How do you plan your sewing project?

I’ve taken up a new hobby, watercolor.   There’s something so exciting about being a beginner at something.  A feeling that your world has just opened up a wee bit and sweet sunshine is glowing down on you.  And there are so, so, so many rabbit holes you can fall into.

Honestly, I took up watercolor as a way to make my sketches more pretty.  To get even more satisfaction and joy from them.  See, I sketch a lot of the clothes I plan to make first.  I’m rather nerdy like that.

I like to sketch my ideas out on a croquis (an outline of a human body, preferably my human body) to get a notion of how my idea might look.  Do I like the length of the dress, are the sleeves hitting at the right place, you get the idea.  

I write down the pattern I might use, or how I might draft the piece, along with some swatches of the fabric I dream of.  Then after all is said and done, I come back and write a few notes about what I would change for next time.  OH!  And don’t forget to then make those changes to the pattern…for crying out loud.  Do it right then.  Don’t wait.  Do you know how many times I’ve meant to change a pattern and then not done it in the moment and when the next time rolls around I forget entirely and make ANOTHER garment with the exact same issues as the first?  Too many to recount here.

Often my sketching comes first, but sometimes I sketch the project out after.  Why?  You say.  As a way to capture the process and because I’ve always secretly wanted an Indian Jones type of notebook, chock full of secret plans and projects.  The kind of notebook you’d risk falling into a pit of snakes for.  Seriously.  

I don’t know about you, but I’ve made a lot of garments, and occasionally I’ll come across a picture of something I’ve made or see someone I love wearing something I’ve made and realize I have no recollection, until my memory is jogged, of even making that thing in the first place. 

Now, I’m not militant about it, I have more things I’ve made than things I’ve sketched, by far.  But I like to get quiet, sit down with only a pen, paper (and watercolor!), and a hot cuppa something, and dream.

How about you?  Do you plan your projects?  If so, how do you go about it?

In Deep Kinship,