Today I am going to have a PSD and work on my SWAP. Love those acronyms, right?
A PSD is a Personal Sewing Day, when you put dinner in the crockpot, cue up some chickflicks on the Movie Watching Device of your choice, and spend the day sewing.
SWAP stands for Sewing With a Plan, rather than randomly sewing stuff because it looks cute. If you do this, you will end up having clothes to wear every day.
I know this to be true, because I did it a few years back. I made a nice burgundy and gray wardrobe for the fall, and since everything worked together, I was able to get dressed like a grown up every day.
Here’s the SWAP system:
1. Determine your mystical best colors according to the system of your choice. One should be a neutral, such as gray, while the other should be a “fashion color” such as burgundy. In this case, I am making what is known in the trade as a “stashbuster” SWAP, which means you look at your fabric and see what you have a lot of. La Bella gave me a bunch of wools and linens a while back when she quit sewing, so I have beige and blue. Beige is a neutral, and blue is a fashion color, so I’m right on track. Beige is, as it happens, a horrible color for me, so I will be twisting the rules a bit to keep it away from my face.
1.b. Read on for the rest of the system, but you should make a storyboard between understanding it and doing it. If you are a proper sewing blogger, which I’m not, you’ll give your SWAP a name based on its colors. Mine, being blue and beige, would have something about the beach in it. I didn’t make the rules. One very sensible rule is that you should use TNT patterns (tried and true — ones you have already made so you know they fit, etc.).
2. Find a print containing those colors, and make a two-piece dress from it. I did find such a print, and I like it very much, but it was a remnant. I will therefore be making a solid two-piece dress and using that print for a top.
3. Make a three-piece suit (jacket, skirt, and pants) from the neutral. I will be bending the rules again here, because of the aforementioned not looking good in beige issue. I’m going to make a skirt suit with a soft blue linen. There is no way I would wear a soft blue pantsuit (it would look great on LaBella), so I will be making the pants from beige linen.
4. Once you’ve done these things, you’ll have a jacket, a top, two skirts, and a pair of pants. You must make another skirt or pair of pants. Generally, you’ll make it in the other color — that is, a skirt in the fashion color, so you have one in the neutral, one in the fashion color, and one in the print. I’ll be making a second pair of pants in another shade of beige.
5. Now you need to make a slew of tops: five more, for a total of six. You’ve made one in the print and it must work with all the skirts and pants. Now you’ll make one in each of the two main colors, also making sure that they work with all the pieces. The other three can be in accent colors that work with your main colors and your print.
The Colorschemer suggests that my blue and beige look could do with a shot of red. The Color Wizard thought lavender would be nice. In fact, I have a slate blue, an ivory lace, and an electric blue, which bring me up to four with the print. I think I have some nice red linen, too. And you really aren’t supposed to use multiple prints, but since I have no print skirt for it to have to work with, I’m thinking about making the final top from a blue and beige tropical flower print I have had hanging around for years. I happen to like those prints, but my daughters have told me firmly that I mustn’t wear them. Since I am breaking all sort of rules here, I may go ahead and break that one, too.
I also saw the top here in a catalog, for $35, and quite liked it, so I may take the picture to the fabric store and see if they can help me replicate it for much less. I like to mess around with the tops to keep it fun, but Australian Stitches magazine,which is where this idea comes from, has shown in many photo features that you can make all your tops in basic T shapes and still have them all look different, based on your fabric and embellishment choices.
So, yes, that’s my plan. It’s a gorgeous day today, so I’ll break for a walk at some point, but otherwise this is a PSD.
2 thoughts on “Saturday May 8, 2010”
Are you just doing SWAP for fun? Or is it really cheaper to make your own clothes? I’m wondering about the latter since, last time I went to the fabric store & decided to make pajama pants for the 2 kids, I ended up spending $50!
It’s actually cheaper. One of the sewing bloggers made an 11-piece wardrobe for under $100, and both #2 daughter and I calculated that ours averaged less than $20 per item, even though we used silk and wool.
I think that sewing one thing can often cost more than buying it, but sewing a whole wardrobe is very economical, because you use up the thread and all the extra bits of fabric and make maximum use of the pattern, etc.
In this particular case, I was given most of the fabric by people cutting down their stashes, so it’s being very inexpensive as long as I don’t think in terms of how much I could earn in the time I spend.
And yes, of course I’m doing it for fun, so I don’t have to consider that.
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