My revamped sewing space – ready for a clean start!

Writing my #2018MakeNine sewing review post highlighted how I’d put sewing for comfort and practicality above anything else last year. One of the reasons I’d placed comfort so highly though, was simply that I was actually very uncomfortable in my own skin. Reaching what my Doctor refers to as my ‘mature years’ and dealing with the subsequent hormonal changes, hit me unexpectedly and hard. Some days I really struggled to get dressed – I need to wear breathable fabrics and can’t abide anything compressing or overly fitted; even wearing underwear can drive me to distraction. Always an insomniac, it got out of hand; my joints started to seize up and I was wracked with pain most days. I honestly felt like a woman in her 70s, not her 40s.

My weight fluctuated quite dramatically over the course of the last year too and, if I’m honest, I had this unhealthy internal dialogue that would assert that, given the way I felt, it was pointless to sew anything too ‘nice’.

So what’s different this year? Well…

…quite a lot! I’m prioritising my health. To kickstart that, sewing and everything else was put on a back-burner through January. Simply by dint of dealing with my health issues – rather than ‘just’ suffering with them – feels great. I’ve finally found a natural regime that seems to be working; I’ve literally got a spring in my step for the first time in a loooong time. My sewing plans for 2019 are very much tied in with my overall aim of maintaining this sense of wellbeing – sewing clothes that also makes me feel good.

So, without further ado, here’s that list – by no means all I plan to make this year – but it’s definitely a list that makes me smile:

Marie Apron by Maven Patterns

Now you might not think this an overly exciting make – but I do! I love the utilitarian simplicity of the design lines coupled with the Marie Apron‘s Japanesque artist vibe; I’ve fancied a crossover back apron like this for years. Funny the things we crave isn’t it! Made in a good denim, I see this apron lasting years. It’s something I plan to use as my ‘sewing uniform’ – finally relegating my PJs to nightwear only! Its cute pockets will also be great for stashing my phone whilst I sew, as I currently tend to mindlessly leave it ‘here, there and everywhere’ and then repeatedly spend silly amounts of time looking for it!

Gemma Tank by Made by Rae

Ah, I just think the Gemma Tank is a classic basic and, I assume, very quick to make. I’m hoping it becomes a wardrobe staple as this is the kind of casual tank I love to chuck on, paired with a cardigan on colder days. It’s got darts for shaping and I love the curved hemline. And, in the spirit of making clothes that are more than just practical and functional; that make me happy, I plan to make my first in some gorgeous silk voile. Yes it will be practical and fill a hole in my closet but it will also be luxurious.

Gemma Tank – let the fabric do the talking!

It’s got a couple of options for the neckline, the jewel neck as pictured here and a more scooped one. I can see myself making loads of both!

The Jenny Overalls by Closet Case Files

I’ve got to admit; I absolutely adored the look of the Jenny Overalls / Dungarees when the pattern was first released and I spent a long time talking myself out of buying it, debating whether it would look even half as good on me as it does on the beautiful model; arguing that I was too short to pull them off and ‘reasoned’ that the design was too young for me. Oh screw all that! New Year : New Mindset … I’m making these!

Just fabulousness!

I’ve got the hardware and fabric stashed for it. My denim is a burnished bronze sort of colour which is more in my palette comfort range than this beautiful pink. Whatever else, I reckon they’ll be fun to sew!

The Carnaby Dress by Nina Lee, London

I think the Carnaby is such a great little shift dress; I love how it can be colour blocked and adore those cheeky inseam front pockets. I had such a good experience sewing their Piccadilly PJs that I feel confident about their drafting fitting my frame pretty well straight out of the envelope, with perhaps just two or three of my usual adjustments.

Fun and here’s that word again…practical!

I think I’m sensing a real shift towards denims and linens this year; I really like how breathable, hardwearing and long-lasting a garment made up in such fabrics then become.

My #2019MakeNine Sewing Plans

I can see this being a great dress for days when I really don’t want to feel physically restricted in any way. This is such an easy-wear shape and I see it working as well in cooler months as hot, paired with thick tights. Practical yet versatile but…

…y’know, let’s not overthink this…it’s just cute!

I like how this dress can be made in heavier fabrics and I think I’m sensing a real shift towards denims and linens this year; I really like how breathable, hardwearing and long-lasting a garment made up in such fabrics then become. I’m fed up of investing the time making clothes that look ‘tired’ quickly which leads to me feeling as if I’m constantly ‘chasing my tail’ trying to fill my wardrobe. This totally detracts from the pleasure of sewing simply for the sake of sewing and is absolutely goes against my aim of mindful sewing.

McCalls M7726 High Waisted Wider Leg Trousers

I’ve been bandying around the notion of making wider leg trousers for some time, as they create a balance to my top-heavy silhouette. That plan hasn’t yet come together though. I think McCalls M7726 may come to the rescue. First off, I’m really keen to sew more Big 4 patterns this year and this one has some really interesting details – the ‘paperbag’ waist option, for example, plus varying leg widths and lengths, including shorts.

These trousers combine classic elements with some up-to-date touches yet overall remind me of 1980s chic. They were also placed in Pattern Reviews top patterns of last year. That’s recommendation enough for me.

Burda Style Magazine

Something…anything…from my growing Burda Style Magazine stash. I subscribed to this nearly a year ago and I love that moment when it drops on my doormat. But I haven’t made a single thing from it yet!

There’s something about the almost indecipherable nest of patterns in the centre of the mag, the shortform instructions and the need to add seam and hem allowances that makes me feel that sewing a pattern from within its pages would be something of a ‘right of passage’. Either that or I’m a tad masochistic!

Actually, I’ve fallen in love with a dress from Issue 01/2019, the #108 – it’s a loose fitting shirtdress with raglan sleeves. Made up in a breathable fabric, I can see this becoming a classic in my wardrobe for days when I want to feel more put together without sacrificing comfort. And if it turns out to be what I want it to be, I rather fancy the idea of a silk version. Truly I’m half-tempted to just download the pattern from the above link, rather than mess about tracing from the magazine. Is that cheating, haha?!

Learning to Knit Socks

I tried anf failed miserably at this last year. In fairness, I gave up very quickly! However, my local yarn shop runs a course, supplying all the materials too. So once she sets dates that actually work with my diary, ill be knitting my merry little heart out. I can knit very basically; I just cant follow a knitting pattern. If that fails, I hope to be visiting my #sewtogetherforsummer co-host Suzy at the end of June and she’s a sock-knitting maestro. One way or another, by winter, I’ll be sat knitting socks in front of the fire like the little old lady I no longer feel I am!

Vogue V9267 Fit n Flare Dress

I remember seeing V9267 upon its release and immediately trying to get my hands on the pattern; except it wasn’t available in the UK yet. I then promptly forgot about it until it too popped up in the Pattern Review ‘Best Pattern of 2018’ list. Forming part of their ‘Custom Fit’ range, it has cup options; is fully lined and has various style options. It is now safely in my stash!

I love how it can be made in a variety of fabrics and, true to this years’ theme, denim and silk are options. It’s not my usual style granted and it certainly wont make for everyday daywear…but I do want a special dress for my birthday this year. Not that I need excuses or reasons though, aye!?

McCalls M7513 Jacket

Admittedly, the M7513 Misses Jacket is pulled from last years’ list which never got made. But I refuse to drop it – I have pattern, fabric and notions. This thing IS getting made! ‘Nuff said.

And that, my friends, is that. Any here that you like or have plans to sew too?

Until next time, hugs

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27 thoughts on “My #2019MakeNine Plans … it’s about more than just sewing!

  1. Hi Lynne – oops sorry I think I missed this message! Im heartened to read what you say about sock knitting!! I’m on to the apron next having just sewn up that coat – it is a great pattern – I don’t think you’ll have too many issues with sizing straight out of the envelope and id love to see your take on it!!Sarah xxx


  2. Lynne says:

    Good luck with your make nines, there are some beauties in there! I say download the Burda pattern – life’s too short for tracing that bad boy, and it would eat into valuable sewing time! Also, that shirtdress is gorgeous. Good luck with the sock knitting, I found it took a wee while to get my head around the shaping of a sock, but once you get it, it’s really easy.

    I LOVE that coat pattern, and hopefully a friend of mine is giving me her copy because she doesn’t want it. I’ll look forward to seeing it, and reading your thoughts on it. And finally, I LOVE that apron dress! I’d only ever seen one other pattern for this, and it was eye-wateringly expensive for what it is, so I have already saved your pattern. Please make it soon so I can drool over it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet says:

    I’m all in favour of breathable fabrics too 🙂 You’ve obviously given it a lot of thought, and it sounds as though you’ve identified ways you could balance style and comfort. (Off to contemplate my wardrobe…)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Nic … steal away!!!! Xx


  5. Miss_NicJ says:

    What a great list, they will be fab, the vogue dress is stunning and that Burda shirt dress would be so special in silk. i’m Loving the apron, why do we want these things but what a fab idea as a sewing uniform – I may steal, only because I want an excuse for a crossover apron and you have just handed it to me 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw thank you! Oh gosh yes, that’s a mind-field all of its very own isn’t it! Xx


  7. Thanks darling! It feels good to be back and here’s to having fun in the sewing room AND knitting!! Xx


  8. Hi Sue love! Oh gawd, it’s a difficult thing to navigate isn’t it. On one level, I spent so ,OMG last year feeling dispirited but now I feel a burgeoning excitement moving ahead. I’ve no issue getting older but it needs careful management doesn’t it. It’s surprised me, nay shocked me, how little I’d thought about it.
    I’m looking forward to reading your list too…is it up? I might have missed it but will go looking! I’m sure I’ll find inspiration in there!
    And Yey, I’m so happy you love the Jenny too! We’re so similar body and height wise so that’s good to know. I’m looking forward to playing around with more fun styles. I absolutely hear you on the waist point though,..gawd, it fluctuates so much – almost by the hour it feels sometimes!
    Big hugs xxx


  9. Thank you Naomi, that’s very kind! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Janet … it’s a tough one isn’t it. I think last year I ‘settled’ for Knits but in the long run I don’t think that’s going to work for me. It feels limiting and, dare I say it, lacking in style and shaping that I NEED as much for confidence boosting as anything else. So I’m still trying to figure it out. I think looser shapes and breathable fabrics are certainly good starting points though, whilst not compromising on style. This will be my focus this year I think. I’d love to know what you discover, moving forward too xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Faye … M7726 looks a great pattern on so many levels doesn’t it! And here’s to happily knitting socks! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you Diane … haha, it’s definitely a Club we’ll all join one day isn’t it – it’s shocked me how unprepared I was and how much it’s affected my identity and sense of ‘self’ given how alien at times my own body has felt. But I’m also seeing it as an opportunity both to reflect and move forward. It’s good to hear from others, like yourself, who have come out ‘the other side’.
    And I might well be picking your brains on the Burda front. In terms of style – you’re definitely an inspiration! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Colesworth says:

    I always love the prints you pick – hope you can find your happy balance of comfort and style. I look forward to seeing your makes. My continual struggle is sewing for work vs weekend/going out. I need to wear shirts and pants to work but want to sew dresses………

    Liked by 1 person

  14. kssews says:

    Welcome back! 🙂

    Glad you took the time out for self-care; it is truly the most important thing.

    You have a fun list of plans. I am SO excited to start knitting again and knitting socks was always my favorite! Enjoy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey Sarah! I’ve missed reading your posts, but health comes first. And oy…I well remember the…literal…ups and downs of shifting hormones. Mood, weight…blech…it’s something I still struggle with from time to time. But, I too locked into a helpful natural routine that has helped immensely.

    I LOVE your makenine list. It’s very thoughtful…something that I’ve tried to do with mine as well. Isn’t it nice to be at a point where we can slow down a bit and really consider what we want to sew.

    Okay…you know me. 5’2″…almost…and well over fifty. I made the Jenny Overalls and I feel great in them. I did, however, make them a little big in the waist and added belt loops. I’ve been so frustrated with making fitted pants that don’t…well…fit all the time. If the paper bag pants have a roomy waist, one that is cinched in with the belt; then that is a silhouette I want to try!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Naomi says:

    Looks like a great make9. So glad that you are feeling on top of your health and celebrating who you are with your beautiful makes.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Janet says:

    Looking forward to seeing these taking shape. I can also identify with that feeling of not wanting to sew anything ‘nice’ due to weight changes. Do you have any tips you could share for getting past it?!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Elaine says:

    Ooh sooo weird – just finished making the Maria apron- with a fab makeower dinosaur skeleton print – to have as a sewing uniform to hopefully not have threads on all my clothes. When I sat down for a cuppa and and a squizz at my emails – and there was your blog. V glad I made a toile out of an old sheet first, the straps were a pig. Good luck with the sock knitting , for me turning the heel of a sock is one of life’s pleasures. And you will come out the other side of hormone he’ll.


  19. Faye says:

    Thank you for the inspo, you got me dreaming of making the M7726 😁

    Good luck with the sock knitting. I absolutely love knitting socks, the only knitting project I always have going.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Welcome back! And I’m afraid to say welcome to the… ahem…club of ladies of a certain age…
    I’m glad you have a plan going forward for your health and well being. I started the process earlier than I expected and lived to tell the tale. You have to make a lot of adjustments.

    I luuuuurrrrvvveeee your pattern choices so much! Especially the trousers and the swoonworthy jacket.
    Also…as a Burda Influencer 😉 I say go for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Karey this is brilliant thank you sooo much! Duly noted! I will trace it from the mag!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  22. thanks Linda love! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Karey says:

    Glad you’re feeling better. I encourage you to try the Burda patterns from the magazine. I’ve been tracing Burda for years and find it far preferable to printing and taping multiple sheets. The key is closely studying all the details on the line drawings of each pattern piece in the magazine insert, then tracing those lines on the pattern sheet with your finger before you put the tracing paper over the top. No seam allowance is a bonus, as you don’t need to remove them before you fit then add them back when you are done. A curved ruler with 1/4″, 3/8″ , and 5/8″ marked along the curved edge makes adding SA easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This is a new year. I’m glad you are feeling better about it and are up for it. You have a lovely collection there. These will look great! Good luck with all your makes!

    Liked by 2 people

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