Autumn Plans And Organisation Inspiration

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Autumn plans and organisation inspiration

Today, I have a different ‘all sorts’ blog post for you. It’s all about my Autumn plans and organisation inspiration. If I were you, I’d grab a hot beverage…it could be a long one!

In the UK, our Summer was a bit of a washout, then in early September, we got treated to a lovely hot spell, just as I started to think about Autumn and contemplated putting away many of my Summer clothes. I ended up shelving those thoughts for a while…

…Now that it’s finally feeling Autumnal around here (we had our first proper cool morning and some mists today) I‘m excited to think about some new projects. 

So What are My Autumn Plans And Organisation Inspiration?

Glad you asked!

But first…I already have one item made and it’s a truly practical piece in the form of a fully waterproof  (unlined) hooded jacket. I’ll be sharing that in my next post so I won’t go into too much detail here but it’s in a lovely burnt orange colour and is right on trend with a hood. Dealing with waterproof fabric was a whole new experience that definitely proved to be a learning curve. I love the finished piece though 🙂

A few things on my to-make list are wide-leg jeans, a sleeveless vest in a chunky knit, some slim-leg scuba ponte pants and a shirt with a difference.

For the wide jeans, I’ve got a length of dark olive green denim and I’ll be using Grasser 710. I want to do a contrast topstitching but haven’t decided on a colour yet (feel free to suggest one in the comments)

Sleeveless vests were very popular in the Autumn runway shows and I fancy dipping my toes into the trend myself. I’m going to use the new Viola vest pattern by Swimstyle Patterns and I might use the same type of chunky rib knit that I used in my Nikki Sweaters. I’m undecided on a colour but it looks like a great pattern and those side slits can be rotated back in and closed up more depending on your preference.

For the slim ponte pants, I have a lovely faux suede scuba from Croftmill in a rich tan/camel shade. A possible pattern for that is the Sage pants by Style Arc. I think the seam lines look interesting and I see the possibility for zips to be inserted in the angled hip seams. 

In my trends post of a couple of weeks back I hinted that I might be tempted to make a shirt for myself. Well, I let that idea bubble along in the back of my mind for a while and then I saw a post on Instagram that inspired me. The post was from Lekala Patterns and it featured a new design. It’s an oversized shirt with an asymmetric closing and collar. There’s an exaggerated high-low hem which I’m not keen on, however, I love the idea of a bit of asymmetry so after a little thought I bought the pattern.

Now, the way the design is drawn it looks very voluminous, too voluminous for my preferred fit (it might just be some artistic licence being exercised in the sketch though) so I’ll reduce the wearing ease and omit the high-low hem. For this shirt, I’m going to use a length of wool muslin from my stash in a golden caramel shade. It’s the same fabric quality as the one in my Fibremood Harper which feels fab to wear so I’m quite optimistic about this project. 

I have a whole lot of other project ideas all rumbling around my brain as well as these few and I don’t know about you but when I’m like that I struggle to pick which one to start with. I hope I can get focused 😊

Fabric and Patterns Organisation

Talking of getting focused…I recently became very focused on organisation. It all started when I saw an Instagram post on the Sewover50 page. The post was all about fabric, haberdashery and pattern organisation. There were many great suggestions and the actual post mentioned an app called Stash Hub which can be used to catalogue fabric and patterns. 

Shortly after that post my dear online friend Karen posted about how she used Trello for her organisation and I was intrigued because I’d dabbled a bit with Trello for other things before. 

I messaged her to find out more and this was just the push that I needed to get going and get organised once and for all. 

I decided to go with Trello for myself. I started off using it on my desktop PC but now I have the synced app on my phone too.  I’ve heard really good things about Stash Hub as well so if you fancy trying a bit of organisation I’d research the two and see which one you think is right for you. 

Now, obviously, it all depends on the size of your fabric and pattern stash but the whole process of cataloguing everything could potentially take a long time. If I were you I’d make sure that you have some free time set aside to get it all done. The first step is to gather images. I used screenshots of pattern drawings or saved images from the pattern/fabric company websites. If that’s not possible you’ll need to take some pictures yourself in good light.

I have a few folders of Burda magazines and for those, I was very unclear on how to go about making it easy for me to see what patterns I had without having to search slowly through each book.

Then I had an idea…I took a photo of the double-page spread of line drawings that appear in each book. I uploaded those photos and underneath wrote what year and month each set of drawings was from. It’s easy to view each photo and enlarge it to see the designs, then I know immediately what book to get out for that design.

Overall, I think I think the whole process took a good 2-3 days or so to get all of my fabric and patterns into Trello but I absolutely love it now. I like that I can create a set of different labels that I can add underneath my photos. I can label if something is woven or knit fabric, or I can say if a pattern has already been made up and if I’d make it again or not. I can also add links and more images too. Whenever I buy a new pattern or a length of fabric I can add it to Trello straight away. Once the initial hard work has been done it’s easy to upkeep. 

As for the physical organisation of my patterns, I have all of them including PDFs in clear plastic envelopes and I try to group them into similar garment types…as tops and sweaters, coats and jackets, dresses and skirts and so on. I’ve got cube storage boxes of them on shelves in my sewing room. My fabrics are in drawers folded up…though currently not organised into type/colour yet. How about you?

Wardrobe Organisation And Planning Apps

And finally, let’s chat wardrobes. A while back I heard about a wardrobe organising app whilst watching a fashion blogger on YouTube. The app is called Open Wardrobe. A long time ago I had a go at doing something similar but the app I used wasn’t very good and I didn’t commit properly to it. 

This time around I felt intrigued by the idea. Maybe it was the aftermath of getting into Trello? But either way, I had the organising bug. 

The idea with Open Wardrobe is that you upload photos of everything in your wardrobe and then you have to ability to keep track of outfit combinations, track item wears (or cost per wear) etc. The main reason I wanted to try this out is to be able to use it as a way to remember outfit combinations. Sometimes I find myself looking at my wardrobe and thinking “What do I like to wear with that top, or those trousers and what shoes worked with that skirt last time I wore it?” I figure if I use the app to document combinations that work and which I feel good in then it *should* make life easier for me.

Well, if I thought cataloguing my fabric and patterns was hard work it was nothing compared to doing the same with my wardrobe….I had to photograph everything….and not one to do things by half, I decided that it should include shoes and jewellery as well as clothes so it took a very looooong time (and my wardrobe is very modest in size too). 

To get good photos of my clothes I set up a makeshift backdrop area in my sewing room opposite the window (it involved a sheet a mirror and a piece of cardboard…needs must!). Then I just kept hanging my clothes on the backdrop and snapping a photo. 

I have all of the photos done now but I haven’t finished uploading them into the app yet. I like that the app has an automatic background remover so that all of my clothes turn into nice single images. It’s a work in progress but I’m looking forward to putting the app to use soon.

By the way, I believe there are a few other wardrobe organising apps out there besides OW, so check those out too if you’re interested in using one. 

I’m so glad that I found the time to do all of my organisation because it’s kind of freeing and so nice to see everything I have at a glance It brings clarity. I bet it proves to be a timesaver in the long run too. You should try it!

Ooh, this turned out to be quite a long post! If you read this far, thanks! I really appreciate it.

Feel free to share your sewing plans, thoughts on organising fabrics/patterns etc. in the comments below. It’s always good to bounce ideas around.

On that note, I’ll sign off and I’ll see you soon!

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  1. Rebecca Howard
    September 21, 2023 / 9:37 pm

    Thanks for a really informative post. I keep all my patterns and fabric in Evernote and having that information with me all the time is fantastic. And not only when I’m shopping but also when I am just dreaming or planning 🙂
    I love the idea of wool muslin. It sounds like an absolute dream to wear. I will keep an eye out for that in Australia.
    I’d love to see how you go with Open Wardrobe. I’ve dabbled in the past with wardrobe planners as well but it just got too hard. Like you maybe I just wasn’t committed or maybe the software just wasn’t what I needed.
    I love all your posts although I don’t comment very often. Blogs are sooooo much better than Instagram. Long live blogs!!

    • Diane
      September 22, 2023 / 12:29 pm

      Thanks for such a lovely reply, Rebecca. Oh I’ve heard that Evernote is another great option for organising things. I must admit that I’d totally forgotten about the app. I think I used it for a while many years ago. As you say, it’s lovely to have everything to hand when shopping (and I love to dream and plan too 🙂 )
      By the way, the wool muslin that I bough was from Swiss Textile Shop and it’s so nice!
      Re-Open Wardrobe…perhaps I’ll update this blog post when I’ve had it for a while. I hope I can make good use of it. I do like the interface.
      And yes to Long Live Blogs! 🙂

  2. Heather Myers
    September 22, 2023 / 9:16 pm

    Hi, I’m on the same drive to organize my sewing. Mine was promoted by the 4 August posts / videos from Alexandra Morgan’s In House Pattern Studio (the fitting guru I rave about). So I chose several patterns (see list below) and fabrics which I have in my pattern pantry and large fabric pantry). My goal is to make 2 garments per month – a stretch for me when it is nice outside – were having a lovely fall here in Colorado! I have just the hem to hand sew on the burnt orange and dark brown small herringbone Robert Kaufman flannel skirt, and already have adjusted the blouse pattern and cut a wearable muslin from peachy linen.
    -V1519 Kay Unger mid length full skirt. I stitched pleats down 4.5″ and used same fabric waitband. In the orange flannel noted above with bright orange bemburg lining.
    -v9906 v neck pull over shirt with packet and collar ( I bought in late ’70s!) – the dark peach hopefully wearable muslin, plus another using same orange flannel as skirt.
    -V2450 sleeveless vest with hood and front zip. Another old pattern I got from a friend. Planning same type flannel in color “ocean” with colorful rayon, quilted for warmth – which I haven’t done before. I have made the pattern several times.
    – V2686, Tom &Linda Platt dated 2002 elastic waist pants, plan to add pockets and hem bands, from black Ponte with a rectangular “jacquard” pattern. I’ve already adjusted and made pattern before.
    -Joggers from either a self drafted /copied from yoga pants or V2686 above, in brick red sweatshirt fabric.
    – Helen’s Closet Elliot pattern using brick red sweatshirt fabric. May need adjusting.
    -French Navy Goldenrod dress, a new pattern so will need adjusting. Fabric is zebra cream, brown, black viscose.
    -Jacket, likely using V1648 without applique’. Will need adjusting, in a graphic black and cream linen /cotton canvas

    My organization consists of a lidded large plastic for patterns with dividers for types of garments. Not working so well with PDFs, although they are all on my computer files listing. For fabrics, I’m more tactile than you. I have / carry a loose leaf binder where I tape a small fabric piece, and write fiber content, size, where and when I got it, and am starting to note what I planned to make with it. I update the amount left, date and what I used it for as I see it donate it, in different colors per year. I love fabrics so this has helped me slow buying new, as well as reminds me what I have – I “shop my pantry ” first!😊

    This message makes me think I need a WordPress webpage!!😁

    • Diane
      September 23, 2023 / 10:48 am

      Hehe! You do Heather! No joking apart, I absolutely loved reading your comment and can I just say that each one of your planned makes sounds glorious. I’m imagining all of the lovely fabrics in my head. The colours sound amazing. I’m definitely heading to the link for a read later, thank you! Two garments a month sounds pretty good to me and quite manageable (lovely Colorado weather allowing 🙂 I bet the fall trees look fab!). That fabric organiser binder sounds really good and I’m sure there are many other sewers who love a more tactile solution too. I’ve used something similar before but sadly I didn’t keep it updated and fell behind with my organising. I hope I can keep up with my new digital version.

  3. Christine
    September 23, 2023 / 1:57 am

    Oh dear! I just lost my response to your post and now have to try to remember it and send it before I press the wrong button again.
    I love your blogs and thank you for your constant inspiration, not to mention your great sense of humor etc. I think you and I are of similar figure type and style preference so I feel a lot of what you say is relevant to me. 🙂
    I have over 600 patterns, most of which are stored in two 4-drawer cabinets and so much fabric that my husband seriously says I could sew till I die without buying any more … seriously!!! (its just that I’ve had more buying time than sewing time)
    I live in New Zealand and here in the North Island we are suddenly into Spring and daylight saving. Further south they are still in the grips of winter with snow in the mountains, floods in the coastal cities because there has been much rain.
    However, I digress … this is the season when the juices get flowing for planning the summer wardrobe and in your post you mention Open Wardrobe. When I Googled it I see there are several sites under this name, can you please tell me which one you used? I feel the time has come to get seriously use the software that is out there – up until now I have simply got a photographic record on my phone – I take a pic each time I’m wearing a new combination, so it hasn’t been too arduous to put together, although obviously it has taken some time.
    Many thanks and keep up the good work, you inspire a lot of people.

    • Diane
      September 23, 2023 / 10:57 am

      Hi Christine. Thanks for your lovely kind words about my blog. I enjoy sharing my projects and inspiration so it’s love to be appreciated. I’m glad to hear that you feel motivated to get organising too. Here’s a link to Open Wardrobe: (I added it in the text of my post too). You’re right, I didn’t realise how many hits I’d get on Google. I found it on my phone via the Google Play app store. On the desktop it’s a Google extension rather that a website, so it’s not just a desktop version of the same thing. The extension is just used to save items of RTW clothing from websites to your app and as we’re sewers we don’t need that. Anyway, I’m over half way with uploading my clothe photos onto it now and I’m loving it. Hope you do too.

  4. Vicki Maiorano
    September 23, 2023 / 9:12 pm

    I have the Stylebook app for wardrobe items and outfit recording. I haven’t really used it and find I wear the same things. I took photos of my fabric stash and just have those on my phone. Well done you for actually taking the time to record it all.

    • Diane
      September 24, 2023 / 9:32 am

      Thanks, Vicki! I hope I can stick with it 🙂

  5. Joan
    September 25, 2023 / 3:53 pm

    Well, it is much easier to comment on your Fall wardrobe plans than on getting organized, Diane! Some years ago, I had two pair of RTW pants in a fabric that looks exactly like your faux suede scuba: it had spandex or elastane. They were absolute favorites of mine, as they wore like iron and never wrinkled. They did not breathe a great deal, but the pluses so outweighed the minuses, and they looked great on: very flattering fabric. So I hope that pant turns out great for you. Re. your plan for a shirt: I think your modifications to the Lekala pattern will make it a wardrobe staple. As shown, it is too trendy with the exaggerated shirt tail and ultra-oversized look, but the collar and asymmetrical front closure is elegant. I looked up your previous wool muslin project and that is a gorgeous fabric.

    Re. organizing: ugh! I saw on Instagram (I rarely read it, tho there is so much info and inspiration there) a week or two back that Karen and you chatted about Trello. As I am feeling overwhelmed currently, my sad thought was “this is how I will not keep up with what is necessary and useful to catalog my fabric and patterns…” 10 years ago, I spent a week laboriously cataloging all of my fabric bins and putting clippings of fabrics onto cards in a small binder w/ yardage quantity, date purchased, etc. But the system wasn’t efficient even then, and I purchased a ton of fabric during the pandemic, etc. Well, I don’t want to stew over it…

    The same goes for my actual wardrobe: even after separating things that are too small from what I am currently wearing, I still have too much to catalog. I hope as I become more successful in COMPLETING the garments I make, I will be able to pare down my wardrobe a great deal into a planned, cohesive one. Then there is the issue of maintaining my weight with minimal fluctuations so things remain wearable! That means exercising more each week!

    But you are absolutely right about the usefulness of photographing outfit combinations that work to remember them for another time. I dress very simply day to day because my life revolves around doing chores and running to the market, yet I have a lot of nice clothes that I don’t wear often in a casual small town. When it comes time to put together outfits for travel, it takes a lot of time to figure out what to take bc it really is different from what I wear daily. I take photos of the outfits, but do not take time to catalog them, so I *should* figure out how to organize them so they are more useful!

    I appreciate your sharing these topics on your blog, as it keeps me abreast of options!

    • Diane
      September 25, 2023 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Joan. It’s great that I’ve struck a chord with some of you and at least given some food for thought. I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s comments 🙂
      Today I’ve finally finished adding all of the images of my clothes to the Open Wardrobe app and as you mention…it’s going to be recording outfit combinations that will be the most useful to me. As long as I can remember to add or subtract images as and when I add or donate a garment from my wardrobe. Time will tell if I keep it up or not.
      You mention your wardrobe and casual day to day life, I wonder if it’s doable for you to wear one item of your more dressier pieces with a predominantly casual combination to dress it down? I do this a lot and to be honest my surroundings are pretty casual too. I try to wear my slightly dressier pieces and maybe I’ll discover new combinations with my app. Actually I think the app has an AI feature that will provide suggested outfit combos…could be fun!

      I think I’m going to get plenty of use out of Trello for my patterns and fabric because it’s so handy to not have to trawl through boxes to locate everything and I can pair patterns and fabrics easily. By the way, I’m glad you like the idea of that shirt pattern and adjustments that I’ve got planned for it. I’ll adapt it to my taste and I’m already looking forward to sewing it up.

      • Joan
        September 28, 2023 / 9:18 pm

        The AI aspect sounds interesting! Please let us know how that is working (or not) after 2-3 months!

        I am in an odd transitional phase these days, fashionwise. There are old ways of dressing and many new takes on fashion, all moving quickly bc of social media and the internet: I have to sort out my thoughts on combining dressy/casual! Also, I have the bad (obsessive) habit of not wearing my ‘nice’ stuff so it stays pristine, then I outgrow it! 🥹😭

        • Diane
          September 29, 2023 / 9:31 am

          I’ll try to remember to do an update, for sure. Oh, I know all to well the problem of keeping the nice stuff so that is stays pristine and then I’ve sadly gone off it or outgrown it…

  6. Barbara Briant
    September 26, 2023 / 1:52 am

    Hi Diane, Another fab post from you, thank you.
    I keep my patterns in a similar system to you. In copysafe pockets and then grouped together in garment types. With fabric, I used to keep them in a large chest, then progressed to shelves. But I was gifted my great-aunts china cabinet, so now the fabrics are where I can see them. It does help to remember what I have accumulated over the years! Better get onto using more of it!
    I did begin photographing what I wore each day and kept the photo’s in their own album but that fell by the wayside.
    Have fun with your plans and organisation.

    • Diane
      September 26, 2023 / 4:25 pm

      Thanks Barbara, I will 🙂
      Great minds think alike with our pattern organising storage 🙂 At the moment my fabrics are in drawers so I can’t really see them at a glance (your china cabinet setup sounds lovely) and I don’t have the right space configuration for a different method, so currently getting them onto Trello is proving helpful because I can just have a quick scroll to see them. As for Open Wardrobe, I now have everything from my wardrobe on there and I’ve been playing with the outfit collage maker and I’m liking it so far, we shall see if the app proves to have longevity for me, but so far so good…

  7. Rachael
    October 1, 2023 / 3:23 am

    Oh I can’t wait to see the sage pants made up! I have read similar to leggings which would be a fab staple to the wardrobe, especially if you can make them with a more durable fabric. No pictures on IG to investigate at the moment! Will be keeping my eyes peeled for yours!

    • Diane
      October 1, 2023 / 12:38 pm

      Yes, I read the same, but like you prefer a more durable fabric. Can’t wait to sew mine. I think I’m moving them to second in the queue after my olive jeans 🙂

  8. October 6, 2023 / 1:08 am

    I’m so impressed with the level of organisation that goes into your wardrobe. Well planned and exquisitely executed!

    • Diane
      October 6, 2023 / 11:10 am

      Thanks you Sue! I feel like over the last year my wardrobe if=s more cohesive and I’ve found it easy to make combinations. Also now that I’ve had the Open Wardrobe app a couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed creating virtual outfit combinations in collages and seeing all the possibilities. I’ve even identified a gap…I think a dark brown handbag would be a useful addition:)

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