“Sewing With a Plan” is a sensible idea in which you plan a wardrobe and sew all the pieces, rather than sewing according to random inspiration and ending up with nothing to wear.
Around the sewing blogs, people do these as contests and sewalongs, and they have some rules. You are supposed to begin with a storyboard, for one thing, and then make all the things you plan on your storyboard. Mine is to the right. The fabrics have been updated, but I didn’t take a new picture, because neither you nor I will care that much, right? You are to choose two colors, a neutral and one that you wear as comfortably as a neutral, plus a couple of accent colors.
The SWAP consists of eleven pieces (though I see that my storyboard has twelve). In theory, if you do this right, these eleven pieces will allow you to get dressed for work every day for a month without wearing the same thing twice. The key is a jacket in your neutral color, with matching skirt and pants.
If you wanted to do this, the book pictured at the top there, Looking Good from Palmer and Pletsch, explains the whole thing thoroughly, without the sewing blog rules.
The other central thing is a print two-piece dress combining your two basic colors. These two sets of things are the center of the SWAP. I made a second skirt instead of a second pair of pants, because you know how much trouble I had with the pants. The rules of the official rule-governed SWAPs allow you to do this, though I suppose there are consequences for deviating from your storyboard. Possibly you have to make a new storyboard. As it happens, I am not in any contest or sewalong, so I guess I could just switch. However, I have the fabric for a second pair of pants, so I will just end up with a thirteen-piece SWAP instead.
You then add five more tops (you’ve done one in a print already, so you end up with six). The rules of the SWAP are that you make these with TNT patterns in simple shapes. Since I had no TNT patterns, I just picked some out. Three were sewn tops with no buttonholes, and I have completed them. One was a knitted Bijoux blouse, for which I have the yarn and pattern. However, I made the Jasmine sweater, and it works well with the SWAP, so it is in a sense a further substitution. Or a fourteen-piece SWAP.
So in order to complete my original planned SWAP I must finish my second pair of pants, a second jacket, two sewn blouses, and the knitted Bijoux blouse. If I got the sewing done on my highly optimistic one piece per week plan, and knitted the Bijoux blouse at the same time at my usual rate of speed, I would have the whole SWAP finished in early March, with three additional pieces.
I bought the pattern for the princess-seamed shell back during the first SWAP shopping, but I punked out on it because it just looked too hard, and frankly it still does. There is also the blouse to the right, for which I never even bought the pattern. I do not have any blouse fabric on hand. I don’t see myself getting either of those things done this week.
I also have three — no, wait, four — knitting projects on the needles, and two quilts waiting to be quilted. I don’t feel that this is the time to begin the Bijoux blouse, either.
So it is the jacket or the pants. Neither is going to be something I can finish in one week without more free time than I am expecting to have this week.
And this is why I am thinking that this is the perfect week to make a potholder. And merely start one of my remaining SWAP pieces. So this is the plan. I will cut either the jacket — and I may switch to an easier pattern, actually — or the pants this week, and hope to get it sewn up by next week. I also hope to complete one of the knitting projects.
It’s good to have a plan.