Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fall 2009 SWAP - I Think I Can Do It

I have failed at more SWAP wardrobes than diets. Well, not really but it seems like it sometimes. In case you're new around here, SWAP means Sewing With A Plan. Lynn Cook of Australian Stitches Magazine advocates it as a terrific way to plan your sewing in an efficient manner so as to get a coordinated wardrobe that can be mixed and matched creating many different looks with only 11 garments.

If you click on the above photo, you can see what each of the fabrics will be sewn as. I don't have much white and navy in my closet, but I think they are OK colors on me. I only had to buy three of the fabrics, the rest I already had. I probably could have gotten away without buying two of the fabrics, but I really needed the denim. I must have sewn up my larger pieces of stretch denim already. I only have capris or skirt lengths left on the shelf. Since I'm sewing for fall, I decided to go with long pants.

I don't plan on making the SWAP exactly like the directions since I will be using some more complicated patterns than is suggested. Also, I don't wear skirts to work much after the first few weeks of school when the temperature starts to drop below 90 degrees. I'm more of a pants and blouse or knit top kind of girl.

I'm currently working on a muslin for the Shapely Blouse from Singer Perfect Plus: Sew a Mix and Match Wardrobe for Plus and Petite Plus Sizes. The book comes with four patterns, a jacket, a blouse, a skirt, and some pants. The book suggests you use these four patterns to make a mix and match (SWAP) wardrobe. I like the blouse and jacket, but I don't need the skirt and I already have TNT pants patterns.

I obviously need to do some altering on this pattern, but it's pretty close right out of the envelope. The only changes you see on the muslin is 1/2" added at the hips and I pivoted the back hip 1" away from the fold line for more high hip space. The back armholes seemed large, but I think if I pleat at the armhole and taper to zero at center back, I can do the petite adjustment and a full round back alterations at the same time. The bust darts are almost too high, I may fix this, I may not. I also need to eliminate the drag lines pointing to my bust.

I don't like the neckline shape on the blouse. It's too long and narrow, I 'd like it to be wider around my neck. That means a redraft. Also, it is way too short for me. I think it probably hits where it's supposed to on me since I'm 5'1" and the patterns are designed for a petite body length. I just like my tops longer to cover the belly. I think two inches should do it.

I wonder how long it will take me to sew up 11 garments. I really hope I finish these garments in time for Fall. I also hope I didn't donate all my navy shoes.


  1. I hope you do better with the SWAP than I do. You've chosen some great fabrics.

  2. Sherril,
    Your colors are independently festive! The colors and textures of the fabrics are my cup o' tea. Can't wait to see what you do with them!

  3. Good luck on your swap! I love the fabrics.

  4. SWAP wardrobes are GREAT FUN!! (Mine is RTW :( )
    I am sewwww impressed at the bunch of alterations you are willing to take on... Guess that comes with trying and practice, eh!!
    Soft hugs,
    Rhonda in Montreal (PR), who's going out to walk 10,000 steps with DH before/instead of sewing...

  5. Where did you get your stretch denim from? I want some badly. I know of one spot but you can never go wrong with having few spots to choose from.

    I think I would get bored making a wardrobe. The concept is what I already do with my retail items. The red and navy I'm highly interested to see how you work them. Those are 2 colors I enjoy with my skin tone (I just love red anyway).

  6. Your fabrics coordinate very well. That muslin looks like a pretty good fit to me. I'm actually thinking seriously about trying to sew for myself again. It scares the heck out of me. I made everything I ever wore from the time I was 12 till I started having kids, but I was a size nothing back then, and everything fit.

  7. You have a great plan, and some really nice fabrics.

  8. Good luck. I'm sure you can do it. Love the colors.


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