Thursday, November 04, 2010

Considering the '11 SWAP...

I haven't participated in the annual SWAP contest since 2006; high school theater sewing has largely kept me too, that was the third year in a row; I was about wardrobed out of the closet!

But that was 5 years and about 12 pounds ago. My wardrobe is beginning to need some overhauling. Maybe I should jump into the SWAP...

But I have a couple of caveats. The first is, simply, time. I'm not done with the High School Production season of life yet; there's a production of Romeo and Juliet AND the spring musical looming just after the holidays...and life has been so busy in general that my sewing production for the fall has been limited to a piddly 5 garments since school started; I've been trying to get that black-and-white blouse put together since Oct. 1. Granted, the directory photo shoot will be over after Christmas, but everything else is so backed up and behind that I really can't guarantee myself much sewing time.

The other caveat is the 'twist' -- that is, the little extra requirement to make everyone get creative with their sewing. This year, EVERY garment sewn for the SWAP has to include a new (or not perfected) technique. Granted, we're allowed to use (I think) 3 previously made or purchased garments in the wardrobe, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around a 12 11 - piece (Ok, 9 8 -piece) wardrobe in which EVERY garment has some particular detail about it that's new to me or something I'm working on getting right.

If I make a SWAP wardrobe, it's because I need clothes I can wear in my everyday life. And I've been sewing for a long time; most of the techniques I need to sew everyday clothes I've mastered.

I'm looking at couture techniques, or embellishments, or some such thing to meet that requirement. Stuff that really doesn't go in my day-to-day wardrobe.

I need some basic things that fit the body I have now. I'm going to have very limited time in which to make them.

So, as much as I'd love to participate this year, I'm really thinking it's just not my year to jump in. I may do a sew-along and see if I can SWAP in my style...that is, along the original idea of the SWAP, which uses TNT patterns to generate a wardrobe quickly.

I won't win anything, but I'll have some clothes in my closet. ;)


  1. Having new clothes in the closet to wear makes you a winner! :)

  2. SWAP is only 11 pieces, so you only have to do 8 during the Jan-April timeframe. Agree though that the every garment has a new technique is fazing me a bit too.

  3. I totally understand. To come up with a winning wearable wardrobe was really hard last year...I can't even begin to imagine how you would tackle that twist. And don't the twists seem to be getting more complicated every year!?

    Sewing along is a good idea hopefully it will help you resolve your clothing challenges!

  4. Ruthie...yeah, 11...I knew that....LOL! Carolyn, I kinda thought that but didn't really want to say it out loud. It's cool to encourage creativity, but, well, the original idea was to make a wearable wardrobe quickly. A useful twist *for me* would be to require most of the garments to be sewn from the fabric stash! LOL!

    I *hope* I get to sew along... ;-)

  5. I really like the seasonal "6-packs" that Elizabeth started on Stitchers' Guild (although my time is so limited that I haven't even been able to participate in those!) Six garments in three months, and a lot of leeway in what you produce - works for me. Whatever you decide, I hope you get back to sewing soon. I can sense that you are missing it.

  6. We've always said that SWAP participants were all winners, right? Just getting it done is a huge success.

    Consider it a personal challenge. We'll cheer you on from here!

  7. I agree with your desire for TNT efficiency that will generate a wardrobe in a limited amount of time. I am in the "get it done" phase of life. I was hoping to play around with this years SWAP but thanks for the heads up. I shall keep plowing through my stash on my my own :)