Back when 2020 was a shinning new year full of promise and potential, I joined the #makenine challenge, which is a, “gentle self-guided challenge for makers.” Here is what I have accomplished as of July.
I’m not as far along as I wanted to be by this time, despite having ample free time. I am tempted to judge myself for being unmotivated or disorganized but this is a “gentle” challenge. Instead, I will focus on what I have achieved and the lessons I have learned.
What I’ve accomplished so far:
In addition to gently accepting what I have achieved so far, despite the fact that I am not living up to my own expectations, is recognizing how interrelated my goals are and how they reflect he craziness of 2020. I want to continue to focus on gentleness in this post, so I will try to keep my observations light-hearted.
For example, my new nightgown is a reminder of the time before the lock down when it was still possible to visit the local library and borrow a physical book. Likewise, an afternoon spent in my local thrift store resulted in the purchase of a new purse. Since I only need one purse, I was going to remove the goal of “Make a New Purse” from my list.
But then we went into lockdown and I started spending too much time on the internet. I went down the rabbit hole of Visible Mending and a Japanese mending technique called boro. I could wax on about how much I love the idea of dignifying and making beautiful the rips and tears of everyday life but instead I will show you the bag I made to keep all my mending tools at hand.
I used denim scraps from a denim quilt I have been working on for years (and finally finished!). The cotton scraps are from The Stash of Doom and the stitching was completed using a very fine cotton crochet yarn from the thrift store. The pattern is Noodlhead’s Wide Open Pouch. I have used her tutorial several times and I highly recommend it. Here is what I have tucked inside:
As you may have noticed, I used a few more denim scraps to make a needlebook and a sheath for my thread snips. Waste Not, Want Not!
Earlier this year, I finally found a new job that I loved. Some of the time I was interacting with the public so I wanted clothing that would be easy to care for, professional, and suitable for layering. I planned on using this goal to focus on learning to alter a pattern to fit my unique body and to use good sewing practices like finishing all my seams and actually reading the directions. Even though I have been laid off as a result of Covid-19, I have continued to work towards this goal in the hopes that I will soon get back to work.
Man oh man, did this goal have unintended consequences!
Looking at the picture showing off my stitching prowess it would seem that I have more than meet this goal. However, this is not at all true. Let me explain.
Both peach coloured and navy print tops were made using an old Butterick pattern that I have since misplaced. Even though it was a simple pattern, I made a mock up to determine the fit. All was good. I pulled a beautiful peach silk and a cute polyester navy print from my stash. The peach silk top worked out very well and is currently hanging in my closet; the navy print, not so much. Apparently women of a certain age should only wear natural fibers or else risk perishing of heat exhaustion and dehydration within minutes of donning anything made of synthetic fibers. Oh well, at least I got one new top out of the deal. And I learned that I cannot wear synthetic fibers. Ever.
The red, brown and pink tops were made using NEWLOOK pattern 6515. I’ve had this pattern in my stash forever and I love an empire waist. I also really love the red cotton I used to make this pattern the first time – with a 32″ inch bust. What the hell! I haven’t had a 32″ bust in decades. My beautiful red top is now awaiting for the thrift stores to reopen.
I reordered NEWLOOK 6515 from an online dealer and made a muslin of View E in a larger size and tried it one. Oh it looked so good and the fit was just right! So I made the brown print top using View A. D’oh. It didn’t fit right and even worse, it made me look frumpy. It has joined it’s red sister in the donate pile.
I made the pink top out of a pretty cotton and using View E. At last, a top that I could wear! Well, it fits – just barely. I have gained a bit of weight while in quarantine and I come to the realization that I need to loose about 20 pounds. So the pink top has lead to a diet and me finally starting to ride my bike again, which means that I now need to sew clothes that I can cycle in.
Talk about unintended consequences!
I hope you enjoyed this summary of my Make Nine challenge. Let me know in the comments below how the current crisis has impacted your crafting habits. I love hearing from you.