#2018 Make Nine : : From To-Do List To Ta-Da List

Happy New Year Every Buddy!

2018 may be done and dusted but we’re turning back the clock Chez A Colourful Canvas.

But. Quickly. Before we slip back in time…I want to draw attention to the new font on my blog. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it was only just this week…duh…that I discovered I have access to all the Google fonts. All the fonts you guys! I’ve had this theme for over two years and the one thing I wasn’t completely happy with was the font. It wasn’t terrible before….okay, maybe it was terrible for some of us. My goal is simple…dialogue that is easy to read.

Okay…PSA over and out. Let’s get on to the fun stuff…my #2018makenine review. Last year was my first time participating in a #makenine challenge and….woot…it was a success.  I mean. People. I learned stuff.

This post is organized by the order in which I composed the nine square grid. Not in chronological order, or favourites, or alphabetical.

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Up first, dotty blue and white fabric and the choice between two patterns. It didn’t take much debate before going with the Charlie Caftan. Between you and me..well, I didn’t have the courage to make the Colette Penny Dress. It is a pretty dress. I do have the pattern downloaded. But…and here’s the rub….I had big challenges with a Colette pattern in the past. My head told me that passing judgement after using a single pattern was unfair, so I bought the Penny Dress. Problem is I’m afraid I’ll be frustrated and/or disappointed. Have any of you sewn it?

My Charlie Caftan…familiar yes, but hacked to within an inch of it’s life.  I nixed the front inset panel, split the back piece horizontally at the waist and added lots of volume, added wider ties via the side seams, raised the armhole…and …added additional fabric to the V neck out of necessity. Not much dat…You can see the post here.

I like the dress, but I haven’t worn it a lot. Who knew? There is such a thing as too much volume.

The best take away from this make…my friend Greetje from No Fear of Fashion got me deep thinking about the caftan silhouette. Would I? Could I? Well, yes indeedy I could. And I did. I made…possibly…the ultimate caftan. You can see it here.

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

I was a bit leery using this cotton sateen for pants. Would the fabrication be too light?

I’m relieved to report in that my Sasha Trousers were in heavy rotation through spring and summer. That being said, this fabric is not the Goldilocks-Just-Right weight that I’ve seen in ready to wear. You can see the original post here.

Take away…the Sasha Trousers are, for me, a TNT pattern. Classic. And versatile.

Note to self: ‘Be mindful of the fabric’s stretch percentage…don’t assume the stated percentage is accurate. Handle it. Compare it to previous makes. Adjust the pattern if necessary.’

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Ah…hello Truffle Coat. I had such high hopes for you. Intention numero uno being replacing my Birds on a Branch Minoru Jacket. But. I. Just. Can’t. Quit. My Minoru.

I don’t know why…or what…it is, but I still reach for my Minoru Jacket over my Truffle Coat. Le sigh. There is nothing…nada….wrong with my Truffle Coat.  Mary Poppins would say it’s perfectly perfect. But. I dunno.  I do not know. The only thing I can think of that might be an issue is that maybe…maybe…the print is just too much…even for me.

Currently, they’re sharing space in my closet. So, do I make another Truffle Coat out of a less….um…garish fabric? Or do I make another Minoru Jacket? {Say YES, Say YES}

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Grainline’s free Hemlock Tee is a winner in my books. I made this one early last year and it gets a ton of wear.

Note: This is a one size pattern. I altered the pattern at the side seams and the armholes to better fit my frame.

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Bonjour Coco! Another unblogged, but oft worn make. The Coco Dress, by Tilly and The Buttons, is a quick sew…and…it’s super cute.

I mentioned in my introductory #2018makenine post that this fabric was over over-dyed. Louisa, from Damselfly’s Delights, recommended Synthrapol detergent and hoorah….it worked brilliantly. Proof? White underthings remain white. I bought the Synthrapol at Maiwa on Granville Island, here in Vancouver.

This dress is so just right for me! Fit. Comfort. Style. And. Pockets! I wear it often.

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Another #2018makenine. Another Tilly and The Buttons pattern. This time, the Cleo Pinafore.  You can see the original post here. I’ve made this pattern twice…the first time I made it I hacked the back bodice to have full coverage and it’s surprisingly similar to the York Pinafore {I based my hack on a RTW garment and made it long before the York was on the radar.}

I wear both of my Cleo’s…but this one more….because it’s a solid.

Note to self: ‘More than ever, you like wearing solid colours. Unfortunately, when you’re fabric shopping your brain goes on vacation. All the prints. All the time.’

Not part of my #makenine, but I think it’s worth mentioning that this version of the Rise Turtleneck did not work out {I have others that are awesome}. Two things. One, I misjudged the stretch of the rose fabric. My head would literally hurt when I put it on, not to mention my curls were seriously under attack…And two, the rose print always felt a little bit old lady {not that there’s anything wrong with that} for me.

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Oh hello…a garment I did not make. This was one of those learned moments peeps.

I pulled fabric and pattern out time and time again. But. I could not make it happen. It’s all good though. The pairing of fabric and pattern may not have worked, but it was this disparity that pushed me to clarify what I really want in a handmade coat.

I decided that I would prefer to make a less structured coat out of this fabric. Gasp…maybe even an unlined one. This fabric will be appearing in my #2019makenine. I know…you can hardly stand the suspense.

Note to self:  ‘You are happiest wearing your down puffy coats in winter. You like that they are warm but light as air. You may be a wuss, but you are a happy wuss. Enjoy sewing fun, girly, unstructured coats that you can wear for two lovely but fleeting weeks each spring and autumn.’

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

One might think that I have more than enough bathing suits. But really? Not.  I donated several swimsuits to goodwill last year.  Yep…after rigorous use of my little gray brain cells, I came to the realization that I don’t even like tankinis. {Insert head smack here} I don’t regret making them…well, let me rephrase…I don’t regret making one of them, but seriously, could not I have clued into the fact that I dislike wearing them before I put pedal to the metal and churned out another two?

Anyways, after the clear out I had two Sophie maillots left and…sigh…they were both feeling a leeetle too small for comfort. Fortunately, my stash of swimsuit fabrics is healthy.

This suit is a bit of a mash up. It’s mostly a Sophie Swimsuit but I swapped the Sophie cups with my MakeBra DL01 bra pattern {more about lingerie below}. One advantage to doing it this way….fit, fit, fit! I loved feeling confident about the cup fit from the get-go. And, another biggie for me is that the integrated strap of the MakeBra feels more secure.

This suit has come full circle….I bought the fabric in Maui years ago and I wore it when I was on holiday there in November. It is a win….however…{‘Why is there so often a but when it comes to hand made clothing?’ wonders me.}…I came to the realization that I like non-wired swimsuits best.

Note to self: ‘Maui is always a good idea.’

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Lola. Lola. Lola. I want to make you. I really do. But. The thing is…there is someone else. And her name is Bonnie.

My Bonnie Bucket Bags, seen here, are in heavy rotation throughout fall and winter. They are so fun and I always get compliments on them. Come  spring and summer…I love me a good straw bag.

Needless to say I just haven’t worked up much enthusiasm for making another proper handbag.


I learned something.

I use a backpack frequently and I really want a ‘pretty’ backpack. By pretty I mean one that looks a bit more like a satchel than a utilitarian backpack…you know, something minus those mesh exterior water bottle pockets. I have the LBG backpack, the Lucy backpack and the Dawn to Dusk backpack downloaded. Why three? I dunno…complete madness…but seriously they each had design features that I liked at the time. You can expect to see a backpack on my #2019makenine.

A Colourful Canvas, #2018makenine, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

And finally. My tenth of my #makenine, LOL. I mistakenly added lingerie to my #2018makenine blog post…it wasn’t in the grid…and I left it in because sewing lingerie has been high on my list. Sewing bras and underwear really warrants a blog post, or even several blog posts but I’ve been stalling. Making bras is fun, but admittedly a bit fiddly. I imagine writing the post to be fiddly too….

Anyhoo, one of this year’s successful lingerie sets is pictured above, sewn up in Art Gallery Rosebuds fabric. The underwear is a slightly modified Sophie swimsuit and the bra pattern is Make Bra Dl01. Edit: Linke to Make Bra here

I’ve tried about four bra patterns and the Make Bra has been the best overall experience for me.

Whew! Long post. If you’ve stuck with me right through….well massive thanks. If you skipped to the bottom, that’s cool too. I should think of something witty to say but I don’t have much more than I thought the #2018makenine was a positive exercise….in fact I’m currently plotting this year’s grid. Again, my choices will be from my current fabric/pattern stash.


  • Reply Marianne January 10, 2019 at 1:20 am

    What a nice collection! And how did I miss those awesome Bonnie Bucket Bags??I hear you on the brain fail while fabric shopping. It’s so much easier to get excited over a colourful print than it is to instantly fall in love with a solid!

    • Reply Sue January 10, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Marianne. One positive of the #makenine challenge that I didn’t discuss was that it is gently guiding me towards a more cohesive wardrobe. I hope to expand on this further when putting together my 2019 grid!

      And that’s it, isn’t it!? Colourful prints just catch our eyes and it’s a reminder that I”ll always want at least a splash of print in my wardrobe!

  • Reply Deborah January 10, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Colette patterns are wonderful, but they do have their own special sizing and fit, different from the big four and many indies. I have to do an sba on anything fitted, such as the Penny, when sewing a Colette or Seamwork pattern. But that is me and my body. I think the Penny would be gorgeous on you. I recommend doing a toile of the bodice first to get the fit right, then going for it! Many sewists find Colette patterns actually fit them better than big four.

    • Reply Sue January 10, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Deborah. Your words give me confidence! It really is a simple matter of doing a toile…mine which will surely have an FBA…and then moving forward. And the Penny really is such a pretty pattern. I particularly love the wrap belt at the waist. Now you’ve got me thinking that it might make the cut for my 2019 makenine. I think it’s fun to have at least one pattern that feels like a move out of my comfort zone.

  • Reply Melanie January 10, 2019 at 10:16 am

    So many beautiful pieces, and you needn’t have worried about me making it to the end – your writing is always a joy to read. And the Coco Dress, hello!! I adore it – the shape, the fit, the personality, and the look with the beret. Oui! I look forward to your next makenine, Sue. Happy New Year. PS: Love your new font.

    • Reply Sue January 10, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Morning Mel! Almost hard to believe it’s January with this sun and mild temps? I think the Coco would be my desert island desert…providing the island wasn’t a tropical island. I can dress it up and feel as comfortable wearing it simply with tights and boots!

      Thanks for the feed back on the font.

  • Reply bobbie January 10, 2019 at 10:54 am

    So glad to have you back blogging! I missed you. You always leave me inspired and happy to embrace my bright self. I am slowly ridding my clothes of heavy dark things and filling it with bright happy colors and patterns. I cleaned out the stash and am on the lookout for new bright happy fabrics and clothes. Woo hoo! Much thanks for the inspiration that you bring to me!

    • Reply Sue January 10, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Hi Bobbie! Thank you for such a warm welcome back! My absence was unplanned…no lack of material, more a lack of motivation I guess. Bright. Happy. Colors. Patterns. You got me with that. The one dark colour I can’t stop loving is navy!!!

  • Reply LIsa from the SF Bay Area January 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I love your blog and you are always a source of inspiration!
    I don’t know if it is your new font or my browser (Mozilla), but your letters are a medium gray on white background. Very hard for me to see. Maybe I should be changing something on my end?

    Happy Sewing and blogging!

    • Reply Sue January 10, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for the feedback! When I changed the font, the type colour defaulted to the medium gray colour. And, my tool bar somehow got hidden and I thought I didn’t have access to change the colour. I went back in and was able to open the extended tool bar and I’ve changed the shade to a darker colour.

      I’d love to hear if this works better for you!

      Happy Sewing to you as well!

  • Reply Carolyn January 10, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    You’re make nine recap is so good. I can see you taking these lessons into 2019. And isn’t it amazing how we analyze what we make so much more than we did RTW! Will be following along on your sewing adventures this year!

    • Reply Sue January 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you Carolyn.

      After jumping back into garment sewing a few years back…I was pretty random with my makes. Last year, 2018, was a year where I let go of handmade clothes that just weren’t working for me…something I found hard to do previously. I plan on stepping up the analysis in 2019 🙂 in an effort to end up with more successful makes than not. Wish me luck, LOL!

  • Reply Louisa January 11, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Lovely to see you, Sue! And your recap of your makes was great. I’m with Mel – love that Coco! And the bathing suit and the undies and the…OK, all of it. Can’t wait to see your 2019 plans!

    • Reply Sue January 11, 2019 at 10:47 am

      Hey Louisa! Just playing around with my fabrics right now…the game is afoot! 🙂

  • Reply Louisa January 11, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Oh, and I forgot – thanks for the shout-out!

    • Reply Sue January 11, 2019 at 10:48 am

      The synthrapol is awesome. And you need so little of it!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion January 12, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Lengthy post. When you finally publish one you make up for not posting for a while .
    Thank you for the shout-out. So fun to see your own blog mentioned and linked.
    The new font: would have been my choice too. I might even change to it. Had a discussion with my IT-woman over my preference of sans-serif. She thought that a serif character was better for a blog. I convinced her haha.
    The kaftan.. oh yes it is indeed beautiful.
    The Truffle coat… . It is nice but it is not fitted. Could that be your hesitation? That you like your silhouette better in the Minoru? Definitely saying YES to making another one.
    Grainline’s free Hemlock Tee: perfect.
    The Coco dress… Unblogged!!! You should be ashamed. This dress is sooooo good on you. Love it with that beret. Very Parisian. Very oh la la.
    The swimsuit… Can you wear not-wired swimsuits? I never tried. I always thought that when you had a rather big bosom (talking about myself here) it would look very strange.
    The Bonny bag: perfect, all of them.
    The Lola… Nice but I think such an elaborate pattern might prove to be difficult in use. As for patterns, I am like you. I fall for busy prints and always wear solids.
    The lingerie looks very cute. It is a special skill to make lingerie. Bravo.

    • Reply Sue January 12, 2019 at 10:16 am

      I’ve always preferred sans serif over serif fonts. Interesting that your IT woman thought serif better for a blog.

      Your suggestion that it might be the silhouette that feels not quite right to me is helpful, thanks! I may try cinching in the waist just for a visual. If I feel better about it, there might possibly be a chance I could inset a waistline similar to the Minoru? OR…just make another Minoru, which is where my heart is right now. 🙂

      The Coco Dress. So simple. But so good! I have some photos and will try and put a blog post out. I’m still mentally sorting out some ‘stuff’ about blogging that I experienced last year, but I honestly enjoyed putting together post together!

      Yes, I do wear non-wired swimsuits. I took three to Maui this year and wore the non-wired ones more often than my pretty Sophie. No question…I feel I look really amazing in my Sophie suit, but I didn’t like to wear it as much. My non wired suits have foam cups and a bandeau elastic insert in them so do provide modesty if not actual support.

      For the Lola I want to use leather if I can find a piece that is soft enough for my machine to cope with. So…it would be a single colour. The gold dotted vinyl….I think I’m ready to let that go to goodwill.

  • Reply Linda (ACraftyScrivener) January 12, 2019 at 8:49 am

    I hadn’t heard of the Make Bra brand before, it looks very interesting!

    • Reply Sue January 12, 2019 at 10:06 am

      And bad blogger me! I didn’t put in a link to Make Bra. I’ll go put it in the post, but I’ve also linked here,

      Make Bra

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