This year I wanted to try a more planned approach to my sewing projects and decided to join in with the #MakeNine2021 Challenge on Instagram. This challenge made me really think about the garments that I want to make, and secondly I'm hoping it will encourage me to find some valuable sewing time!
If you're not familiar with the #MakeNine Challenge, it was established in 2015 over on Instagram and is described as 'a gentle self-guided challenge for makers'. The founder, Rochelle, was inspired by the "Best Nine" hashtag and instead of looking at her best nine photos from the past year she decided to look to the future and share nine projects that she wanted to make in the future. If you'd like to join in it's not too late, you can find out more by clicking here.
Pictured below are my final nine choices....
Having chosen the styles that I'd like to make, I've tentatively paired these with fabrics that I think would work well.
Starting with the top row and working from left to right:
1. Edie Top & Dress (Merchant and Mills) - I love the balloon sleeves on this otherwise simple top and dress pattern, they're all that's needed to create a standout style.
I haven't decided yet whether I'll make the top or dress, or possibly both! However, initial fabric choices include Nani Iro's Waltz design which is printed on a soft cotton double gauze; or possibly Robert Kaufman's Indigo Denim 4.5oz.
2. Cielo Top & Dress (Closet Core) - another style with an (optional) statement sleeve! This pattern is really quite versatile, you can choose to make a fairly simple boxy tee or shift dress with a cuffed short sleeve or for a more statement look choose the gathered longer sleeve which is shown pictured below.
I have a definite look in mind for the top, inspired by a version made by French blogger Julie (@joliesbobines on Instagram) in a silk organza which she modified by adding an elasticated cuff to the sleeve to create a more dramatic statement sleeve. The fabric that I have in mind is the Kokka Seersucker Bubble fabric in Black which is semi-transparent and has a fabulous three dimensional quality to it with some structure.
The long sleeve dress would also look good made in our 8oz Denim in Black or Washed Indigo.
3. Cuff Dress (The Assembly Line) - the Cuff Top remains one of my favourite patterns and the dress version has been on my list to make since it was launched last year.
This style looks great, as shown above, in a plain fabric but I also think it would work equally well in a pattern. I like the idea of something to make a statement and think it would look fantastic made in Nani Iro's Chant et Poesie in Pinks and Blues. I also think it would look in the laundered linens by Merchant and Mills, in particular Scuttle Black, or the new lightweight denim by Robert Kaufman. Another possibility is the Homespun Essex Linen fabrics by Robert Kaufman, the woven structure of this particular weave would create subtle added interest.
Middle row left to right:
4. V-Neck Jumpsuit (The Assembly Line) - the relaxed fit of this jumpsuit is what clinched it for me, plus it looks like a great first make for this type of garment and is classed as suitable for beginners.
I like the idea of using either one of the Washed Cotton Twills by Mind the MAKER or for a lighter weight version any one of the Laundered Linens by Merchant and Mills would be lovely for spring/summer.
5. Wilder Gown & Top (Friday Pattern Company) - I made the top last summer which I really enjoyed making, so much so that I'd love to make another one.
I'm undecided as to whether it'll be another top or the dress version at this stage, or possibly both. For the top I'm looking at Nani Iro's Birds Eye design, an abstract equivalent of a ditsy floral which would look great in any of the colourways. I've seen some lovey linen versions of the dress on Instagram and that would be my choice too.
6. Mersis Dress & Top (Pattern Fantastique) - this brand are relatively new to me, it was this style that first alerted them to me. Of course it's those statement sleeves again...
I'll be adding these patterns to our collection in mid February. If you'd like to reserve a copy of the above pattern please email me via the Contact Page. I love this style exactly as is, so will be looking to make this in a linen such as the Sweeps Scrim Laundered Linen by Merchant and Mills.
Bottom row left to right:
7. The Pocket Dress (Nani Iro) - from the Nani Iro Sewing Book, this style has a beautifully designed unique silhouette, the clever use of buttons down the back creates a subtle waistline but at the same time it has a relaxed fit.
I think this shape would work well in a multitude of fabrics, and it works particularly well as a print vehicle. The Zebra Print by Kokka Fabrics would look great, however if you prefer as more understated look then any one of the fabrics from the Driftless Collection would work equally well.
8. Array Top (Papercut Patterns) - more statement sleeves! I've seen this top made in all sorts of fabrics and it looks fabulous whether it's in a plain or a pattern, drapey or structured, a lightweight lawn or a velour.
This is the only style that I haven't quite landed on in terms of my fabric choice, at the moment I'm leaning towards the Santa Barbara Tencel/Cotton fabric which has a lovey drape and sheen to it.
9. Gyo Dress & Top (Merchant and Mills) - having made the top which was fun to make, and which I've worn a lot, I'd really like to make the dress version too.
For the dress I'm thinking a subtle stripe such as Nani Iro's Libero or one of the new designs from her 2021 Collection launching in February.
I've invested quite a lot of time on this challenge, firstly choosing the styles that I wish to make this year and, secondly carefully considering what fabrics would not only work well, but which ones I'd really like to work with and more importantly wear. I'm hoping this will really encourage me to make more time for sewing in 2021.
My aim is to write a review in the form of a blog post for each garment that I make, I really hope that you'll be part of this journey and possibly join in too.