There's nothing that causes me to take sewing and shopping shortcuts like desperately needing an item right now. As in actually needing it. You know, a snowstorm hits and suddenly I realize I don't have a warm coat. Which happened this winter. Moments like that.
So, NO MORE! This year I'm going to work on "pre-season wardrobing," or the idea of working ahead a season in my clothing purchases and projects. That means that now, while it's winter here in the northern hemisphere, I'll be taking on my summer sewing plans. Below are my process steps on how I'm deciding what to sew and when. It's a bit involved, but I wanted to give you guys insight on my full thought process, just in case you're in the same boat I am!
1. Make a list of pieces I absolutely do not have that are necessary in the summer.
Right now, I have no shorts. I made some a while ago that never fit right, and I have zero pairs now as it is. Shorts will be high on my list, along with a summer hat and 1-2 pairs of jeans. (I currently have two me-made pairs that I wear ALL the time, so they're getting a lot of wear and tear.) I also need some more undergarments, mainly bras. I'd like to make my own 40s style ones, though.
2. Decide which items I would really like to have, but aren't as versatile and/or necessary.
I would love some 1930s style palazzo pants and playsuits. Luckily, the playsuits can work with my shorts plans, so if I coordinate shirt fabrics with the shorts, I can make my own! This will help my wardrobe be more versatile, too. I could also use some flat and heeled, practical summer shoes as well.
3. Determine which items need repaired or altered to be wearable this summer.
I have a pair of culottes that I got that had some janky hem work done on them, so to wear them I'll have to re-do the hem properly. I know I have a bit of other mending to do as well on a couple blouses before summer comes.
4. Check my closet and crafting stash to see what can be reworked, styled differently, or created into something.
I know I have yarn and supplies for a short sleeved sweater, but I need to start on it now if I want it by the summer. I also have lots of fabrics I can use for playsuits, shorts, and some of my other wants.
5. Figure out what supplies I need that aren't in my stash.
I have lots of patterned fabrics, but hardly any solids. To make shorts and other pieces that can mix and match well, I need to track down some solid fabrics to coordinate.
6. Create a wardrobing schedule.
This is where we get down to the nitty gritty: how can I get all these things done by summer? I plan on working on a sweater and the culottes/mending a bit here and there between larger projects as I go. I'll also be keeping my eye out for summer hat and shoe options, hopefully on sale since they're out of season! As for the other wardrobe bits, here's the order I will sew in:
Can't build unless you've got the foundation first! These will probably take the longest, too, so I'll do these now so I don't feel rushed later and tempted to cut corners. These will get the most use, too.
I plan on making only very simple variations on the same pattern, so I can churn these out assembly-line style! Obviously I'll be wearing them all the time, so I need some good staple pieces to build outfits around.
Some will go with the shorts as playsuits, and others are for general mixing and matching. Button-downs will be fabulous for summer, and I plan on making some other warm-weather tops!
I bought a Craftsy class on how to make my own jeans, but I'm a little intimidated by it. I'm going to really look through the materials and gather all the right materials before attempting this. I have a couple pairs of jeans, so it's not completely desperate, and I want to be able to take my time. I'll do these later.
Non-staple/non-versatile wishlist Items
Palazzo pants and whatever other summer whimsy projects strike my fancy will come last, or possibly before the jeans, if I'm still needing time to think over the process.
Granted, not everyone can sew like this. I'm very much a git 'er done type of sewist and I like to order things by need even though it may not be what I feel like I sewing. For me it helps me be efficient and avoid major gaps in my wardrobe. For others of you, though, this may be a little too boring, and you might want to alternate between boring staple pieces and fun whimsy pieces to keep yourself motivated!
Do you have any ways you prepare your wardrobe for the season ahead? What summer projects do you have in the queue right now?