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|All Things Sewing - Public -> SWAP - Sewing with a Plan||Message format|
|About three months ago, I decided to do a full SWAP. I'm terrible for sewing up one-off pieces that appeal at the time but go with nothing. In fact, I pretty much have a closet full of clothing where the only thing the pieces have in common is that they don't match anything else.|
Being in Houston, I don't have to worry about severe climate changes and can wear pretty much any style year-round as long as the fabric isn't particularly flimsy. Some things I've taken into consideration are a) I'm a homemaker so I don't need career wear, but would still like to have some flexibility in my wardrobe for different occasions where I would be inclined to dress nicely, and b) I'm trying to get out of the habit of bumming around in jeans all the time.
I'm doing a full blown SWAP. Two pairs of pants, two skirts, a dress, a jacket and six tops. When out shopping for apron fabric with a friend one day, we came across this cotton:
I fell in love with it and picked some up as my jumping off point for the SWAP. Once I got home, I started rooting around in my closet and saw how many items I have that go well with it. So I built my SWAP around it, and here's what I've got so far:
Jacket: 3/4 sleeve fitted jacket with shawl collar and drapey patch pockets. Dark brown silk noil.
Pants 1: Cuffed trouser. Dark brown stretch linen.
Pants 2: Flat front bootcut pant with extended tab. Tan stretch twill.
Skirt 1: Knee length skirt with stitched inverted pleats and faced waistband. Multi color parasol cotton. DONE.
Skirt 2: Knee length A-line skirt with inset detail. Stone/putty cotton-cashmere lt. weight twill.
Dress: Hard to describe. Sleeveless, has self-faced neckband with gathered waist, self-belt and gathered knee length skirt. Black/brown/white patterned rayon. DONE.
Knit top 1: Sleeveless wrap top with side gathering. Butter yellow cotton knit.
Knit top 2: Scoop neck t-shirt with gathered short sleeves. Dk. coral cotton knit.
Knit top 3: Cowl neck top with butterfly sleeves and waistband. Dk. Teal slinky knit. DONE.
Knit top 4:
Woven top 1: 3/4 sleeve boat neck fitted tunic. Color
Woven top 2: Camisole with peplum, pin tuck detail and front button closure. Black silk charmeuse.
Originally, I was going to do the full SWAP, despite what I might have in my closet that goes. But I'm stumped as to what to add for a fourth knit top and have several dressy t-shirts that would go well, so I might just sub those in.
Where I've run into trouble is with the boat neck tunic. I'd like to do it in a neutral, but don't want it to look too color-blockish when teamed with the pants. I'm thinking of maybe doing it in a semi-sheer dark brown with a brown cami under, to lighten it up. Also, the traditional SWAP says that one top must be a print. However, I don't think that would work with my SWAP. A print with the parasol skirt would be way too busy.
Though I got most of my style ideas from commercial patterns, I'm going to do as much as I can in PMB4.
Thoughts? Opinions? Advice?
Location: Minneapolis, MN
|This sounds really great. Can you post pictures of the styles and of the finished garments? I am still recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon or I would try doing one too.|
|Marilyn R in IL|
|Your SWAP ideas are very inspiring! Living in northern IL means 4 seasons worth of clothes, but unfortunately, winter is the longest of the 4... I really need to sit down and make a plan like yours. I have plenty of stash to work with, just need the push. I think you may have given it to me! Thanks! |
Marilyn, who is also trying to break the jeans habit or at least pair them with nicer tops...
|Hello Jeannie |
My first offering to the forum. ( I have been learning lots just by reading!!)
It looks like there are two shades of olive-green in that fabric as well. How does that colour suit you for a top of some sort? I just noticed you haven't listed that one. It may not be the right choice for for you, hard to match, but just a sugestion. Perhaps with a little black trim somewhere to repeat the pattern in the fabric. This may suit your knit top.
Alison from Melbourne Aust.
|I'm sorry if I missed it, but what item is your original cotton fabric going to be used for? It would be great to trim some of the other pieces with and to make a wrap of some sort out of. Or is this just your inspiration fabric and not to be used as part of the SWAP?? I am learning and have thought of a SWAP for myself but never got in gear to do it. I love your plan. It will make a lovely wardrobe. I do think I would use as much as I could out of what I already had in my wardrobe and then finish it out with new things I made. Fashion and style change so fast that I also think I would stay with timeless classics except for one or two frivelous spunky items to add pizaz and lift my spirits. This is not a comment on what you have planned. Just me thinking out loud. I am conservative with my sewing time and fabric money. I am employed and 60yrs old with fleeting spurts of energy. |
Edited: I found it. Your #4 Item is the parasol fabric. A skirt.
Edited by Grandma C 2009-11-29 11:34 AM
|I've put together some images that are a bit more comprehensive. The first set is of the finished garments. The dress is considerably more flattering on, by the way. And the sleeves of the top hang funny on the dummy because I made the arms too long. They look very nice on. |
But enough with the caveats...
The second set is of all of my SWAP pieces thus far, with corresponding fabrics to the right. On the far right, there are two pieces with question marks. The first is the tunic I would like to make. I'm struggling with color. The second is a lovely chocolate brown crocheted knit I have about 2 1/2 yd of. I think it would do well as the sixth top and even work as a patterned fabric, but I can't think of what style top to do. These two are the ones I could use suggestions on.
As for pulling other colors from the skirt...I already have a royal blue boat neck tee that matches the blue in the parasols, and a green tee that is in between the greens in the parasols. I'd rather not double up on those colors, but I'm open to most anything else.
Re: the pattern pics...though I have a few commercial patterns that I'll use for the SWAP, most of the pics are just for inspiration. I'd like to use PMB4 as much as possible.
Location: North of Seattle, WA
|Really love the blue top. |
Making a story board like this is very effective in keeping the focus on what you want to do when other fabrics and ideas beckon and try to get you off track.
|Susan in Miami|
Location: Miami, Florida
Your chocolate brown crocheted fabric would look beautiful in a short wrapped jacket that would close with satin ribbon that wraps around your body and ties with a bow on the side. Some of the fabric of the top worn under the jacket would show through the jacket, adding interest to an outfit.
Location: Gillette, WY
|This is probably NOT going to help much, but what about using the crocheted fabric for the sixth top as an over blouse? I know that this leaves you with an unknown on your board, but I think it would work. You could put a simple knit T underneath it.|
Location: Holyoke, MA
I think your tunic would look great in a black stretch cotton shirting. It would work with all your bottoms and be quite versitile. ( G Street recently had a large selection. I don't specifically recall black but you could call and ask.)
|Cate - Gold Coast|
Your tunic dilemma is one I quite understand. Having a complete horizontal colour break at the mid body line is not a good look for the shorter person though it is just fine on a tall thin person.
You could try a lighter version of the pants colours for a monochrome look. Or I did see a couple of other ideas in an old Stitches magazine.
Both involved diagonal colour blocking. In one pattern, they had taken the leftover fabrics from the pants and used them diagonally in the top. Going from the darkest pants colour upward - eg chocolate tan cream with the cream nearest the face. In this way their tunic matched all three pairs of pants.
In the other pattern, they had slashed the tunic diagonally with the lower half being the same colour as the pants (tan) and the upper half being cream. The diagonal seam went from mid armhole down to hip - but on the upper cream part they had embroidered an abstract pattern in tan while on the lower tan part, the same abstract pattern was embroidered in cream. The model looked quite stunning.
Personally I would ignore the rules that say you need a printed top - I have seem swaps where the printed fabric was a jacket or two and all the tops and bottoms were plain neutrals.
Location: North of Seattle, WA
|Of the finished garments, which ones were Pattern Master? |
What about the planned garments?
|The finished garments are all commercial patterns. I already had them and knew they fit well.|
Of the planned pieces, the two pairs of pants, the a-line skirt, puff sleeve tee, cami and tunic will all be in PMB4. In fact, I did a wearable muslin of the tunic and quite liked it...the only thing I need to tweak is the neckline (I didn't realize you could drop a boat neck and the one on my muslin was a little high on my collarbone) and change the front darts to full waist darts that go right to the hem in order to get a smooth line.
The jacket and wrap top, I'm not sure on. I have commercial patterns for both. The jacket is a McCall and I usually do alright with them re: fitting, so I'll probably just go ahead and use my sloper to compare and draw out any glaring issues. The wrap top is New Look, which tends to fit me terribly even with alterations. I'm going to give it a shot, but I'll most likely take the basic concept and bring it over to PE to customize a surplus blouse.
When all is said and done, I should have four, maybe five pieces done with commercial patterns and seven (including the brown knit I haven't decided a style for), maybe eight (that wrap top is the wild card) done in PMB4. Not bad at all, I figure.
Edited by jeanninec1976 2009-12-03 8:10 AM
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