Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

SWAP ’16


Honestly? Did I just type that?

I said last year that I wasn’t going to do SWAP ’15, then I relented round about January 2015 and I ended up participating anyway – I made a full-on  Alabama Chanin 11 garments’ worth of SWAP!


I did wear most of them over the (ha ha!) summer months and for sure the coat is worth its weight in gold for the number of times I’ve worn it.


When the rules were published this year I said the same – not for me… I have work commitments from Feb through to May;  I had a potentially full-time project to contend with at the same time and so I thought I’d sit this one out and watch other people sew fabulous wardrobes. Yet here I am at the planning stage for 11 items to be sewn by May 2016. Sounds a long time away doesn’t it? I can absolutely vouch that it is not! The older you get, the faster time goes; hence  E=MC2. Honestly Einstein – you only had ask a middle-aged female sewer………it’s not that difficult to figure out.

1 x 3 pack A of one or more Colour(s)  (3 garments)
1 x 3 pack B of one or more Colour(s)  (3 garments)
1 x Combo Pack of Colours used in A & B (2 garments)
1 x 3 pack of Wild Cards

So what have I come with, you may ask.  While perusing and contemplating peaceful, serene landscapes ( I need a bit of restfulness right now) I hit upon an essentially British scene – the moors. Heather that is pink/purple and green in spring-time interspersed with slate grey stone. It is a common scene that stretches all the way from the far north highlands of Scotland to the lowlands of the south coast of Ireland. What is more appropriate to consolidate my heritage with the countryside?

I am a city-girl by birth and and lifestyle; so I have to combine the reality of my life with the romanticised version of birthright. I have come up with Heather and Slate.


A collage of delicate pink/purple with olive green/mucky green and earth tones; mixed with stones that compliment the neutral greys and random rocks found upon moorlands.

I always start with colours for a SWAP – I find it both a focusing and starting point.

For set A – a combination of two colourways – the Heathers…


For set B – the stones – slate grey….


The 2 piece combination is still a work-in-progress……


But I have the fabrics, if not the patterns, for the 3 wildcard set…

Slide5And now for the ‘very important thing‘. I can’t thank you all enough for your efforts, decision making processes and comments on my previous post. If nothing else it was fascinating for me to see how you see me. In the end, despite our best efforts girls, my life continues apace. I do not believe it was in any way influenced by what I wore on the day but rather how I conducted myself, so the fault lies squarely at my door. Hey-ho. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

Thank you all so very, very much (and I hate tautology but I really, really mean it this time) – the highest count comments ever on this blog – you are such an opinionated lot and I love it!

Just in case you don’t know about SWAP – it’s Sewing With A Plan organised by Stitchers’ Guild: plan and sew an 11 garment wardrobe in 5 months. BTW, you don’t have to stick to your ‘plan’ – it’s always a work-in-progress (see above). Stitchers’ Guild is a very welcoming and inclusive community of sewers. I started a SWAP for 3 years in a row before I finally got round to completing one so please don’t feel intimidated or pressurised to do it. It’s just a pleasure to participate and learn as you do so.

A very warm welcome to all new followers and readers. Thank you, as always….we can do this journey together. Ruth




36 thoughts on “SWAP ’16

  1. It’ll be fun to see what you create. It always is 🙂

  2. Such a great idea for the SWAP and some very promising outfits in there. I am so glad you are in, and so glad you pointed out that plans can change. And do.

    Sorry if you were disappointed by the very important thing. Whatever happened I am sure you looked beautiful and this imbued you with confidence. If it didn’t happen I guess it will be for the best and something better will arise.

    You sewing is amazing Ruth and I always love to see your magic.

    • Well I’m in at the moment Kate – let’s see if I’m still there by April – LOL

      I’m very glad that my life remains as is – the very important thing wasn’t actually that important after all.

  3. I love the colours you’ve chosen, Ruth. Your SWAP last year was gorgeous and I can’t wait to see how this year’s comes together.

    It always seems that when I have that “very important thing” things don’t work out as I had hoped…and it ends up always being for the best. I hope that that’s true for you, too.

  4. I love your inspiration. Very pretty.

  5. Every year I make myself promises about rational sewing plans and they never get implemented. But I love your ideas and colour schemes so will live vicariously through your sewing while I play lucky dip with my patterns and stash!

  6. From your photos, I think you have picked some lovely colours. Good for you, taking on such a project. I’m impressed!

    • Well Linda, I am still at the planning stage, sewing doesn’t begin until late December and the plan is likely to change before that and well after too. Thank you

  7. Loving your colour palette and your wardrobe choices. It was really great to meet you last week, I thought you would succeed. Me neither! (Trying to be obscure here). Hey ho.

  8. Amazing colours xxx

  9. I love the colours and fabrics – what a great collection of gaments ideas!

  10. Such wonderful color combinations!

  11. Your plan looks very promising. I am so glad you added the orange, red, bits of green and purple to your wild card. This is going to be a very nice collection.

  12. Yummy colors! I’m eager to see what you create.

  13. I love the colours and fabrics you’ve chosen. Have fun and I look forward to seeing your progress.

  14. This is a gorgeous colour palette Ruth. I look forward to seeing your garments. You are an inspiration.

    • Gosh thanks Jean – I think you are very inspirational too – especially all those gorgeous jersey dresses you’ve made recently – I think I think I need one for Christmas Day

  15. Great colors, Ruth. And of course I’m in love with your wildcard fabrics…

  16. This all lo fabulous Ruth. But we all know that SWAP means that we can adjust our plans as many times as we wish. Good luck Ruth.

  17. Delightful colours. I love your SWAPS. Very inspiring.

    • Thanks Elle. It’s your turn to join in I believe….the sewing police only allow you to follow SWAP for a certain number of years and then you are obliged to contribute, or else……..!

  18. First of all, boo to whoever dashed your very important something. But like you said, it probably wasn’t so very important after all is said and done. It usually is for best. Second, yay to your SWAP choices! Lovely colors and patterns. (I’m in, too, but oh-so-basic-just-getting-started pieces! And I haven’t even started yet, but will soon!)

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