Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Jersey Blue Any Way


At 10.03 this morning I sewed my last hand stitch for SWAP ’15 and for the first time in four months my needles are threadlesDSCN5160s. I have made 11 items in Alabama Chanin style from three shades of blue cotton jersey – but you’ll have to wait until the official finish date for a full reveal (30th April) when all who have participated publish their collections on Artisan’s Square.

In the meantime, if you are wondering what four months of hand sewing looks like – maybe something like this:


One of the items this year had to be reversible/recycled/convertible.

So this is my attempt………

Slide1Essentially a simple sun-dress, drawstring straps with stenciled circles on the diagonal front and back.

But wait…..


Gathered front, strapless, boatneck, draped, one-shoulder, halter (needs work or a pin!), low gathered

And then……


Waist length, hip length, long skirt, skirt with splits, tunic, tunic with pockets

So someone who can do maths – 7 necklines X 4 hemlines + 2 skirts = enough variations to be categorised as convertible?


36 thoughts on “Jersey Blue Any Way

  1. Wow now I feel like an underachiever, mine is just reversible- right side out vs inside out.

    • But this is just 2 rectangles and a strip of cotton jersey – no fitting, no nothing. I bet yours looks great! I can’t wait to see the collections

  2. Wow! I am very impressed! Absolutly amazing!

  3. Amazing!

  4. Just amazing! I can’t wait for the full reveal! I hope you take well deserved break.

  5. Wow. I can’t imagine how much work that was. Your convertible item is very clever. I wonder which iteration you will wear the most?

  6. Well done getting to the end of the SWAP Ruth, especially with the vast amount of hand sewing.

    You have such a penchant for this sort of clever clothing Ruth – I still remember the marvellous Vivienne Westwood dress. I love this item – is it just a tube with two lots of drawstrings? Did you just make it up yourself? . I am most intrigued by the skirt with pockets – how did you do that? The whole set is really lovely and I am sure you will wear it alot – I am in seach of elegant lounge wear myself at the moment.

    • That dress will be back out again this summer Kate.
      Yes, two rectangles, side seams up to armhole, top edge folded over to make a casing for the string which remains a string, not fixed in place just tied at one side and no hem. Another casing inside about 8″ from hemline with another strip of jersey threaded through that be tightened or loosened depending on styling. To make “pockets” the top of the dress is tucked inside the bottom casing rather than hanging out over the top of it.
      I made this one really quickly just to fill the gap in my SWAP but a bit of refinement could make this dress a great beach holiday item.

  7. I’m gasping at all that cutting and hand sewing and thinking time that went into those garments! The variety is phenomenal! Good luck in the contest..surely no one will have anything like your collection!

    • Mrs Mole, all (most) of the cutting was done way before SWAP started and was all just sitting waiting to be sewn. Remember, there’s no fitting or anything with these garments – cut, sew, wear – no hems either. Thanks a bunch

  8. You have obviously put so much thought into creating your garments, but that last one has left me speechless.

  9. Wow, Ruth. Ah-maze-ing. Which garment/combo do you like wearing the most?

    • Thanks Tia, the layered skirt has got a lot of wear and the maxi skirt too. This dress will probably never be worn in real life, it’s not bra-friendly.

  10. Well done. Like Kate says, this type of versatile garment is your strength. But also the patience and the hard work. Look forward to the reveal.

  11. I have just found your blog and am completely bowled over by it. Your AC makes are so beautiful. Do you mind telling me where you purchase your jersey for these. I am also in the UK and struggle to find a good supply.

    • Hi Helen! Most of this jersey came from Tissu and 4m of beige from Minerva which was dyed denim blue. Nothing more than £4 p/m. When you sew a double layered garment it’s OK to have thin cotton jersey.

  12. I am stunned by your creativity and output. Well done Ruth!

  13. Gorgeous color choices! I’m as impressed as everyone else first, at how much you get done (even when it’s hand sewing!), second, I highly doubt the versatility of that last garment can be surpassed!!

    • Angela, the hand sewing was done in the kitchen, the living room, the garden and the sewing room – 15 minutes here and there throughout the day. Thank you

  14. Wow – fabulous! I’ll bet you are wondering what to do with yourself now that all the hand-stitching is complete! Do you know how much fabric you used? I look forward to the full reveal! I finished my collection today as well. Happy days!

    • There was a little sadness when the last stitch was made but also a great deal of joy and relief! For the first time in months there’s no blue cotton jersey crowding up my sewing space! Good for you for finishing too, I really like your styles.

  15. ugh! I think my wrists would seize up with all that hand stitching! Good for you! Looking Great!

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

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