Wednesday, 3 January 2018

What I would like to make in 2018

I am big on annual reviews but I am trying to bring some focus into my sewing and knitting in the next few months and it is useful to have a look back in time to see where my sewing adventure has taken me.

It is probably fair to say that my sewing focus in 2017 has been the humble t-shirt. Once I tamed the overlocker beast, sewing t-shirt was a pleasure. I have also mastered the double needle, which gives t-shirts a neat finish. I have not worn a shop bought t-shirt in months. I don't have a big wardrobe and I am not a fashionable dresser but I have enough tops to rotate between washes, which is all I need.

I have three firm favourites for t-shirts:
They are sufficiently different to avoid boredom. Both Concord and Rivage patterns are written with curves and tummy fat in mind. The Sailor top is for standard sizes but very forgiving. I like the Concord for its versatility. The pattern has three neckline and three sleeve length variations. I am firmly in the scooped neck camp but may make a couple of crew neck tops next year. I made five short sleeved Concords and two long sleeved ones. I was really pleased when I discovered the Rivage raglan t-shirt because everyone needs a raglan tee and they are fun to colour block. I have made four long sleeved versions so far. My favourite is a cotton velvety purple number. I have also made my own pattern from my favourite baggy t-shirt.

A sewing milestone has been making my own bra. I have made two versions of the Pin-up Girls classic full band bra so far and I will make more. I want to perfect the fit before I move onto a different pattern. I definitely want to make an wired version and have removed some underwires from an ancient bra to do so. I have the Pin-up Girls Shelley full band bra pattern waiting also. This is constructed slightly differently and has lace panels. 

I have not sewn many clothes with woven fabric. My favourite (and only) pattern for a woven top is the Sorbetto by Collette. If you look back at my sewing posts, there has been a lot of tinkering with this pattern to make it fit just the way I want it to fit. The pattern has a few variations that I might try out and there is opportunity to make this top into something a little more playful. I have three Sorbetto's in rotation but I don't wear them as often as I should because they need ironing.

I have made a summer dress last year. I rarely wear dresses, mostly because I cycle to work daily. The pattern I used was the Upton dress pattern by Cashmerette. Just like the Concord t-shirt, it has many variations and recently, a pattern extension with four types of sleeves was added. I might make a scooped neck version with sleeves next year.

In between sewing t-shirts, I have worked on three quilts in 2017I have finished Sam's quilt early in 2017 and have made Annie's quilt over the summer. I have finished hand quilting my own quilt and hope to stitch the binding in place this week. I'll share it soon.

Knitting has taken a bit of a back seat. Two pairs of socks and a finished jumper (started in 2016) is all I have to show. Crochet is still my least favourite craft but I have finished a v-stitch blanket that I love love love.

I am pleased with my makes but I would like to shake up my routine a bit. Making t-shirts is quick and satisfying but ultimately, a t-shirt is a t-shirt. Patterns for sewing woven fabrics are a bit more involved because they are not stretchy. It is largely a question of time. There just is not enough of it in a day. Bringing up four children with very different needs is not trivial and my working day often extends into the evenings and weekends so I can spend a couple of hours with the kids after school.

My clothes sewing plans for 2018 are ambitious. I'll have to decide what my favourites are because I won't have any more time than last year.
  1. Make a vintage coat with a Peter Pan collar. I have a vintage pattern but need to either loose weight or grade the largest size up. Either is challenging but I should probably have a go at both. In any case, the coat is going to be bright yellow.
  2. Make a warm cape. This I imagine will be particularly useful for cosying up while camping. You may call it a fitted blanket. It needn't be a sophisticated cape, just something plain and simple. I have the Seamwork Camden in mind but I also like the Sew Over It Chic cape 
  3. Make an attempt at sewing jeans. Cashmerette have released a pattern that caters for my size and shape, the Ames jeans and I think I might have a go and make a wearable toile. The pattern is for straight legs. I prefer boot cut jeans but I imagine it is easier to start off with a pattern that fits on the hips and adapt the legs. I am not sure if it is worth the effort, I buy my jeans at GAP and they usually fit well. 
  4. Make a shirt dress. I have pattern and the fabric, too. I just never got around to making it in 2017. There are two patterns I am considering for the shirt dress, both by Cashmerette. The Harrison shirt dress appeals to me because of its double princess seams. The Lenox shirt dress is also nice but I have a feeling it might be less flattering for my shape. 
  5. Make a skirt. Any skirt will do. I might make a denim skirt to practice sewing with denim. I seem to own the Cressida skirt pattern, which fits the brief. It is a bit flared but not full circle, which should make it practical enough to cycle with. Other contenders are the Colette Ginger skirt and the Colette Beignet skirt.
  6. Sew a cardigan. I have only ever knitted cardigans but it is taking forever. I have the Seamwork Oslo cardigan in mind.
  7. Develop my bra sewing skills.
If all fails, I can always make more t-shirts. My comfort sewing will be another quilt. It is James' turn to choose fabrics and a pattern. I want to make a quilt with circles to stretch my skills. I hope to pick up my knitting needles, too.

Do you have any plans for making things? Do tell, please. Have a lovely rest of the week. xx


  1. I'm still working on a cross-stitch from last year and received several more as gifts for Christmas. I want to do more crocheting this year and Mac says I need to start painting again. I started one painting last year and never finished it. He painted dozens and sold more than 40. Meanwhile my nose was probably stuck in a book.

  2. Wow, that's a lot of stuff you've made! I'm kind of off jersey's for the moment (I don't have an overlocker) but hope to sew more with slinky fabrics. They are hard to find though and I'm reluctant buy online

  3. Wow you have been busy. I wish I could do more sewing but have never found quite the materiel I'm looking for. I went into town once to get t-shirt material and frankly there wasn't any. It was all cotton - as in the stiff button through suit shirt cotton. To me t-shirt material is soft and stretchy and not necessarily mega thin, but comfortable. So many t-shirts in shops look awful on me. Deep plunging neck lines, little or no sleeves and extremely thin material.
    Coats, jeans and trousers even bras don't fit either. Tall 5'11", thinish with long arms and legs.
    I would definitely like to knit more socks, a pair a month hopefully. Also finishing things already on my craft list. Happy new year Christina and happy sewing, Cathy x

  4. That is a comprehensive list. I am in awe of your bra making and coat making skills. My list revolves around the conversion of the outbuilding, making it into my dream craft room.

  5. That is an amazing collection of makes even if you weren't a working mum... I admire your stamina and skill! I have no doubt you will achieve all you want to make in 2018. I'm feeling quite lazy... no ambitions to make anything this year. Perhaps I should finish some things off!

  6. You are such a creative person, not sure how you make the time in your very hectic life. I look forward to seeing more of your makes this year. The yellow coat sound fab. B x

  7. You have made some lovely things and I am sure which ever patterns you choose it will look great, :-)

  8. Your New Year sewing plans are great, I shall look forward to seeing them. The coat sounds especially amazing. CJ xx

  9. wow - quite the impressive list of makes and to make wish list for 2018! As I have no idea what 15 months of university study in 12 months will look like when I start in 2.5 weeks, I've little on my to do list, other than get used to fulltime university study around 3 teens! I do plan on finishing the polygon knitted blanket by Tincan knits and the Beeswax scarf I started in January 1. Happy days!

  10. I must say, I'm very impressed with the scope of your planned sewn creations! I will enjoy watching you accomplish them. I have a cute little Singer Featherweight machine, but all I've made so far on it is a dress for a doll! LOL! Crochet is my favorite way of creating wearables. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  11. An impresseive list, Christina. I'm going to have a go at making some curtains this year. I have a friend who is good at sewing who has offered to help and lend me her machine. I made some years ago with my mother's help so it should be too hard. I would love to make a quilt, a project for retirement I think.
    By the way I wrote a comment on one of your Christmas posts which hasn't appeared. I'm very envious of your Christmas Eve visit to Gandolphi Fish. Paul is going up to Glasgow to some gigs at Celtic Connections and will probably go there again. Sadly I am at work and can't go.

  12. I don't know how you find the time for it all, what with working full time and bringing up a family, you've accomplished so much. I think it's good to set out what you hope to achieve this year, it gives you a starting point even if you don't get round to everything. I'm just in the process of casting on some new projects, I started the year without a thing on my knitting needles.

  13. Christina, I am amazed and impressed - you seem to be able to do it all! Knit, crochet, quilt, and even make your own bra and winter coat! What impresses me is your ability to try something totally new with unfamiliar skills and to practice and do the research until you get it right. Kudos to you. You are setting a great example for your children.

  14. You made bras? You made bras! Wow! Totally impressed and a little awed at your skills - even more nervous of the dress making group I've just joined. Wow - again!

  15. Regretfully, I am not creative enough to make my own clothing. That said, the idea of making your own bras is awesome as I can never find any that feel comfortable, so I'm wondering if other women have the same complaint? Also, most store purchased ones are just SO expensive these days!

  16. Wow, great list! I loved your 2017 makes, especially your quilts, so I can’t wait to see what you will whiz up this year! I’m hoping that 2018 will be the year that I tackle jeans too.

  17. Gosh I’m in awe of all your makes! My overlocker has been in the box it arrived in over a year ago! Very impressed you can make bras too. Will look forward to more of your projects. X

  18. Well done on the list, you are far more ambitious than I am. I think sewing is not going to happen in my life, well I did just bring Little B's twin duvet down to an more manageable size, but that was easy. I hope to get back to knitting, I seem to have lost my knitting love and have been crocheting at full speed lately. Happy 2018!

  19. wow.. I have to think twice before I hem pants.. even that I have managed to screw up once or twice.
    I look forward to see what you make in the coming year especially that coat.


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx