Sometimes a good idea just has to wait.
And when it does, I keep a sketchbook on hand for those moments of great inspiration. Like a writer, I quickly record what is in my mind, making as many notes about the garment as possible and sketch out all the details I envision. Then I wait until the time is right to turn that idea into reality.
Much of the time, a particular color or fabric is a part of my inspiration. In those instances, if I have the fabric on hand, I tuck little samples in with my drawings to remind me to reserve that fabric. If I do not have the fabric on hand, I make as many notes about color choices and fabric types as possible. This way, I know what to look for when the time comes to put the sketch into three dimensional form.
In addition to a sketchbook, I also keep a notebook about the patterns I have developed or recently worked with. In this book, I keep notes about the changes I have made to muslins, calculated measurements for things like cage crinolines and drawn bonnets, and general tips and techniques. This is my go-to book whenever I find myself asking, “Now how did I do that again?”
If you do not already keep a sketchbook or “idea book,” I highly recommend it. A good idea is a terrible thing to waste!