Thursday, 11 February 2021

Make Nine Challenge 2021

With lock downs, shielding and curfews nothing feels normal at the moment and I don't know about you but my timeframe is all over the place. So although we're already well into February I still want to share with you my Make Nine Challenge choices for 2021.

I have to come clean and admit that I only completed 4 of last years challenge projects. I sewed a lot but didn't stick to the original plan. Why? Well, firstly I got tempted seeing other peoples gorgeous makes on social media and as 2020 revealed itself my wardrobe priorities and needs changed. I'm sure this happened to you too. 

I've put a lot more thought and planning into my choices for 2021. My aim is to make coordinated pieces in terms of style, colour and fabric choice. An equally important objective is to include projects to develop my technical skills. I have retained some projects from last year as I still really want to make them.

Make Nine Challenge 2021

Here's a run down of my choices for 2021, and why they made it to the list.

Cocoon Coat by Sew Over It

I love the easy simple lines of this on trend Cocoon Coat by Sew Over It. It's very versatile dressed down with jeans and a long sleeved tee for a casual look or vamped up with a retro dress and heels. As my first ever coat project the dropped shoulders and lack of fastenings make it a relatively straight forward introduction to coat making and tailoring techniques. I am going to add the optional welt pockets which increases the technical challenge. This project represents lots of firsts for me. Coat making, interlining, inserting welt pockets, plus cutting and sewing thick coating fabric and layers. 

At 5'2" I will also need to shorten the sleeves on a dropped shoulder garment whilst maintaining visual balance between sleeve and shoulder seam. I don't want a shoulder seam which falls at my elbow as it would look odd, but I will probably need to lose around 3" from the sleeve length. The same goes for placement of the welt pockets as I'm petite. So lots to think about at the pattern alteration and cutting stage.

1940s Tea Dress by Sew Over It

I do love the inhouse retro style of Sew Over It. Their iconic 1940s Tea Dress was on the list last year. It's going to require some work to fit the bodice in a woven fabric and so I put it off because of weight I'd gained due to medication. 

Living through Covid has changed my outlook quite a bit. Life's too short to wait for this or that thing to be perfect. The time is now! So I'm going to make this dress for the shape and the woman I am today. It's time to embrace those curves! 

Long Sleeve Shirt McCalls M6436

I picked this pattern because I like the relaxed fit and I've yet to make a shirt. With my new found confidence in making buttonholes I really want to give shirt making a try. As well as fitting and constructing a collar and stand, the big challenge here will be handling tricky fabric. Recommended fabrics are Crepe de Chine, Challis and Charmeuse all potentially difficult fabrics to sew with. Wish me luck!  

Antrim Dress by Itch to Stitch

This beauty made it to the list because I really need a smart wrap dress in my summer wardrobe. I loved the Itch to Stitch Uvita top pattern, which is so well drafted, and I'm keen to try something else by this designer. I love the styling of the Antrim Dress and the pattern includes cup size options (aff link). So no fretting about making a full bust adjustment. How fabulous is that!

Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Core

I keep seeing gorgeous versions of the stylish Carolyn Pyjamas popping up all over social media and I need a pair! For my first attempt I'm going to make them in a cosy soft brushed cotton. The fabric has a check so there will be the added challenge of pattern matching. Some firsts here include piping and shirt construction. I intend to make these pyjamas before making the McCalls shirt to practice some of the techniques. If all goes well I'm already thinking of a second pair in a luxurious Liberty Lawn Cotton with short sleeves for summer.  

Ginger Jeans by Closet Core

I've heard such amazing things about the Ginger Jeans and really want to try to make the perfect fitting jean for myself. I've picked the Mid-Rise version pattern but there are also Flared and a High-Rise Skinny pattern options to chose from. Besides the obvious fitting challenge there are some big technical tests here for both me and my sewing machine; sewing thick fabric, dealing with layers and achieving professional looking beautiful topstitching. No pressure then! 

Stella Hoodie & Joggers by Tilly & the Buttons

These made it to the list because the Stella Hoodie & Jogger combo are just so gorgeous and I desperately need some pretty loungewear (aff link). I've already purchased some lovely soft light blue sweatshirt fabric from Minerva and once I've checked out fitting issues I'm good to go. I tried to make joggers once before and they were a disaster. The fitting around the crotch was all wrong and I could not get it right. So far I've found TATB patterns to be exceptionally well drafted and so I have high hopes for fitting these joggers. Can't wait to share them with you.

Ultimate Trousers & Pussy Bow Blouse

Another project that's been on the list since last year the Ultimate Trousers and the Pussy Bow Blouse. With nowhere to go I never got around to making this smart blouse and trouser combo. Technically two garments but I want to achieve a coordinated outfit with these two lovelies so I will plan them together. 

Trousers are my nemesis so during a resent sale I treated myself to the Ultimate Guide to Sewing & Fitting Trousers Classic Course from Sew Over It. The course covers both the Carrie Trousers and the Ultimate Trousers and the patterns are included in the cost. 

Galena Dress by Little Lizard King

Finally, the Galena Dress is a fabulous new free pattern from Little Lizard King a designer I had only really associated with children's clothes, but I was wrong! With fabulous, on trend, bishop sleeves, pretty gathered sleeve caps and flattering raised waistline this is a fantastic freebie! I've already made a start on mine and made a toile of the bodice and bishop sleeve to check fit. So I'm ready to cut and sew my Galena in this pretty floral double brushed poly from Knitpop who have a fabulous selection of stretch fabrics (aff link).

I know it's being greedy but I will also sneak in a Cielo top and dress ... I just have to have THOSE sleeves in my life! 

I'm planning the dress in a fabulous dark blue 100 % linen from Pound Fabrics UK, and the top in a luxurious Atelier Brunette drapey viscose. 

Looks like it's going to be a busy year ahead. I hope you had as much fun picking your nine as I did and if you haven't decided on yours yet than perhaps my list has inspired you. 

I'm feeling very excited and rearing to go so I guess I better get in the sewing room and carry on sewing!

See you all soon
Linda x

This blog article contains some affiliate links to products. Where this is the case links are marked (aff link). The item doesn't cost you more to buy but I do get a small commission enabling me to keep bringing you pattern and product reviews. The views expressed in this blog article are entirely my own. 


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Make Nine Challenge 2021

With lock downs, shielding and curfews nothing feels normal at the moment and I don't know about you but my timeframe is all over the pl...