Wax Skirt by Sewing Tidbits

On my 2017 sewing year and why I don’t plan a #2018Makenine…

Dear readers,

It has only been a week since I last posted here, so this should give you an idea of how much I am boiling inside, waiting for my sewing machines! This year I sewed 23 items, which is a pretty good output for me:

  • 17 garments for myself. I’m happy with that number. I try to keep my wardrobe a manageable size and it wouldn’t make sense for me to aim for more. The big lesson here is that I probably shouldn’t buy sewing patterns anymore… This year, 9 garments were from patterns we released under Just Patterns, 4 were self-drafted, 1 was Burda, 2 from Indie designers (both free) and 1 is an mash-up of indie/Big4/self-drafting.
  • 3 items for the little human: a spring coat, a white special occasion dress and a summer hat. I’m terrible at documenting baby sewing outside of Instagram. Actually, let me rephrase: I’m terrible at baby sewing. I find it really difficult to find  clothes that would be 1/comfortable for Little Tidbits, 2/ are interesting to make and 3/ not too time-consuming because she outgrows them so fast.  Or maybe I’m just a  Selfish Seamstress (TM) and that even motherhood could not change that!
  • 1 Just Patterns sample in our fit model size (to be released next month).
  • 1 fabric basket to gather toys from Sanae’s lovely book: Sew Happiness. I very rarely do home sewing, but this was quick and it looks pretty!
  • 1 unusual item, I made a sample for a friend who runs a gender queer underwear business. She showed me a picture of a lapel to accessorize her line and I made the first sample. You can see it on the Play-Out website!

For the sake of accountability, here are the garments I included in my #2017MakeNine post. I sewed 4 out of the 9 garments below:

7cb446f2-76e7-44ce-97c8-bc3f79e985942 Blazers

I did finish the white Blazer (it’s the pattern mash-up mentioned above). I haven’t managed to blog about it but I have a few pictures I used for Instagram. The Balmain blazer on the other hand saw no progress. It’s in a box and well advanced. I hope to complete it in 2018.

Challenge 10x10 Sewing Tidbits-2

3 Skirts

I made 2 out of 3. The white pencil skirt was my submission for the first round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee Contest. I also finally got around sewing a Stella Jean inspired skirt from one of the pieces of African wax I have in stash since leaving in Zambia. This one is un-blogged, but you may have seen it on Instagram. I sewed 3 more skirts but not the one included in the Makenine.

2 Dresses

I did sew my own sample of the Linda wrap dress. Actually I sewed 2 more variations. One sleeveless I posted on Instagram and one for Sew News that I will show you next year. I wasn’t sure about the Capital Chic sheath when I made my plan and I didn’t get even close to sewing it.

2 Tops

I sewed 4 tops  and 2 Tshirts this year, but nothing I had mentioned in the 2017Makenine. Oops…

What are the lessons for 2018?

In my last post, I did mention that my realization that I wouldn’t be able to document all my sewing in blog posts but when I counted how many garments I blogged vs sewed, I realized that out of the 17 handmade garments for myself, I only blogged 5. That’s really low in my opinion. Even if 5 of the 12 un-blogged items are samples for Sew News that I  cannot blog them before the issue they are featured gets published, that still leaves 7 garments that could have made it to the blog.  I will try to post some of them in 2018 and I hope it won’t bother you. Let’s just pretend that I’m super professional and I plan my content in advance!

I will not be making a #2018Makenine plan for several reasons. First, i don’t think that the #2017Makenine helped me focus my sewing. I sewed what I already knew I would make and, unsurprisingly, didn’t sew the ones I wasn’t sure about. Just for the sake of making a plan, I tend to include clothes that I’m not 200% excited about. There is no value in doing that. Secondly, in my experience, when moving to a different country, it takes some time to reevaluate what you need and want to wear. So I’m going to take some time thinking and maybe doing some planning. Just like everyone else in the sewing world, I’ve been reading the Curated Closet, and I also did a round of the 10×10 Challenge (you can read about it here and I’ll post more in details about it later). I want explore the intersection personal style and a handmade wardrobe and I will try to document the process.

Challenge 10x10 Sewing Tidbits-1

In order to plan be more mindful of what I sew and what I wear, I need to be realistic about my average sewing productivity. For 2018, my assumption is that I’ll sew between 15 and 20 garments for myself. 6 technically already decided on since I have a commitment with Sew News for 3 samples and we have already made plans for 3 pattern releases with Just Patterns. Ideally, everything I make this year will bring cohesion to my closet and contribute to a decrease in my fabric stash!

I’ll be back soon with my thoughts on a year of selling PDF sewing patterns but in the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts about wardrobe planning and sewing plans! Did you manage to follow-up on your 2017 plans? Are you taking part in the  #2018MakeNine? Happy new year!


9 thoughts on “On my 2017 sewing year and why I don’t plan a #2018Makenine…

  1. Diana

    Very intriguing post Delphine! What you wrote about just inspires me to get moving! Seems my sewing plans are always tossed up in the air. I want so much to complete projects I have in mind. I like what you said about garments you sewed vs blogged. It certainly takes more time for me to complete 1 sewing project, than to blog it. Guess I’m a slow sewer! What I hope to line up is refashioning garments. Good luck with Sew News, you’re going to do great!

  2. Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    I look forward to seeing what you sew now that you are back in a tropical climate. I always find summer sewing more fun (and easier). As for sewing plans, I have never made them, other than one or two projects down the road. I like to see where my mood and fabric finds take me. you did make some great basics that will be useful for a long while.

  3. poppykettle

    You’re still streets ahead when it comes to output compared to me when I had a little one to chase after! That Balmain jacket is ahhh-mazing…. love the angle of the front! May I ask what pattern you were using so I can be a copy-cat?

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thanks! I’m blessed with a little one who sleeps at 7pm, which helps with sewing productivity (when I don’t pass out with her, #momlife…). I really need to finish that blazer, it’s from the personal pattern of my patternmaker friend Eira (thepatternline on IG). She developed specially after the Balmain design. We hope to be able to release it under Just Patterns at some point but it’s a big undertaking (especially on the instruction side…)!

  4. Kate

    Hello Delphine, I just found your blog! I am SO happy I am not the only not really into #makenine2018. My needs tend to change through the year and so I plan something when I think I might like it (and think for a month or two before making it, sometimes the season has changed already). And mix it up with baby clothes in between for my mini mister. Happy New Year 🙂

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thank you Kate, Happy New Year!!
      I feel that sometimes, the energy of the sewing community is so great that it makes us do things for the sake of participating but it doesn’t necessarily fit with our own ways and processes. But it’s hard to resist!!
      I’m so glad you commented because it made me discover your blog and sewing & sustainability is something that I absolutely want to explore in 2018. Let me know if your interested in doing something together around this, I’ll email you directly!

  5. Kaci Ferguson

    Don’t know that I’ve commented but I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while now. My 2017 make 9 wasn’t a huge success, but I managed a few items and since I’m still learning to put together a wardrobe as well as sew, I’m not participating in 2018. My goal is to shop my closet for 4 seasonal capsules as the weather changes and sew one quality garment to add to each one based on my needs/wants when the time comes.

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