The rules for this year’s Sewing with a Plan challenge are up! I am in. Are you?
This is a six month plan for sewing – two months of planning and preparing and four months of actually sewing between nine and 11 garments. It is suitable for all levels of ability and can be based on commercial patterns. The rules are very flexible and enable you to create a “wardrobe” that works together and will see you through a season – often for a few years. I have loved joining in for the camaraderie and interest. It is not very competitive and there are no prizes – but there is a huge amount of effort, discovery and sharing. If you pace yourself, and proceed at the level you are comfortable with, there is a good amount of challenge without it being overwhelming. This is what I did last year.
So what are the rules this year?
1 “3 pack” A of one or more Color(s) (3 garments)
1 “3 pack” B of one or more Color(s) (3 garments)
1 “Combo Pack” of Colors used in A & B (2 garments)
1 “3 pack” of Wild Cards
And in more detail
A “3 pack” will be:
2 tops + 1 bottom
1 top + 1 bottom + 1 outer layer
1 dress + 1 top + 1 bottom
The final 3 pack option is 1 dress + 1 top OR bottom + 1 layer.
The “Combo Pack” can be just about anything, but they must be garments, not accessories (scarves, belts, bags, etc). The “Wild Cards” can also be any color, or any color combination, but for this to work they will need to follow the format of one of the other “3 packs”. That is, you’ll need more tops, bottoms, or dresses to make the wardrobe work.
For this to work for you, the “combo pack” may need to be both tops, or both bottoms, but two more dresses is allowable for those of you who wear them. If you’re in the colder climes or need business attire, a jacket can be either a part of the combo pack or a wild card, whichever will work for you best.
A “top” will be any shirt or blouse worn on the upper half; a “bottom” will be any garment worn on the lower half, and it shouldn’t be obscene to wear either without another layer.
A “dress” will be any garment that covers both upper and lower halves, and again, it shouldn’t be obscene to wear it without an additional layer.
An “outer layer” will any jacket or sweater that is intended to be a second layer, over a top or a dress. If it can also be worn alone, that is fine.
A “bib” garment will considered a bottom, unless it can be worn alone without a top under or over it.
Two garments may be previously sewn, one may be purchased, and because I’m late with the rules, two may be sewn up before the official sewing start date of Dec 26, 2015. Muslins, pattern fitting, cutting, interfacing, and other preparatory work may begin right away. All garments must be finished by April 30, 2016.
I love it that obscene clothing is ruled out! Otherwise it is a very flexible plan and allows lots of creativity, especially with colour. From now until Christmas I will be posting every Saturday as I develop my own SWAP plan. At the moment I have three competing ideas for themes:
- A lightweight summery collection, based on sweet peas
- A tailored collection inspired by Vivienne Westwood
- A neutral based collection using grey and beige
Of course I want to do all three! My dear artist friend ChezSews is making SWAP plans herself. Her comment on my plan is interesting:
I like your ‘Sweet Pea’ concept, the mid pinks and purple will really suit you and say “summer casual”. The sweet pea theme is sort of the middle of the grey/beige neutral classic and the Vivienne Westwood dramatic collection. Have you thought of sneaking in a grey classic bottom? or a VW inspired pink/purple (Linton Tweed?) jacket/top.
Cheryl recognises that most of us have a dramatic side, and a boring side, and in my case I try for classic with a twist. I will have to give all these thoughts some consideration.
But stay with me – I will come up with something workable (and I even hope for wonderful) by the end of the year.
And if you sew do consider joining in. It would be just great to be following along with you.