Sewing with a Plan 2016 0.2

posted in: SWAP | 26

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.

Kate Davies SWAP 2015

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
    sweat peas
    Silver porringer with sweet peas
  • A tailored collection inspired by Vivienne Westwood
    Inspired by Vivienne
    Vivienne Westwood outfit (inspiration)
  • A neutral based collection using grey and beige
    selection of neutral fabrics
    Beige stash

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.

26 Responses

  1. Sew Ruthie

    I think you might find the beige quite boring for a whole collection, and a whole collection in the style of Westwood might be too much, though they really would be wild cards! For 11 pieces it is quite a committment to a particular theme, especially for someone like yourself who enjoys unusual challenges. I am planning on participating and want to sew multiple pairs of trousers as I wear them a lot, I’m also aiming for medium weight pieces which I could wear for 8 months of the year, the very lightweight summer things and the very heavy wools don’t get much wear, so makes sense to have more variety in those heavier pieces.

  2. erin

    I enjoyed following your Swap last year. Will be so fun to do Vivienne Westwood for summer. Looking forward to following your plans. I might join too I might just playing along without joining officially because I like the sewing plan in the rules. It seems like a sensible and organised way to get coordinating outifts.

  3. StinaP

    I’m not one for rules, and this is just far too many for me. 🙂 But I’m really looking forward to follow your sewing!

    My vote goes to Vivienne Westwood, purely for my own pleasure of seeing colourful, classic and dramatic things being made. Sweat peas can be too cute if not careful and beige…. Well, beige is beige. 🙂

  4. Stephanie

    This is very interesting, K, as are the comments from others. The Westwood outfit you’ve posted is stunning, and where your other posts recently seem to be going. I like neutrals with beautiful texture and sewing details, so I am sure you could pull off a beige collection. That said, I also find it difficult to imagine you in a collection that is entirely beige! This SWAP is designed to permit a wide mix, so you could certainly combine the three ideas even, if you so desire.

  5. Demented Fairy

    ooooh should I or shouldn’t I? Would a steampunk collection be allowed do you think? I have so many plans for that, and it would maybe keep me on track…
    How tightly are you supposed to plan? Or is it more a case of starting with a theme and running with it [more my style]

    • fabrickated

      Yes you definitely should DF. Of course a Steam Punk collection is allowed. No-one checks your plan – and if fact mine changed frequently both years. Some people document their mind changes (me in year two), some just get on with it in private. The only requirement is that the 9 -11 garments you make fit the rules which are very flexible and I think ideal for your creative endeavours. I do hope you come along for the ride E.

  6. Anne

    I’m trying to think how the charity shop suit you posted the other day would fit in with your plans. Would that be allowed? I wonder if that fabric would fit in at the wilder end of sweet peas?

  7. Jennifer Miller

    Oh I need to do this! My wardrobe, if it could even be called that, is sorely lacking. Making basics that all work together would be a great start on starting on what would be a real wardrobe. Giving it serious thought…..

  8. Elizabeth

    Beige – no. Sweet pea – well, I suppose it depends how you interpret it. If it includes a lot of green and silver with just hints of flower, perhaps? Westwood – I think you still have a job, right? Because I could never finish something so complicated and work at the same time. So I guess I vote to blend sweet pea and westwood. Westpea? Sweetwood?

  9. Jay

    I’m not inspired by the beige, but the other two sound lovely. The Westwood one would be a huge chunk of work to take on – maybe just one of these thrown into the sweet pea mix.

  10. Sam

    Ooh, I’m tempted by this although I’m not very good at planning and get easily distracted by the new and shiny! Actually I’m not bad at planning, it’s sticking to the plans I find difficult. Maybe this challenge is what I need.

  11. Ruth Wilson

    I’m another voting for the Vivienne Westwood sweet pea combination. I haven’t sewn for a while, so am thinking that the SWAP idea might motivate me. I have plenty of fabric to come up with the required garments but it would probably take me a year to complete.

  12. Jenny

    Just wanted to second (third, fourth etc) a big fat no to a beige collection. With your colouring beige pieces are ok but not a complete collection. Sweet pea is definitely you and if it is for spring and summer then that would work. As for VW, you can definitely pull that one off, your draped posts illustrate that, but would there be too much of it?

    A quick note to all commenters who were kind enough to comment on my wedding outfit query: sorry not to have replied so far but I am just this minute back from babysitting 2 granddaughters for a very long week and I have barely had time to eat, let alone read blogs. I will respond soon but thank you for all your views.

  13. Amanda

    Yay! I’m so excited that the rules are in and that they seem like something I can work with! 🙂 We still have guests staying with us so sewing is at a screeching halt at the moment but I will look forward to planning my first SWAP as soon as I can! ^_^ Do we have to “officially” sign up somewhere?

    • fabrickated

      Great news Amanda. There is plenty of time so it can wait until the visitors depart! Go to Artisans Square, register, then go to the SWAP thread and say you are in. Then you can have an individual thread where you post your plans as they develop. I am so glad you will be involved this year. Thank you!

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