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Why Editing is the Secret to the Perfect Wardrobe

Episode 180: Tips for improving your editing skills so you only sew the clothes you love to wear.

Posted in: Seamwork Radio Podcast • February 14, 2024 • Episode 180

Here's something you might not know about yourself: You're an editor.

When you sew your own clothes, you're always making editorial decisions, from pairing fabric to a pattern to styling a final outfit.

Improving your editing skills empowers you to make thoughtful choices in your sewing projects—so you sew things you love to wear.

Without effective editing, you may create items you appreciate aesthetically but don't fit your personal style.

In this episode, Sarai and Haley cover why editing is so important in design, how to set constraints to make editing easier, and ideas for making tough choices a little bit easier. 

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

Tips to Improve Your Editing Skills

Set design constraints 

The trick to editing is setting up constraints in advance.

Design constraints are any practical considerations that limit your range of options, forcing you to combine elements in new ways to develop creative solutions.

Some constraints you can set include the weather where you live, what you do throughout the day, and the fabrics you like to wear.

If a piece of clothing doesn’t fit the constraints you set up, move on and sew something else.

Look for outside systems to help you set constraints

Some people like to use systems, like color seasons or body types to help set constraints. If you’re having trouble editing, these are good tools to set constraints. Instead of creating your own rules, you can borrow ones someone else has researched.

Don’t be afraid to repeat

Repetition is very useful for your wardrobe. If there’s a garment you wear all the time, make it the center of your outfits. Focus your inspiration and fabric choices on what you most frequently wear, and wear it repeatedly.

For example, if you wear a blazer four times a week, look for inspiration, outfits, and fabrics that work with blazers. If you never wear a blazer, half of your mood board shouldn’t be blazers.

Go with your gut

If you hesitate about a silhouette, color, or fabric, you won’t wear it. You know what it feels like to wear something that doesn't feel like you.

It’s helpful to learn to recognize the difference between the excitement you feel when you see a piece of clothing you love and the excitement you feel when you see a piece of clothing you would love to wear all the time.

Do multiple passes

You aren't meant to edit in one fell swoop. Rather than eliminating a bunch of options, do multiple passes. Your first cuts might be mostly gut feelings. Then you can do another pass and cut out any repeats.

Add a few more rounds of cuts, and you can start getting more analytical and bringing in your design constraints.

Editing is perpetual in your wardrobe

Think about the lifecycle of a piece of clothing—editing is there at each phase. When you sew your own clothes, you have to edit your inspiration, mood board, fabrics, and outfits.

And finally, you edit again when you purge your closet.

So, don’t be afraid of editing. You’ve been doing it all along, but now you can do it with more intention.

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