Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

SWAP & MMM ’14


Oh the acronyms abound!

The truth about SWAP

No, not a kiss and tell-reveal all story – no gory details about private lives and strange fetishes, no tales of corruption and bribery – sorry. But I have found that when I sew for SWAP I get caught up in the ‘theme’ and everywhere I look I see fabric and patterns that are suitable for inclusion. Also, this year I wan’t particularly happy with some of my sets so I dumped one thing and made a replacement. As such I actually sew more than the required 11 garments.

Here are the extras…….things that were made but not included in final cut.


Cotton checked shirt – dumped because the pattern was too busy


Mindi skirt – the fabric is indigo cotton twill so I thought it would fit the indigo set. Added pink zips and an emerald green lining, but it was too blue to be purple, if you know what I mean?


Vogue 1310 T-shirt made in orange and purple poly satin print. Fits both ends of the spectrum but just not ‘right’ for inclusion


Loose and baggy asymmetrical hem T-shirt made from leftovers of the tie neck blouse. No pattern used, just cut out some rectangles and sewed them together


Leftover yarn from the wildcard cardigan, knitted into a tank top. Got a twinset now!

Of course, all is not lost, as I now have more items that coordinate with the original sets and got to try out new patterns and designs. If you sew SWAPs, do you sew more than you need too?

Me-Made-May ’14


Thornberry made a very valid point that as her (and my) wardrobe are full of home-made clothes it really isn’t too much of a challenge to wear something we’ve made everyday in May. I did a quick check  and I’d say that I have a wardrobe of 90% home mades. I haven’t bought RTW in years bar the odd cardigan or pair of jeans. This isn’t a pledge or promise not to buy, I just prefer my own now. The times when I do wear RTW are mostly Saturdays and days when I just want to slop about – on those occasions its a pair of jeans and a baggy M&S shirt. So my pledge to MMM is…it was supposed to be pledged before May 1st, I only got round to it yesterday so I hope it still counts…….

I, SewRuth of sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least one garment that I have made each day for the duration of May 2014′

There are a staggering 603 (last count) participants, each promising something that they can manage and is fulfilling to them.

The Guardian has got wind of MMM too and has a page on their online newspaper. I really should up my knowledge and usage of Flickr, Picassa, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Partly I couldn’t be bothered and partly I can’t help wondering – How many outlets does one person need?

So for the first MMM outfit….



This is a pair of reddish-coralish coloured trousers: a lightweight denim using Vogue 1215. Also sewn as part of SWAP but discarded from the final cut. I did major alterations to these trousers – not fit – but added welt pockets and a fly zip and shortened to 7/8 length.

The top is a Vogue 8641 made in white cotton jersey under the SWAP mustard yellow jacket – Vogue 8430. Hermes Art des Steppes scarf to tie all the colours together and red Carvella court shoes. I wore this for work.

I actually think MMM is more interesting to on-lookers to see how we style and wear out clothes on an everyday basis. We post pictures of things we’ve made as we stand upright in our gardens or out and about around our towns and that’s brilliant, but it adds so much more to see the clothes ‘in action’.

Have a great week everyone. If you want to see other MMM outfits here’s some links to those things I don’t know how to use….

Flickr, PinterestTwitter:  #MMMay14 hashtag




22 thoughts on “SWAP & MMM ’14

  1. I’m so happy to see that you are participating in MMM. I found it to be a very introspective experience. Once the month was over, I cleaned out my closet! You have so many fun pieces to choose from. I think you’ll enjoy the experience.

  2. Gorgeous outfit, and you shine in it. I am on the sidelines this year as I move to Arizona. Next year perhaps.

  3. So glad you have joined the challenge Ruth. You are an inspiration to many…and I’m so glad I’m not the only one whose knowledge is lacking in Flickr, Picassa, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. I’m sure we will catch up eventually.

    • I just might have conquered Flickr but Pinterest remains an enigma to me. I’ll stick to sewing I think. I’m looking forward to seeing your MMM

  4. I’m also glad you are participating. Your sewing is gorgeous and inspirational. I admire the way you imbue all your creations with more than a dash of fun and color. And those shoes! AUGH! I love them 🙂

    • Yes, those shoes are cute! Ruth, I would love to work with you 🙂 You’d be more uplifting than coffee.

      The tank top and the indigo skirt would do me very nicely.

      As for Instragram, Pinterest, etc whatever happened to retaining some mystery?!

      • Hi Marianna. To me it’s a full time job just keeping up to date with all those social media things. I’d rather be sewing

    • Thanks Barbara. That’s very kind of you. The shoes don’t get worn nearly enough. Maybe that’s something that will come out of MMM for me – wearing different shoes! I tend to have a couple of pairs that are flat and comfy and I wear them to death.

  5. I agree Ruth – it is fascinating to see how the clothes are styled as opposed to a static image of them post making. I love your SWAP collection and am amazed at how many garments you made. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I have made the same Marcy Tilton jacket, Ruth – yours is much more interesting! You inspire!!

    • Thanks Maris. That was actually the first time I’ve worn it. Mine’s more like a cardigan than a jacket so it should take me well into May.

  7. Love the ensemble you wore for work you look very chic. I did wonder how long you locked yourself away sewing all those garments because you certainly made a lot, but as you say they work with the SWAP – great work and as sewmaris said inspiring.

  8. Loving the MMM look. Especially the red pants and the amazing red shoes. Gorgeous.

  9. I’m with Lara of Thornberry, every day I wear memade and my blog and Instagram documents it. It’s one of the reasons I don’t participate. However, this year I’m actually enjoying seeing the garments on Instagram. As for social media outlets, I suggest you use the ones that work for you. Mine are my blog, Instagram and Flickr. I don’t tweet and even though I have a facebook acct, I rarely use it. Very few people use all of the outlets because it’s just too hard to maintain and live a real life instead of a computer life!

    • I have a Facebook too but never use it – only to access other sites. I find my blog takes up enough of my time already that I don’t want to get sucked into some of the other stuff. I might like it too much and disappear into ether…….LOL

  10. I am crazy for the orange pants and mustard jacket!!! great outfit.

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