When I first started sewing the thing I found the least inspiring were the covers of sewing patterns. I often found that the fabric choices
Before you lose yourself down the rabbit hole that is inspiration gathering, remember to start with what you have.
Trends change but it doesn’t mean you have to have a wardrobe rehaul every time a new season comes around. Evaluate what’s already in your wardrobe, what works for you and then assess what is missing.
You might want to look back at old photos and pull the styles that you got the most wear out of last year and either bring them back out again or update them with something new in a similar style.
For example perhaps last year you found midi skirts were a wardrobe staple. Then try adding more to your wardrobe. Experiment with new styles or colours to make it feel new.
This year I am living by the motto that you need to know what you have before you can work out what you need. so once you pulled the items that can live to see another day, decide what outfits you can make with them.
You might find you have wide selection of skirts but no tops to wear with them. Then guess what needs to jump up your to make list…tops duh!
Making outfits from what you have is also a great way of finding out why things get worn more than others. For example you might have a dress that should be your favourite but you haven’t really worn it because you have nothing to layer it with or no shoes to pair it with.
Once you’ve shopped your own wardrobe it’s time to start thinking about what you need to add. So now we are at my favourite step…shopping! Or at least pretend shopping. the kind where instead of exhausting your bank balance your exhausting the memory on your phone from all the things you’ve been screen grabbing.
I find looking at the high street, websites, magazines and seeing what I like out there is much more beneficial to planning a new wardrobe then looking at new pattern releases.
I’ve found that working from inspiration and finding a pattern leads to items in my wardrobe that get so much more wear.
Knowing where to start can be overwhelming but I find the best thing to do is to have fun with it. You probably won’t come away from an online inspo shopping session knowing exactly what you want, often you’ll find you’re spoilt for choice.
So I suggest doing this over a couple of sessions, see if there any recurring items that you are drawn to and then work from there.
Once you’ve gathered your ideas it’s time to start making those essential lists. But make sure when planning what you’d like to make, that your list contains more staple wardrobe pieces then trends. You want to get the most wear out of your makes and you want to be able to pull it out the next year as well.
However, remember staples vary from person to person and some of these you might already own. For example a pair of jeans might be a staple for most people but for me I know they’ll barely get worn.
Choose staples that work for all seasons. It will make you want to put more time into making it if you know you are going to get more wear out of it. Don’t make something just for when the sun is shining because remember in the UK this can be extremely rare. Summer dresses are great but make sure you throw in some that can be layered when the weather starts to get chillier. For example try a dress in a light denim that can be worn alone when it’s hot and layered with a striped top or blouse when it’s colder.
Then going back to where we started… don’t forget what you already have.
Whether this is your pattern stash or your fabric stash make sure you look at what you’ve got.
A new season doesn’t mean buying more. For example I usually go on holiday very late in the summer and end up buying summer appropriate fabrics that I don’t have time to use before the season comes to an end. Don’t let these go to waste, make sure they have their time to shine. They might not become what you originally had planned for them but putting them to use means that whatever they are, they will be something wonderful.