#2 daughter and I had lunch yesterday, our usual Friday custom but one which has been baffled by the snow recently. I teach on Friday mornings in the town where she lives, so we meet at Panera and deal with all the business issues that have arisen during the week. It’s a good system.

I have to work some more today, and I also really have to do housework, but I am hoping also to spend some time sewing. I want to make this dress. It’s a Burda pattern, so I have to trace the pattern, a huge enormous bother, and then there’s all sorts of complex 3 dimensional stuff, so I must first make a muslin.

LaBella gave me a whole bunch of fabric a couple of years ago, and one piece was in one of my favorite colors, but polyester that truly feels like polyester. I figure I’ll use that for the muslin. If it doesn’t work out, I won’t feel that I’ve spoiled good fabric, but if it does work out, I’ll wear it in spite of the way it feels.

This whole dress-making idea actually came up because I am thinking of making a SWAP again this year. SWAP stands for Sewing With a Plan, and involves planning out a whole wardrobe according to various rules and sewing it up so that you have plenty to wear.

I do need clothes, and I also have quite a lot of nice fabrics, so the idea of sewing some clothes seems quite reasonable.   However, I’m also working 55-60 hours a week, so I haven’t gotten much sewing done.

In fact, the only time I have ever made a complete by the rules SWAP was in 2007. Last year, I started a SWAP and actually completed a jacket, a 2 piece dress, a solid top, and two print tops that didn’t fit into the SWAP at all, though I wear both of them often.

I ‘m heading down the same path with this year’s SWAP, I fear. Here I have a lovely print jersey which should be the two piece dress. It works well with the jacket I made earlier this month — you can see the jacket fabric in the photo below. There’s enough left of that fabric to make a straight skirt so I’d have a suit, and then there are the remaining fabrics from left to right: a lightweight gray wool for a skirt or pants, pale sage green linen for a blouse, burgundy linen and deep blue peachskin  for  simple woven tanks or shells, the aforementioned suit fabric, a nice burgundy jacquard linen to make a shirt to wear on its own or over the tops, and a twill for pants.

Having figured all this out, I needed only to choose a pattern for the two piece dress and get started.

The one I made last year looks sort of dumpy on me. Now I am an overweight middle aged woman, so things do look dumpy on me, but this seemed too dumpy, so I set off a on quest for a better choice, and ended up noticing the lovely dress at the top of the page. It’s not two piece and it’s not designed for knits, so I really have no business thinking about it when I should be working on a SWAP so I’ll have clothes to wear, but it’s very pretty, isn’t it?

So I’ll make my potentially-wearable muslin with it, probably over the next couple of months, and see what happens next, and this is roughly why I haven’t finished a SWAP in all these years. Still, I do end up with a handful of wearable garments in the process of failing to make the SWAP, so I’m going to give it a shot.