Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps

Flashback Summer- Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps

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.

Flashback Summer- Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps
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!

Flashback Summer- Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps


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?


  1. These are great tips, even if you're not making the items yourself. A lot of online shops with larger inventories (I'm thinking places like Asos or even Amazon) still have items from last summer lingering around at very steep discounts, so now can be a good time to snatch up nice pieces for bargain prices. I also need to get around to some of the mending that I had left over from when I was wearing (and tearing) some of my vintage items during warmer days, so thank you for the reminder on that.
    Good luck with all of your wardrobing goals! I'd love to see how this process plays out in real time, as you get your things together for summer.
    Jessica, Zella Maybe

  2. I sewed up a bullet bra from Brittany @ VaVoom Vintage's pattern recently and got on really well with it, so it might be worth checking out. However the smaller size was still a bit big on me, and I know you're very petite, so you might need to alter the pattern. My sewing skills are so totally not up to that part haha :)

  3. This sounds like a great list. I try to plan like this but it doesn't always work out. I know I need a basic black and white blouses.

  4. Fantastic list and seriously solid practical advice. Something I usually focus on when reassessing my current wardrobe is in regards where one is actually going/what they're doing. It's one thing to, say, adore vintage evening gowns, but if your summer is going to be spent at beach and in the backyard at home, they won't do you a lick of good, so it makes little sense to fill your closest, and drain your wallet, with them.

    ♥ Jessica

  5. These are great plans Emileigh ~ I particularly like your point about sewing up some solid color fabrics. I'm the same ~ way, way, way too many prints in my fabric stash, and not enough solids. And I do wear solids because I have a bunch that I either thrifted or bought and wear all the time. A must for this year's list of sewing; incorporate solids! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  6. I can't wait to see what you sew up. And is that the Vera Venus bra pattern I spy? I do hope you'll share your results with that pattern! I've always been intrigued by it, but never taken the plunge to buy and make it. Right after Christmas I suddenly had a Summer Sewing bug, so I drew out several plans that I hope to fulfill this Summer. But now that the cold has come back, and I'm shivering in my seat, Winter sewing is nagging at me once again. :)
    It's funny that you mention Palazzo pants in your list of things to make, as I am hoping to release my Palazzo pants pattern by the end of the month (if all goes well).

    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. It is indeed the Vera Venus bra pattern! I hope to sew it up soon, but it's a bit involved and might take me a while to finish. Lots of details that I want to get right! I'll definitely share when I get it done!
      And I can't wait to see your palazzo pants pattern! I really like the fit of the ones you made, so I'm sure the pattern will be fantastic!

    2. I know what you mean about bra patterns! I have made a few different ones now (all modern), and getting the details "just so" can be hard sometimes.


      the Middle Sister and Singer

  7. This is a really helpful post! Every year I think to myself "this is the year I'll get organised for (whatever season)"... it never happens haha. Definitely going to use this to help myself get sorted for the winter!

  8. Hello darling. My boyfriend bought me a book for my birthday called And Sew To Bed by Vanessa Mooncie. It is a book of 20 vintage inspired sewing projects with patterns "for the boudoir". In there is a pattern for a 1940s bra top which I am going to attempt and also 1940s French knickers. I recently bought a lovely reproduction 1940s bra from What Katie Did but I couldn't justify buying the knickers too as they were a bit pricey for me. I'm hoping to be able to make my own now!
    Also I'm looking to my wardrobe and deciding on what I'll be making for the summer as my New Years Resolution was to make one dress / garment a month. January has got off to a fine start as I have made two skirts!
    Rowena x

    1. That sounds like an awesome book! I'm going to have to look it up...

  9. That's a genius idea. My closet is getting full enough of goodies that I really need to narrow down what I want to get for summer to patch holes because we're past the point of impulse shopping. Of course, it's so cold right now that I have absolutely no desire to think about summer clothing...

  10. This is full of good advice and I can see how it would work well to plug holes in your wardrobe. I know that I want to knit a few little tops/cardigans for the summer so I am trying to plan when I would need to start them. I am hoping to squeeze in one more winter cardi after the one I am making though!