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My 2015 Project – Try Something New Every Month – #TSNEM

Creative Challenge Idea

–TSNEM 2016 is in full steam, join us and see details here!–

2015 is a new year and with it, I’m sharing a new project. You’re invited to join me by trying something new every month – whether it’s crafting or sewing related! I have a bad habit of buying supplies, bookmarking tutorials, etc. and then doing the same safe, comfortable projects and techniques (more confessions in my UFO post!). If you’re looking for other sewing challenges, check out my social sewing calendar that I keep updated weekly with online sew alongs and contents.

Every month I plan on blogging about a new project on the first Monday; please join in with the hashtag #TSNEM on twitter, Instagram, etc. or email me if you plan to blog as well and I can send you the sign-up Google doc. A week ahead of time I’m emailing everyone who expressed interest in blogging so we can share hyperlinks to each others’ posts and get inspired!

Rebecca at Hugs are Fun is joining in and already shared her plan for the year – I am leaving myself some wiggle room but I  will be linking each month’s attempt in this post:

Need some ideas? Here are some suggestions that have been brainstormed among those already planning to participate:


  • EPP / English Paper Piecing
  • Smocking
  • Lace inserts
  • Sewing with elastic thread
  • Ruching
  • Rolled hem
  • Reverse Applique
  • Paper Piecing
  • Free Motion Quilting
  • Sewing with challenging fabrics
  • Pintucks
  • Using Piping
  • Sewing clothes
  • Sewing toys/softies
  • Sewing with leather


  • Knitting
  • Crochet
  • Rug hooking
  • Knitting with beads
  • Steeking
  • Colorwork knitting
  • Fair isle knitting


  • Embroidery
  • Cross stitch
  • Embroidering with ribbon
  • Punch needle embroidery
  • Needle felting
  • Crewel embroidery
  • Macrame
  • Free standing lace on embroidery machine
  • Sashiko Stitching

Misc. Craft

  • Paper cutting
  • Wood burning
  • Leather stamping
  • Shuttle tatting
  • Glass etching
  • Weaving
  • Origami
  • Photo wood transfers
  • Modeling clay
  • Glass fusing
  • Quilling
  • Iris Folding
  • DIY Bath/Beauty Products

Artsy Craft

  • Watercolor paint
  • Pastel paint
  • Sketching
  • Inkodye
  • Natural dye
  • Indigo Dye
  • Printing:
    • Block
    • Screen/Silk
    • Potato/Apple
    • Gocco
    • Gelatin

Any techniques you think I should add? Chime in! I hope you’ll play along and share with anyone you think might be interested!

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This Post Has 29 Comments
  1. This is a wonderful idea to expand on your skills by tackling something new every month. Smocking and shirring are pretty high on my list to finally give a go at them.

  2. That is quite the list! I love trying new things, but if I find a new thing I like I end up spending time just getting better at it and let the rest go. I tend to be a perfectionist and its tough to do too many new things at once.

  3. I love making things for people – but I only seem to do it at Christmas! This year I’m doing a ‘Pay It Forward’ initiative where I’ve got 10 people from my friends on Facebook that have volunteered to get a surprise from me at some point this year – no timetable, nothing particular, no warning, just out of the blue something that I think they’ll like! So I’m thinking hey, perfect excuse to try more crafty things! I think I’m going to need some inspiration though… I’m very new to this and I had to google most of the things on your list Stephanie!!

    Signed up to your newsletter… hoping that’ll give me some inspiration 🙂

    1. Karen, what a cool idea with the Pay It Forward! I love that. It does sound like a perfect excuse to try more crafty things, let me know if you find any favorites as you try new things 🙂 Hope you enjoy the newsletter, thanks for visiting!

  4. This looks like a fun project. I love that you spaced it out enough that even people with crazy work schedules could manage to join in.

    I don’t know where this fits on your list, but I’ve been wanting to make my own chapstick.

    1. Anna, yes! I admire those who take on more time-sensitive or intense creative projects but I’m often at the whim of my toddler’s nap schedule and I can only imagine those working outside the house or demanding careers find it even harder to carve out creative time. I have never made my own chapstick or bath/body products either! I’ll add it – hope you get a chance to try it yourself this year!

  5. How about different kinds of printing? Block printing, potato printing, silk screening, even gocco (are they available any more?).

    1. I know Gocco was still popular when I got married 5 years ago! I briefly considered trying it for my invitations. I had a few printing options but added the potato & silk and organized it a little better, thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Now that I have retired I planned on trying to get caught up with things like making doll clothes for grandgirls, doll shoes, making clothes for all my grand children, and more I hope. I may try some of the things you listed. I have done cross stitch, embroidery, and needle point. Love it all. I want to find one thing to do, sad huh?

  7. I was hesitant to commit, but I did end up trying two new things this month (at least). I used piping for the first time (not as difficult as I thought, but it was a small projects) and I made my own bias binding for the first time. I wouldn’t hesitate to do that again either. With a little more practice, I think I could confidently add both to my skills list!

  8. […] If you spend much time reading sewing blogs or in sewing Facebook groups, you will quickly run across recommendations for Ottobre. When I first started sewing clothes, I had their patterns suggested to me several times, leading me to buy an issue. Once I opened it and realized the maze I’d have to trace from, I put it on the shelf and took another year or two to actually try it (my annual project, Try Something New Every Month motivated me!). […]

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