You’ve built a sturdy foundation for your little sewing house and set up the walls that define your creative practice. Now it’s time to add some rooms. The third step in the Sewing by Design process is to design your wardrobe.
You sew because you want to express yourself—with all the unique quirks, preferences, and qualities that make you who you are.
But too often, you get tripped up. Maybe you get pulled into the latest trends, or you keep accumulating fabric, or you just keep making things that you'll never wear.
That means you spend way too much time and money while not expressing who you really are. Your wardrobe feels fractured. There's a disconnect between your personal style and the things you’re making, and you’re not quite sure how to bridge it.
We’ve all been there. And we have just the thing to help. Our Design Your Wardrobe course will help you create a sewing queue of clothes you love to wear.
If you’re new to Design Your Wardrobe or wondering how you can possibly transform your wardrobe over just a few weeks, keep reading.
How Does Design Your Wardrobe Work?
Design Your Wardrobe is a program that will help you get unstuck and back on the path of making clothes that fit who you are.
This step-by-step method helps you to think holistically about your wardrobe. With daily videos, worksheets, creative exercises, a planner, and a private community to support you, you'll create your own personalized queue of projects for the next 3–6 months.
We do this all together twice a year, with daily chats in the Community and a fun email series. And for the next round of Design Your Wardrobe, we’re planning some updates. The Wardrobe-building party is getting a little makeover! You’ll find a redesigned and updated book and new videos to help you along the way. Keep an eye on this page for sign-up dates.
Until then, here’s an overview of how the course flows. You can download our free sewing planner and try these steps on your own, and if you’re a Seamwork member, you get access to the entire course for free.
Set a goal and make a mood board
You're not just sewing clothing for yourself. You are the designer of your very own wardrobe—this course will help you really lean into that.
At the start of this course, you’ll ask yourself why. Why are you doing this? Why are clothes important to you? From there, you’ll go through a series of reflective exercises to craft a goal for the program, a sentence or two you can return to throughout the whole process if you start to feel stuck.
After you have your goal, the work begins. You’ll create a mood board (analog or digital, choose your adventure) that represents what you want to convey with your wardrobe for the season. We walk you through a process to create a mood board in a targeted way, so you can come up with a coherent style and zoom in on what appeals to you personally.
Seeing all the mood boards other Seamworkers create is one of the most rewarding parts of the Design Your Wardrobe process. We also have a podcast episode and a video that will help inspire you. You can listen to Sarai and Haley go deep with mood boards in episode 51 of Seamwork Radio, and you can watch the visual power of a mood board in the video Make Your Mood Boards Inspiring on our YouTube channel.
Create a color palette from your fabric
You’re going to learn how to think like a designer. The entire DYW process is rooted in design, and most fashion designers use a color palette for their collections. Rather than create a palette from scratch, you’ll create one using your fabric stash. From there, you can add colors and prints to balance your palette.
This part of DYW is full of resources for identifying the colors and prints you actually love wearing. It also gives you tools you can use whenever you buy fabric, so you aren’t buying things you’ll never wear.
Design outfits and queue your patterns
In the final part of DYW, you’re going to plan the outfits you’ll wear, including clothes from your current wardrobe. From there, you can find individual sewing projects to make up these outfits. You’ll organize all these projects into a sewing queue—with room for wild cards that pop up along the way. You need some space if a new sewing pattern comes out that you love!
This part of the DYW process is empowering because we give you a framework for identifying which parts of you life you want to sew for—and which ones you don’t. You’ll have checklists you can use to evaluate what projects to make next. You’ll be editing just like a fashion designer!
And that’s an overview of Design Your Wardrobe at-a-glance. Every day of the course has thoughtful reading, reflective questions, and fun exercises to help you practice these skills. After a few rounds of this course, you’ll find that this process becomes standard practice for your sewing. Plus, you’ll have a closet full of clothes that truly feel like you.