The Make Nine Challenge

Hello old friends and new readers! It’s that time of year again. Time for a fresh start, new goals to reach and new ambitions to make ALL THE THINGS! Well, if you’re like me you start out with the best intentions but then life happens and before you know it it’s December and you find yourself looking back on the previous year wondering where all the time went and why you couldn’t physically make ALL THE THINGS.

Spoiler Alert: It’s because you’re a human.

(photo credit)

So here we are now, equipped with last year’s lessons to propel us forward towards Making success. So instead of making ALL THE THINGS, let’s really sit down and focus on just a few. Nine to be exact…

The “Make Nine” challenge first came to light back in December of 2015 when the increasingly popular “Best Nine” hashtag was circling its way around Instagram. Instead of sharing my best nine photos from the past year, I looked to the future and decided to share nine projects I wanted to sew/knit/quilt in the new year. 2015 was also the year I realized I was partaking in some serious “Fast Fashion” sewing habits. I needed to slow down and make a drastic change. Thus, the inaugural #2016MakeNine challenge was born. Four years later the mini maker’s challenge continues, encouraging you to buckle down your focus and work towards a few solid essentials.

Of course you can make more than nine things in a year if you want to! I usually do. But this challenge is especially helpful for those pressed for time (like me), looking to build a capsule wardrobe (also me), or pinpoint a mini collection of projects under a particular theme.

This is a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible, a tool you can use to evaluate your motivations and needs for working towards specific things as the year goes on. This is meant to be a challenge focused on learning more about yourself and your making habits while achieving goals. Work at your own pace and join in at any time. – That’s it!

(also goals: drink coffee, make art, read books, take naps, pet dogs ^^)

After you decide on your nine projects, be sure to share them on Instagram using the hashtag #MakeNine. Follow and tag @makeninechallenge as well so I can see what you’re making!

PDF Download: Printable Make Nine Worksheet

And! Brand new for 2020, I’ve just made an official Ravelry group!

You can use a free app like Pic Frame, Instagram’s Layout app, or stylize your own way to share your nine projects. Be sure to tag and give proper credit to all pattern-makers when you share!

(photo credit)

Need some help narrowing it down?

Here are 9 questions to consider when choosing your 9 projects:

  1. What do you want or need? Be forgiving about pattern choice but get specific about what you want/need to make this year.
  2. What did you learn from last year’s successes and “failures”? If you didn’t finish something on last year’s list, ask yourself why.
  3. What values are important to you? Are you working towards a capsule wardrobe? A more ethical one? Are you on a budget? Being practical about what you choose to make is not boring or against the spirit of a challenge. There is success in logic.
  4. What’s in your laundry basket right now that you wear all the time? Are you interested in trying to recreate it?
  5. What types of things do you really LOVE making? What do you dislike making? If you hate making pants, you don’t have to put them on your list just to feel like you conquered some new technique.
  6. Are you a seasonal maker? Maybe your Make Nine list only includes summer patterns. Or winter knits. That’s totally okay!
  7. Look at your calendar. Time isn’t found, it’s made. How much time can you make for each of the projects on your list?
  8. Do you want to stash-bust? Why or why not? Don’t force yourself to make something just because you’ve owned the pattern for years. If you haven’t made it yet, maybe your tastes have changed. That’s normal. No need to feel guilty about that. Maybe it’s time to re-home some patterns that no longer speak to you and start fresh.
  9. Is there a completely new-to-you type of project that you want to explore? Do you have the time and patience to explore it, knowing it’s possible you won’t like/wear it in the end? If yes, by all means, branch out and try new things! That’s how you grow and get better.

Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (@makeninechallenge) so I can see what you’re making! And, super important, use the hashtag #MakeNine so we’re all unified as one consolidated community.

I can’t wait to see what you create! Thanks for making along with me 🙂


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