More On Project Planning: Creating A Quick Visual Plan

I love to make lists of sewing projects on paper, but I also like to have a visual reference! Often I’ll sketch project ideas over and over in my little notebook, drawing and re-drawing the things I want to make. It does make it hard to see all my plans at a glance though as they’re scattered on pages throughout the notebook. Plus I usually sketch in pencil so there’s no colour.

As my plans for fall sewing keep growing, I wanted to have a visual reference for my project plans. Do they go nicely together? Do I have too many skirts planned and not enough tops?

If you have a tackboard or bulletin board, even a small one, make yourself a visual reference!

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I’ve cut a tiny swatch of my fabric and sorted them by project idea. I’ve kept it really simple: jacket fabrics together, skirt fabrics together, shirt fabrics together.

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It’s now easy to see what colours I have in mind. You can see which projects might look nice together as an outfit!

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I can also see quickly if I have too many prints and not enough solids. That happens to me sometimes – okay, a lot. I can see where to fill in a top to go with a skirt, or a solid skirt or pant to go with a jacket. If I plan something new, I can immediately see if it makes sense with my current plans.

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I also have a section called ?? for fabrics I bought and like, but don’t know what to do with yet. Eventually they’ll make their way to one of the garment categories!

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It’s easy for a board like this to get cluttered, so I only have a few non-project things pinned, like a set of glass buttons I want to use, a pretty applique, and this interesting jacket fabric. You could add magazine clippings, photos or sketches as well.

As I finish a project, I’ll take down the swatch. In theory, near the end of winter the board will start to look empty and I can start filling it up with Spring project ideas.

This is the last post about planning – it’s time to get sewing!

Other posts on planning in case you missed them: Fall 2015 Sewing Plans, Planning Sewing Projects by Outfit.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

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13 Responses to More On Project Planning: Creating A Quick Visual Plan

  1. sarah August 21, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    I love this idea! I was just thinking of doing something similar — a visual approach is way more appealing than the lists I usually keep.

    I also like the idea of grouping swatches into categories instead of labeling each with a specific pattern. I always start with very specific plans, but it gets tossed out the window pretty fast once I start mixing and matching patterns and fabric…

  2. Roseana Auten August 21, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    This is just the thing I need. I fill up a lot of foam core boards with a lot of ideas but they don’t necessarily come together. I’m going to try your method of visualizing and planning my fall sewing!

  3. Sonia August 21, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    Good plan. My patterns and fabrics don’t entirely match up at the moment, and its difficult to visualise a stack of fabric and a stack of patterns as garments. I also like your Granville shirt section. Wardrobes of sewn clothes seem to be more functional with multiples of garments. I’m thinking I’ll use a flat drawing board, so it can lay flat on a shelf when not in use (kitchen table sewing). Thanks

  4. Sam August 21, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    What a great way of planning your projects. I’ve started drawing mine, but I need something that I can add fabric swatches to, I’ll be shopping for a pinboard at the weekend I think!

  5. Annette August 21, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    I love this idea too! What a terrific ay to plan, and see all at one fell swope, (so to speak!), TFS, Annette

  6. Krista August 21, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Great idea! I do a digital version of this when I do a SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) for myself or one of my kids. Just take a screen capture of the line drawing for each pattern I plan to sew and then copy each image onto a single page. Makes it really easy to see if you have, say, too many shirts and not enough bottoms. Then I print of the sheet and can cross off each item as it’s completed.

  7. Megan August 21, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

    This is a great idea! Thank you.

  8. Mai T August 23, 2015 at 5:07 am #

    Wow, such a creative idea. It will help you control my project better. Thanks for sharing! :D

  9. Kyle August 23, 2015 at 5:09 am #

    That is a very cute idea, instead of having a pile of fabric on my dresser mentally labelled. :)

  10. Ofer August 24, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    great ideas! a bulletin board is now on the list for my “dream sewing room” that I am planning!

  11. Stephaniesews August 26, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    This is an excellent tip. I love the idea of being able to see all my plans at once. Especially because it’s so hard to find fabrics for clothing here. I tend to snatch things up randomly as I find them and then hold onto them until I pick a pattern. I end up with too many fabrics for one thing. This would make it easier to see when I only have fabric for dresses etc.

  12. Eryn S. September 3, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    Great ideas! I have to organize my projects a bit better because I’m constantly getting distracted with what to work on next!

  13. Flos Caeli September 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    I tend to get distracted easy too so I sketch all of my ideas in sketchbook and attach fabrics so it’s easy to remember the first idea.