closet Welcome to SWAPalong 2007! This is a lowkey SWAPalong without contests or prizes. We’ll just band together to encourage and support one another.

What’s a SWAP? SWAP stands for “sewing with a plan.” The name comes from Australian Stitches, a sewing magazine. The idea is simple: you plan a wardrobe first, and then you sew all the pieces. I think we can extend that to include knitting, crochet, refashioning, and any other method of creating clothing.

Pati Palmer of Plamer and Pletsch wrote a book (it’s called Looking Good, and there is a link at the top of this post) that goes into lots more detail, but basically you pick a becoming neutral color and another color you love that goes well with that neutral. Find a print that uses those two colors and pull some other solids from the print. Sew up all your pieces in these colors, and make sure that all the pieces work together in terms of shape. With 11 garments, you will be able to dress every day for seven weeks without repeating an outift.

seamstress2 The benefit is that you end up with a wearable wardrobe instead of random pieces that don’t go with anything in your closet, you save money by avoiding waste, and you save time by having all your planning done ahead. Stock up on notions in your SWAP colors, and you can spend your sewing time sewing, not figuring out what to do or running to the fabric store.

Why join a SWAPalong? Well, I have joined several knitalongs and sewalongs, and I have found that they have several advantages:

  • Doing it together is encouraging and fun. You are more likely to get it done.
  • When you have a problem, you have people to ask for help. You can even see what problems others have had and avoid them by learning from their experience.
  • When you have a breakthrough or a clever idea, you have people to rejoice with you and benefit from your sharing.

wardrobeSo join us! Everyone is welcome. I have not felt that I was skillful enough to join the SWAP contests, so I am hoping that this will be a SWAPalong where all skill levels feel at ease.

Here are the rules:

  • Join the blogring by August 1, 2007, and post your storyboard (a graphic representation of your plan) by the end of August.
  • Pick one of these buttons and put it on your blog. You do that by saving the picture to your own system (right click on any of the pictures) and uploading it to xanga. Then put it in your custom module if you have one, or in your posts about your SWAP, or both. You can post to the pool, too. We have some tech-savvy people in the ring who can help if you have trouble with this. You don’t have to do this, but it helps us find each other. I’m going to put one in my sidebar as soon as I decide which one to use.
  • Make 11 garments and post about them between now and December 1, 2007.
  • All the pieces you make should work together as a cohesive wardobe. If you want more guidance, the official contents of a SWAP are as follows: one jacket, four skirts or pants, and six tops. The jacket should work as a suit with a skirt and/or a pair of pants, one top and one skirt should work together as a two-piece dress, and everything should be made from TNT (tried and true) patterns that you can make with confidence. You don’t have to follow these detailed guidelines, but doing so will guarantee success.

wp-rG What will you post?

Well, I hope that you will post about your adventures as you work on your SWAP. I learn a lot from those posts.

I hope you will post about your fabrics and patterns, any great resources you find, and any suggestions you have. I hope you will post tutorials for the things you do well and questions about things you want to do better. I hope we will all post encouraging comments and suggestions for one another.

I will now send invitations to those I think might be interested in joining. If I don’t invite you, that just means that I don’t know that you will want to join in, so please do not wait for an invitation. Join us!