Sewing Dilemmas: Sewing for Seasons Change

Last March Gillian asked the Sewcialist community how we sew for the changing seasons. In my quest to be more mindful with my sewing I decided to tackle this question. If I’m being totally honest this post will also somewhat act as sewing accountability for me because I truly have enough fabric to sew my own wardrobe. Here in the Southern United States fall is on the horizon… but it’s still the South, so that just means it won’t be in the upper 90s & 80s F (low to mid 30s C) anymore. Our fall is mild—cool mornings and warm sunshiny afternoons—which makes for perfect layering weather.

To start my planning I decided to do a closet audit. I was actually surprised to see how little clothing I currently have! Between my changing postpartum body, need to have nursing friendly clothes, and moving to a new home I purged pretty much anything that wouldn’t work or that I did not love. Since I have such a blank slate as far as closet needs I decided to pick fabrics first and items second.

I’ve been a bit of a fabric collector since I started sewing, so I was able to shop my stash to pick my fabrics. Even though by the end of fall here it may be time for a jacket, I tend to run hot, so I did not choose any fabrics that are particularly heavy weight. I think this will also leave more room for layering potential. These are the fabrics I have chosen.

6 folded pieces of fabric laid out next to each other
Fabrics clock wise starting from the top left: acid wash knit denim, oatmeal ribbed sweater knit, raspberry chevron sweater knit, multi colored bamboo Lycra knit, navy windowpane linen, petal pink linen rayon blend

After I chose fabrics the next hurdle is how much and what to make. I often tend to be over ambitious when it comes to my planning, so I made a plan with just 6 items to be worn interchangeably. I asked people on the ‘gram what they use for outfit planning and the Seamwork Free Sewing Planner was the recommendation I got from most people. This planner is very thorough and I want to use it in the future, but decided not to use it for my small fall capsule. Next thing to tackle was the fact that I have no idea how to do figure drawing. When I asked my fellow Sewcialist editors if they’d ever used the MyBodyModel croquis for planning I was actually surprised to hear that a lot of them trace a picture of themselves! I took a picture and traced my body and I was amused to see that it wasn’t all that different than the MyBodyModel croquis (the biggest difference being that the digital one was much cleaner looking). Because I am a beginner at fashion drawing (and I had a discount code in my email) I decided to go with the MyBodyModel!

Side-by-side comparison of a hand-drawn croquis and a digitally rendered croquis
My tracing vs. My Body Model

So finally my plan! I’ve decided to make 2 bottoms and 4 tops – I recently made a Donovan Skirt from Helen’s Closet and that will be a part of my Fall wardrobe as well.

I used parchment paper over the croquis to sketch the silhouettes of the items I plan to make. It was really not as difficult as I thought it would be and it’s really nice to have a visual manipulative. (And let’s be honest I LOVED playing with paper dolls as a little girl.) This is a practice I plan on continuing in my making. Especially when it comes to trying new styles. The only thing I would do differently would be to use a bit heavier weight tracing paper as the parchment curls, but it’s what I had on hand!

I’m feeling really motivated to get these items made and hopefully even more by the end of the season. I think it’s a good mix of lightweight fabrics that can be layered so I will stay comfortable no matter what the weather may bring.

Do you plan your sewing for the changing seasons? If so what are you planning on making? Do you use any specific tools to plan? Let me know in the comments below!

Amanda is a mom of two, crafting away in North Carolina. She can be found on Instagram @mandabe4r where she posts about everyday life (and she finally finished a sewing project!).