Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Make a Garment A Month Guidelines

Hello everyone,

This is a slightly different post from my usual posts about garments I have made.  I will resume those next year...And I hope to get back to commenting and posting regularly.  2017 was a bit topsy turvy
and challenging so I really found it hard to blog.

This post is  a long and wordy post, quite unlike my usual picture and quick notational style that I use for my sewing posts. But sometimes lots of words are necessary...

Anyway, without further ado, To Business

Some of you know that I facilitate the Make a Garment a Month Challenge on both Facebook (closed group) and Instagram.

And some of you don't.  Some of you are visiting this post because you found out about this challenge on Instagram and want to see what we are doing this year.

And some of you may be regular readers of this blog but not know that I run this challenge.  And some of you will want to join in.

Make a Garment a Month has been running for some years now.  It started with me mentioning on one of my blog posts that I was going to get quite busy and that I would aim to make a garment a month. Other people thought that was a good idea, and wanted to join in.  That led to us writing a communal blog during 2013 and 2014 called, yes, you guessed it,  Make a Garment a Month.  (click on the link if you want to see what we got up to...)

Running a group blog got a little too demanding for poor old me, who works, studied at the time, runs a domestic world (doesn't that sound grand) and tries to sew and write her own blog too.  So we moved to Facebook and work within a closed group.

And then Instagram started to become quite the place to also be, so I let the IG sewing world know about this challenge.  Many of us post on the Facebook page as well as Instagram...the two approaches are quite different and also some people only do Facebook or Instagram, so it is a way of opening up the challenge.

Of course, when I first uttered my thought about Making a Garment a Month I had no idea it was going to become a global sewing challenge.   It still amazes me.  And is wonderful to see such dedicated and talented sewists all coming together to share and sew.

My original themes were always rather fun and abstract and many of you got the hang of it and had a lot of fun, and made some great theme suggestions.  I have continued this idea, but I think that as we are now entering our fifth full year, it is time to freshen up the concept and get a new focus.  Especially as so many more of you are taking part.

My original concept was to encourage sewers to set aside a small amount of time to regularly sew.  So often life suggests we give up sewing, even though we love it, as if it was not important.  But to most of us it is important and helps to restore calm and balance in our lives.  I also made it a rule that sewing was to be Selfish Sewing only, because, well,  in a nutshell, you are important and deserve your own Me Made Clothes and you deserve your well earned sewing time.

I always encouraged sewers to make garments that worked for many challenges are not always what you want to wear.  Also, I find that we are so influenced by what is going on in the social media world of sewing, that we sometimes make things that look good on other people and for other lifestyles that do not work for us!  So, first and foremost, I always said sew what works for you.

This year I want to up the ante a bit and change the challenge slightly:

Over the years, I have discovered that there are consistent themes that keep recurring with sewers...the need for basics, the need to use up stash, and the need to use up a hoard of sewing patterns that you keep adding to...And consistently, we get sidetracked and still need to make up those basics, use the stash, and tackle that backlog of patterns waiting for us.

In addition, there are all sorts of stimulating challenges on the wonderful internet sewing world, from the #makenine2018 on Instagram, #2018rtwfast on Instagram and also see Sarah's blog Goodbye Valentino, Sewing Pattern Reviews   various contests, stashbusting challenges, and all sorts of other wonderful sewing events that are hosted by the internet sewing community.

Now this is all very well, wonderful fun but for 2018 for 2018 I will be asking you to think about your main sewing needs and objectives. As you probably already know, I never want you to make something that does not fit your lifestyle and wardrobe needs. So, I want you to sit down and work out what you want to do this year.  You also have limited time, so I want you to think about what time you have and how you want to tackle your wardrobe and sewing needs this year.

Make More Basics? Make Mini Capsule Wardrobes? Explore the Pattern Stash? Sew the Stash? Are you doing other challenger such as Makenine ?

Do you have a pile of UFOs you want to tackle?  Or USI's (unrealized sewing ideas)?

Are you doing the RTW fast – in which case you may need to check what is missing in your wardrobe and prioritize that.

And are you one of these people that loves to combine all the challenges going around into one garment? That's okay too.  Or do you like to just join in everything?  Yes, that's okay too, just make sure one of them works for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge.

Some of you have commented that you make more than one garment a month...and yes, that is okay, I am not going to discourage you there! I often sew more than one garment a month as well, or am in the stages of toiling a garment behind the scenes.  But sometimes I don't have much time to those months I always make sure though to make one garment a month for myself just to stay sane.

 What Make A Garment a Month is about is making sure you commit to one garment a month that you actually make specifically for that month. It's about regular, selfish sewing time. It's also about interacting with other sewers, and making new friends, and new ideas and all the other lovely things that come with being involved.

Each month I will have a theme that you are to use along with your 2018 Sewing Plan. I use the theme to keep us motivated.

This month I will be asking you to post your 2018 MAGAM plans...this will help you focus and it will help my set my themes this will be so interesting to see how other sewers think and plan!  And I will also ask you to post your plans as you normally do.  Instructions are always on the monthly button that I publish.

Some of you will be wanting to know how to join in. If you are on Instagram, you use your own account and publish on that, and just use the #makeagarmentamonth@sarahlizsewstyle.  That way I will be able to find your posts.  I also use my own account, not a dedicated account for Make a Garment a Month.  It just becomes too much work for me...I volunteer my time to co-ordinate this, and it does have limits.

And if you want to join our Facebook group, you must have a Facebook account.  Email me and I will send you an invite.

Here's to a great new Make a Garment a Month Sewing Year...

Sarah Liz

P.S.  My plans are somewhat scatty at the moment, but I think I will be focused on making basics every month that plug wardrobe gaps.  I am choosing simple basics because I know that I have a lot of responsibilities and demands in 2018.  I also need to finish some started projects and USI's.  AS for the stash...and the patterns that I need to use...the Indies I need to explore...Like you, I need to focus and write my MAGAM 2018 sewing plan and post it!


  1. A brilliant post Sarah Liz. This is really going to get me thinking. At the moment I feel a bit scatty and all over the place so it will he good to try and focus. Thanks for this!

  2. Love your post and I wish I was a better planner. I will be working on finalizing my plans and will see where that goes

  3. Hi SarahLiz! Thank you so much for continuing to host the MAGAM challenge. I have been very busy the last three months and have missed out on the monthly challenges. I am looking forward to participating again in the new year. I really enjoy seeing what everyone has made - sewists are the best people!

  4. Thank you for all you do with MAGAM! It is amazing to see what everyone sews. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  5. Great post, Sarah; your work with MAGAM is really inspiring. You've encouraged me to plan out my sewing. I typically jump from project to project and I find that I accomplish less because of it, especially with limited sewing time anyway. Happy new year and best wishes for a prosperous 2018!

  6. Many, many, many USI's! I do like that term.

    All sounds good to me. Will try to comply as much as possible.

  7. I loved this post, and the USI is a new term to me. I have already done my January MAGAM, but can't get my head around planning the whole year, I work on "the next shiny thing" principle!!

  8. Happy New Year Sarah Liz. Look forward to the Make a Garment a Month 2018. Thank you for hosting this for us.

  9. Happy New Year Sarah Liz, life here has been mad and I am so behind on sewing, blogging and reading blogs and to top the off I have so many USI floating around in my head. Thank you so much for hosting this again, you are a star.

  10. Many thanks and happy new year Sarah! That's a great post. I am inspired by the article. I always look forward to your new project.

  11. How sensible is your sewing approach, Sarah Liz! Now I understand better the new direction you're giving to the magamsewalong I love on Instagram. I was so happy to join in in 2017 and you can count me in this year as well. Brilliant work xx

  12. Hi Sarah Liz, I'd love to join along with you. I want to really challenge myself by making a jacket a month. I haven't made one for years and have been putting it off. So this is the year to make it happen. BTW, I am part of Sarah's 2018rtwfast as well. PS, I have sent you an email to join the FB group. Thanks Vicki

  13. It's been great fun and a sewing achievement (for me) to be a part of MAGAM for many years now. I joined your group back in 2013 when I very first began sewing my own clothes. You've been such a big part of my skillset growth and creative inspiration. Thank you for continuing to host this wonderful group and how awesome to see it grow in this way! You've hit the nail on the head in my book with needing basics, using fabric stash and patterns on hand. And oh my goodness... lots of USIs!!! Love that term!! I look forward to being a part of MAGAM again this year!!! Now on to plans.....