Happy New Year, everyone! Although many see January as a bit of a grim month, I love the start of the year and the promise it holds. I get excited about setting myself targets and aims for the coming months, and a big part of this, as I’m sure it is for many seamstresses, is making a lovely new list of sewing plans.
There are some amazing and beautiful sewing planners out there, whole books where you can plan your projects with drawings of how you envisage the final garment, boxes to tick each stage of the process including sourcing, tracing, cutting, marking, the whole shebang. As much as I would love to chart my creative pursuits in this way, I think I’d end up spending more time planning than I actually have to sew! I need a quick but effective way of planning my sewing projects; so here I’m sharing a simple method that I hope will be of use to anyone in the same boat.
Go through all your patterns and write them all down in the left hand column, then do the same for all your fabric in the right hand column – refer to it however makes sense to you rather than the official name from the supplier, this is a reference tool just for you, so if ‘blue swishy spotty’ makes sense to you, write that down! Then the fun bit: draw lines in the space between the columns to match up the patterns and the fabric. Hopefully you’ll be able to match up nearly everything and even be surprised by the potential you have sitting there ready to be sewn!
For anything unassigned there’s the ‘What’s left’ download - PDF or Image – write down any patterns that haven’t matched to a fabric, then any fabrics that don’t suit any patterns you already have. This way you can plan and buy knowing what the pattern or fabric will be used for.
This is where it all comes together! This table will give you a clear and concise list of everything you aim to make, all with fabric and patterns you already have.
Take the paired fabric and patterns that you matched up in your first table (which if it’s anything like mine will be a hot mess of lines and rubbing out and re-matching) and write in the pattern, the fabric you’ve matched it with, and then in the last column – tick when complete!
I hope this method helps you take stock (literally!) of what you have and helps you plan what you can make with what you already have, and where there are gaps that need filling. The great thing with this approach is it can evolve over time, you can always re-pair and re-match, but just having a list of all your materials is a great help when you’re not sure where to start on your next project.
Happy planning, everyone!