Having completed a class on planning and sewing a wardrobe and a class on planning and knitting sweaters I’ll love to wear, I am ready to plan my fall SWAP (Sewing With A Plan).

I have a quilt to finish before I can actually sew anything, and this long weekend is set aside for that quilt. But this evening, as I rest up from a long week spent working with a cold, seems like the perfect occasion to lay out my basic plan.

The new style SWAP has 12 pieces:

  • Core 4 (jacket, skirt, pants, top)
  • Inner column 2 (top, skirt)
  • Outer column 2 (jacket, pants)
  • Print 2-piece (top, skirt)
  • Twinset 2 (top, jacket)

That means 3 jackets, 3 skirts, 2 pants, 4 tops.

The Core 4 comprises a jacket, skirt, pants, and top in the main neutral. In this case, it’s gray, a color from my hair. Left to right, a jersey in “sharkskin,” a silver ponte knit for Elle pants, and the gray suit fabric I’ve had on my list for the past three fall SWAPs. The tweed in the corner is part of the next group.


The pattern for the Core 4 will once again be Butterick 5965.


The Core 4 gives two inner color columns: top and pants and top and skirt. It also creates two outer columns: jacket and skirt and jacket and pants.

Sounds scientific, right?

Next you need an inner color column in the second neutral. That’ll be a light taupe skirt and top, probably with Simplicity 1467.


The outer column will be Elle pants in dark taupe and the dark taupe tweed jacket.


If the Butterick jacket is a success, I can repeat it in the tweed. If not, there is another easy jacket I’ve made and liked, McCall’s 5668. Either will look good with the dark taupe pants.


The top row in the picture below shows the dark taupe Ponte de Roma knit, the light taupe in poplin, and the light taupe in jersey.


In the bottom row, you can see two of the gray fabrics and, on the right, the dark taupe tweed.You can see that tweed will be nice with all the neutrals.

There’s a glimpse of the fashion color above, too: Dusty Cedar. See it more clearly below, in the solid jersey and in the print. On the right, the light taupe and then the tweed.


The tweed has slubs in the Dusty Cedar and also the blue-green from the floral print. This grouping has a different feel from the neutrals, but they all look great together.

The floral is supposed to be a two-piece dress, but I rarely wear the skirts when I make them. I might follow the rules, in which case I’ll use the TnT Simplicity 1467.


Or I could make the equally TnT HotPatterns peasant blouse and not have enough fabric left for a skirt.


The solid fashion color (Dusty Cedar) is supposed to be a twin set — top and jacket or cardigan. I made a couple of those for my Spring 2016 SWAP, from McCall’s 7331 pattern below, and I could use it again.


Or I may make another TnT Sunshine Top.


For the jacket, I have a nice pale pink wool that I think would be close enough to the Dusty Cedar to count. Okay, it doesn’t exactly work as a twin set, but look how nice it is with the other fabrics… and pink is one of my “connection” colors.


Then my next favorite sweater must be in a coordinating color. I’m considering the two below. Maybe a sage Chimera and a lavender Draper.


These colors are softer and lower contrast than my usual palettes, but they should be more flattering. Scientific.