The rules for SWAP this year are out. Here is the condensed version. If you are thinking of particiapting you need to join Artisans Square and check the details for yourself. I hope that some of you might consider the challenge this year. Planning your wardrobe and then making what you need can be lots of fun. We plan until Christmas, sew until the end of April and publish photographs at the beginning of May. Then there is some voting, but that is not too important. All of us are winners as we have created a set of clothes that we (if all goes well) love and work well together.
So here are the summary rules.
“Eleven garments divided between Upper, Lower and Over pieces.
Upper: Minimum 3, maximum 5.
Lower: Minimum 3, maximum 5.
Over: Minimum 2, maximum 5. No more than ½ may be outerwear.
You decide how many of each, within the numbers above, to total 11 garments.
Your twist: Each garment in a category must work with at least half of the garments in each of the other two categories.
PATTERNS: A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 patterns can be used.
KNITS: You may include up to 4 crocheted, hand or machine knit garments.”
I think these rules are nice and loose and will suit different levels of expertise.You may use one previously sewn item, completed by November 5th, when the Rules were posted. Two can be Early Bird (ie made between now and Christmas, and one Ready To Wear item, so only eight garments need to be made in the final four months.
Before the rules are published, for about a month, participants speculate on what rules might appeal to them. One suggestion was that this year there might be different categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced. Others, many others, have emphasised the need to keep it simple – using tried and tested patterns that don’t take too much time. These posts have made me think, and I will give you my take on this.
I sew hard stuff. I do it because I like to learn. In this sense, every time I make something, I feel a bit like a beginner – a knowing beginner or an adventurous beginner – but someone who is learning. I don’t get much personal satisfaction in making something easy. Each item has to have a challenge of some sort for me – challenging fabrics, fitting issues, vintage/couture construction, embellished or painted, something I have never made before (it was jeans; now my Everest is a bra). Of course I do understand the appeal of the “Jiffy” or “Quick Sew” pattern, those soft, casual knits and the speedy overlocker. For holiday wear I would love some of these. But for my working wardrobe I need clothes that are fairly formal, well fitted and with a wide range of jackets (for authority).
So now I am going to have an initial look at how the SWAP 2017 rules might work for me.
I have three possible SWAP in my mind at the moment – pictures and patterns are illustrative.
- Tailored jacket
- Tailored trousers
- Tailored shirt
- Leather jacket
- T shirt
- Fitted skirt
- Fitted dress
- Warm coat
SWAP 2017 rules [4 tops (the dress counts as a top), 3 bottoms, four overs (half of which are outwear]
- loose fitting trousers 1
- loose fitting trousers 2
- loose fitting trousers 3
- unstructured jacket
- sweat shirt
- long sleeved T shirt 1
- long sleeved T shirt 2
- pullover jumper
- loose fitting pinafore dress
- jumpsuit/boiler suit
SWAP 20167 rules [5 tops, 5 bottoms (jumpsuit counts as a bottom), one over]
- Long sleeved T shirt
- High waisted jeans
- Smart shorts
- Casual trousers
- Tailored jacket
- Bomber jacket
- Alpaca “Lore” jumper
- Polo neck jumper
SWAP 2017 rules [4 tops, 4 bottoms, 3 over of which only the coat is outwear]
So all of them comply with the flexible SWAP 2017 rules. And I want to make all three! I will spend a week thinking about it and then decide. Whatever happens I will make something from every list over the next six months. The planning of sewing is something I have learnt from the SWAP challenge. I do it because it works for me. But which of these three is going to be my SWAP collection, as opposed to just sewing in my own time?