Thoughtfully planning my sewing and knitting projects has become an incredibly satisfying practice. Planning a season or two ahead can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but hopefully by the end of this post you will realize how approachable it actually is!
Since my sewing queue currently has a few items on it, I decided to plan my new year’s sewing goals with Spring in mind.
When starting my planning process, I don’t always have a particular garment or fabric to go off of, so I head to Pinterest. I like to spend some time just pinning things that I like or find inspiring. I truly believe inspiration can be found in really unusual places. Two things I find to be particularly inspiring are interiors and art; the use of texture, color, and line in art and interior design translates quite well to apparel.
Perhaps a more unconventional reason I find interiors inspiring is because I often picture what someone in that space would wear – or better, what I would wear if I were there.
Choosing a Starting Point
When planning for Spring, I knew there were two garments I would finish sometime in the winter that I was excited for, so I decided I wanted to plan around them. Having some frame of reference does make the planning experience more focused.
The Aloft Pullover from Brontë Swannick in beautiful hand dyed yarn from my favorite local yarn store was really the focal point of my entire planning process (to inquiring minds: the yarns and colors I am using are Big Sister in mohair and Full Moon in light hearted). While I likely won’t be able to wear this sweater all day since I live in the South, it will still be nice to have in the mornings and evenings.
The second item I planned around is the Hazel wide leg pant from my dear friend Becky Jo at Workhorse Patterns in a dark green bull denim. To be quite frank, I was not sure that I could pull off a spring wardrobe with these two in mind. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I nailed it.
I decided to base my plans off of the basic 3×3 mini-capsule idea from MyBodyModel. With this in mind, I needed 2 more bottoms, 2 more outerwear options, and 3 tops.
The next place I head to in the planning process is Milanote. This is the best site/application I have found so far for creating a digital mood board. One of the best features is the ability to drag your images and links directly onto your Milanote board. I added the two items I knew I was making to my mood board and then began adding elements from my main Pinterest folder until I found a general vibe that felt good and made sense together. One key part was making sure I had swatches from the bull denim and my sweater. Milanote has a great function of adding color cards which can be customized with a dropper tool to pull out colors from pictures you’ve added to your board.
Shopping My Stash
I used the dropper tool to pull out colors from my sweater and my pants. I then shopped my stash to see if anything fit with the clothing items. I found a beautiful silk twill in a sort of teal that I had previously acquired from my mom’s fabric stash, and I also found a dark indigo stretch denim.
Looking back at my moodboard, I knew that the silk twill would make the perfect Dezi skirt to fit an outfit I had added and that the denim would work great for a Midway Jacket (which was one of the few patterns I knew I wanted to make).
Filling in the Gaps
Once I shopped my stash and assigned patterns to fabrics I already owned, my next step was to pick other patterns that felt like they fit. Sometimes my moodboard has images of specific patterns I know I want to make, but oftentimes it’s just images of outfits I like.
I already had 2 outerwear and 2 bottoms planned, so I was in the home stretch!
All that was left were tops. I looked through the patterns that I already had, found the Helen’s Closet Reynolds top (and dress) and the Seamwork Angela bodysuit, and thought they would be great additions as well! I knew a t-shirt would take me far and have been eyeballing the Tyra tee from Just Patterns for weeks, so I added that to my plans as well.
These 3 tops will pair perfectly with my 3 bottoms and 3 layering pieces:
Planning fabrics is honestly the hardest part of planning a few seasons ahead. Not many stores have Spring fabrics right now, and there’s lots of potential for really amazing ones when Spring gets closer! That being said, for the purposes of this planning session, I did not order any fabrics but did find things that I thought would work beautifully while online shopping. I figure if they’re still available when I’m really ready, then it was meant to be!
I found a solid brown french terry for my Lucy jumpsuit and a beautiful striped jersey from Blackbird Fabricsfor my Tyra tee. For my final three items, I found a light purple jersey for my Angela, floral cotton lawn for my Reynolds, and honey colored sweatshirt fleece for my Quince from Fabricworm that I thought would work beautifully.
Sketching and Coloring
The final (and my favorite) step is sketching it all on MyBodyModel! Erica was kind enough to gift me the online coloring course at MyBodyModel’s Illustrated Style School. It was my first time using markers and many of the techniques. I cannot recommend it enough if you find coloring and prints intimidating!
I love manipulating the individual items into different outfits on my paper doll from MyBodyModel. I cannot wait to make them come to life!
Which outfit is your favorite?? Do you like planning your knitting and sewing projects a season ahead? What’s your favorite part of the planning process? Let us know in the comments!