How I plan my way to a better me-made wardrobe

So you know me, I do love to plan out my makes (see evidence of past planning here, here and here).

But it’s really only recently that I feel like I’m actually using my planning properly – to hone in on my style, spot gaps, and identify makes that I’ll wear again and again.

So buckle up tight and make yourself comfortable, because I’ve got all sorts of tips coming at ya!

1. Using Pinterest with purpose

I know it’s not original, but Pinterest is such an easy way to gather inspiration. And I have a bit of a twist in how I use it for planning.

How I've planned my way to a better me-made wardrobe | follow the 5 steps on Randomly Happy

I like to start with a giant general style board. On this board I pin all the style pics that take my fancy, not really worrying about seasons or actual fit with my life (a giant elaborate skirt with heels? Great idea! Pin it!)

How I've planned my way to a better me-made wardrobe | follow the 5 steps on Randomly Happy

I then have a separate board – my handmade wardrobe board – that I use to whittle down and define my style. On this board I pin styles that fit with my life and I know will work for my shape.

Some other things I think about for my handmade style board:

  • Keeping it seasonal
  • Aiming to keep the number of pins low (around 40 pins)
  • Editing like crazy so the only pins are things I know will work for me and my body shape

I think of it like an exclusive, members only club. But for clothes 🙂

2. Diving in

Once I’ve set up a board I’m happy with I look over it, trying to find any repeating shapes, patterns, and items.

Like maybe I’ve pinned a black shift dress a few times. Or a chambray button down. Or chunky clogs. Whatever it is, if I’ve pinned it a few times, it’s pretty likely that it’s something that would work well for me.

I’ve only started doing this recently but I think it’s a really key step. It helps keep me focused on things that I will wear and that will fit with my life, rather than one-offs (bye bye oversized skirt and heels!)

These become my unofficial hit list of makes. And I try to jot it down somewhere.

How I plan my way to a better me-made wardrobe | using just Pinterest and my bullet journal | Get the deets on Randomly Happy

I’ve kinda fallen in love with bullet journalling at the moment and have found it a really helpful way of keeping notes (this is a great intro post if you’re interested). You can see in the photo above that I jot down some notes of some of the things that were repeating for me.

3. Taking stock

Once I’ve got a general idea of items I’d like to add to my wardrobe I take a break and let myself do a quick stock check.

I used to run out and start planning my next round of makes right after I’d identified gaps, but I’ve learned how important it is to take a step back. It helps me make sure I’m really focusing on what I need.

It may be that I already have one of those items in my closet (chambray button down I’m looking at you). Or maybe it just isn’t something I need in my life right now (bye bye chunky clogs).

I’ve also started to take this time to see if I can find a few key looks (you can see me writing and sketching this out above)

4. Making a plan

Now that I’ve got a solid idea for what I need and what’s missing I make a plan, including pattern and fabric choices. Basically the key pieces.

I love a good plan and have used all sorts of different approaches – lists, spreadsheets (I know, sad, right?), sketches. Right now, I really love sketching out my ideas. It’s nice to see everything together and work out if it will fit with my vision.

How I plan my way to a better me-made wardrobe | using just Pinterest and my bullet journal | Get the deets on Randomly Happy

How I plan my way to a better me-made wardrobe | using just Pinterest and my bullet journal | Get the deets on Randomly Happy

I don’t think it really matters how you plan, just getting your thoughts down somewhere helps.

5. SLowing down

So this last step is a new one, but I think it’ll hold. 🙂

I used to feel like I had to make every. single. thing. immediately. Like there was literally no way I could live without a handmade pair of jeans.

But here’s the thing.

Life goes on. Even without that handmade pair of jeans.

So I’ve been teaching myself to slow down. Enjoy the process of planning and making. To use sewing as a hobby I enjoy rather than a crazy, self-imposed battery of things I must make (which make me feel bad – either because I didn’t end up making everything, or because I made them but ended up feeling stressed by the whole thing).


Phew. pretty extensive, right?

I know it seems much, but everything I’ve made using this planning process has really stayed with me. Probably because the makes are actually filling a real need in my life/wardrobe and are a realistic reflection of me (which is, sadly, not giant, voluminous skirts with heels).

And I can dig that 🙂

What about you, how do you plan your makes? Is it a pencil and paper job? Or have you used one of those planners that are so popular?


How I plan my way to a better me-made wardrobe | using just Piterest an d poaper | Get the deets on Randomly Happy

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  • Your drawings are so cute! I have a similar Pinterest process: lots of boards dedicated to different garments, then when I see a trend I pull an example onto my ‘To sew list’ board. Then I try to match those garments up with fabrics and get sewing them… definitely not rushing either.

    • Thanks Katie! I did see your boards broken up into garment and I really liked that. I also may quietly stalk your boards for inspiration as well 🙂

  • This definitely resonates with me because I am in an sewing intentionally phase as well. There is just too many clutter in my wardrobe or else then it’s me sewing something that totally doesn’t fit in my lifestyle and hence doesn’t get worn very often (i.e. that crop top). For helps for me is to limit my sew for the month to a realistic and manageable number and I’ll blog about it so that I stay accountable. It has been good so far 🙂

  • Ahh that’s how I do Pinterest too!! I love seeing what pops up repeatedly over a long period, and I always get a ton of use from what I base on those recurring pieces. My problem is event wear – I never pin fancy clothes (I don’t LIKE them) so never know what to wear to weddings, ceremonies, etc. Your journal looks like it would be so much fun to flip through!

    • Yay – Pinterest twins 🙂 So true about fancy clothes. We hardly go out to fancy events an when we do I sort of panic a little. Luckily I have a few old favourites in my wardrobe that I can fall back on. And thanks about my journal. I like it 🙂

  • I loved seeing your wardrobe book! I’ve started doing the same thing using Collette’s Wardrobe Planner and its been a lot of fun and so helpful. It has helped me to become less random and redundant and feel actually more excited because I’m making things I really want and NEED in fabrics I like working with. It’s curbed my rather impulsive pattern and fabric shopping (well let’s just say that’s a work in progress) and given me a spot to catalogue my notes to self to not ever do again 🙂 Your drawings definitely exceed my scribblings but they’ve inspired me to just get better at that!

  • I love all of this but especially the slow down part. Right now I’m on a swimsuit sewing high but feeling pressured to make ALL THE SWIMSUITS for my vacation in 3 weeks. I need to slow down and enjoy the process. I’m as much a planner as a maker and I need to be more measured in my planning so that I have a more curated wardrobe. Thanks for sharing.