…shall I or shan’t I?
I completed my first ever SWAP [Sewing With A Plan] wardrobe in 2016. It was just after we first delved into steampunk, and had decided to go the annual Steampunks at the Asylum festival in Lincoln, August 2016. So I did my SWASPP collection [Sewing With a Steam Punk Plan.] The competition/challenge is run by The Stitchers’ Guild.
What was I thinkng? 11 garments, organised round the concepts of 3 packs in two main colours, to make up as many coordinating outfits as possible. PLUS I decided to make all the undies, corset, drawers, petticoats etc. Lunatic. I did it though, including miles of hand made trim, soutache braiding, and gawd knows what else.
And I did very well, thanks to those who voted for me!
Last year, the rules didn’t really call to me, but I’d enjoyed the experience once, and thought I’d dive in. I didn’t need any clothes at the time, Dawn did, so I opted to make a ‘Wife SWAP’. The rules revolved around using a small number of patterns, and I get bored making repeat garments, so I started to get a bit bogged down, without sufficient ideas. Dawn did get The Coat and several shirts out of it, but I fell at the hurdle of making trousers that fit her, and met her exacting standards. That challenge is still pending.
THIS Year, I really like the rules, and have lots of ideas for sewing that will fill some gaps in my current wardrobe [mainly freshening up my wardrobe basics of good trousers and work-suitable clothing]. Even better, I can include one RTW item, one item made before November, one that can be made between November 1 and Official Start of Sewing [December 26th].
Here are the rules as stated:
2018 Seasonal Designer Collection SWAP Rules
You are the Designer. Create a cohesive seasonal collection of eleven garments of your choice.
Consider designer collections like Eileen Fisher, Karen Kane, Kaliyana, Bryn Walker, Eskandar, etc and how they work with a few neutrals, add an accent color or two and some prints. Multiple styles of pants, tops, jacket/cardigan, dresses, accessories, etc are made from the limited color/print palette. New seasons bring new items that work with some of the garments from prior seasons. Your goal is to create a collection that looks like it belongs together and that you can easily add new pieces to in the future.
This plan will work quite well with 3 pack or 4 core concepts but provides more flexibility. If you primarily make separates you could plan out your outfits using the Sudoku grid by including extra accessories and/or shoes to fill the gaps. If you prefer mostly dresses or pinafores you’ll need some pieces to layer them with even if you are able to wear the garment as a stand alone.
Choose two neutral colors
Add one accent color and two prints OR two accent colors and one print
Make at least three garments from each neutral color
Make at least one garment from each accent color
Make at least one garment from each print
Remaining two garments may be made from any one or combination of your neutrals, accent(s) and/or print(s)
Create multiple outfits of at least two garments that work for your personal style
Each garment must work with a minimum of two outfits
So- black and grey for my neutrals [the colours I wear most for trousers, and which go well with my normal colour choices], with 2 or 3 pairs of trousers, 1 or 2 skirts and 2 tops [possibly jackets/cardigans].
Red for an accent, I’m really loving my red stuff right now. A dress, and a couple more tops/tunics perhaps?
And two prints. I have a piece of mathematically printed black and white cotton, which I’m itching to use, and which would give me a cohesive theme for my collection: ‘More Than The Sum Of Its Parts’, a mathematically/geometrically inspired look. I’m thinking bold geometric shapes, which I’m currently using quite a lot in my art-teacher-chic dresses and tops. Several possible tried and tested patterns ready and waiting there then! I’ll just need a geometrically patterned jersey to work with the rest.
I want to use stuff I have in stash as much as possible [just to make it more of a challenge] and because I’ve been really happy with some of the stuff I’ve made recently using several remnants from stash [Zandra Rhodes V1561 jacket, and now the Marie cardigan]. Conveniently, both of these fit with the black and grey vibe, and could be the garments that count as made before due date. Or maybe that red/black dress V1312 Mizono with the cherry blossom appliqués… And I bought a pair of Vera Wang grey leggings from TK Maxx last week, already being worn a LOT.
So what do you think?
Meanwhile, ‘Designing December’ may or may not happen, and I’ve made enquiries about participating in something else challenging. Lol it takes my mind off work at least! Oh yes, and I’ve still got that Cathedral inspired steampunk outfit in the wings.
Hurrah for too many things on the go at once!