Akram's Ideas
Akram's Ideas: 2016 Make Nine

2016 Make Nine

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate  links
At the end of 2015 many Instgram users began to post the tag #2015bestnine, which included nine of their best posts for the year. I couldn’t resist but join in on the fun and posted my own nine top images from Instgram.

My #2015BestNine Instagram posts
My #2015BestNine Instagram posts

Rochelle from Lucky Lucille however, decided to do a different kind of post all together. Using the hashtag #2016makenine Rochelle posted nine projects she hoped to make this year. I loved the idea of that and thought I would jump on the bandwagon and make my own list of 2016 make nine.

My #2016MakeNine

Instead of listing specific projects I decided to list nine types of projects I want to focus on this year. Since as I said in my last post, 2016 is all about doing the unexpected I wanted to go outside my comfort zone when it came to sewing projects. My goal this year is to broaden my skills by making things I don’t normally do.

One way to build my skills is with Craftsy.com. Craftsy offers tons of online courses to build your skills in a variety of creative outlets. I love the Craftsy instructors and interactive course features, it truly is a great resources.

Purses and Bags

Exquisite clutch purses
Exquisite clutch purses

While I’ve received lots of compliments on the purses and bags I’ve made I know there is room for improvement. I want to expand my skills when it comes to making purses and bags, as well as learn to make a variety of styles.

Craftsy has several courses on purses and bags, including a brand new Mix & Match Clutch Bag Techniques with Janelle MacKay , this is definitely on my wishlist.

Home Decor

I have lots of home decor projects I’ve been meaning to make and this year I plan to really focus on them. I hope to making a lot of curtains, pillows, potholders and more. Not only will I be making these for myself but I have a list of others who I plan to make lovely home decor gifts for.

Craftsy curtains
Aren’t these custom curtains lovely?

Home decor sewing projects are usually pretty easy projects, however it’s a great way to add simple embellishments. I want to play around with piping, lace, tucks and more. I’m currently in need of curtains, so that will be my first home decor project. Craftsy class Sewing Custom Curtains & Draperies with Susan Woodcock will be a great resource. 

Plush Toys

Simplicity 1900 doll pattern
These dolls are adorable.

Plush toys aren’t something that I’ve made particularly. I don’t really have a need for them, other than maybe as a gift for my niece. However, I really would like to get into making a variety of plushies, maybe even some that double as a key chain.

I’ve seen a lot of plush toy projects on Pinterest, and I’ve really loved the idea of making them. After all since I’m an avid toy collector, it only makes sense for me to make my own plush toys, right?


While I’ve only been sewing since 2012, it amazing how much scrap fabric one can accumulate in just four years. Let’s just say I have a lot and I need to start doing something with them. Solution make a quilt!

Scrap Quilt
This colorful scrap quilt is just what I want to make.

I’ve made a few felt baby blankets for my niece in the past, but not a full on quilt. The overall concept sound easy enough and I like the idea of making some custom quilts.

Once again Craftsy.com is a great resource when it comes to quilting, in fact they have a whole category of courses just about quilting. There are even quilting courses especially dedicated to scrap quilting, like Colorful Scrap Quilting with Amanda Jean Nyberg. I’d love to be able to make a quilt like that.

Sewing with knits

Sewing with Knits - Craftsy
I’m excited to make my own hoodie.

Like a lot of beginner sewers I’m a little leery when it comes to sewing with knits. I’ve only really sewn with knit twice and didn’t feel like I had a good hang of it. I’ve been wanting a jersey knit dress for a long time so I thought this is the year to make one. Especially since I have quite a bit of knit fabric in my stash.

To get started in my quest to learn to sew with knit, I enrolled in Craftsy.com course Sewing With Knits : 5 wardrobe essentials with Meg McElwe. While the garments in the course aren’t my usual vintage style, I am still super excited to improve my skills with knits. Plus I love hoodies, I mean who doesn’t?


When it comes to wearing vintage dresses it’s important to have the right undergarments to create the right silhouette. I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own undergarments before, I even have Gertie’s Butterick B6031 pattern , but have yet to make it.

VaVoom Vintage's Bullet Bras
I really want to make one of Va-Voom Vintage’s Bullet Bras

Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage has a free bullet bra pattern that I’ve been wanting to make for so long. This year I plan to finally try my hand at make some of my own undergarments. My only fear is that they won’t fit right.

Sewing icon Allison Smith teaches the Craftsy.com course Sewing Lingerie: Essential Techniques, which might provide some helpful techniques when I finally get around to sewing undergarments.

Upcycle Sewing

Upcycled Jean Purse
Upcycled Jean Purse

Moving this past year has also allowed me to purge my closet. However, I hate getting rid of perfectly good stuff. Therefore I have a box (maybe more than one box) of clothes that I’ve set aside to upcycle or refashion as it’s sometimes called.

I have some specific plans for a few of these items, but I’m not sure about all of them. To help give me some tips and inspiration I’ll be using the Craftsy.com class Project Upcycle with Betz White.

Vintage Pledge

Vintage Patterns
A handful of my vintage patterns

For the past two years I’ve joined the #vintagepledge challenge to sew a set amount of vintage patterns. Since I have um, over thousand, vintage patterns I figure this is a no brainer for me.

Last year I wrote a whole post on all the vintage patterns I wanted to make and while I did make several, only two of them were on my make list. Therefor this year being that my mantra is “do the unexpected” , I will not be preplanning any particular patterns. I’ll just go with the follow and make them as I get the urge.

Akram's Ideas: 2015 #VintagePlege Review
Akram’s Ideas: 2015 #VintagePlege Review

My goal will still be to make at least six vintage patterns. They may not all be projects personally for me nor may they all be garments. I might actually make some vintage purses or something.

Muslin Making

The last thing I want to explore this year is the process of making a muslin. If you haven’t heard the term “muslin” before, it basically a mock version of your finished garment. It’s usually made out of muslin or a cheap fabric you’re not to attached to.

Couture Dress Muslin - Craftsy
I hope I have the patience to make a muslin

The idea is that you practice making the garment and make all alterations to the muslin before you cut into your nice fabric. I often feel like a muslin is a waste of time, but I’ve had so many fit issues with so much of the clothes I make, I’m starting to think maybe it’s not a waste at all.

I’ve actually just started the Craftsty.com course The Couture Dress

with Susan Khalje. In this class Ms. Khalje starts by making a muslin. During the fitting process she explains how helpful it is as well as how we can use our muslin to mix and match pattern pieces and come up with our own unique design.

Wish me Luck

So, that’s my #2016MakeNine plan. Like I said earlier it’s more a list of types of projects I want to focus on, not specific projects.

As always I’m starting the year pretty optimistic that I can accomplish all of these plans or at least most of them. We’ll see how I do. First thing first, however, I need to actually unpack and organize my sewing room before any sewing can be done, **sigh**.

So, with that I’m off to get organized.

Pin It
Akram's Ideas: 2016 Make Nine


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • You bet! I am wishing you luck, success and tons of fun along the way, my sweet friend. I adore the diversity of projects you hope to tackle, very much including the cute plush toys. Aww! 🙂

    Big hugs & happy wishes for the coming week,
    ♥ Jessica

    • Miss Jessica, thank you so much! It always helps to have some encouragement. I finally got my sewing room in working order and my sister just made a request for an Owl Plushie for my nieces birthday at the end of the month. So, it looks like I am all set to start my 2016 make nine goals. Hope your 2016 is starting off with good vibes.

Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

Follow @akramsideas



%d bloggers like this: