Yesterday, I shared the beginning of my planning process for fall and winter sewing: creating a mood board, choosing a few silhouettes, and designing a color palette.
Now I’d like to share the final steps in that process, which took me from there to creating a list of the actual projects I want to make.
By the way, if this all sounds pretty involved to you, it’s really not. Assuming you collect inspiration as you find it, you can definitely do a short and quick version of this planning process in about an hour. For me, it’s worth that little bit of time to save a lot more time by making things I’ll actually wear, and not overspending on fabric I can’t possibly use.
Plus, it’s good nerdy fun.
Step 1: Start with silhouettes
As you’ll recall from the last post, I really like to have a few outfit “templates” to start with, to help me narrow my options and come up with things that can actually be worn together.
Here were my 4 silhouettes for Fall/Winter:
Pencil skirt + woven or knit tee + heels
Full midi skirt + cropped sweater + heels
1940s style rayon/silk dress + blazer + heels
Button-up + high waist pants + boots
For each silhouette, I decided how many of each outfit I wanted. I chose 3 versions of silhouette 1, 2 versions of silhouette 2, 3 versions of silhouette 3, and 1 version of silhouette 4.
Step 2: Review what you have
Now, before actually planning my projects, I wanted to see what sorts of fabric I could use from my stash this season. I also wanted to check in on what items I already own that could work, because obviously, I do not need an entirely new wardrobe every six months.
I cleaned out my stash not long ago, so I had a reasonable amount to go through. I pulled out fabrics that were seasonal and matched my color palette pretty well.
I cut swatches from all of these potential fabrics, so I could have them close at hand as I made my project list.
Step 3: Create the project list
Now we’re getting down to brass tacks! What to make?
All I need to really do for this is match the pieces in each outfit with colors and fabrics. For example, I chose to have 2 sets of outfit 1. That means 2 tops and 2 pencil skirts.
I made a little chart like this:
On the left, I did a quick sketch of the garment. It doesn’t need to be pretty, just something to help you visualize the general shape. You could also use photos, but I like that sketches are open to interpretation and don’t show a particular fabric or color.
In the next column, I chose a color from my palette, keeping in mind the clothes I might already own and the fabrics I have and want to use.
On the right, I included checkboxes: “want to make,” “already own,” and “want to buy.” You might be surprised at how little you really need to buy once you do this. I actually realized I had almost all the fabric I needed (and then some!), with the exception of my larger project, the blazer.
Now I have a nice, handy, scannable little chart!
You can make something very similar yourself, either just by drawing these columns in on paper, or do what I did and use a spreadsheet.
What’s next? Planning each project!
I now have a nifty list, but there are still details to work out on each project. What patterns should I use? What fabrics do I still need to source? Which projects should I prioritize?
I think of the list above as a sort of worksheet I used to temporarily figure out what I generally want to sew. The real goal is to have a really inspiring place to keep an up-to-date sewing queue, with plans, swatches, pattern ideas, and details.
Well, I’ve been using a really awesome tool for planning out each individual project this season in just that way, and we’ll have more details to share about that next week.
I’m going to share what I used and exactly how I go from a list of project ideas like this one to detailed plans. Stay tuned, all you other planning nerds out there are going to love it.
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