Saturday, July 15, 2006

SWAP...A tute about Wardrobe Planning

If you sew for yourself, then you've probably experienced sewing "orphans"...those garments you thought would be a perfect addition to your wardrobe but in real life match absolutely NOTHIN in your closet!! Well, some brilliant sewist somewhere (um, sorry for the absolute lack of concrete info there) came up with the idea of combining wardrobe planning and sewing. The SWAP was born...Sewing With A Plan.

I believe the very first published article was in the Australian Stitches magazine. Every year Timmel's Fabrics holds a SWAP contest with prizes for entrants. You can view 2006 SWAP entries/winners here If you can find the 2005 entries on that website, there's a gorgeous pink/green entry from a newbie seamstress that's to die for.

Full-fledged wardrobe planning SWAPs contain 11 garments...which can actually be quite overwhelming to sew! (Although you can substitute store bought items, of course). Here's the basic SWAP breakdown:

2 pants
2 skirts (1 in solid color, 1 in check or print)
2 simple tops (1 in solid, 1 in matching print)
4 tops (coordinating solids)
1 simple jacket or cardigan

The result of this matching concept is supposedly 7 weeks of differing outfits. I've never tested that theory! I'm also not mathemetician enough to know if that's actually true (11 garments = 49 outfits? Any math whizzes out there?) Here's a pic of the original 11 garments from Stitches magazine. The colors would look absolutely hideous on me, and the styles are maybe a bit more "simple" (um, drab?) than I would choose...but that's nitpicking since it's just a pic to get you going:

There are additional components to the SWAP that you can add....more garments in certain formula's to give you more and more options. Instructions are on the linked page above. The prize at the end of all this planning/sewing is that you'll never open your closet and think "I've got nothing to wear!" I say that all the time and my closet is packed, which is why the SWAP concept appeals so much to me I guess.

One of my favorite parts of SWAP are the storyboards you can create, picking patterns, fabrics, etc. Planning is FUN! Here's an example storyboard with (trendier) pattern choices from a later Stitches article:

And here's the storyboard with fabric swatches too:

And still another storyboard from PR member, who used her photo editing software to add her fabric as a "fill" to her pattern line drawings! Smartie pants :D turns out I have NO clothes to start school in (at least none that I'm terribly sick of looking at! Many are from 2003 and before. Wow. I need to shop more or sew more or something more for ME once in a while!) I'm going to start my plan TODAY and I'll try to be a good blogger & post pics of the process as I go!

SWAPalicious, baby!

1 comment:

  1. I get 48 garments. 4 different bottoms each paired with 6 possible tops(4 x 6 ) = 24 options. Double that if you include with or without the jacket (48). I think it's a bit cheeky claiming its a separate outfit with a cardigan, but that's what they've done. Still, its a sensible approach. I used to read this series in Stitches all the time, golly they did it to death though. :)


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