Saturday, June 14, 2014

SWAP 2014

City-wide Couture (CWC), a wonderful sewing group of inspired and inspiring sewists, has issued a challenge. And I love a challenge. The challenge is to create an organized, coordinated set of clothing. This might be called a 6PAC, as it is on Artisan's Square, but in this case, it is called a SWAP - Sewing With A Plan.

The 6PAC comes to mind because it is the one and only time that I actually - sort of - pulled such an organized set of sewing all together. I gathered fabrics, selected patterns, and sewed as planned. B.O.R.I.N.G. I much prefer to sew as the spirit moves me. Now I did love seeing the other 6PACs. Those were great fun to view.

Notably, though my 6PAC was successful in some ways, I never enjoyed wearing the pieces. The 6PAC I chose resulted in clothes that worked together but did not make my heart sing.

The CWC SWAP is fairly simple - 5 pieces by late fall. Not many rules, just that the pieces need to mix and match. After much thought, I believe that the best path for me is a modified SWAP. In my SWAP world, I make one garment after another that makes my heart sing.

So what makes it a SWAP, you might ask?

Well, I've added my own little personal challenge. Each garment must coordinate with the NEXT,  I mean, LAST garment. Sort of a linked list. Or serial monogamy.

While I love the idea of the pretty story board with fabric swatches attached and patterns neatly listed, it just is not going to work for me unless I force it. And if I force it, well, no singing heart.

And I've decided to use stash fabrics, another minor twist to the SWAP.

So here is garment 1:

It is the High Five jacket from the Shapes line of patterns, made as a pull-over. The fabric is a light-weight shot linen, hot pink in one direction and yellow in the other. I added some yellow sashiko to warm it up a bit.

And I'm trying these pants out for garment 2:

Not too sure if these really work together, color-wise. What do you think?

I do love each piece. The pants are Cutting Line Design one-seams with added pockets and elastic gathering at the hem, also linen but a medium weight. This linen has a subtle stripe that may have taken the color tones too warm to wear with the cooler colors in the top.

Now I'm looking at tops that work with these pants to continue my linked list. A yummy chocolate brown top would be pretty maybe. But first I'm off to spend a week learning about indigo dyeing. So maybe my SWAP will be replanned around that!

Does planning to sew make your heart sing?


  1. Yes, yes and yes! I like your starter pieces very much, and also that they can stand on their own without being worn with a purposely coordinated group/garment. Cross-dye fabrics and striped wovens are chameleons when worn with similar colors. These days I say, if the look is pleasing to you, wear them together.

  2. I love your top and your hand stitching adds such a nice touch.

  3. I cannot sew a super planned plan. I have done mini wardrobe plans but I do better flying by the seat of my pants :)

    Really like both pieces.

  4. I like your plan. I've never entered a SWAP because I know I'd never complete it--I'd get burnout very quickly. I say wear these two pieces together if you like them and feel good wearing them--as you say--make your heart sing.

  5. This is an interesting idea, Martha. Thanks, I'll be thinking about it. My pieces mostly go together because they're black, white, gray and tan...not interesting but works.
    I like the idea of making pieces that are meant to be worn together and may not fit in with anything else in my would be a way to get color back in!
    I think your two pieces look good together. I'd also look for an accessory to tie it all together, sometimes that third piece makes all the difference!
    Thank you for this post, loved it!

  6. I just love the details you add to your pieces, Martha! I've been trying to do the seasonal six packs on Stitcher's Guild for a few years now. Although I rarely make it to six, I do appreciate having more of my clothing work together.

  7. I won't be doing the SWAP. The way I look at it, SWAP assumes you need to coordinate your wardrobe in order to get the most useful combinations of clothing. But if you sew anyway, why would you need endless combinations (unless you travel a lot). I have endless clothes...well, at least I have an endless I don't need to be efficient to combine clothes for different looks.

  8. Nice plan! Like you I have to sew as the spirit moves me, which in some ways is random sort of plan. I like to see what others do however, always inspirational.

  9. An interesting question, Martha. My separates tend to coordinate because of the lavenders/mauves, teals/aquas and greens that I like to wear. Usually at the beginning of the season, I go through and rearrange my stash, and it gives me great pleasure to spread out the colors and fabrics that complement each other, while contemplating all the wonderful outfits I hope I will eventually sew. That makes my heart sing, almost more than actually making a garment. All that lovely potential.