Anyone new to sewing or coming back after a long break will understand how daunting it can be to jump straight into a new project. There is always a lot to remember, and inevitably obstacles will pop up as you start your project.
To make you feel better prepared, we have put together some tips so you can quickly jump right in. Whether that's deciding on what to make, planning your next dressmaking project, or tips on keeping the momentum going, we have them all!
Tips for creating a sewing plan:
I feel pretty confident saying that no one ever regrets a little bit of planning. It really doesn't have to be meticulously planned down to the minute, but at least a general idea of your sewing objectives, everything you will need, and how much time you can put aside for a project will go a long way in helping you get set up. Here are some ways you can plan your project:
- If you are the type who loves to organize, there are many resources you can use to plan upcoming sewing projects. Printable sewing planners make it easy to just fill in the spaces and are helpful for anyone unsure of what exactly they need to consider.
- Know your equipment and gear before embarking on a project. There is nothing worse than getting excited about making something, only to realize you don't have the right gear for the job. As someone without a working serger, this happens to me all the time when looking at jersey fabrics.
- Organize your sewing supplies first. This varies greatly depending on your personal sewing setup, but keeping your box, corner, or entire studio well organized will help you with your next project. It doesn’t have to be a Pinterest-worthy setup either – organized chaos is more than okay.
- Use your wardrobe to help you decide. It's easy when you have a special event coming up, but if nothing is on your calendar it can be hard to pick a project as the options are endless! If you find yourself in this conundrum, look for any missing items in your wardrobe. I often notice these when getting dressed, so I started a running list on my phone that I can refer back to if I find myself without a project.
- Use mood boards for project planning. If you are feeling uninspired, try a mood board to pinpoint colors, items, or fabrics that are speaking to you at this moment.
- If you are using a commercial pattern, buy it first before going fabric shopping. This way you aren't guessing about what you will need. If it is your first time buying fabric, check out our blog for tips on how to buy fabric.
- As an extension to the point above, make a list to go fabric shopping with. Fabric? Thread? Buttons? Zips? Custom Clothing Labels? Use it to write down the exact quantities you will need of everything.
Tips for sticking to your sewing plan:
So you have decided what to make and probably have invested a bit of money into it! These tips are designed to help keep you on track:
- Try to carve out uninterrupted time for your project. Easier said than done, I know, but too much stopping and starting will kill your excitement for any project and quickly turn it into a chore. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put aside a whole day or anything, but chunks of at least an hour or two will give you time to enjoy yourself.
- Prewash your fabrics as soon as you buy them. Even if you aren’t planning on using them straight away, you can store them away after prewashing. This way, when you decide you want to make something you can get straight into it without waiting around for anything to dry.
- Once you have all of the sewing supplies together, give the pattern instructions a once over. This will help when you are in the middle of a project to know what is coming up. It's also helpful if you miss a step as you will realize much quicker that something isn't quite right.
- Cut everything out before you start sewing! This includes lining pieces, interfacing, and binding. Once you move on to the sewing part, it will be much quicker to grab the prepared pieces and keep going.
- Sometimes garments will look strange as they are coming together. But don’t give up! Trust that all of your planning will pay off, and keep going! Its often not until the finishing touches are added that a garment will really take its shape.
If you have any favorite tips on preparing for a sewing project, let us know! We love seeing how our customers tackle their projects.