Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

SWAP ’15


I said I wouldn’t do a SWAP this year but whatyda know? Here I am. Let me explain.dscn4481..

Since the completion of the Alabama Chanin dress at the beginning of December, I’ve been cutting out and stashing individual garments from the 12m of blue cotton jersey that was delivered in August ’14. I’ve also bought another 4m of a boring beige in a sale that has since been dyed denim blue.



I’ve built up a little collection of AC blues pictures – my own private Pinterest.

Jersey Blue 1 Jersey Blue







All the cut bits were stuffed into freezer bags with the long-term intention of picking a bag at random when the notion took me, stenciling etc, sewing; move on to another one. I counted 8 things. I only needed another 3 to meet the 2015 rules and then I have a SWAP!


Just in case you don’t know already – SWAP  is Sewing With A Plan – annual event at Stitchers Guild. Sew 11 garments in four months starting on 26th Dec and the rules this year are:

5 Tops

3 Bottoms

3 Wildcards

At least one garment must be reversible/upcycled.  All the tops must coordinate with all the bottoms.

I reviewed the freezer bags, made some changes, drew some pictures and, call me crazy, aim to do an Alabama Chanin SWAP. I should say, AC inspired. I’ve no intention of reverse appliqueing every darn thing but I am aiming to hand sew as much as I can and do a bit of embellishment as I go along.

DSCN4916 DSCN4917

And two weeks in I’ve made advancement on the first garment. I started with the ‘most likely to be a disaster‘ item – a pair of trousers done in Alabama chanin style! Yes, maybe I am a little crazy.

Anyway, Vogue 8837 Marcy Tilton’s pants pattern: made from a moderate stretch fabric, I reverse appliqued the side panels only and hand sewed the leg seams: running stitch on the inside and felled with a backstitch on the outside.



Pattern is a leaf design and I traced this with a felt-tip pen and ran a running stitch around the lines. When everything is done I’ll wash the trousers and the pen marks disappear.


The front of the trousers have turn-ups (cuffs) which I fixed in placed with a few very visible X stitches.


The backs are supposed to have a strip of elastic running up the bottom half but I just sewed on a strip of contrasting cotton jersey.

I chickened out and serged the crotch – I really don’t trust my hand sewing that much especially when I know the strain that back centre seam has to to deal with.

All that needs to be done is a bit of elastic secured at the waist and the first item is complete!


Only 10 more things to go.

I will try not to bore you too much with each and every SWAP item, there’s much more exciting stuff going on in the jungle this January and I believe Mrs Robinson is looking at me…….


Oh, enticing

26 thoughts on “SWAP ’15

  1. I’m completely sold on Alabama Chanin. I’ve been looking for projects to do at night & this fits the bill. Plus I was given the book for Christmas!
    I’m experimenting, just stitching up a plain tank to try the stitches & test the fit. I think I’d like a statement tank and a simple jacket.
    Good luck with the SWAP.

  2. I just love all the texture of this- great ideas!

  3. Have fun-your SWAP is sure to be fantastic!

  4. OMG!!! I love those pants.

  5. Awesome pants! Love your SWAP Plans!

  6. I am really excited about this SWAP Ruth, and although the jungle is beckoning, I think everyone will absolutely want to read all the detail of your makes. It is such a unique idea and the drawings are fab.

  7. Go for something quick to make first Ruth! I am in awe of your AC garments and can’t wait to see how these fabulous trousers are going to fit into your SWAP.
    See you in the jungle, I just need to persuade my animals to the table!

  8. What cool pants and with cuffs too! Doesn’t the marker trick work better and faster than paint? You certainly have a great collection of fabrics to work with! Good idea about using the serger for the crotch…just think of ripping that area while you are sitting down after receiving compliments and whoopsie…your undies are on show..oh no! Looking forward to seeing more!

  9. I’d never heard of a SWAP – interesting approach. Thanks to your early post about AC I am now hooked, having just received notification that my 2014 Swatch of the month has just been posted!! Living in Oz means I receive all the swatches at once.

    Good luck with your SWAP, I look forward to your posts.

  10. What fun! and gosh, what a lot to do in 4 months. May the force be with you!

  11. The trousers are stunning. Looking foward to seeing the completed ensemble.

  12. Pingback: Jersey Blues | corecouture

  13. Pingback: The Dark Side | corecouture

  14. Pingback: Jersey Blues – The Story of My SWAP | corecouture

  15. Pingback: SWAP ’16 | corecouture

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s