The prospect of starting a sewing blog can seem a little daunting at times, which is why I was excited to learn about the #2018MakeNine "gentle challenge for makers." Being intentional about nine items I would like to make this year seems like a very achievable goal while also leaving room for a few spontaneous projects.

Already in January I have made a fitted knit dress and leggings, both of which were on my list.

The additional pieces I want to make are all things I've been looking for in stores and haven't been able to find the right size, fit, or color. Time to warm up my sewing machine!

I'm looking at this pattern as an option for a brown long sleeve t-shirt, but would welcome any tips on patterns that may be a bit more fitted.

Every well-rounded wardrobe needs a classic white button-up shirt. My RTW white button-up has seen better days and needs to be replaced. If I can perfect the fit of this pattern I would also like to make flannel and gingham shirts.

I would love to make a Blackwood Cardigan to round out my work wardrobe. I can see this in so many neutral colors, I may choose a few!

An additional sweater I've been dreaming about for years is a ballerina style wrap sweater. This pattern is the cutest one I've found.

I would like to add a colored blazer to the neutral blazers I already own, although I think this will be one of my more challenging 2018 projects.

I may not need a pattern, but I would like to add a black A-Line skirt and fun printed maxi skirt to my wardrobe this summer. These basics would help me mix and match many more outfits.

Lastly, I'd like to try making underwear. This free pattern looks like a great option.

Are you planning to participate in #2018MakeNine? What will you be making?


Learning to Sew Knits

I have been sewing apparel since I was eight years old, one new outfit a year for my annual 4-H project. I LOVED the trips to the fabric store, pouring over the patterns and gorgeous materials. I was always allowed to choose what I wanted to make and the fabric I wanted to use, but aside from sewing one swimming suit I rarely worked with knits.

I love to wear knits. They are soft, comfortable, and easy to care for, so I decided to try my hand at a simple project while I practiced sewing with knits.

I chose this Simplicity leggings pattern, with four individual panels, because I thought it would offer a better fit than the leggings I have purchased RTW. I used a ball point/knit needle on my machine and worked to get the tension correct, sewing the side seams with a small zigzag stitch. Then, I used a twin needle for the first time to hem the leggings and sew the waistband down.

I found it a bit difficult to sew the hem and waistband from the top and need to continue to work on the tension of my seams, but all-in-all I am extremely happy with the twin needle and am not sure why I was scared to try it for so many years!

I made a size small and found this pattern fits a little large. I would size down for a more modern fit if I made these leggings again.

Time estimate: cut and sewn in approximately two hours
Size: small
Material used: knit print, rayon and spandex blend
Care instructions: machine wash cold, line dry

Cost to make leggings:
twin needle - $3.50
pattern - $10.00
material - $13.50
elastic - $1.00
*used existing thread
TOTAL: $28.00 + tax

New Year, New Me

I often make New Years "goals" because I can never seem to complete any resolutions I set for myself. This year was different though. I wasn't inspired to even set any new "goals" for myself, that is until I came across a pattern I'd purchased for myself YEARS ago tucked away in my sewing room. I seem to have a habit of purchasing the most gorgeous patterns, taking them home and eagerly cutting them out, then promptly folding them back up again and storing them in my sewing room. Well not this year!

Do you remember the shortly lived television show Fashion Star? I loved the concept of being able to purchase items I adored from the show live online that night. But even better, I could purchase patterns for the clothing I loved and in the process of making them for myself, tailor them to my body.

This is the pattern that inspired my new blog. I hope by starting this blog I will hold myself more accountable for making the things I want to make, learn new techniques of the trade, and chronicle my journey. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

I made this pattern in a size 12 and decreased the width of the bodice on each side. Although the pattern called for Crepe de Chine, Crepe, Sateen, or Poplin I chose to use Ponte. I had been envisioning the dress in this form-fitting knit since I saw it on television and was quite happy with the results. I used a woven material for the lining to add some additional stability to this already sturdy knit.

I decided to use one color for a more classic look and anticipate that I could wear this dress for many occasions. However, the shoulder straps are a bit wide-set for my preference and something I may adjust if I make this dress again.

This kick pleat would probably be a cuter detail in a Crepe or Sateen that could be ironed more crisply. It is also important to take extra length out of this skirt when cutting it since this detail doesn't allow for a regular hem.

Time estimate: 14-16 hours
Size: 12
Materials used: solid navy blue Ponte; rayon, nylon, and spandex blend
Care instructions: machine wash cold, line dry, cool iron

Cost to make dress:
2 yards material - $20
zipper - $2
*used lining fabric, thread, and hook and eye from my stash, already owned the pattern
TOTAL - $22 + tax
[name=Marissa] [img=//4.bp.blogspot.com/-PZLYzJMG34Y/XiU1zvVCSSI/AAAAAAAARmg/Fom6rY8JYb4c5J4_WgJ0cOTlrVOsq1nFgCK4BGAYYCw/s355/NielsenFamily19Final-11%2B%25282%2529.jpg] [description=Hi, I'm Marissa, a hobby seamstress. Thanks for joining me on my journey as I create a handmade wardrobe. Like and follow via the social media links below to see my newest makes!] [(instagram=https://www.instagram.com/sew_help_me)] [(facebook=https://www.facebook.com/SewHelpMebyMarissa)] [(bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/sew-help-me-19274771)]