Planning your SWAP isn’t all about colors. You have to choose the right patterns, too. I like to use a wardrobe pattern, since I can be confident that all the pieces will work together. But you will also ideally be using Tried and  True (TNT) patterns — ones you’ve already made, fitted, and worn happily.

And you have to be making pieces that make sense for your life. Many of the books on the subject feature a pie chart that clarifies how you spend your time. 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for work, 8 hours for what we will isn’t enough information. I usually work by myself at a computer, but I have meetings as well. I used to teach but no longer do. That should make a change in my wardrobe needs. If you go to church, what kind of dress code or customs does your church have? How’s your social life? I go to plays and concerts and meals out with friends and family, but there are no black-tie events on my calendar in the foreseeable future. Are active sports an important part of your life? All these questions have to be considered when you plan your wardrobe, or the plan simply won’t work.

You’ll also want to consider your figure. Advice for apples and pears and inverted triangles and so forth are easily found all over the web and in every book on the subject of wardrobes. You’re always going to look more chic in clothing that fits well, so you have an advantage when you sew your own wardrobe.

The SWAP system does have rules for types of items that are based on some basic assumptions about your life, plus math. If those assumptions don’t apply to you, you may need to change the rules. The math doesn’t change, though. If the 11 or 12 pieces you sew don’t all work together, you won’t get the benefits of the Capsule Concept.

The Vivienne Files  has an interesting in-depth series about making all those decisions.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Sports Quilt is coming along pretty well.

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