Planning my Autumn/Winter Sewing

I’ve had fabric on my cutting table since May.  There have been pieces used and pieces added, pieces put back in the cupboard and other pieces brought out or bought in moments of weakness on spotting something gorgeous on Instagram.  Now I have 5 piles, about 25-30cm tall.  There comes a time when just having the piles on the table – out so I can see them and be reminded that I really want (need) to make them up just isn’t doing a good enough job.  I had also gone through a couple of boxes of Burda magazines and tried to be realistic about what patterns I really wanted to make, tried to only look at those that I would like to be wearing this autumn/winter.  Piles of fabric and lists of patterns to trace – that’s only step one!

One of the sketches with notes and a little pile of fabric swatches.

I was still too far away from getting a solid idea of what I was going to make this season, so I decided to add something new to my arsenal.  Taking small samples of each piece of fabric I really wanted to make up for the winter and my pile of Burdas, I started sketching.  Once that was done I put sketches with fabric pieces and laid them all out.  21 projects covered my bed.  Most are tops or blouses, there are a couple of pairs of trousers – naturally – and a coat & jacket.

21projects - my autumn/winter wardrobe is all here, waiting to be made!
21 projects – my autumn/winter wardrobe is all here, waiting to be made!

How do you plan your sewing? Do you plan at all? I have to say that until this little exercise, I hadn’t really planned anything, just sort of hoped that what was out would eventually get sewn up!  I’ll show you next time how I’m getting on with this new “organised” way of working! 🙂

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

30 thoughts on “Planning my Autumn/Winter Sewing”

  1. Impressive planning. I tend not to plan at all. I gaff about until I finally match pattern to fabric (or other way round) 😁

  2. Have done combinations of both of these, adding in what the weather’s doing at that moment and what I really wish I had to wear. But the piles – always changing! Wish I could sketch on paper. I imagine what I’d like, check my pattern stash, and go from there. Not to worry about the sewing – you’ve been recharging your batteries and will probably be hard at that machine soon!

    1. I think for me, making the sketches and labeling and attaching the fabric swatches sort of cements what I’m making. Otherwise I am free to change my mind and allocate fabric and patterns all over the place and never get anything done! I hope I will make this stuff up, it’ll look fabulous! 🙂

  3. I like your sketches! I’m not a huge planner, but I keep getting to the end of a season without having gotten to the projects I most wanted to make! Silly! So I’m trying a plan this fall…. we’ll see how far I get with it!

    1. That’s why I decided to do it this way, there are pieces of fabric in my stash that are hauled out every summer, and still they end up being put back in the autumn. I’m hoping this will make me more motivated and less able to get side-tracked. We’ll see if it really works! 🙂 Good luck with your planning & sewing!

  4. I just started planning recently – it makes it easier to use up existing fabrics and make use of patterns you already have, plus it’s super satisfying to tick my makes off a list! Good luck 🙂

  5. Those fabulous sketches! Do you copy them from an existing pattern or find (or hack) a pattern to match your sketch? Either way I am impressed! Right now I am planning (fretting, procrastinating, thinking), shopping, and sewing for one project at a time (right Del?) and it takes me forever! Dreaming of a working table like yours!

    1. This time around I just sketched the patterns I wanted, from the burda magazines mostly, but there are some tee shirt patterns in there from Maria Denmark & a blouse from In House Patterns and a Vogue jacket. A couple of things I have used the burda pattern to sketch, but will be pattern cutting it myself to make sure it fits properly! (hint, the pattern isn’t in my size…) I tried this time to use patterns I could just make, the pattern cutting takes so much longer and I’m in a bit of a rush! 🙂

  6. I tend to go on cutting binges and when I have a stack of 5 or 6 projects, then I’ll sit down and sew each one. Currently working through a late summer collection of random pieces. I really do need to sit down and plan so that my clothes make some sense, but it’s a lot of work pulling out the stash and thinking it through!

    1. Not a bad idea! I started with the one I really wanted to make, now I’m just pulling the top one off the pile, finding the pattern and getting on with it. Although I did trace 3 patterns yesterday for sweater knits so I can sew them all together when the overlocker is out and all the correct needles are in the machines at one time. Pulling out the stash is dangerous there’s a day gone in just drooling and patting and folding… 😉

  7. Nice post, and great planning! I start out by planning like you did, but it fizzles out and I end up making whatever. However, I’ve decided this Fall season to do what the fashion industry presents during Fashion weeks – I’ll sew this autumn for Spring/Summer 2016. Hehe. I’m seriously hoping that will work out. In fact I’m in the middle of writing a post about it.

    1. Wow, I could never be that organised! I’m definitely too distracted by instant gratification sewing to make it a season ahead! Good luck with your sewing, I’m heading over to see how you get on!

  8. By the way, I LOVE that “pop of color” in the flowered fabric. What do you plan to make with it?

  9. Oh my! It’s a little frightening when it’s all laid out like that. I buy fabric to match a pattern or an idea I want to make. Then I take a photo of both and pack it away in storage. I have the photos of the patterns, ideas and fabric all neatly organized on my IPad/laptop and in a binder. Sometimes, my plans change or other things are done first, but I love having a plan and then not following it if I don’t want to!

    1. Wow, that’s beautifully organised! I’m afraid I will never be that good, and then stick to the plans! My fabric purchases are pretty much random and definitely impulsive. I see it, I like it, I buy it! Then I’lI wonder what I’ll make, then I think of a pattern, either one from my stash of Burdas or I’ll have to pattern cut something.

  10. I am a poor planner. I keep a bin of cut out ‘staple’ things I just need and a rotating pile of patterns I want to mate up with a rotating group of fabric hung on a rod for viewing. When the muse strikes I leap on it.

  11. Good planning! I think you’ll get a lot further than before. Certainly further than I would 🙂

    Last fall/winter I went a step further and even bagged up notions I’d need for my SWAP projects. But so far no luck. of the 40 or so projects I planned I managed 3, or 4 if I count a wearable muslin. What tripped me was pattern perfectionism. I still haven’t figured out a way to systematically alter commercial patterns to fit. And drafting one’s own is so slow going. There’s not only the main pieces to figure out, but the finishing pieces, then construction methods & order. Makes one really appreciate a well made commercial pattern!

    1. Absolutely!! That’s why I stick with Burdastyle, I pretty much know what to alter there after all these years using them! I liked your last tunic, braid & all, so sorry to hear about your mum.

      1. Does Burda still offer fitting shell pattern (like Vogue etc do)? How did you go about figuring standard alterations you need to do on a Burda? Are there consistencies in their design?

      2. Well, trousers I know I need to shorten by at least 6cm, grade out a size at hip & go pretty much straight up from there, crotch needs shortening too. Fitted tops I just use their design & cut my own, looser fit stuff just needs fba in the 44, narrowed shoulders & bicep enlarged in the sleeve.
        I think there are blocks you can buy online, not having used them I am not sure if they’re drafted the same as those used to develop their patterns.

  12. That fabric looks brilliant all together!! I wish I had your vision and sewing speed. I have a couple of projects but I keep getting distracted by new gorgeous patterns that keep popping up 🙂

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