2016 challenges and a little look back

I didn’t think I’d be posting again until the new year, but then I remembered that I never tied up the loose ends of the various challenges I took part in this year…

 First up is the #2016makenine challenge that was set by Rochelle from Lucky Lucille over on Instagram. This is what my initial nine projects looked like:

Fairly quickly I realised that wasn’t going to happen, so I took each project as more of an inspiration image than a picture of the object I planned to make. I tried really hard to stick to very similar items, but it has changed a bit! 

This is what I ended up with:


I managed 5.5/9. I’m only giving myself a half mark for my jumper, as it still needs another sleeve!

I made the laule’a socks first, and those along with the my Waver raincoat and Kielo dress are the only three which made it from my original list. I switched the two Brooklyn Tweed patterns for two different BT patterns, the Gurnsey Wrap (still unblogged! Bad blogger!), and the Bronwyn Sweater. Finally, I switched the M6696 shirtdress for the M7351 shirtdress. I once again failed to make a bra, or jeans! I did muslin the Republique du Chiffon Madeleine dress, but it needs a fair amount of fitting to make it work so I gave up in a grump.

I found this was a really good way to focus my plans a bit, so I’ve made another #makenine collage for 2017. This time it’s just made up of inspiration images rather than actual patterns, to avoid the ‘cheating’ which occurred this year!

All images from Pinterest

So for 2017, I’d like to make a velvet tee shirt, a fitted sheath dress, a shift dress/tee dress, those bloody jeans (for the third annual to-do list in a row), a biker style jacket, a midi skirt, a woven wrap dress, a wrap pencil skirt, and a pair of high waisted shorts. I’m pretty sure I should be able to manage each of these, I have fabric and patterns lined up for most of the garments already! Not that my plans aren’t bound to change…

The other challenge I took part in this year was the 2016 vintage pledge. I wanted to make three garments from vintage or reproduced vintage patterns, and I only managed two. I’m really happy with both my 1960’s party dress and my 1930’s day skirt though! 


I had a few patterns which were strong contenders for my third vintage pattern, but in the end I just didn’t want to sew any of them up enough to do it! These challenges are all just self imposed, so I can’t get too worked up about not finishing them. It has to be fun right?

And that’s the reason why I’m not going to go back and look at my goals for 2016 which I set this time last year (I’m pretty sure they’ll say “Make Jeans!”). I know I’ve improved in a few areas that I really wanted to work on, like fitting wovens and matching patterns to suitable fabric. I’m especially pleased with the progress I’ve made in getting things to fit better, it’s such a noticible change in my sewing. I’ve also been trying really hard to be more relaxed about my sewing. It’s meant to be fun, I shouldn’t be stressing out so much about everything being so perfect. As long as it’s good enough for me to live with, I’m trying to be happy with it! On the other hand, if I can’t live with it, I’m trying to go back to fix it rather than letting t languish and annoy me every time I go to put it on. Everything has to balance out!

So there we go, hopefully some new plans and a new outlook to take into 2017. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/holiday period, and that you’re getting plenty of rest before New Year’s festivities kick off! I’m spending quality time with my sewing machine and my furballs…


Old picture, but they look pretty much the same now (just twice the size), asleep on whatever I’ve left on the floor of my sewing room…

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6 thoughts on “2016 challenges and a little look back

  1. I looked back at my ‘make nine’ and noticed that while I made some of them, others were no longer projects I’d be interested in. This year I am trying to plan my ‘make nine’ around material I already have in stock. I hope this will help me sew what I have and make better goals. That 30s day skirt is something I’d loooove to add to the list. It’s wonderful!

    1. I found the same thing, especially with my knitting plans! Other patterns took my fancy, and it seems silly to spend time making something just because ‘I said I would’. Yay for flexible plans!

  2. Oh my I love your challenges and well, I might have to set myself some, as well (this is amazing for sewing newbies like me) even tough it is already February… I love the shorts, flowery dress and yellow skirt (it looks so much like the one Audrey Hepburn wore in roman holiday!). This is on my list now as well…;) Much Love, Thyra

    http://goldhaende.wordpress.com

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