It’s hard to keep up with Kate… I’m often caught reading one post meanwhile she has written another 3 or 4! She posts every single day, works full-time, goes to the gym, tidies up and organises, attends craft classes, looks after family and, of course, makes her own (and others’) clothes which are fabulous. She wrote a lovely piece the other day about her SWAP ’15 and so with full acknowledgement to Kate I’m taking her title, her idea but making it my own story about my SWAP ’15. Thanks Kate.
Just a little reminder that SWAP is Sewing With A Plan and is organised by Stitchers’ Guild at Artisan Square; an annual event where people voluntarily plan 11 items and sew them from January to April. This year the challenge was 5 tops, 3 bottoms, 3 wildcards and one of the garments had to be recycled/convertible/reversible. There’s no prize or medal, just the joining in with a lot of encouragement and support from the Stitchers’ Guild members.
I’ve joined in for the last two years: (2014, 2013) I never stick to the plan, I change my mind half-way through but always end up with a neat little collection of coordinating clothes. I’ve also learned that most of the clothes will be worn in the spring/summer and while we start sewing in the depths of winter it is best to think ahead.
This year, or rather last year 2014, I said I wouldn’t participate in SWAP ’15. I have plenty of clothes and I started a quilting class which, to my utter amazement, is enthralling and possibly addictive. I had enough to sew. However, I caught the hand sewing virus last summer making some Alabama Chanin garments and stocked up on jersey cottons ready for slow sewing on those long winter nights.
Late in the autumn, I cut out about 8 items and packed them into freezer bags ready to be sewn as per my inclination. Then I realised that 8 is almost 11 and set about planning another 3 garments – I mean, I practically had a SWAP sitting ready and waiting. So I threw my hat into the ring and threaded up a thousand needles because all the items are hand sewn.
I’m now out the other side as SWAP, finished on the 30th April and all 11 items were sewn and many have already been worn, are stained and need washing and a good ironing!
Cheating or Finding Loopholes
I feel that I cheated a little this year: each top had to coordinate with each bottom but by using only solid shades of blue that was pretty easy so I didn’t have to think about colours, tones or patterns. Most of my SWAP is not hemmed and because it’s cotton jersey, there are not too many fitting issues either as it stretches to fit. Hand sewing takes time, obviously, but the items are casual, not tailored and if a hemline is slightly wonky that only adds to the imperfect perfection that is often strived for in hand made items.
The item that is convertible in my SWAP is also a dress that morphs into tops and skirts. I only sewed 4 actual tops, not 5 and added the dress as my 5th top to just about meet the rules.
Make hay while the sun shines – last weekend the sun shone and I made hay. This weekend, it is raining, cold and windy so it’s just as well I took the time last weekend and took the photos because they certainly wouldn’t be taken outside today. Maybe this is how Kate maintains such a productive life…..
Here’s the final set.
Let’s compare the original plan drawings with the actual garments made and submitted to the photo gallery.
Not too far out but not exactly following the plan either!
My continued gratitude extends to all the members of Stitchers’ Guild – who encourage, motivate, prod and push when you think “I’ve had enough.”, and also to all those who comment here to offer advice and compliments – it certainly makes a difference.
To Dragon Lady and all the admins at Stitchers’ Guild who volunteer their time and skills to keep the forum running.
To all the other sewers of SWAP: to those who planned and didn’t make a stitch, to those who planned and made a start, to those who planned and finished. Sure, it’s all good fun!
I’m stating here and now that I will NOT participate next year. You heard it hear first but then again, I said that this year too – LOL
Links to specific SWAP makes: