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5 Biggest Lessons We’ve Learned from Design Your Wardrobe

Episode 182: Here’s why it pays to have a design process you can depend on.

Posted in: Seamwork Radio Podcast • February 28, 2024 • Episode 182

In today’s podcast episode, Sarai and Haley share five lessons they’ve learned from Design Your Wardrobe, and all of these lessons point to one thing: learning how to think like a designer and edit your wardrobe is an invaluable tool for your sewing.

Designing outfits for yourself is also really, really fun!

Here are just a few reasons why having a design process as part of your sewing is so helpful.

  • You get to know the colors, fabrics, and silhouettes that you really like to wear.

  • You learn to edit out all the noise and focus on what’s realistic for your life.

  • You can watch as your style grows over the years and learn how to incorporate trends and playful new styles in an authentic way.

The tips in this episode apply to any consistent design process you might follow, and they’ll make your sewing more practical and fun.

Below are the show notes for this podcast episode and a brief summary of what's covered, followed by a full transcript.

5 of the Biggest Lessons We’ve Learned from Design Your Wardrobe

Lesson 1: Less is more

Planning to sew can be almost as fun as sewing itself, but it’s easy to let your sewing plans go wild. Most of the time, your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

Creating a really small collection is where you can find the most success.

If you plan seasonally, look at the last three months and see how many projects you completed. This is likely what you can realistically do again, so try not to plan twice as many projects.

And remember, planning your sewing, fabric shopping, and sitting at your sewing machine are three totally different hobbies.

Lesson 2: It helps to be super specific

Rather than trying to re-design your wardrobe each season, train yourself to design for really specific contexts.

This can include capsules or just simple collections like lingerie or activewear. Or, design for a certain occasion that’s important in your life, like a single date night outfit.

Creating design constraints is at the heart of Design Your Wardrobe, as well as learning how to be specific in what you want from your clothing. It might sound contradictory, but setting constraints gives you more freedom to sew.

Lesson 3: The more you do it, the more it becomes a core part of your sewing

The more you practice designing your wardrobe, the easier it gets. You become an editing pro.

While the process might seem clunky at first, with practice, it becomes a natural part of your sewing practice as a whole.

You learn where to focus your energy and how to say no to things that won’t work.

Lesson 4: Different parts of the process will resonate with you at different times

If you’ve followed any designer or brand for a long period of time, you’ll notice changes as their style evolves and grows.

It’s the same for your sewing!

Each time you sit down and intentionally design a collection for your wardrobe, your experience will be different.

Some people get really emotional during Design Your Wardrobe. Others get really playful and want to break their style rules. And some people are super practical.

Your experience will always change—and it will be different from anyone else’s—which is why it can become such an integral part of your sewing.

Lesson 5: It’s always better with friends!

The Community aspect of DYW is what brings it all together. You’ll walk away with so many new ideas, even beyond the program's scope.

It’s hard to describe how we all approach the same design process differently, so you’re going to learn new things every time.

A piece of advice: if you’ve taken DYW before and it didn’t click, try leaning into the community aspect more heavily. You won’t regret it!

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