How I Plan My Sewing

One of my personal New Years Resolutions was to try to harness my spending habits – minimise impulse buying, maximise saving. Naturally, this was broken on the second day of the year (pre-ordering some fabric), but I’m still determined to make it work.

The way that I’m doing this in terms of knitting and sewing is using what I’ve named my ‘Little Book of Inspiration’. Anything that I see that I like, whether it’s a garment, pattern or pretty stone, goes into the book. After a little while of doing this, I notice a trend, like there’s a certain cut of a garment that I like, or a certain print or fabric that I keep sticking in. I’ve recorded a video that I’m planning to release on YouTube on Saturday (unless I decide that it’s rubbish when I come to edit it) which is more of a visual step-by-step of how I do it, but for now I’ll write it down:

The place I find most of my inspiration is in old magazines, (and Pinterest – but with Pinterest I just re-pin them rather than put them into my little book) so I thought that I’d use them as my example today, but look for inspiration everywhere! Leaves, colours, pebbles, buildings… (Just a note – it’s hard to stick a pebble in, maybe just take a photo of it or keep the pebble somewhere)

  1. Find a magazine somewhere (make sure it’s been read first!) and a pair of scissors. Then go through each page and take out anything and everything that you like. I’m not picky at all at this point;if you like it, out it comes. I cut or rip everything out really roughly to start with; you can go around something a little bit neater at a later point if you like.
  2. After I’ve finished my cutting out frenzy, I go back to the pile of ripped-out things and have a sort through. I get a bit carried away while I cut things out of the magazine, so I always come across one or two pictures where I can’t remember what I liked about them. If that happens it’s fine, it was probably just when I was in my ripping out flow and took it out for no reason – just put it in the recycling.
    1. You can cut around them a bit neater now, or you can wait to do that until you’re actually sticking in, or, abandon neat cutting altogether! Sometimes, I find that a rougher edge adds to its ‘allure’ so to speak.
  3. Next, I find it helpful to sort the pictures/ writing/ anything else into sizes. The way I do this is by splitting them into three categories (for the purposes of understanding my sizing method, please imagine that your notebook is A5 size).
    1. Big – will take up two A5 pages
    2. Still quite big but not overly massive – will take up either one A5 page, or most of one page (like if you could squidge in a bit of a pattern or texture or something).
    3. Smallish/ Very small – I could fit multiple of these pictures onto one page.
  4. If you’re feeling really wild, you can subcategorise these little piles.I generally do this when I have a lot of schoolwork to do, because I’m really good at making bad decisions. You don’t have to put everything into a category if you want to, I just find that it helps keep some cohesiveness, and makes it a bit easier to look back on, and it means that you’re definitely looking at the right thing – for example, if you really like the texture of the fabric of a dress and you stick it in randomly, you would look at the dress as a whole rather than the fabric texture specifically. Here are some options of subcategories:
    • Colour
    • Garment type
    • Whether it’s a pattern you like
    • Whether it’s a texture you like
    • If there’s a theme – e.g. dinosaurs/ tea party
  5. Stick in!

I started this little project for no real reason, but as I’ve filled it up more but as I’ve started to look back on it, I’ve noticed a lot of the same thing being stuck in again and again. This has helped me to plan my sewing better – I know what cut of a garment I like, what sorts of fabrics I’m drawn to, and even colours! This has meant that I can plan my sewing a bit better, because I can look for a specific pattern, print or fabric when I’m shopping!

I’m sorry that this post hasn’t consisted of any photos at all in any way, if you’re more of a visual person (and I think that most makers are) there’ll be a YouTube video uploaded this weekend hopefully (11th/12th February) so make sure that you follow my Instagram so that you know when it’s up! I post on my story when a new video is uploaded. 🙂