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My Top Wardrobe-Sewing Tip (Without sewing a single stitch!)

If you’ve ever sewn for yourself, chances are this scenario has played out a time or two:

You fabric shop willy-nilly. Any color, any print, any weight – anything goes! Never mind the season, your coloring, or the rest of your wardrobe.

You impulse buy that pattern because – duh! – it’s on sale. 

You put two and two together – OOOH THIS’LL BE GREAT! – until it’s not. That color right against your face totally washes you out. Or that printed bottom would be great… but your wardrobe of printed tops means you have nothing to wear it with. That swingy style top is fabulous! But the fabric is so heavy it hangs off you like a tent. 

Wouldn’t it be great if all these scenarios could be avoided?? With a little bit of research, they absolutely can!

Which is why my top wardrobe-sewing tip is… go clothes shopping.  Grab your keys and head for the shops, friends. There’s much to be learned!

  1. Dream Big. Make like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and peruse those shops you’d never be able to afford. (Or never want to.) We’re building your dream wardrobe, no price tag can restrict us!
  2. Try on Everything. Everything. Yes, even that color you swore you’d never wear. Or that trend you’ve been resisting. It costs you nothing, now.  So let’s take the extra time in the dressing room to rule out garments that don’t suit, and confirm garments on your to-sew list before you commit a single inch of fabric or hour of stitching.
  3. Take Notes. It could be a photo-record full of dressing room selfies, or a chicken-scratch list on the back of whatever school flyer you have in your purse. Review each outfit based on the color, style, and print. What is emphasized? What sort of fabric is used? Is it practical for your life? How could you improve upon it? You’ll carry this list with you next time you’re scrolling through Cali Fabric’s new fabric stock.

Without this process, I’d have never bought the Closet Case Patterns’ Nettie Bodysuit, and I’d never made it in this lovely DBP:

I was firmly in the “I’m not an infant, why would a grown woman ever wear a onesie!?” camp. Also, I hate snaps (too many diaper shells in my past!) and would have sworn off bodysuits just to avoid them.

But I walked into a fancy shop, tried on a $100+ bodysuit, and learned things like…

My $100+ inspiration piece cost me $12 in fabric and 1.5 hours of assembly. All the while I knew the end result would work out because my research told me so! 

That’s a wrap folks – Here’s to a season of sewing successes! But before you go – share your planning tips in the comments below 🙂


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