Seasonal Sewing & Knitting Plans: A Corkboard Approach

Guest blogger Sarah shares her simple yet effective corkboard method for seasonal sewing & knitting planning. Read on to see how Sarah uses her corkboard & MyBodyModel croquis every season – not just to get inspired and organized, but also to actually bring those planned makes to reality!


I first heard about MyBodyModel while studying fashion design in college. It was a refreshing concept as I was used to sketching on 10-head-tall fashion croquis. I didn’t switch to the more realistic model because it wasn’t the “industry standard” at the time. I wish I had started using MyBodyModel back then, but it wasn’t until I began making my own clothes again last year that I made the switch for good. 

Why I use MyBodyModel croquis

The ability to sketch and visualize garments on a figure that reflects my own body has been a game changer for my sewing practice and self-confidence! I can determine if that cute-new-dress-pattern will be a style that works for me or if that amazing-new-top-everyone-is-sewing will work well with the other items in my wardrobe. 

Sketching with MyBodyModel constantly reminds me that my body is perfect as it is and that I’m lucky to have the skill, ability, and privilege to make clothes that fit it just right. 

A sample of Sarah's seasonal sewing & knitting corkboard with fabric swatches and paper cutouts and drawings of her MyBodyModel croquis and wardrobe plans.
Sketching and designing clothes with my personal MyBodyModel croquis has been a game changer for my sewing practice and self-confidence!
A portion of Sarah's seasonal sewing & knitting corkboard with fabric swatches and paper drawings of her Summer 2021 wardrobe plans, sketched with her MyBodyModel croquis.
My Summer 2021 sewing plans: pencil drawings sketched with my MyBodyModel croquis and fabric swatches on a corkboard.
A sketch to finish comparison of a True Bias Ogden Cami dress hack drawing and a black and white printed fabric swatch from Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting corkboard and a photo of Sarah in the finished make. Sarah sketched her plans using her personal croquis from MyBodyModel.
Summer sewing plans, from sketch to finished: True Bias Ogden Cami dress hack.

My seasonal sewing & knitting planning process

There’s something magical about the changing of the seasons. I like to make my seasonal sewing & knitting plans around the time of the solstice or equinox that marks the official transition to a new season. I’m constantly collecting sewing inspiration from Instagram, ready-to-wear and runway collections. When I think of something I’d like to sew, I make note of it for easy reference when it’s time to make my plans. 

I ask myself a few questions when choosing what to make each season: 

  • Are these items seasonally appropriate? Sometimes choosing which project to start with can be difficult. I suggest starting with the most seasonal of items (a coat in Winter or a bathing suit in Summer) or choosing the item that you’re most excited about. 
  • Will these items work well with other pieces in my wardrobe? I always try to think through a couple of outfit combinations for a piece before I commit to making it. Some items will stand on their own, but it helps to consider how a piece will work in your wardrobe before sewing it up. 
  • Do I have any special events coming up? Each season usually brings one or two special events that merit their own garment. Last year I knew I needed to make a costume for an “Old Hollywood” themed murder mystery party and a dress for a wedding rehearsal dinner. 
  • How many projects can I realistically finish this season? I’m a speedy sewist so it’s realistic for me to sew Winter clothes during the Winter months and still have time to wear them before Spring. If you work at a slower pace I’d suggest working a season ahead – making your Winter clothes in the Fall, for example.
A sketch to finish comparison of a Papercut Patterns Tide Dress drawing from Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting corkboard and a photo of Sarah in the finished make. Sarah sketched her plans using her personal croquis from MyBodyModel.
Special event sewing, from sketch to finished: My Papercut Patterns Tide Dress made for a wedding rehearsal.
Sarah's seasonal sewing & knitting corkboard with fabric swatches and paper drawings of her Fall 2021 wardrobe plans, sketched with her MyBodyModel croquis.
My Fall 2021 sewing plans! This time I went over my MyBodyModel line drawings with black pen and used Scotch tape to stick the sketches and swatches to my corkboard.
A sketch to finish comparison of a Goldfinch Limited Simone Overalls drawing and a blue floral fabric swatch from Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting corkboard and a photo of Sarah in the finished make. Sarah sketched her plans using her personal croquis from MyBodyModel.
From sketch to finished: Goldfinch Limited Simone Overalls.
A sketch to finish comparison of a Victory patterns Trina Dress drawing and green fabric swatch from Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting corkboard and a photo of Sarah in the finished make. Sarah sketched her plans using her personal croquis from MyBodyModel.
From sketch to finished: My Victory Patterns Trina Dress made for the murder mystery party.

How I use my corkboard

Once I have decided what I’d like to try and make for a given season, I sit down and sketch all the styles using MyBodyModel. I label each style with the name of the pattern I plan to use and attach them to my cork board. Seeing this board in my sewing room everyday really helps me to stay motivated throughout the season! 

Sarah's seasonal sewing & knitting corkboard with fabric swatches and paper cutouts and drawings of her MyBodyModel croquis and wardrobe plans on the wall above her sewing machine.
I keep my seasonal sewing & knitting plans up on a corkboard in my sewing room to stay motivated all season long.

Choosing fabrics

Now for the fun part: shopping for fabrics! I always prioritize using fabrics from my small stash, but when I have to purchase new fabric I look for deadstock or other sustainable options. I also enjoy checking out some local thrift shops each season to see if there are any secondhand curtains or linens waiting to be upcycled. As I choose and receive fabrics, I’m careful to cut a little swatch of each and add it to my board.

A sketch to finish comparison of a drawing of a patchwork mashup of the Helen's Closet Ashton Top and 100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 1 and blue denim fabric swatches from Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting corkboard and a photo of Sarah in the finished make. Sarah sketched her plans using her personal croquis from MyBodyModel.
Upcycled denim dress, from sketch to finished! This patchwork denim shift dress was made from 6 upcycled pairs of jeans. The pattern is a mashup of the Ashton Top by Helen’s Closet and Dress No. 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing.

A tip for staying inspired

I try not to think of my seasonal sewing plans as set in stone – the corkboard is aspirational only! If a new pattern comes out that I’m super excited about, I’ll go ahead and make it. If I’m not feeling a certain garment I had planned to make, I don’t force myself to make it. At the end of each season I look at which styles are still on the board and decide if I want to add them to the next season’s board or let them go. 

Sarah's seasonal sewing & knitting corkboard with fabric swatches and paper cutouts and drawings of her MyBodyModel croquis and Winter 2022 wardrobe plans.
My Winter 2022 sewing plans featuring my MyBodyModel croquis.
A sketch to finish comparison of a Tessuti Fabrics Mandy Boat Tee drawing and striped fabric swatch from Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting corkboard and a photo of Sarah in the finished make. Sarah sketched her plans using her personal croquis from MyBodyModel.
Sketch to Finished: Tessuti Fabrics Mandy Boat Tee.

Knitting project planning

I’ve recently fallen down the knitting rabbit hole and have started including some knit projects on my boards as well! I’m working on my first sweater right now and was so excited to add it to my Winter 2022 plans. I’ve already completed two knit hat projects from my Winter 2022 plans!

From corkboard to project journal

Once I start working on a garment I transfer the sketch and swatch to my sewing notebook where I document the making process and keep fitting notes. This is quick and easy because when I first put the sketches and swatches on the corkboard, I just roll up a little piece of Scotch tape and use that to stick them on the board. Then, when I’m ready to put them in my notebook, I just pluck them off and stick them right in the book!

Two 2-page spreads in Sarah's seasonal sewing and knitting project journal. Each page includes the pattern name and notes, a drawing of the clothing item, a fabric swatch, and a photo of Sarah wearing the finished make.
When I’m ready to start a project, I transfer my MyBodyModel sketches from the corkboard directly into my project journal.

I love being able to look back at my sketches and creative process as I work towards a fully me-made wardrobe. 


Do you keep a corkboard of your seasonal sewing & knitting plans? Or are you inspired to give it a try? Let us know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Seasonal Sewing & Knitting Plans: A Corkboard Approach”

  1. I was trying to find the “Talui Pullover” that you have posted here in Ravelry – no such pattern there, apparently. Can you provide other sourcing for it?

    Thanks,

    Karen Goldin

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your process. I particularly appreciate your comment about how quickly someone sews, and when to start thinking about projects for a season; I’ve never really considered that before, although I’m still a bit of a newbie and it can take me an age to start and complete a project. I also love using a cork board, and love the idea of transferring a project to your notebook and keeping sewing and fitting notes there. So helpful to keep everything together! Thank you again for your blog!

  3. Linda (ACraftyScrivener)

    Very clever Sarah! I love how you make the croquis and post for inspiration and then reuse the drawing for your sewing journal. That is very inspirational and time efficient!

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