Make Nine Challenge – 2021

For several years now, I’ve seen fellow sewists discuss the Make Nine Challenge. I love the idea of committing to projects, and I’ve historically set similar goals for writing, reading, budgeting, and all other areas. I took sewing lessons each summer as a child and would show up to the first class with a list. One year, I wanted lettuce ruffle sleeves, an obnoxious pink beach robe, a sunflower romper and matching bucket hat, a gingerbread bread man skirt and vest set (with gingerbread man buttons!), and a cloud-themed quilt to sent to kids in Kosovo. Looking back, I cringe and I smile because all those little dreams came to fruition. While the below list feels extremely ambitious, it has been a blast to plan out over the last few weeks. If you sew, I would love to hear if you’ve worked with any of these patterns or if you have others that you recommend.

Do you have any creative hobbies? Whether you enjoy sewing, writing, cooking, sketching, or have been itching to take up knitting or write poetry, I would encourage you consider what you hope to create or which new techniques you hope to learn in the coming year. Even if you don’t meet all of your objectives, the list can help you easily recognize your small (or not-so-small) accomplishments. Fellow creatives, what are you you hoping to create in 2021? Feel free to share in the comments and send your wish out into the universe. Dream big!

Here are my Make Nine Challenge wish list for the year”

  1. True Bias Southport Dress: I have a few store-bought dresses in this style that I love, so I’m excited to try my hand at recreating the maxi-length version. I’m currently debating between a white/navy tie dye rayon or a solid maroon challis from my stash.
  2. True Bias Ogden Cami: I’ve already made and fallen in love with this simple, classic pattern. I’m looking forward to making a few in lightweight linens (a solid black and a white/blue floral) or a funky cotton pattern.
  3. True Bias Hudson Pant: These joggers will be a perfect addition to my put-together-enough quarantine cool look. I have some cozy heathered navy French terry knit set aside for this project. Though, I may hold off on this one until I get a serger for the seams…
  4. Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt: This shape of this sweatshirt is nearly identical to my some of my favorite store-bought sweatshirts, so I’m excited to sew this one up, likely more than once, possibly adjusting the pattern to a drop sleeve.
  5. Deer & Doe Plantain T-Shirt: Free pattern alert! I am a sucker for 3/4-length sleeves and just plain ol’ tees, so I’m looking forward to this one.
  6. Named Clothing Kielo Wrap Dress: I have seen this one everywhere for years and think it’s just fantastic. It’s not my usual style, so it may or may not happen this year. But, I have some loud and funky knits that I feel would work well with the design. We’ll see how adventurous I’m feeling and how the pandemic situation plays out.
  7. Deer & Doe Magnolia Dress: I love the drama of full skirt and plunging neckline paired with practical long sleeves. I’m not big on fancy going out events, but I can’t wait for the opportunity to dress up again.
  8. Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit: Everyone in the sewing world raves about this jumpsuit. I have a black linen rayon-blend that would probably be perfect for this project. I am a sucker for jumpsuits and have been living in the Patagonia Fleetwith Romper for the last several years and own it in every color made. The cinched waist and pockets on the Zadie make me think this will be an equally popular wardrobe staple.
  9. McCalls M8029 Belted Cape: A few years ago, when I was enthusiastically dreaming about sewing again (and long before everyone and their cousin took up sewing), I purchased eight yards of black watch plaid wool for $8 at my favorite thrift store. A cape sounds fun, though I’m open to other suggestions for a shit ton of sexy wool.

Bonus! Alright, here are a few not-for-me makes on the wish list for this year.

  1. Wiksten Smock Top + Dress: A friend recently welcomed her first child into this world and I am far more excited than I could have imagined. This top seems perfect for a little one — lots of room to move around and big pockets for toys and treasures.
  2. Wiksten Bloomers + Pants: You can’t have a cute top without coordinating bloomers, right?
  3. True Bias Men’s Hudson Pant: I’ve been living in sweatpants all year and my boyfriend doesn’t own a single pair, so I would like to change that.
  4. Grainline Free Apron: My mom requested a new apron, so this is an easy item I’m looking forward to. I have some great floral and butterfly canvas from Rifle Paper Co, as well as tons of solids from the thrift store.
  5. Proper Fit Clothing Utility Fanny Pack: I made this fanny pack in rainbow tie-dye with safari animal lining for a Christmas gift and it turned out amazing! (Ugh, why didn’t I take pictures?!) I’m planning to make on for my dad (though not as loud!) since he has taken up walking as a pandemic-life hobby.
  6. Grainline Free Cinch Pouch: Super easy project, but I’m hoping to replace disposable gift wrap with something more sustainable while also clearing my scrap cache. Win-win! I actually just purchased some adorable Christmas fabric on clearance with this in mind for next year. I may also make Christmas stocking, as my family’s 30-year-old stocking are looking a little worse for the ware lately. I’m eying the Free Cuffed Christmas Stocking Pattern from Gluesticks.

Woohoo! That’s it from me. I would love to hear if you have any creative dreams for 2021, whether you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo, take up pottery, or simply find new ways to optimize and find joy in your current routine.

7 thoughts on “Make Nine Challenge – 2021

  1. Love this idea!
    I did a sewing challenge in the past seven weeks and produced seven projects, it was really great to get motivated and really helped my mood during lockdown! (Here is the link of the challenge, if you’re interested–>
    For this new year, I will definitely challenge myself again, making a list in advance is a great idea, I’m already sure there will be ‘figure out how to pre-wash and sew wool’ and ‘jumpsuit’ on mine too 🙂


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