If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a big fan of planning and organizing. It’s a “give me a to-do list and I will rule the world” kind of thing for me. These planning habits follow me in every aspect of my life and I couldn’t run my small business without them. And since I am a paper lover, I insist on planning everything the old fashioned way, with pen and paper -and the help of some colorful markers and washi tape, but you get the idea. Jim often calls me a Neanderthal for not using an app to do those things, but honestly, I’ve tried and the digital method is just not for me.
My personal sewing couldn’t be an exception. In fact, I was receiving so many comments on the amount of clothes I manage to sew every month and how do I organize my projects, that last year I decided to launch a planner aimed specifically for sewists, called “My Ultimate Sewing Planner” (you can read all about it here).
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a conversation in a forum where seamstresses were talking about sewing planners. Some of them were big fans, while others were saying that the don’t see the value of keeping a sewing planner and how it would help them in their personal sewing. And that made me think.
So, here are my 10 reasons why you should be using a sewing planner. Ready?
1. The first and most obvious reason is of course to organize your projects. Even if you do buy fabrics with a specific pattern in mind, there are so many “temptations” out there, that you will often find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Let’s say that you bought a lovely floral cotton fabric to make this X dress pattern. You go home, open Instagram and one of your sewing friends has just posted her latest make, a gorgeous cotton skirt. Your fabric would be ideal for that project and now you are desperate to make this! So, you change your mind.
The next day a new pattern is released. It is a beautiful dress, ideal for cotton fabrics, too. What? You want to use the fabric you bought yesterday to make this one instead? Ok. You get the idea. Of course, if you wait a few more days, you’ll end up forgetting what you initially planned to do with that fabric. Am I right? We are so exposed to inspiration these days, that it is hard to stay on track. Writing down our ideas in a sewing planner is a great way to keep ourselves accountable.
2. That leads me to my second point, which is to use your sewing planner to plan the projects you NEED in your life. Planning your sewing and actually writing everything down is a great way to see the bigger picture and identify what garments you are missing from your wardrobe. Let me give you an example: if you are planning to make 5 cocktail dresses, but in reality you will never get a chance to wear them, isn’t it a sign that you should be focusing your sewing energy elsewhere? Wouldn’t it be better to make one cocktail dress and throw in a few simple T-shirts to replace the old ones in your wardrobe? And what about making a pair of black trousers that you always wish you had in your handmade wardrobe?
Trust me, it’s so easy to fall into the rabbit hole and just make whatever inspires you in the moment. But I think you’ll agree with me when I say that you’ll enjoy sewing much more if you make stuff that you’ll get to wear every day, because the fit your lifestyle and personal style as well. Take it from someone who’s learned from that mistake (I’ve been so bad at this, that I wrote an entire book to share my new method of planning my sewing. You can read more about it here, but be sure that it changed my life and helped me start planning the handmade wardrobe of my dreams).
3. A sewing planner is a great way to keep track of your WIPS (works in progress). Especially if you like to change between projects, so that you don’t get bored. My planner also includes a specific page for social media challenges, where you can right down the ones you plan to participate in, what you are going to sew and when their deadlines are.
4. If you tend to make lots of alterations to your final garments or if you like to hack sewing patterns, having a place to write down all the alterations you made will be extremely important. I can’t tell you how many times I made alterations to a pattern without writing them down and when I wanted to sew it again I couldn’t remember what I had done the previous time. I know, I know. You have a strong memory, you don’t have to write them down. Trust me, after you sew a few more garments or if a few months pass by, you will have no idea what you did.
5. Use your planner to catalog your fabrics and patterns. My Ultimate Sewing Planner has dedicated pages for these, where you can cut and stick swatches of your fabrics, write down how much length you bought, how much it costs and any other notes you want to remember. Same goes for the patterns. That way, you can have a look at your stashes all at once and plan your next sewing project without having to unfold your fabrics or go through your pattern folders on your computer. Easy peasy!
6. Use your planner as a reminder of stuff you want to buy. That can be notions for your projects (which we always tend to forget), patterns to add to your wishlist, a book that you saw online, a gadget that a blogger reviewed and you liked, a Christmas present for your sewing friend and so on.
7. It is a great way to gather inspiration. Especially if you are old-school, like me. You can print images you like and have them as inspiration to look at. You can draw sketches of your dream outfits or, if you can’t draw, you can print the line drawings of the patterns you like and add them to your project planning pages.
8. If you are a blogger or a YouTuber, you can use your planner to schedule your upcoming posts. Being a blogger myself, I’ve taken care of that. There is an extra add-on pack to the Ultimate Sewing Planner, designed especially for you. It has pages for social media planning, pages to keep track of collaborations, expenses, income etc. I got you covered!
9. A sewing planner like mine is something between a regular paper planner and a bullet journal. In the first case, a printed paper planner has its limits. You can’t change the order of the pages. You can’t leave out pages that you never use. And if you use all the space, you’ll have to buy a new one. On the other hand, bullet journals are fully customisable, but who has the time to create all those pages from scratch? And even if you do have the time, what if you can’t sketch? So, if you buy a planner like mine, which is a printable PDF file, you can print only the pages you want. You can make it as a full size (A4) planner and use a ring binder or print the pages in half and make a small booklet to carry in your handbag. You can change the order of the pages, too. And the best thing? It never runs out. If your fabric stash keeps growing, just print more fabric stash organization pages and add them to your binder! You will have it forever 🙂
10. And my last point brings me to the tenth reason: your planner is a diary. It is a keepsake. You will be able to go through it and see all the things you made in the past, all your ambitious plans, all your beautiful fabrics. It is something worth having, isn’t it?
I hope you found this blog post helpful. There are so many nice planners out there and I definitely recommend using one, it will change the way you approach your sewing. If you want to use mine, you can get the BUNDLE that includes the Ultimate Sewing Planner and the Add-On pack or you can also buy them separately if you want.