Hello! It has been a while… The end of summer has been extremely busy and with the start of September I sort of fell off the blogging train. I was still making things, but finding time to write about them was harder. Then we went on our trip to Georgia to celebrate my cousin’s wedding, and all hell broke loose and I gave up on social media almost completely. I do have to say that I enjoyed this little break and the time with my family. I feel refreshed and I am ready to jump back in. And what a perfect time it is! I find the change of seasons very exciting and it almost always boost my sew-jo as I start thinking about new fabrics, looks and garments.
The beginning of Fall is when I switch my wardrobe over, put away my summer clothes and bring out all my Fall/Winter stuff out of my storage baskets. I re-assess everything I wore last year, what worked and what didn’t. I go through my clothes and do a serious purge and only keep items that fit make me happy. Although this process is a little bit time consuming, I find it really makes me think about the coming season and what I want to wear.
I have just finished going through my closet this past weekend, and I am very excited about the items I’ve kept and what I am planning to make in Fall/Winter. So I thought I would share a little bit of my over the top, obsessively organized process. Hopefully it will help or inspire, but at the very least now you will know just how deeply troubled I am.
One of my goals with my sewing is to have a cohesive wardrobe, where every piece reflects me, my style and my life. I want my clothes to be of great quality, work together and work for my life. Doing the wardrobe overhaul in the beginning of the season really shows me what holes I need to fill in my closet.
I work with that information and my invaluable Pinterest boards (here and here) to come up with a list of items I really want and think would fit well with the look and feel I am going for in the coming season. I don’t always want to recreate the identical looks, rather I go by the feel, colors and silhouettes.
From there I start to narrow down the items that fit with what I already have. I try to make sure that every single item will go with some of the other items I either already have or will make. This way, I know the piece will get worn.
For fabrics, I try to shop my stash as much as I can and pick fabrics that I already own that will fit nicely in my plan. Unfortunately it doesn’t always turn out! A big chunk of my stash was acquired when I first gotten back into sewing and I was buying fabrics just for the thrill of it. I didn’t put much thought into the quality of fibers or the colors of the fabric and whether it suits me. As a result I ended up with a bunch of fabrics I don’t really want to use… Then of course there are fabrics that I want to use and those are the ones I try to incorporate into my sewing plan. If I can’t find anything in my stash, that’s when I go fabric shopping and start searching internet stores for options. Oh, the temptations… I can get lost for hours!
This process doesn’t always follow the exact sequence of steps. Sometimes it starts with a fabric, sometimes there is a pattern I really want to use and sometimes I just have to replicate something that I saw. Even though the process can be quite fluid, I always end up with a list.
I love lists. I love excel spread sheets and I love having things organized. May be a little too much. So naturally, I organized my sewing list into an excel spreadsheet. Not only I did that, I also created a list of the things that I currently have in my closet. It helps me visualize which items I can pair together and helps me to keep on track and not get distracted and make all the fancy dresses that I rarely wear. Besides, I find immense satisfaction in getting things crossed off the list. See, definitely too much organizing!
For this coming Fall/Winter I have 57 items planned. Yikes! That’s a lot… However, I’ve already made 10! Some of the items will be a really easy and fast sew, while others will be a little more labor intensive. However, I am hoping that all of them will work well together.
Even though it is a plan, I do not expect myself to fully implement it the way it is right now. Just like any plan, it needs to be flexible and adaptable. Some things will have to come off, some things will make it onto the list, some things will change and of course there will be selfless sewing and pattern testing. But hopefully the bones of my plan will carry me through the coming season.
I am so excited about all of the items on my list that I don’t even know which one to begin with. All the fabrics are pre-washed, folded on my shelf and ready to go. I guess I’ll just have to pick up whichever one speaks to me first and start there!
If you want to hear more about how I organize my sewing and my whole process, you can listen to it here at Maker Style Podcast. It’s a great new podcast from Rachel over at The Wild Stitch. I feel so honored to be featured on it! Check it out, there are 3 episodes ready for your listening pleasure.
Do you plan your sewing? If so, how do you do it?
Until next time,
Fabric Tragic says
Oh I adore planning! My lists are all in Evernote. I’m like you – I aim for cohesiveness and usefulness. I need to do a wardrobe purge too….
Planning is so fun! And it makes me feel like I am still “sewing” even when I am not. I really need to check Evernote out, I’ve heard so much about it!
Sew Sarah Smith says
This is an incredibly timely post; this last week I’ve been feeling really frustrated. I ‘kind of’ know what I want to sew but I’m finding it hard to pin things down. I’m also a bit of a spreadsheet nut and really think I need to organise my thoughts a bit better in this way. I am a fan of Evernote too but I think that will work better as an aide to the spreadsheet in the future. Lol, it comes to something when I can admit that spreadsheet design is my idea of fun!
Rachel A. (@TheWildStitch) says
I love that this is your idea of fun 🙂 I think I’m feeling the exact same way as you. My fall sewing currently has 0 direction :O
haha I’m a nerd! Somehow it just makes me feel way more productive. And it always feels good to wear things I make all the time. And it also helps with those days when you just want to make something but don’t know what! 🙂
Sew Sarah Smith says
😂 All I can say is I’m glad being a bit of a nerd/geek is the new cool! I said this to my kids the other day and they responded with rolling eyes and “yeah, whatever!” I’ve started the spreadsheet and now everything feels more planned and considered; certainly helps with ‘wardrobe building’ rather than just random acts off sewing!!! Have fun with your spreadsheet! 😉
Me too! I love it 🙂 haha I get that reaction as well. But I agree, it just feels so much better. And it feels like your sewing is more intentional, which is awesome 🙂
That’s how I started mine! I really wanted to sew but I was so overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration that I just didn’t know where to start and spent a lot of time just staring at my fabrics 🙂 I needed a place to write down my ideas even if they are not getting implemented but so that I can refer to them in the future. I’ll have to check Evernote as well!
Sew Sarah Smith says
It’s my belief the world needs more of us nerds! My spreadsheet is looking mighty fine already; I now have a plan rather than just free-floating ideas thanks to your awesome idea! X
Yes!! It does 🙂 You are very welcome. I am so glad I could help!!!
Thanks for sharing. I am a bit rubbish at the planning part of sewing. I tend to do it in my head and then I forget what I decided. I have used spreadsheets in the past but I think I prefer things a little more visual. Unfortunately I cannot draw…
I enjoyed listening to your podcast. It was lovely to hear you actually speak!!! X
I am the same way too! I used to plan it all in my head and then I would forget. I think it is a matter of figuring out what works best for you. Have you seen those croquis sketchbooks? I’ve been really wanting to give them a try, but I am afraid I will be all over them for the first month and then will put it aside…
Thank you!!! It’s so sweet 🙂 I was so nervous, but Rachel was so easy to talk to 🙂
Oh goodness, so are so organised! Fun to see inside your brain, because mine works quite differently! ;)Happy sewing!
Thank you! I think my brain just starts feeling very overwhelmed otherwise. I love seeing how other people think as well, it is so interesting 🙂
Love your organization techniques. I am big fan of spreadsheets too, though I actually use trello for my sewing plan (I like the bonus of being able to add picture, link to fabric in my stash board and drag things around in my sewing queue). Very smart how you have a plan for each season and go through your existing wardrobe to make your seasonal plan. I think taking a page from your book on this would really help me. Thanks for sharing your methods!
Thank you and I am really glad you enjoyed reading it! I love the idea of using a picture to link to an idea. That’s the only things that I find is missing in my method. I would love to see the fabric! But I find I am very visual and once I have a fabric in my stash I can easily remember what it feels like and the color. Probably hours spent petting it and talking to it really help with that… 😉
Valeria Speck says
Great ideas Anya! I was drawing my plans, but wanted to add links, why I didn’t go to spreadsheets! Lol! Thank you! My over planning will get so much better now!😜😘
I love your drawings! I also love that idea 🙂 And I agree, links are awesome. It would be nice to be able to add a drawing to it and may be a fabric? Oh if only we could have it all!
You are amazing Anya! I am a terrible planner. Right now I’m staring at some fabric trying to figure out what to make. I really need to work on my organization skills. 😜
Thank you! I’ll take amazing over obsessed or compulsive 😉 haha I know the feeling!! That’s exactly what started me on my spreadsheet. I think I spent a whole free night of sewing just sitting there staring at fabrics once and not knowing what to make or where to start 😉