Sierra shares how she developed her most intentional fall sewing plans ever, by following Seamwork’s Design Your Wardrobe process and sketching on her personal croquis from MyBodyModel. Read on to see Sierra’s step by step design process, from initial concept all the way to her planned makes!
Hey! I was really excited to see MyBodyModel partnering with Seamwork for this round of Design Your Wardrobe. It’s a collaboration that makes so much sense because part of planning my upcoming makes involves sketching with my body model croquis. For my fall sewing plans, I decided to use this opportunity to really hone in on wardrobe planning that uses garments currently in my wardrobe as well as fabric and patterns in my stash.
Design your Wardrobe walks you through a detailed process to help you create the wardrobe of your dreams. I did a combination of watching the videos, responding to the prompts, and using the Collection Planner.
Step 1: Define my style goals
This collection is about clothes that make me feel good wherever I wear them. Right now, I am spending pretty much all of my time at home except for the occasional trip to get food or groceries. I use clothes to brighten my mood and will reach for my favorite makes when I’m feeling a bit down. That being said,I wanted to focus on silhouettes that are comfortable, chic, easy, and fun.
Step 2: Collect inspiration & build a mood
I went to Pinterest for some inspiration and was able to find a lot of cool outfit ideas for my fall sewing plans, but… Looking for inspiration can be hard when the search results do not look like you. At all.
However, I was able to find some fat Black women that are style bloggers or influencers. That gave me a boost in the right direction.
Step 3: Choose my color palette
Comfort is always first for me, but I also wanted to create a collection that had colors that I feel good in. I decided on a color palette that felt like fall but also could be worn year-round.
Step 4: Shop my stash
I ended up shopping my stash and figuring out that I had some great options within that color palette.
Step 5: Plan my makes!
I’ve tried to plan out my makes in the past but haven’t really followed up on most of those plans. This time I was intentional in my selection process and determined to follow through on these makes.
That led me to choose a mix of sewing patterns that I already love or have been meaning to sew. Having both new and old patterns was important to me because I have been all over the place with my sewing recently. I came up with about sixteen new makes but decided to focus on the first seven and see how that goes.
I’m breaking my fall sewing plans into looks or outfits.
The Glebe pants are one of my favorite patterns of all time. I had to include them because they are comfortable, easy to make, and a true wardrobe workhorse. I paired this TNT pattern with a color that I don’t have much of in my wardrobe, orange. I also wanted to use some of my smaller cuts of fabric to make a Nullarbor cami that can be worn on its own or underneath another layer. I have some burgundy French terry that has been in my stash for far too long, so I was excited to see the Milo cardigan come out in the September issue of Seamwork. It feels like a slightly oversized cardigan that can go with multiple items already in my closet. I have a feeling that I will repeat this outfit in different colors, so be on the lookout for that.
My second outfit is a mustard Huon dress from Muna & Broad. I made the long sleeve shirt view of this pattern and was immediately drawn to the romantic feel of it. After seeing the dress view on Leila & Jess, I knew I had to try the dress version. I have a viscose linen slub that I rediscovered while looking for mustard fabric in my stash, and I think it’ll be the perfect match for this pattern. I only have enough for the short sleeve version, but I think I’ll still get the romance and drama from the neckline gathers. Mustard is one of my favorite colors so I’m excited to have another garment in that color.
The third outfit is the Bertie dress from Seamwork. I’ve had this pattern printed, cut, and adjusted (FBA) for months. I had to include it because it is sitting in my sewing room waiting for me to sew. I have a rich brown viscose linen noil that is going to make this a transitional dress for me. I am limited by the amount of fabric on hand, so I decided to make elbow length sleeves instead of the long sleeves with a tie. I’m not a huge fan of long sleeves so it worked out perfectly. The hardest part will be deciding which buttons to use.
Up next in my fall sewing plans, we have the Alcott dress from Cashmerette. I’ve made this twice before and absolutely love the silhouette on me. I have some green ITY that I previously bought specifically for this pattern, so I’m excited to finally make it. I prefer the three-quarter sleeves and wider skirt so I will be combining views. This is definitely something that I will wear with leggings and a coat for cooler weather but also on its own for warmer temperatures. It would also make me feel fancy when I wear it for virtual meetings.
My final look might be my favorite of all my fall sewing plans. This is the Cornell shirt by Elbe Textiles paired with my orange Glebe pants. I call this an “egg print” fabric because that is what it looks like to me. I’m sure there is a proper name, but I like egg print. It was difficult to sketch but I like the way it turned out. I like the oversized button up paired with wide leg elastic pants. It feels effortlessly cool and incredibly comfortable at the same time.
Remixing old favorites & planned new makes for #mybodymodel 3×3
As you can see, my Glebe pants are already going to be great with several garments in my closet. In keeping with that theme, I decided to do a 3 x 3 capsule collection sketch for the #mybodymodel3x3 challenge.
I used some existing garments as well pieces from my fall sewing plans. The bottoms I used were orange Glebe pants, black Seamwork Dexter pants, and mustard Muna & Broad Sculthorpe pants. The Glebe pants are the only pair that haven’t been made from that list. The tops I used were a dark green Cashmerette Springfield tank, egg print Cornell shirt, and mustard Nullarbor cami.
I was pleasantly surprised that these garments work well together. I usually feel a bit restricted by capsule collections, but I really like this one.
This entire design process helped center me and really get me excited about making a cohesive wardrobe. The pieces that I chose all feel special and useful in their own way. Maybe I’m getting better at understanding my style and preferred color palette.
I feel like I could wear this collection on a beach vacation or a slow Monday at the office. Either way, each piece could be a pick-me-up whenever I need it.
I’m excited to sew up these garments and add them to my wardrobe.
Want to learn digital fashion drawing on your iPad or Android tablet? Check out MyBodyModel’s step-by-step video course for beginners, “Digital Paper Dolls” at Illustrated Style School!
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Sierra is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She is a veterinarian by day and avid sewist by night. Sierra began sewing at the end of 2017 as a meaningful therapeutic outlet. It quickly became an important part of her life as she discovered the joy of making clothes that fit her body and style. In addition to sewing, she enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking all sorts of things, spending time with her family, and learning how to knit. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. You can find her makes on her Instagram @SierraBurrell and blog.