2020 Social Media Crafting Challenge Plans

Thursday, January 2, 2020
With 2019 quickly coming to a close and 2020 on the horizon, it's that weird time of year between Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa and New Year's when people start making plans for the future. One of the things that I'm looking forward to in the new year is participating in crafting challenges on Instagram, Ravelry, blogs, and YouTube because it keeps me connected with the crafting community and helps motivate me to get craftin'. Here are a few of the challenges I'm looking forward to taking part in:


I don't know about you, but I've accumulated a huge stash of yarn and fabric over the years and am in desperate need of a de-stash. Thankfully, Amanda, aka @browngyrlknits on Instagram has created the Stash Down challenge. The rules are:

  1. Inventory your yarn by January 1
  2. Pick patterns to go with your yarn and make a list
  3. Knit from that list all year
  4. You get $30/month for new yarn.
  5. You get 2 "deal breakers" per year.

For my sewing stash, the Sewjourners have created an Excel spreadsheet called the Stash Shrinker to motivate us to use our fabric stash.

Project Sew My Style is back in 2020 with a new hashtag ( #sms20) and a new end of the month deadline. Participating in the project helped jump-start my sewing mojo in 2018 and I'm hoping to jump back in in 2020. A few of the pattern's I'm excited to make are:
     January: #Sew Twists and Ties

I am a sucker for Instagram challenges, and in January @CookinandCraftin is bringing back the sewing twists and ties challenge. To participate, all you need to do is sew a garment that has twists or ties involved and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #SewTwistsandTies. Some ideas I'm kicking around are:
     May: #MeMadeMay

While it's too early to predict what I'm going to wear in May, I do have plans to spend some time in warmer climates that month and I look forward to documenting my makes in a new setting.

Do you know of any crafting challenges that I haven't mentioned? Will you be participating in any crafting challenges this year, or will you be doing your own thing? Let me know in the comments below.

Final Make Nine 2019 Review and 2020 Reveal

Sunday, December 29, 2019

This year I made the most progress on my #MakeNine2019 list to date, making 7 out of 9 makes! I'd made quite a bit of progress during my Mid-Year Review, so rather than repeat myself, I'll just talk about my end of year progress.

Makes Updates

  • The Fulton Sweater- I was super in love with the Fulton Sweater in 2018, but I never ran across the right fabric for it and fell out of love with the pattern.
  • An Andi Satterlund Pattern- Not only did I re-knit my Waters sweater for the Outfit Along, but I knit up the Julgren Sweater to wear for the holidays. 
  • A Joji Pattern- I knit up the dreamy Spector sweater in my collection of Wichita Woolery yarn and also knit the Hipster Shawl for my work's Secret Santa gift exchange. 
  • A Stephen West Pattern- I feel like I kind of cheated with this make. Initially, I thought I'd make a Vertices Unite shawl this year but, as 2019 came to an end, I decided to knit up the Windschief hat as a Christmas gift instead. 
  • A Poison Girls Pattern- I participated in the #HoneyBopKal using yarn my husband gifted me from Maryland. It still doesn't have buttons, but I'm calling it finished.
  • High Waisted Pants- I found that I need a lot more motivation to tackle a sewing project than I do a knitting project and I chickened out! I have fabric to make pants and some patterns, so I'm hoping to be braver in 2020.
Things I Learned
  • Social Media Challenges and Make-a-longs are sometimes motivating.
  • Setting broader goals seemed more achievable because it left room for me to change my mind or try out shiny new designer patterns.
  • I have a lot of yarn/ fabric in my stash that I need to work from/ de-stash.
  • I feel more confident in my knitting abilities than my sewing abilities right now.

And with that in mind, I present my #MakeNine2020 selection:

1: Arachne by Andi Satterlund- I purchased yarn to make a sweater and cardigan version of this pattern but didn't get to it before Halloween, so I intend to make at least one of them this year.
2: A Poison Girls Pattern- Sometimes I like to imagine myself as an Old Hollywood starlet and these patterns will get me one step closing in achieving it.
3: A Dragon Hoard Yarn Pattern- If you haven't checked out Dragon Hoard Yarn's patterns, you need to! I have 3 of her patterns in my Ravelry queue and am hoping to participate in her SpellmanKAL in 2020.
4. Zweig by Caitlin Hunter- I may be the only knitter who hasn't knit this sweater. I have yarn to make 2 versions of it in my stash.
5. Willamette Top by Hey June Handmade- This top looks like the type of blouse I would live in all Summer long.
6. Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress- I was reluctant to sew this dress when it was first released and became super popular, but now that everyone has made it and looks awesome in it, I want one too.
7. High Waist Pants (M 7726)- Since I didn't make high waisted pants in 2019, I'm hoping to make these in 2020.
8. Sipila by Caitlin Hunter- I purchased yarn to make this pattern when it was first released and need to make it up.
9. A Christmas Sweater- I really enjoyed making and wearing my Julgren in 2019 and am hoping to add to my festive wardrobe in 2020.

Are you participating in the Make Nine 2020 challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

Last Minute Christmas Makes of 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019
When December comes around each year, I feel as if I'm magically transformed into a Christmas elf and can't stop crafting until December 25th. Sure, the crafting pressure can be stressful at times, but let's be honest, I don't really need an excuse to craft but I'll take it when I can!

Now that all of the gifts have been given, I can show what festive makes I made:

1. West Yorkshire Spinners Holly Berry Socks
First I'll start off with a gift that I made for myself. I knit up the West Yorkshire Spinners 2018 colorway, Holly Berry, using the OMG Heel Socks pattern by Megan Williams to add to my Christmas box of socks collection and finished weaving in the tails and blocking them on Christmas Eve. You can't get more festive than that! I love the fit of these socks and they were so comfy and warm to wear on Christmas Day!

2. The Hipster Shawl 
I wanted to give a handmade gift for my work's "Secret Santa" gift exchange and learned that my swap partner liked to wear scarves and the color black, so I searched Ravelry for a pattern that would meet the brief in the time allotted and landed on the Hipster Shawl Pattern by Joji Locatelli. I was able to pick up the yarn, Swan Island Sterling Collection Worsted, during a mini-road trip to The Knotty Lamb yarn shop. This was a fun, quick knit! I hope to make one for myself in the future.

3. Windscheif by Stephen West
I was requested to knit a stylish hat for my brother-in-law for the cold winter months and located some black Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in my stash. I decided to knit up the Windscheif by Stephen West so that I could also check another box on my #MakeNine2019 . My only problem now is that I'm not sure my husband wants to give up the hat. 

4. Simplicity 8613
Earlier this fall my husband accompanied me to Joann's during a sewing pattern sale (I know, I'm a lucky girl 😉) and he picked out Simplicity 8613 (A MimiGStyle featuring Norris raglan tee) for me to sew. With Christmas approaching, I finally motivated myself to sew this up. I used one of the husband's well-worn tee's as a reference and stitched up a size Medium with a View C body and View A sleeves. He loves it!

5. Tilly and the Buttons Margot Pajamas
That's right kids. I sewed up a Tilly and the Buttons pattern FOR MY HUSBAND! On Christmas Eve Eve, my husband commented that he wished he could open a present early, so I scurried up to my craft room and stitched up a pair of Margot Pajama's from the Love at First Stitch book that he could wear on Christmas Eve. The fabric I used is a Dear Stella cotton lawn print from their Winter Is Here collection called Dance of Dragons. They're the perfect pants to wear during his online Dungeons & Dragons games.

There you have it! Those are all of my festive makes of December 2019!

The York Pinafore

Friday, October 11, 2019

I feel like I'm a bit late to the Pinafore party, but I finally managed to sew up a pinafore at the end of Summer. This is the York Pinafore by Helen's Closet. I was drawn to the pattern because it has a bit of an art-school chic kind of vibe and I thought it had the potential to become an unofficial work uniform staple.

The fabric I used is a Burgundy colored Rayon linen from Joann's which is beautiful and super easy to sew.

I chose to stitch up View B of the pattern with the longer length in a size 10 based on my measurements. Before cutting out the pattern, I lengthened the straps by 1.5 inches per the pattern instructions to accommodate my bust measurement, and I shortened the body of the pattern by 1 inch per the pattern instructions to accommodate my shorter height. The pattern went together easily and I used purchased bias binding for the arms and neck. The hardest part to sew was the curved pockets and trying to sew them on evenly. I think it took 5 attempts before I got them at an even height!

The final product is very comfortable and I love the deep pockets! If you are considering this pattern and are a beginner to intermediate sewist, I highly recommend it!

The Soldotna Crop

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Soldotna Crop by Caitlin Hunter (aka Boyland Knitworks) seemed to be the pattern for Spring/ Summer 2019. Yet when it was initially released, I was having none of it! While I was a fan of Caitlin Hunter's patterns overall and the colorwork patterning intrigued me, I simply felt that I was too old and too curvy to pull off this cropped top... until I saw the Soldotna yarn kits curated by Primrose Yarn Co. and fell in love with the color combination. The kit contained 1 skein of Marquess MCN DK in the Dusty Pink colorway, a skein of Vintage DK Tweed in the From London with Love, Marrakesh and the Dreams colorways. 

I'd initially set out to knit up a size Small like I'd done with a few of my previous Caitlin Hunter knits but at the last minute I decided to knit up the size Medium to get the recommended amount of positive ease. As a result, my arm ribbing is a little smaller than the pattern calls for.

I'm not super confident enough to wear this crop top on its own without a layer underneath but I'm happy with the final result. Did you make a Soldotna Crop this year? Do you have any styling tips?

The Tecumseh Sweater

Friday, August 2, 2019

Do you remember the Fall of 2018, when everyone seemed to be knitting up the Tecumseh Sweater by Boyland Knitworks aka Caitlin Hunter? At the height of its popularity, I saw that fellow Oregonian, House of al la Mode, was offering up yarn kits to knit this beautiful sweater and I nabbed one up and then put it on the shelf until February of this year.

After reading other's reviews, I decided to knit a size large neckband with a medium-sized body, but I'm not sure if that was necessary. You'll notice that I also started the sleeves earlier than called for to make this look more like a sweater and less like a swancho.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my finished sweater and wear it often during the cooler months.

Sewing Ginger's with Lladybird

Friday, July 26, 2019
Guess what!? I sewed a pair of jeans!

These things were a year in the making! I purchased my denim fabric, Closet Case Patterns Ginger jeans pattern and hardware kit from Josephine's Drygoods for my birthday last year intending to make them on my own, but I kept chickening out 🐔. So at the start of the year, when I heard that Josephine's Drygoods was going to hold a Ginger Jeans workshop lead by Lladybird aka. Lauren Taylor, I signed myself up.

I was pretty nervous about attending this class because I didn't know anyone else attending, sewing jeans seemed really daunting, and I didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of one of my sewing blogger heros, Lladybird. But as soon as I arrived I noticed that everyone was equally as nervous, which put me at ease, and Lladybird was really down-to-earth.

The workshop took place in a professional photography studio, so there were bound to be lots of Instagram worthy photos taking throughout the workshop.

We spent the first day preparing our sewing. We tried on pre-made sample jeans to determine which size would work best. I ended up choosing a size 12 based on my measurements and fit. Then we cut out our pattern pieces and fabric so that we would be ready to go.

On the second day, we began sewing our fabrics so that we ended up with a garment ready to try on at the end of the day. I felt pretty confident in my sewing on this day. However, when I got to the point where I could finally try on my jeans I discovered that my denim wasn't as stretchy as the sample denim and I couldn't get my pants up over my hips and thighs! 😧 My homework for the evening was to find a way to make it work.


Luckily I had plenty of extra denim fabric and some extra cotton comic strip fabric for my pocket lining. I ended up cutting out two strips of fabric that were 3 inches wide and as long as I am tall, then serged them together and added them to my side seems the next day. 

The third day was all about finishing, and although I fell behind since I added an extra step, I got them done and they were a hit! So the moral of this story is when life hands you some amazing but not very stretchy denim and a curvy figure, make epic comic book jeans.

2019 Make Nine Mid-year Progress Report

Monday, July 1, 2019
It's hard to believe that we're halfway through the year 2019! At the beginning of the year, I presented a list of 9 items that I hoped to make during the year and today I'd thought I'd share how my progress has been going.

1) Fulton Sweater- Not Made
    I was super in love with this cardigan when it was first released and ordered some yards of bright coral fabric to correspond with Pantone's 2019 color of the year and I still haven't made it yet. I think I might have been put off by the color of the fabric. I'm not going to take this sweater off my makes list just yet.

2) An Andi Satterlund Pattern- Work in Progress
   Each year I look forward to participating in the Outfit Along put on by Andi Satterlund/ Untangling Knots and Lauren Taylor/ Lladybird and this year is no exception. This year I've taken apart my Waters Sweater from last year's Outfit Along and am re-knitting it on smaller needles for a better fit.

3) An Andrea Mowry Pattern- Done, done and done
   I kicked off 2019 by knitting up the Tincture Hat by Andrea Mowry and COULDN'T STOP KNITTING HER PATTERNS! I had so much fun doing mosaic knitting that I knit up a Shift Cowl, the Weekender Sweater, and the Shiftalong hat.

4) A Caitlin Hunter Pattern- Done and done
   After knitting up so many Andrea Mowry Patterns, I decided to mix it up and add a few more Caitlin Hunter aka. Boyland Knitworks sweaters to my collection. I knit up the Tecumseh Sweater in House of a la Mode Tweed Yarn, starting my armholes a little earlier than the pattern called for, and I knit the Soldotna Crop in Primrose Yarn.

5) A Joji Pattern- Not Made
   I still have the Spektor Sweater by Joji Locatelli in my queue with yarn set aside for it.

6) Jeans- Done (possibly more on the way)
   Earlier this month I attended a Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans making workshop hosted by Lauren Taylor aka Lladybird and Josephine's Drygoods, so these are done.

7) A Stephen West Pattern- Not Made
   I have several patterns in my queue but haven't decided which to make.

8) A Poison Girls Pattern- Not Made
   I also have several Poison Girls patterns in my queue but can't decide which to make first. I know that there is a Honeybop cardi KAL coming soon.

9) High Waisted Pants- Not Made
   This was a project that I was really excited about at the start of the year, but lately, I've been questioning if some of the high-waisted wide-leg pants that I liked before are flattering to my figure.

Are you participating in the #2019makenine challenge? If so, how is your progress going?

TATB Agnes Top

Monday, June 17, 2019

I mentioned in my Me Made May 2019 review that I was interested in sewing more basic, everyday wear pieces that I can wear along with my other makes. To begin my quest to find the perfect basic tee pattern, I decided to sew up a Tilly and the Buttons Agnes.

Let's talk about the fabric. I fell in love with this cotton knit jersey at first sight in the Joann's child prints section and imagined that I could stitch up a Kate Spade inspired outfit of dreams, but I didn't let myself purchase it until I was ready to sew up this pattern. It looked amazing on the bold, but as the fabric cutting person rolled out the bolt onto the table to cut we both noticed that the stripes were skewed on the fabric and not perfectly straight. So I spent the next 2 days spreading out my fabric, laying down my pattern pieces, and carefully re-adjusting the fabric and pattern to try to get the stripes cut out as straight as possible. This part sucked!

I ended up sewing a size 5 at the shoulders and blended out to a size 6 at the hips to match my measurements. I followed the pattern instructions step by step and remembered to use a stretch needle. I was able to put this all together in half-a-day.

After wearing it out, I think I might add some ribbon and snap bra-keepers in the shoulders to keep my bra straps from poking out. I am super happy with this top! The puffy sleeves make me feel like a princess (or a 1980's Prom Queen). I am definitely planning to stitch up the other versions of this pattern in the near future, but I'm a little more hesitant about purchasing fabric from the Big Box stores.

What's Making Me Laugh: Fashion Coward- SNL

Saturday, June 15, 2019
When I was a teen I used to love clothes shopping at the mall. But I've found that the older (and curvier) I get, the more I dread it. So when I saw the SNL (Saturday Night Live) skit "Fashion Coward" starring Emma Stone, I could totally relate! If you haven't seen it (or even if you have), check out the clip above.
Powered by Blogger.


These posts contain affiliate links which may generate a revenue for the site when a purchase is made. You can read more at my Disclosure Policy page.