is so on trend this year. 

Ultimate Trousers & Pussy Bow Blouse by Sew Over It

With a few European city breaks in the pipeline this year the Sew Over Ultimate trousers and Pussy Bow combo will make the fabulous center piece of a weekend getaway wardrobe. This will be my first time making woven trousers and I anticipate some technical issues getting the fitting right. It was love at first sight with this cute butterfly stretch cotton and adorable teamed up with a pussy bow in the same dusty pink colour Lisa is wearing.  

Swing Coat M7478 by McCalls

Lastly I've included a coat in my nine. As a technical tailoring challenge I guess it doesn't get more ambitious or difficult than this. I'm not even going to begin to list the skills involved but I'm sure this make will require blood, sweat and swear words in copious amounts. I'm planning on version A after seeing the sublime version made by the so very talented Beatrice Winter. Click this link to see her version on Instagram 

So that's a run through my Make Nine Challenge Projects for 2020. I would love to hear your thoughts on my picks and fabric choices and most of all to hear what you are planning to make this year.

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