Tag Archive | 2017usenine

2017 in Review

It’s that time of year, when we all look back and see how we did.

2017 proved to be my most productive year so far. I made a total of 22 items (6 dresses, 8 tops, 4 skirts, 1 coat, 2 scarves, a nightshirt) plus one refashioned hoodie. However, as usual, I had way more plans/ideas than actual finished projects, and I bought more fabric than I really should have! I got a couple of long-standing WIPs finished, though, so I’m going to count that as swings and roundabouts.

The items I found most wearable were the shell tops, and the summer Shannon Collection dresses, but almost everything has found its way into my normal wearing rotation.


I set myself up with a whole load of fabric-related goals at the start of the year, with Stashwatch and #2017UseNine. Looking at my Stashwatch goals, I fear that I’m facing a big fat faily fail with it this year…

  1.  To catalogue my costume fabric stash and transfer suitable fabrics to my real life fabric stash.
    X – Just Nope.
  2.  To use up 12 items from stash revised in the summer, to using up 21 items from stash by the end of this year.
    X – More Nope. I got up to 16 pieces fully used up, with four not quite qualifying (one piece still has 50cm + scraps in the stash, until I can donate/swap it, and three garments are WIPs).
  3. To refashion 6 garments.
    X – Still with the Nope. I did the Banksy Hoody on holiday, and started beading a t-shirt, but I think I’ve made it too hard for myself, and I might be scrapping it. I just haven’t had the inclination to keep going with it – my refashions need to be quick and easy.
  4. To not buy any new fabric until I’ve used up at least 6 stash items updated in the summer, to not buying any new fabric until the end of the year.
    X – Seriously, I don’t know why I even bothered!
  5. To keep WIPs to no more than 3 throughout the year.
    X – Full house! I’ve got three proper works in progress (cut, and ready, or at least ready-ish, to sew), but I’ve also got two sewing fails that I think are capable of being fixed up, so that the fabric eventually gets to see the light of day.

So, what do I learn from this? Well, obviously: I need to set more realistic goals. So for Stashwatch 2018, I’m going to rein my enthusiasm in.

  1. Use 12 items from Stash. I think this is feasible.
  2. Complete the 3 WIPs. Full disclosure in the interests of internet accountability – the maroon poppies dress, the 100 Day Dress and the next Simple Sew project.
  3. Complete 3 Refashions. This is possibly the most ambitious goal, given I only managed one last year.
  4. Swap/donate fabric, to thin the stash. I’m not going to give myself an unmanageable No New Fabric goal, because that’s downright unrealistic. But I’m going to try to be more discerning about any new purchases and I’m going to make sure I offload those fabrics where I’m no longer feeling the love. I work for Surrey Adult Learning, and I’m happy to donate unwanted fabric and scraps for use by our textiles teachers in the Supported Learning programme.

On the #2017UseNine front, I managed to use six out of my nine, which I’m happy with.
I’m not going to create a 2018UseNine, as it would only add add more pressure. I think that when I acquire new fabric through the year, I want to use that, partly to avoid it falling into long-term stash, and partly because it’s the lure of the brand new shiny! However, I still want to use the three remaining pieces, so they are on my horizon for 2018. The massive red floral is earmarked for a dress, the pink & purple scuba is for a skirt and the pale blue floral is for a top.

I will need to kickstart the sewjo soon. I’m going on holiday to Cairo in February, and I want to have a strongly me-made holiday wardrobe for that.


Joining the Moneta party!

There’s a party planned for February and I’m determined to be there…


Party Time! Excellent!

One of the things I learned from Me Made May last year was that the Moneta pattern was calling out to me. So I got it, but haven’t got around to doing anything with it so far. So when the Triple Stitchers (Abigail of Sew Abigail, Elle of Sew Positivity and Rachel of Rach Against the Sewing Machine) announced their Moneta Party, I jumped right on that bandwagon. It was meant to be.

I’ve been through the Stash, and there’s only one piece that I can do it with if it’s going to have sleeves (and thereby be suitable for the cold weather) – the massive red floral ponte. It was already on my #2017UseNine list so it’s an all round winner. I’ve got all the other notions I need for it already, so I’m good to go…

Anyone else out there going to be partying with us at the end of February?


The insta-sphere is great for getting a load of New Year ideas and challenges. I’ve been seeing a lot of #2017makenine posts, inspired by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille with fantastic ideas of patterns and garments that people are planning on making in the year ahead. But the gorgeous and creative Rhiannon of More Blue Fabric has taken it a step further. As soon as I read these words, I knew this was the right approach for me:

“One of the things I am acutely aware of at the moment is that my stash is getting bigger and bigger, and that I keep buying new things with plans to use them, but then a new favourite comes along and pushes it to the side.” 

She’s created the #2017usenine hashtag, and I’m jumping right on board with that. It totally tallies with my Stashwatch plans, and my aims to use my stash before adding any more to it. So here is my collection of nine fabrics I want to get sewn up this year.


#2017usenine – four plains, five patterned

Let’s start with all those plains. I decided in May last year that I need more plain tops that I can wear with patterned skirts. So I bought a whole load of plain fabric last year, and this year I need to make it up. The white Swiss dot cotton (top left) is already cut out, although I’ve still got to piece a front facing for it to work, and I just need to sew the beggar up. The black peachskin (bottom left) is also going to be a top, but I haven’t decided what kind – possibly a variation on the batwing dresses, but it’s not a knit so I’d have to be more thoughtful about how I make it up. It’s lovely and slinky, but could be a bit of a nightmare to wrangle. The navy (top middle) is also quite slinky and was bought with the notion of making into a shell top, but I might turn it into a Juliette blouse.

But I can’t work purely in plains, I need me some floral print! The red ponte (top right) was supposed to be a Christmas dress, but that didn’t happen. But it will! There are two other floral jerseys there – the pale blue with a pretty meadowflower print, bottom right, and the olive-y pink next to it, which seems much more exotic. They will both be tops. I may need to run up a couple of plain black skirts to wear with them through Me Made May, though!

This black & white & pink sateen has been begging to be made into a skirt since I got it 2½ years ago. It’s cut out, and I’m planning on making it properly lined by way of a little challenge to myself. The bonkers pink and purple scuba (middle row left) will be a simple dress, because there’s no point in trying to use a fancy pattern to try and shout that print down.

And finally the plain white jersey in the middle row right, is going to be at least one scarf, possibly more. I’ve got ideas for at least eight. One of the things I do need more of are interesting accessories, and my selfless sewing of scarves for others has triggered a desire to make some for myself. I probably won’t use it all up, and I doubt I’d use up all my ideas, but I’m going to see how far I can take it.

So, those are my current ideas. I think I’m going to go for the red dress first, because who wouldn’t want a massive floral red dress?!