Spring/Summer 2019 wardrobe planning

Yes indeedy, it is pretty late in the day to be posting this, given that it’s mid-May, but here we are anyway. It’s a good record for me and also a reminder if and when I get completely distracted by bright shiny new patterns in the sewing community as I’m wont to do. The collection, if you will, (is that a knobby thing to call it?) has changed a few times over the weeks, but what I have here is where I’m at with it all.

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I had planned to do Seamwork’s Design Your Wardrobe or similar again this year, but just didn’t find the spare time to go through that. Nevertheless, I definitely felt the need for some sort of plan. I have plenty of wardrobe orphans and I’ve also put on a few pounds since this time last year, so some of my favourite makes are a little tight on me right now… *sob*… which has become only more obvious since Me-Made-May started as I can’t really wear a few of them.

Even before that, though, I decided to shake it up a bit and approach the issue of what to sew for S/S 2019 by undergoing three different tasks:

1.Purged my current wardrobe: spurred on by the Marie Kondo-esque ruminations of the internet at large, I went through my wardrobe early spring. I wasn’t so much evaluating my clothes in terms of what brought me “joy” as much as what had fallen apart, what was a sad fail and what would probably burst if I tried to wear it right now. That got rid of a surprising number of garments that will be repurposed, donated, etc. at a later date. Quite a few them at this point in my life definitely came under the category of “loved-dearly but only worn once when I was thinner” RTW items and I had to finally face the fact that my life has changed so much… I really will NEVER wear them again. Sad but true.

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2. Downloaded “Your Closet”: I read about this app somewhere, sometime on the Internet (sorry, I forget who exactly wrote about it) and decided it might be worth a try. What you do is take photos of all your clothes and then you have a digital record, can make up outfits, save favourites, etc. I’m the sort of person who forgets what they actually have in the closet, so this seemed like it possibly might be helpful. It’s free, so I figured it was worth a shot anyway.

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The hard work part of the app is simply taking photos of your clothes and then storing them in the appropriate section after formatting them as you desire (in my case, doing a bad cut job). Really, it doesn’t take very long, but I still managed to procrastinate about this for some time. Above is a screenshot I took when putting shirts into the requisite section.

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There are a few things you can then do, but the main idea is to make outfits from your single garments (example above) and create a true virtual closet. You can save outfits you like, or find new combos. There are also extra functions for shopping and so on, but that’s not something I plan to use, so I didn’t pay much attention. I’ve found it quite useful to add the Me-Made-May outfits in that I’ve come up with (assuming I like them). Hopefully it will give me some ideas next time I can’t think what to wear and am running late already (so tomorrow then). Come to think of it – I haven’t worn the above combo yet, so now I’m sorted for the morning. Woohoo!

Anyway, with regards to my S/S 2019 plans, I wanted a record so that I could check what I planned to make would also match with a decent number of existing wardrobe items, i.e. I really don’t want to create more wardrobe orphans if I can avoid it. I would say it’s been helpful and will become more so as it approaches 100% population.

3. Identified some colours and fabrics first – then added patterns

It’s been clear from previous Me-Made Mays and other planning exercises that I: lack solids; wear a lot of blue, black, green and white, with a smattering of red and pink; lack bottoms and tend to make a lot of tops and dresses. I also have a few small obligations such as #sewmystyle and being on the Advisor’s Circle for Liesl + Co., which means that, even though these are not a pressurizing factor, at any one time I do tend to have a few garments that are on my to-make list with a deadline. (Through S/S, these are mostly dresses and tops, which helped focus me for the “other” garments I needed actually).

MMMay collage

Overall, therefore, I decided to first cement my collection around the bottoms I wanted to make. I wanted to make bottoms that would also match with existing items in my wardrobe – so planned to try to focus on a blue/grey colour scheme with a preferably easy-to-wear theme. Another important factor was that I was trying, if possible, to sew my stash. These are the four items I planned on and drew little croquis for using Gertie’s new Fashion Sketchbook, which was very helpful:

Bottoms

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From left to right: Ninni culottes, powder blue Palisade Pants, denim striped Chi-town Chinos skirt and dark blue Alexandria Peg trousers.

I took these pics under crappy light, so the colours aren’t spot on, but you get the idea. Versatile shapes in easy-to-blend colours.

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Tops

From there I added tops. These were all intended to be able to be mixed and matched, but also included four (out of the seven) tops that I had signed up to make in some way or another, which added a few small constraints. There are rather a few more of them than planned to be honest, and not many of them are solids (only two really and they’re not either, strictly speaking), so this is clearly something I still have to work on: squeezing a couple of solid tops into my plans.

They are, from top left:

Scout Tee in powder blue and gold, Ottobre white and blue crepe blouse, Breezy Blouse in pink, Novelista shirt in blue and polka dots, Breezy Blouse in dark green floral, Perkins shirt in dark blue peachskin, Saraste Blouse in red and blue floral rayon.

Note: the Scout tee and Perkins shirt are much longer, but I sketched them tucked in initially before deciding to create separate garments, so that’s why they look cropped! Lol.

Dresses

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Just the one red and blue Gelato dress in my confirmed plans so far, but I’ve left space because I will certainly be adding more, both knit and woven. I know, for example, I’ll definitely be making either the Orchid or Quincy dress for Sew my Style next month.

Mixing it Up

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After I made all the little garments, I tried out some combos to check that they would in theory work together and you can see a couple of those here:

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I think they work pretty well and I’m excited to see some of the combos when everything is done. It will be interesting to see how they really look with the actual fabric and shaping. I’m no artist and I’m intrigued to see how close it all turns out to my sketches, since – I’ll be honest – some of the colours are way off, haha!

Construction

The good news, from my point of view, is that I’ve actually made quite a few of these garments now! I learned that I was a little ambitious when I did Design Your Wardrobe last year and didn’t finish all those items. I actually have more items in this rundown, but the difference is that I made sure to include garments I knew I were already planned in my ideas. This has already paid dividends as I have the following already done:

Yes! I have the Chi-Town Chinos skirt, the Ninni Culottes and the Palisade Pants already finished (the latter not blogged yet). My Alexandria pants are cut and ready to be sewn, so it’s already almost a full house on the bottoms!

As for the tops, I have the Perkins shirt and the Scout tee finished – and also the two Breezy blouses, although I haven’t blogged those yet either. I’ve started the Novelista shirt too. So, all in all, I’m well on my way to getting these done in the next few weeks!

What next?

I’m definitely hoping that I can finish these off by the end of June or mid-July. I noticed when I was putting this post together that almost everything is woven. That is interesting for me as I do make a lot of knits too. I’ve already said to myself that in June I’m going to revisit some TNTs as the results of Me-Made-May flag up a few more gaps in my wardrobe. I also certainly have some fast and satisfying knit projects in mind, and I’ve already mentioned that I would like to make a few more dresses, as I surprisingly don’t have too many everyday ones in my wardrobe.

Okay, well there’s a little info on my cobbled-together process for my current sewing list. I hope it was vaguely interesting and I’d love to hear what your plans are. Have you used any “method” to come up with a list? Let me know when you get a sec! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Spring/Summer 2019 wardrobe planning

  1. This is really effective! I’ve been lazy about sketching or planning because I didn’t think it would bring much insight, but seeing how you’re mixing the paper parts is really tempting me to give it a go – there are great combinations in there that I didn’t see from the individual pieces. I’ve got a master list and am developing some rubrics around wardrobe planning, with pretty good success in wearability and colour palettes, but I am ready to try something more formal.

    Looking forward to seeing your Palisade Pants, I’ve prevaricating on whether to go trousers or shorts first but I have the pattern and fabric ready to go.

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    1. Thanks Lisa – I appreciate it! I seriously was thinking “naff” about the sketching to begin with. And I don’t really use nor like the word naff, but it’s perfect for the feeling I had. But you know, it was actually quite useful. The test will be how the actual clothes compare to the sketches though, because the fabric is genuinely a little different. I think adding in swatches would help a lot next time perhaps and seems like an obvious step I missed. I also keep a never-ending master list which definitely helped me focus these plans as I already had something to work from. I do occasionally find myself straining against the self-imposed and very long leash, because that’s my nature, but having this framework did mean I could swap a few things in and out quite easily (the Saraste blouse for example) and therefore feel I was scratching that itch somewhat. It’s definitely a work in progress! What are you thinking about doing?

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  2. I love reading planning posts like this and following along with progress. I dabbled in seasonal sewing plans a couple years ago. It was helpful in combatting the “what do I do now?” that I often feel at the end of a project, and I found that thinking about future makes in terms of outfits, rather than singly, helped the cohesiveness of my closet. I should probably do that again …

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    1. I do too! I enjoy seeing other people’s way of thinking and I definitely get inspired by other’s choices. Outfits are definitely key and where I do struggle a bit sometimes. I’ve often made something and it wasn’t quite what I envisaged or I made it badly and I get put off the “outfit” after that. Or I change my mind, haha. I definitely suffer more from beating my desires down with a stick after I finish a project. I’m great at starting them and not so good at finishing. I don’t have many UFOs, but the second half of the project always takes a lot longer than the first, hee.

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  3. I never finish any plans, but I am envious of your almost finished set of pants! My approach to ‘wardrobe’ is to make something that goes with at least 2 items in my closet. It’s not much, but it’s been sufficient to avoid orphans, and to make it relatively easy to pack for a trip. I have also extended this to not buying fabric that doesn’t go with existing items, and that has been the most helpful in the long term

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    1. I really think that is an excellent way to do it and I tried half-heartedly to do that myself a while back. Somehow it didn’t quite work for me, but I’m not sure why. Maybe I didn’t have enough in my closet I liked? I guess I have been suffering from a lack of basics and solids since I started sewing, although that has got much easier since I made jeans and the like. And fabric! Argh! That’s my weakness for sure! I really hope to make a dent in it this year, but it’s been hard! 😀

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  4. I have slacked off with the planning this year, I have been sewing from stashed fabrics and patterns, which have been in previous plans and not got done! When school is out (more time!) i am hoping to create more of a plan, using the My Body Model croquis. I love your plans, and must revisit the Scout pattern now that i know more about fit!

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    1. You slacker!!! Nah, just kidding, lol. Sewing from stash forms its own plan I think. I am SO intrigued by the My Body Model croquis. I’ve seen a few people talk about it on Instagram and am rather tempted I must say. Let us know what you think!!

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