So as we are heading towards the end of this disturbing year I wanted to reflect upon what I have made and look back on my resolutions I set out at the beginning of the year in this post. My resolutions for 2020 included a dedication to get back to sustainable sewing, to reduce my fabric stash, and I also set myself a #MakeNine list which seemed optimistic as I hadn’t completed a whole nine before!
So, first of all, did I get back to sustainable sewing? I think so! I have sewn MUCH LESS this year which by default is more sustainable than creating loads of new stuff, but I also think what I’ve made has been high quality, long lasting and things I love. I have also made a much more conscious effort to write more about sustainability and create more thoughtful content instead of just a constant stream of new makes. I’ve published 35 blog posts so far this year and I think only 9 of them were makes made with new fabric, I had a much stronger lean towards refashions like this transformation of a pair of trousers into dungarees, and sewing with scraps such as this jacket, as well as a bigger focus on secondhand fabrics like this stunner! I am also particularly proud of writing about the benefits of crafting for mental health and blog posts for getting beginners into sewing or knitting.
I accepted much less free fabric this year as I focussed on sewing from my stash, I *think* I only bought four pieces of fabric this year – three of which were secondhand. One was 3m of absolutely beautiful wool/silk blend coating fabric which was a steal on eBay for £15, one was 1.5m of John Kaldor viscose twill that I picked up in Oxfam for £2.99 and finally I bagged another eBay bargain of 2.5m Art Gallery jersey for £12! I also bought 2m of beautiful wool coating with my birthday money with a definite plan in mind for it. I also held two Instagram destashes and sold off some fabric I knew I wasn’t going to use; I put this in my resolutions and am really pleased I stuck with it as I think this would have been an easy one to ignore. I started the year with 30 pieces of fabric and am finishing the year with 20 pieces. The three boxes of fabric photographed in my blog post at the beginning of the year is now two boxes of fabric!
Finally, I set the intention to make nine things again this year – something I’ve joined in with for a few years now despite never actually succeeding before. This year though I did it! Here is my original list I made at the beginning of the year:
From top left:
@helens__closet York Pinafore
@tessutifabrics Lisa Dress
@pompommag Astragal Sweater
@dreareneeknits Find Your Fade Shawl
@papercutpatterns Pinnacle Top
@closetcorepatterns Carolyn Pyjamas
@grainlinestudio Archer Shirt Hack
@petiteknit Sunday Sweater
Knit literally any socks!
I am SO pleased with myself that I actually achieved all this. This was the first time I included knitting plans in my Make Nine and I definitely thought I was being optimistic when I wrote this list. I think despite this year feeling like running on a treadmill and not actually getting anywhere, this makes me feel like I have achieved some of the goals I set for myself. Some of these garments have seen more wear than others but that’s normal and I am thrilled with almost all of them. Let’s have a look at all nine shall we?
Find Your Fade Shawl
Archer Shirt Hack
Learn To Knit Socks
This one I felt the need to add – I’ve made five pairs! That’s right – TEN WHOLE SOCKS! I’ve used four different patterns and definitely think I can say I’ve learned to knit socks this year!
I decided not to write about each of these separately as reflecting on them felt a lot like writing a One Year Sewn post and as some of these are almost a year old it felt like I would be repeating myself. What I would like to reflect on is why I actually succeeded in making all nine things this year when I hadn’t managed to achieve this before. I started writing this blog post a week ago and have been thinking about this all week. I think there are two main reasons I succeeded this year and they are two things I hope to repeat when I make next year’s list:
Firstly, I only chose things I really WANT to make – in previous years I think I have added vague ideas of patterns I like the look of, or added some ‘filler’ ideas when I couldn’t think of a whole nine. This year I really was excited by the idea of all of these patterns and that was a great incentive to get on with them.
Secondly, I actually owned the pattern and fabric/yarns to make all but one of these at the time of making the list. I think already owning the materials and shopping from my stash meant that I didn’t have the expense/discomfort/inconvenience of having to buy anything – with finances fluctuating throughout the year I think it can be easy to throw out plans that could turn out to be expensive. I also think having the materials on hand meant that I could begin making whenever inspiration struck! This is something I am hoping to repeat with next year’s list and will be examining my fabric and yarn stash closely and try to pair them up with patterns I own before I add them to my #makenine2021 list.
Did you make a #MakeNine list? Did you make all the things on your list? It’s totally understandable if you didn’t – this year has been a struggle for everyone and if you spent most of the year laying on the floor face down screaming into the carpet THAT’S OKAY and I hope next year treats you better!