#2018MakeNine and Top 5 Reflections, Highlights, and Goals


For a few years now, Lucky Lucille has been running the #2018MakeNine hashtag on Instagram. I’ve taken part two years in a row. The first year, I failed miserably and last year I was able to get 4 items done which is still a percentage failure. This year I am trying something new by focusing not on patterns but on fabric meaning that I can be flexible about whatever I choose to make with my stashed fabric. I find the pattern focus fails me because a year can be a huge evolution in my style or I could end up needing other things to wear due to physical issues. The things that got made from my #2017MakeNine were far more on the comfort side of things than anything which is not surprising given my health issues all year. I know from my year of tracking my stash fabrics that knit fabrics are in and out of my stash very quickly. This year’s fabric purchases were definitely heavy on the knit fabric side. I would love to make the other projects planned from my #2017MakeNine but I am not sure when I will be able to get to them or want to make them. I also just purged a huge amount of clothing from my closet. I considered what I had worn and what I found comfortable and what issues I had with some things and bagged 4 large garbage bags for donation. I got rid of a bunch of old RTW that I wasn’t going for anymore plus a bunch of handmade garments that I just didn’t wear due to fit issues or not liking the fabric. A few got pulled aside for alterations that I will get to throughout the year. I definitely got upset over a couple due to loving the fabric so much, but I feel much better and finally have closet room and drawer room again for more handmade garments, of course! But enough talk, let’s look at the fabric plans

First up, 1.75 yards of a sparkly flannel cloud fabric. Of course, I could really put multiple flannels here, but this one is my favourite. It’s not quite enough (maybe) for a pair of pj pants for me. I could either go for pj capris or shorts, I think, or I could completely branch out and make a nightgown or a pillow case. Who knows?

Second on the list is this turquoise brocade with dragons on it. It’s one of my deepest stash items and purchased 6 plus years ago. I am thinking an Upton dress with pleats, but I could also see this as a long fitted blazer. I have 4 yards so the sky is the limit.

Third is the ever impossible to photograph black duoplex. I just grabbed the first duoplex fabric out of my lingerie fabrics drawer and it had to be black, right? I need new bras. I haven’t made them since 2016. WTF is wrong with me?! I may or may not use the black fabric specifically but I need to make damn bras already. In total, I have approximately 3 yards of duoplex.

Fourth is 4 yards of a mint cotton eyelet that I search high and low for and then got it for it to languish in my stash. Weird how these things work. I’ll need to line whatever I make, but top of my list is probably an Upton dress. But then again, maybe not?

Fifth is this beautiful light blue wool fabric from a friend. I have four yards. I also have thinsulate on the way to interline and a lovely fur to trim a new winter coat. My current winter coat is falling apart. I’ve learned a lot since then so I am hopeful this one will last for a really long time. I’m not sure of the pattern yet. I think I will actually hack a pattern I already own, because I don’t really want to go through fitting something. I know for sure the pattern doesn’t exist in my size and ones that come close would require a hood anyway so I might as well start with a pattern that fits well.

Sixth, the weirdest fabric in my stash, I think. I got it from Minerva Fabrics as a Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern month prize and at first was disappointed, but it’s a soft poly satin and so loud and fun that I have grown to love it. I have 2 yards of this bright orange leopard print. I also happen to have several yards of red fringe that might look amazing on it as a Designer Stitch Willow Kimono. I probably wouldn’t really wear it out of the house, but man, I would have fun wearing it.

My seventh fabric is a bit bluer than the picture is showing. It’s a super soft chambray from Fabricland. I have just over 4 yards of it so I could make anything. Part of me sees it as a lovely 1970s prairie dress with blouson sleeves and a pleated fronts. I could also see it as a casual shirt dress like Simplicity 8140 or I could just make a Cashmerette Harrison top.

Number eight on the list is 2.5 yards of navy blue polka-dots on white rayon fabric. I can see this looking beautiful as a Simplicity 8140 as well. If there were a bit more, I might make a Lenox shirtdress.

Finally, number nine is a antique gold stretch pleather. I only have 2 yards of it. Can you see this as a sexy pencil skirt or the bodice fabric for a biker jacket?

I’m pretty excited about these plans and see them as realistic. You’ll notice no knit fabric on the list, because I have no issues destashing that and, in fact, have a ton of it on the way from end of year sales. Oopsie!

I also want to finish up my Top 5 series with Reflections, Highlights, and Goals.

Top 5 Reflections

  1. I am resilient. This year has been a roller coaster of health issues, but I am more and more impressed with my resilience and ability to cope with all that has happened. I am hopeful for the future and hopeful that change will and can happen for me to be healthier and thrive with EDS.
  2. I have amazing support systems. My family, my friends, both online and offline, have been amazing this year. My husband is incredibly supportive and I love having him in my life. I am so grateful for his calm spirit in the face of the emergencies we’ve had this year. I truly am loved.
  3. I have made a difference. This one is a huge one for me and is the reason I write about my health so openly. The people who have reached out to me to thank me for my words are so wonderful. If I can help even one person with chronic illness feel less alone, I’ve done a good job.
  4. I am happy. As a person who has suffered from depression and attempted suicide many times, I can confidently declare that I am happy and my mental health is in a good state. I am able to compartmentalize the health frustrations and still enjoy every moment. Thankfully, the cognitive behaviour therapy I learned years ago to help me out of suicidal depression can be transferred to pain management. 2018 is supposed to bring me a referral to group therapy and mindfulness based therapy for patients suffering from chronic pain. I only see my happiness improving.
  5. I am grateful. I am grateful for my support systems and I am grateful that my words reach people. I am grateful for everything.

Top 5 Highlights

  1. Going to Cuba for the holidays. There is seriously nothing better than swimming in warm ocean waters and laying about on the beach when you are used to freezing cold temperatures for Christmas. I’ll talk more about my fun times there as well as a mini wardrobe I made for it in a separate post.
  2. A weekend of fandoms at FanExpo Toronto. In September, I got to perform with my improv troupe, the Dandies. We did Star Trek, Doctor Who, Buffy, Harry Potter and SuperFollies, our Super Hero show. I was unable to attend the SuperFollies show, but had a blast at the rest. It was such a great weekend.
  3. Card Retreat. I had a great time organizing a Christmas cardmaking retreat for a small group of friends. I made tasty foods and designed 10 different cards. I look forward to growing that aspect of my creativity in the new year.
  4. Embracing my inner unicorn. As a queer bisexual woman, it’s tough married to a man, looking very femme, and being erased by most of the world as queer. When I joined the CSC, we got a comment that there were no queer editors or people of colour and I got really upset about being erased yet again. I realized that it wasn’t in my bio, though, and it is becoming more important to be public about your identities to help repair this messed up world. I have on more than one occasion had to defend my queer label. I was once asked by a gay man to prove it and list my same-sex partners as if I were on trial. I have been eroticized by straight males and had a few friends ghost me when they found out I wasn’t fully straight or fully lesbian. I am so tired of feeling on the fringe of the queer community. I’m just going to be super loud and super proud about it now. I went as a unicorn on Halloween as a tongue in cheek on the bisexual female nickname. I enjoyed being more out this year in the community (it’s now part of my bio in IG, CSC, and my blog here) and look forward to some fun queer goals in the new year.
  5. Getting my Lit on. I’m a lit nerd through and through with a Masters in English Lit, but in recent years I’ve not been reading a lot at all for a few different reasons. I found myself in a mourning period after dropping out of my PhD in 2013. I had spent so much on that emotionally and financially that it was difficult to read afterwards. I was burnt out and exhausted and disappointed in the academic world that failed me (I dropped out due to supervisor neglect and, even after I got two new supervisors, realized I was done with the PhD as a result). I find holding books to be very difficult with my EDS fingers. I recently got myself a kindle and loaded it up with a bunch of books. It’s much easier to hold and I read three books last month! I have a related goal to share about reading.

Top 5 Goals

  1. Self Care. I’ve had this as my goal before, but I have to continue to make it a priority. I am heading to the YMCA sometime this week to start up my membership and get into the pool for some doctor-approved low-impact exercise. I have 2 swimsuits as a result of my recent vacation to share and a bunch more fabric on the way so that I always have a dry swimsuit to take with me. Other than that, I want to make sure I stop beating myself up on “can’t” and focus more on “can.” I literally cannot do everything I want, but I can do a lot and I need to focus on being a lot easier on myself. I spent the majority of last year upset with my body’s failures and refuse to do that this year. I will celebrate the successes more often.
  2. Get Lit. I want to read more.  For my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I set 15 books as my goal. I think I can do it. I plan on rereading Wrinkle in Time for the movie release. I cannot wait!
  3. Scrapbusting/Stashbusting. Last year, I did a whole lot of organizing of scraps, but didn’t use a lot due to my up and down health. I’d like to sew scraps up and get it out of those bins. I’ll still be taking part in the Stashbusting Sewalong. I love that group! 🙂 I started off the year with a bit of splurging on year end sales, but I will be back on track soon with my #2018MakeNine fabric plans. I am going to focus on buying on things that I need for specific projects.
  4. Knitting and Crochet. I have been finding myself needing other crafts to do on my lower energy days and recently got back into knitting by finishing a cardigan I started 10 years ago. I am planning on teaching myself crochet as well. I really want to learn how to knit socks and plan on focusing on that first.
  5. Queer sewing. I used to wear a lot more gender neutral clothes before I started sewing. Unfortunately, the selection was small and ill fitting for a plus sized and very busty person. I would buy larger men’s button up shirts and wear them with ties on occasion, but never felt comfortable in them because they were either tents or too tight across the bust. I never bound my bust so nothing quite fit and the shoulders were always comically large. As a teen queer, doc martens and men’s jeans were my uniform. I’d like to embrace more gender play and sew up some nice button ups, bow ties, and ties. I want to make a blazer/pantsuit that would make Marlene Dietrich jealous. God damn, I want that. I was recently inspired to make this a goal after Shannon from Rare Device launched her Sew Queer project. Follow Sew Queer on IG!

A final announcement for the post to help along my goals and your goals is the #curvyyearofsewing. Editors and Contributors at the CSC have created an inclusive sewing challenge for the entire year with themes every two months to give people lots of time to sew. We will be creating pattern suggestions for each theme, but you are not confined to those. Look out for discount codes and prizes. Share your makes using the hashtag #curvyyearofsewing. I cannot wait to see what you create!


33 thoughts on “#2018MakeNine and Top 5 Reflections, Highlights, and Goals

  1. I read every word sweetie! I LOVE the idea of choosing fabric over patterns. Like you I can sew knits with no problem. I have a beautiful woven stash so I am going to get on that! (I need new serger needles so that slowed me down with the knits.) The 2018 CSC sounds fun! I have just cut out 100 Acts of Sewing pants #1, I love the crotch curve! Keep me posted on scrap busting, we gotta keep them out of the garbage….Happy New Year!!

    1. I buy bulk serger needles from ebay. Lol. I can’t stop sewing knits! 😂
      I am so glad you are taking part in the Curvy Year of Sewing!!

  2. I am just like..?????????????? at the people who try to make you prove your sexuality. How is it anyone else’s business? Is there some sort of test that proves how queer you are? I guess your experience is just more evidence of bi erasure but it must be super exhausting to have to defend who you are all the time.

    A slick pantsuit combo would look amazing on you! As would a dandy button up. Looking forward to seeing what you make this year.

    1. Right? I don’t get it. Like the people who ask you to prove you need a disabled parking spot. Fuck them! Btw I’m getting a salty Tshirt my next payday! 😍

  3. I have no doubt that you are going to accomplish all of your goals! I hope 2018 is a good year for you, Andie. You are one amazing gal. ❤

  4. The idea about fabric v. patterns is brilliant–good for you!

    I also am a female-looking person married to a man, and have sometimes gotten the ‘prove you’re queer’ thing too. If I have solidarity with GLBTQQAIH+ folks (and everyone else I forget the letter for) that to me is fine plus is my own business. If a straight man said to a female to ‘prove’ that she is straight, that’s another form of harassment, so–folks are just so strange at times. A friend once quipped that in GLBTQ, the ‘b’ is silent.

    I am also a recent discoverer of Rare Device and love the blog–happy new year and best wishes to all!

    1. Thanks, Donnalee! I hope the B isn’t silent for much longer. We need more bisexual and pansexual voices out there. Isn’t Shannon great? I love her blog and IG!

  5. I really like that orange leopard print (though I usually steer clear of the animal prints) and would probably line a coat with it just because I love having a fun and vivid lining. I was able to find Thinsulate at Fabricland but wow was it expensive – $30 per meter. Unfortunately shipping from any of the mail order places would have had it about the same.

    1. Peak fabrics had it for around that when you factor in shipping costs. It’s expensive but I need it. I’m cold all the time. I thought about lining the coat with the fabric. That may still be a possibility! But I also think a ridiculous kimono would be fun! The dilemma is why focusing on patterns never worked for me! 😂😂

      1. Thinsulate may be expensive but it is worth every single penny. I have regrets on my own coat (the arms are much tighter than I would like) but using thinsulate isn’t one of them.

  6. Hi Andie- thank you for this post. I am also bisexual and married to a man! It’s tough sometimes having to prove your identity. I often feel like I don’t belong in queer spaces because I basically “pass” as a cishet woman, even though I’m not. Here’s to embracing all that sewing one’s own clothes brings to gender expression! And I for one can’t wait to participate in the CSC Curvy Year of Sewing. ❤️

    1. I am now coming to realize that I have to be bold about my place in the queer community. Prejudice gets stamped out with brave moments and Pride is all about that. I can’t wait to explore that side of me through sewing. I’m excited to see what you create for the Curvy year of sewing! 😁

  7. Happy New Year Andie! I hope 2018 brings you all good things. And a gold stretch leather pencil skirt! Thanks for sharing, as always. Stay warm!

  8. ❤ ❤ ❤ to you and a big middle finger to folks who make anyone prove their queer belonging. I think 2018 is the year to be super hella queer all over the place, because the world needs it. I would LOVE to you see you in a Marlene-inspired suit, and very very much look forward to seeing you queer sewing projects! I love all these textiles you've got lined up – I'm hard pressed to say if I'm more excited about seeing your winter coat, what you do with the dotted chambray, or what that amazing pleather turns into! And thank you so much for the kind words about the project; I'm finding it so fulfilling and heartwarming and I hope to see it grow this year!

    1. Yessssss for 2018 being super hella queer! 😀 I’m so excited for a new winter coat. It’s going to be awesome!!

      I also need a Marlene-inspired hat or 15. LOL. She kicked ass at matching hats to outfits. ❤

  9. This post had me doing a dance of joy for you, Andie! You really know yourself, and your tenacity and determination are always an inspiration!!!! The thing I’m learning with the Who We Are series that that there are a lot of communities who feel invisible, but come flooding out once the conversation starts. Thank you for all you do to get honest and open conversation going! If you could make 2017 into a winning year, then i’m sure you are going to rock in 2018!

    1. Thanks, Gillian! You make me blush. You’re so sweet. It’s series like Who We Are that make all the difference in the world. I’m so grateful for awesome people like you who really believe in making a difference for inclusive community spaces. ❤ ❤

  10. You’re definitely not alone in being an invisible queer person. My partner, Jared, & I are both queer, though we’ve been in a (mostly) monogamous relationship with each other for almost eleven years. (He had a boyfriend when we first started dating, but they split up about nine months into our relationship.)

    I do struggle with claiming queerness as a primary identity for myself though, because my relationship with Jared means I benefit from tremendous amounts of heterosexual privilege. & while I may not be the most gender-normative woman out there (I don’t wear make-up, I don’t shave, etc), my gender presentation & style definitely fall well within the range of gender-typical. Maybe this is just my whole “coming out & openly queer in the 90s” personal history talking, but I feel like a lot of queer identity & history is tied up with the oppression & discrimination that queer people experience, & while I’ve certainly experienced it myself (I will never forget the email I got from a classmate in college that simply said “Dear Ciara–You eat box for a living. Have a good summer,” to which I was like, “Damn, I wish!” though I did also report it to the university as harassment), I really don’t want to lose sight of my privileges. & Jared pretty much feels the same way.

    Anyway, it’s a smart move to try focusing on fabrics, especially ones that might get overlooked in the ever-alluring flow of knits. I’m excited to see what everyone makes in 2018!

    1. I’m definitely not losing sight of my privilege. I didn’t get into the nuances of it all in this post. The post is only partially about my queer identity and there is definitely more to be said on that topic alone as well as my privilege. I also feel that the nuances are difficult to describe and would be better left to someone more skilled than me in gender and queer politics/history. When I discuss it again, I will link to some articles that I read recently that you might also find interesting that discuss the importance of bi visibility and queer identity. Some fascinating, but also problematic stuff.

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t accusing you of anything. Just explaining why I personally don’t make a fuss about being queer, even though I suppose I technically am.

  11. Great post – what a year you’ve had! Your reflections are so honest – and I love that cloud fabric!!
    I’m up for the #curvyyearofsewing. I have a huge bust, but small shoulders and a narrow back. Plus sized clothes are too big everywhere else and petite clothes don’t allow for a massive chest!
    Good luck in all of your 2018 goals!

  12. Happy New Year Andie.
    I get really cross that anyone has to identify themselves as a something, I wish we could have a society where people were accepted for being themselves without the need to defend their sexuality, bias, status or anything else. I’m a widow who happens to be a sexual, a survivor of incest (+ extreme mental and physical abuse) and sexual/extreme mental and physical abuse outside of the family. I suffer from severe depression and live with a fabulous bunch of (mostly) people as I’m DID/MPD or as I/we prefer DISS (Dissociative Identity Survival System), I’m overweight though getting less so because of health issues, wheelchair bound with a collection of autoimmune and other illnesses. Tao. But the most amazing, wonderful thing about me? I’m a generous, loving, gifted human being called Lucy and that counts more than any of the above. As do you Andie because whatever labels you have, I know you as a generous, fun human being.
    Hope 2018 is better for you health wise. Lucy x

  13. The problem with monster posts is that you get monster comments:

    –I like your makenine approach. I find the patterns-to-use approach pretty limiting, too, and I know myself well enough to know that I’d never complete even half of a projects list. But a pile of stash fabrics sounds fun and very doable.

    It’s funny. I often find the fabrics I looked for the longest spend the most time in my stash. After putting so much time and energy into finding them, I don’t want to mess them up. You know?

    –You and Frances really need to meet sometime. You’d have so much to talk about wrt queer identities, among other things.

    –I did not know that about your phD, and I’m so sorry to hear reading was lost for you for so long, but so happy that you’re finding your way back to it. And I’m always happy to talk for inappropriately long periods about books I like so if you’re ever looking for a recommendation…

    I have my fingers crossed that 2018 is much kinder to you than 2017 was.

    1. Thanks, Andrea. Sorry for the delay in responding here. :/

      I agree about fabrics that are searched after tend to languish in the stash. I just don’t want to cut into them and regret it, you know? But now is the time since I am quickly running out of space for fabric.

      I’d love to meet Frances! Sounds like we would have a ton to talk about. 🙂

      I don’t talk about the PhD that often. It is still sour grapes for me to have worked so hard on something and have your supervisor fail you. I even had a draft of my dissertation done, but because he neglected it for 2 years, it was not in a good enough state. It was either drop out or spend 5 more years in the program and since I lost the love for academia and had a non-academic career in hand already… it just didn’t make sense to continue especially with my health issues that were only starting at the time. I am glad to return to reading and feed the passion I once had. I may even post a review or two on goodreads this year. 😉 Recommendations are always welcome!

      1. No apology needed!

        We’ll have to make that meeting happen one day. 🙂

        It would be very hard. I have friends who had similar experiences in grad studies and they were pretty gutted by it. I’m sorry it happened to you though. And I’ll try not to go overboard but–have you heard of The Black Tides of Heaven? Or Ancillary Justice?

      2. Ooh! Just checked them out and added them to my to read shelf on goodreads. They sound awesome!

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