2018 Making Goals

Two blog posts in such a short time period! Don’t worry, I’ll go back to neglecting this blog again soon. But first I want to talk about my #2018makenine plans and general sewing goals for the year. I did very well with my #2017makenine goals and I think that had a lot to do with focusing my goals on staples that I knew I would grab for, or look forward to grabbing, in my everyday life. My job at Gather Here really encourages me to wear handmade because I’m around other makers. And fortunately my “uniform” of jeans, tees, button-ups, and cardigans are perfect for the store and have become some of my favorite things to make.

I have again focused my sewing goals for the year on items that I know will get a lot of wear, and that I will enjoy making. There are repeats from last year because I am much more interested in making things that I will wear than in trying new patterns just to say that I did.

The nine patterns below may or may not be the exact patterns that I use. I’m using them more as guidelines for the types of garments that I want to make and in some cases they represent the desire to make a number of that garment using a couple different patterns.


First up are the Chi-town Chinos from Alina Design Co. These are the only item on my 2017 Make Nine that I didn’t get to. That was mostly a matter of running out of time so these are back on the list. I also hope to make the Sasha Trousers from Closet Case Patterns. I have four or five twills that will make great non-jean pants and I hope to work through those fabrics with these two patterns.

The Archer Button Up was on my 2017 list and was made twice, but that’s not nearly enough button up shirts for me! I have a whole pile of plaids that I’m itching to sew into Archers. I also want to experiment with lengthening the Archer into a dress, making a slightly more relaxed dress than the Alder.

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Next on the list is a tailored coat using some lovely wool/cashmere coating that I bought a few weeks ago. I really like the look of the Clare Coat from Closet Case Patterns but I’m leaving the pattern choice open for now. I’m not expecting to finish this one in time to be used for this winter so I’ll have lots of time to finalize pattern choice.

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I made lots of tees and tanks last year but I’m hoping to add to that collection this year. I wear one either on it’s on or as a layer almost every day and I would love to replace the last of the RTW tees that I wear. The Grainline Lark Tee is on the list as is the Penny Raglan, the Closet Case Patterns Ebony Tee, and the Deer and Doe Plantain Tee. I’ve been stocking up on nice jerseys and I’m looking forward to batch-sewing tees and tanks a few times this year.

The Lodo Dress from True Bias has been in the back of my mind to make for quite a while but I’ve never gotten around to it. I’m hoping this will be the year! I’m looking to add a couple knit dresses out of slightly heavier weight knits as winter layering pieces and the Lodo should be perfect for that!

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I made three versions of the Kalle Shirt and Dress last year and I can’t wait to own so many more of them!! The black linen one that I made for my birthday party is one of my favorite garments ever and I’m looking forward to several more linen shirtdresses next summer. I’m also thinking about a flannel one for this winter! And more shirt versions! And I’m planning to try out the sleeve expansion pack soon. (Can you tell this might be my favorite pattern?) I also want to finally make a GrainlineĀ Alder Shirtdress this year and possibly an Alder shortened to be shirt length.

I’m really hoping that I can add another piece of outerwear to my closet soon. I find it so frustrating to get dressed in all of these lovely handmades just to toss a RTW jacket on top. Though I added two jackets to my closet in 2017 neither is particularly warm so once the temps fell below 40 degrees they got packed up for the year. I’ve made the Grainline Tamarack Jacket before but I’m hoping to make a warmer version in time to get some use this winter. I have some waxed canvas, Thinsulate for interlining, and a thick flannel. This may end up being a somewhat tricky project because of the layers but I think it will extend my handmade outerwear season! I’m hoping to lengthen it a few inches and I will add a collar like I did the first time I made this jacket.

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I made three Blackwood Cardigans from Helen’s Closet last year but I hope to add a few more this year. They work very well with button-ups and jeans for work or with leggings and tees for lounging. The Grainline Driftless Cardigan will also get made again in 2018. Cardigans are nearly an everyday item for me during the winter and I’m looking forward to having a few more to choose from this year!

And last but most certainly not least is more jeans!! I hope the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans and Morgan Jeans will both reappear a number of times this year. I have quite a bit of denim in my stash and I hope to batch sew jeans a couple times so that I can stop switching between just two pairs all winter! I’ve been pretty happy with the high-waist Gingers so I will make those but also plan to make some of the lower-rise Gingers in addition to Morgan Jeans.

It’s going to be a busy sewing year but I hope it will continue to feel fulfilling to sew my own clothing. I’m hoping to do some purging of the remaining RTW clothing that is lurking, mostly unworn, in my closet and bureau. It has felt so great to be able to wear handmade almost exclusively and I look forward to continuing with that trend in 2018!


Mini Collection One–The Reunions

I mentioned in my Me Made May round-up that I was going to try a new method for planning out sewing projects. Instead of making a crazy long, exhaustive list of everything I want to make for a given season I’m going to try focusing my plans on mini collections for specific trips or events. So here’s my first one…

This mini collection is for two reunions that I’m headed to this month, my husband’s family reunion next weekend and my ten-year high school reunion the weekend after. Because my timeline is fairly short I’ve limited this collection to four garments, one of which I actually finished last night and another of which is in progress. Here’s what I’m planning:

My first project, now completed, is a tank dress that is a modified version of the Foxglove Tank pattern. I’ll post more details about how I modified the pattern very soon. **Update: Info on modifications for the turning the Foxglove into a dress are posted here. **

My in progress item is a maxi-length linen Southport Dress. I bought this pattern the day it came out and quickly matched it up with this gorgeous turquoise linen. I got started on this last month but it got pushed to the back burner for a while in favor of some faster projects. This really shouldn’t be a long project either. I think this is going to be an incredibly comfortable dress so I’m hoping to get it finished soon!


My next two projects have not been started yet but will hopefully be fairly simple makes too. First off is the Cabernet Cardigan which I’m planning to make in this black sweater knit. I think this fabric is a little on the light side for the pattern but is a very similar weight to a store-bought cardigan in much the same style as the Cabernet. I’ve been wanting to add more cardigans like this to my wardrobe and I’m anxious to see if this pattern fits the bill.


Last but certainly not least, I’m going to give the Greenwood Tank a try. This pattern looks like it’ll produce exactly the sort of tank I tend to wear most so I’m hopeful this will become a quick staple for my wardrobe. I’m planning to make it in this dark green jersey. This should be another easy make and I’m looking forward to using the pattern for some interesting variations later in the summer.


What do you have for summer sewing plans? Any trips or events you’re planning to sew for?