My Make Nine Plans for 2021

If you aren’t already familiar with the ‘Make Nine’ challenge, it’s described as a ‘gentle self-guided challenge for makers’ and the idea behind it is that, at the beginning of the new year (or any time really), you set yourself nine things you would like to make over the coming year and post them on Instagram using the hashtag #makenine so that other makers can follow along with your journey and progress.  It’s also great inspiration to see what other makers are planning for the year and a great way to find new pattern/fabric pairings and ideas.

Although I have loved seeing other makers take part in this challenge in the past, it’s not something I’ve taken part in myself feeling that I’m usually very easily distracted and that I didn’t want to feel pressured about what I needed to make within a certain time frame.

However, after making approximately 1,000 dresses last year (slight exaggeration here perhaps!) and ending up with a rather unbalanced wardrobe of things that haven’t had much wear versus a lot of shop bought lounge and outerwear that has, I decided that taking part in this challenge would help to give me some focus this year and challenge me to try some new makes and techniques.

So, after A LOT of thought (it turns out it’s quite hard to narrow it down to only nine!) here is my finalised Make Nine for 2021.  These are in no particular order other than that I thought they looked prettiest this way displayed as nine in my grid photo below 😉  I’ve linked to all patterns and fabrics within this post in case you would like to have a look at anything for yourself.


I have wanted to make a coat for a long time now and have been a little nervous of trying, mainly because I know that making a coat will be a slow sew, not something I’m used to.  When I Am Patterns released the Merlin Coat I loved it instantly and bought it straight away.  I have the fabric and pattern all ready for this coat I just need to get on with it now. I went for a lovely camel coloured wool coating fabric and a taffeta tartan look lining from Minerva.  Let’s not discuss those welt pockets, they make me nervous just looking at them but I know that if I can make a success of this coat I’ll be so proud and I will have learned some new techniques too! I would love to get this coat made before the end of winter here if I can but I might be cutting it fine…


I’m all about the lockdown loungewear at the moment and the Toaster Sweater is a pattern I’ve had my eye on for so long now. I love the high neckline and the oversized cuffs and bottom band.  I’ve not bought the pattern yet having invested in a few different sweatshirt patterns recently but since this sweater has some different features to the other sweatshirt patterns I’ve bought, I’m going to bite the bullet and buy it and I’m imagining it sewn from something super cosy such as this brushed melange sweatshirt fabric from Abakhan Fabrics.


The majority of my pyjama sets are shop bought, until recently it hadn’t really occurred to me that it might be nice to have some pretty handmade nightwear sets but I’m thinking now that I’d really love to have more ‘me made’ nightwear in my pyjama wardrobe.  There are so many pretty pyjama patterns around but I absolutely love the look of the Carolyn Pyjamas pattern with it’s traditional shirt style top.  I’ll make the shorts set because I generally get quite hot in bed but the long sleeved top and trouser set would make a lovely loungewear set too. I love the idea of a cotton set in this amazing sunglasses print by Art Gallery fabrics.


Last year I taught myself to knit in the round using the magic loop method.  For a long while now I have admired knitted sweaters worked top down and in the round and it seems that’s how a lot of indie knitting pattern writers design them.  So, if I want to be able to make some of these beautiful jumpers like the Whitmoor Sweater, I need to actually try and make one.  With this one I’ve given myself the added challenge of a lace pattern but look how pretty and nothing ventured nothing gained right…?? Eek!! It would look amazing in this pale pink Drops yarn.


I wear a lot of shorts in the summer so it seems fitting that I should have a pair or two of handmade shorts in my wardrobe.  I love the look of the Jessa Shorts by Tilly and the Buttons and since I’ve never made a pair of shorts or fitted trousers with a fly zipper this pattern will be a new challenge to me.  I’m imagining them in a bright blue denim such as this one here


I do love a floaty blouse and have seen many lovely versions of the Roscoe Blouse around online.  I’m imagining this one in a beautiful floaty viscose such as this one from Atelier Brunette.  Won’t that look so pretty paired with the Jessa shorts mentioned above.  Writing about these patterns is making me excited for summer already 🙂


Another True Bias pattern and I’ve heard it’s a goodie.  Continuing the theme of wanting to get more loungewear into my wardrobe I really want to make up a pair or two of these.  I love the narrow leg design of these trousers and the fact that they can be made cropped too.  I’m thinking they would be great in this cosy French terry by Lady McElroy.


Never let it be said that I don’t jump onto an Instagram bandwagon 😉  There have just been too many versions of this pattern around online for me not to want to give it a go and it gives me all the floaty summer vibes.  I want to make mine up in a pretty floral viscose with an amazing print such as this one below.


This makes the third True Bias pattern on my list!  I’ve never made a sewn cardigan before although I have wanted to for a while and not found a pattern that took my fancy.  As soon as the Marlow Sweater pattern was released I knew it was right up my street.  I love the cropped version pictured here and think it would pair so nicely with this rib knit fabric from Sewisfaction.

So that concludes my Make Nine plans. Writing them all out has made me really excited to get started on them and I can’t wait to share my progress with you all. Don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram @secret_life_of_a_seamstress for more regular updates.

Secret Life of a Seamstress Blog

I have a video talking all about my Make Nine 2021 plans too which you can watch here

Thank you for reading! Are you taking part in Make Nine?

Until next time, happy sewing!

Sally xx

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