Author Topic: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018  (Read 2402 times)

Offline mudcat

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Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« on: May 06, 2018, 08:14:24 PM »
So now that SWAP is over (all but the photos and voting) and thinking ahead to next year ...

What do you think would have make these particular SWAP rules better?  I think most people were happy with the rules and in my opinion the pictures uploaded so far look cohesive and fantastic just like I envisioned. 



Offline dementedfairy

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 09:41:34 PM »
Wonderful wonderful rules [which I may have bent a little, but you DID say we were to interpret according to our designs lol]
I definitely find rules based on colour so much easier to follow than ones revolving around some arcane number of combinations or whatever.  I bottomed out last year precisely because of counting the number of patterns [and yet I used very few this year lol]
Horses for courses of course
It's been fascinating to see the development of people's collections, and the different approaches.  Some have been very focussed and organised from day one, some have gone with a rough idea and just let it evolve.  I like that many of us introduced our own restrictions- I wanted to spend as little as possible, stash bust and refashion, while keeping to a vaguely 'mathematical' theme.  Although that was originally because of a scant metre of math print, it ended up taking a more geometric direction.  Lovely!
Apparently I'm a quintessential Gemini- but I think that's a load of b.s. myselves...

Offline LynnH

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 12:24:41 AM »
I liked the designer concept that we worked with.  My problem with finishing was the outside world as normal for me.  I will continue to work on the SWAP for the rest of the year.
Lynn

Offline warpjr1965

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 01:02:24 AM »
Well, I was hoping to use SWAP this year to add tons of color to my wardrobe, imagine my dismay when the rules came out!

But I do think the SWAPs I've seen so far are very cohesive, probably because of the color restrictions.

I liked the overall flexibility of pattern choice and garment choice. That is probably the hardest thing to achieve when making the rules: allowing creativity within guidelines.

I am glad there were no highly structured garments required, as that would not fit my lifestyle at all.
Wendy

Offline Sew Ruthie Sews

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 05:40:33 PM »
The rules worked quite well for me.
I like to sew multiple things with one thread colour as I find it productive.
I would have liked to have more prints as I enjoy them. But they do reduce the mix and match ability.
I will always try to sew along if I can .

Offline Garden Girl

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 09:46:23 PM »
What I envisioned doing this year before the rules came out was not possible due to the color restrictions. Every time there are color distribution rules it leaves me out. I'd actually rather be told precisely what garments to make, heck, even down to the patterns, LOl, then have color restrictions.

It just wouldn't work for what I wanted to do or needed to make this year.

Maybe next year!  ;D

PS: the groupings that are up are quite nice.

Offline KayoticSewing

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 12:48:34 PM »
mudcat, I didn’t do the swap this year (and have never done before). I have thought in the past to sign up and similarly I was thinking about signing up this year as well. When the rules came out, it intrigued me (inspite of colour limitations), and  this time was the first time I was motivated enough to put my designs on paper and boy! what a discovery..

1. I loved drawing my ideas on paper. who knew there was that slightest artistic inclination in me?
2. My designs and plan evolved to give me a clear picture of what I want to wear, how I prefer to sew, my ideal silhouettes, what separate goes with what ...
3. I need  solid colours and hate prints. certain stripes are tolerable.
4. I like sewing in batches of same color or batches of same pattern in diff colours.
5. I don’t like limitations of certain number of pieces and they go with certain number of pieces. I wouldn’t wear them that way in real life and it didn’t make sense for me to come up with a plan for that. 

Without your SWAP rules, this clarity wouldn’t be possible.

Thank you for helping me understand how I can go about what I want. I’ve already started on that path and loving it. Thanks for all the swap participants, I enjoyed reading about your plans, and how they came to fruition and I learnt so much from you all. 

Offline CCL

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 05:25:58 PM »
Love your comment, KayoticSewing, and that was also somewhat true for me as well. 

Mudcat, I found the SWAP rules this year helpful for thinking in new directions. (I also think the discussions about "overall collection" and "you are the designer" pushed me to think working up several items - and feeling free to not include them.)   I love solids anyway, so that wasn't a barrier.  I especially liked the push to think in terms of same "read" of color, but different textures...and ultimately ended up with some colors that I love but haven't had in my wardrobe for a while ... still evolving from predominantly black of traveling days.

The rules were so flexible that they could support Warpjr1965's plan without structured sewing - but also mine which gravitated toward a more tailored style.  That flexibility was great.

As I have probably said elsewhere, my favorite thing about SWAP always is having a bunch of folks to sew with and chatter along the way.   I don't have any garment sewing buddies in the real world. 

I will still be sewing to the plan - though haven't finalized exact patterns.  Similar to LynnH, I will be working on this probably throughout the year - maybe interspersed with some fun sews, some necessity sewing, and some long overdue sewing for Better Half.

Offline Elephun

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 06:09:29 PM »
Mudcat, I really liked the rules and the flexibility. I didn't fight them, and they didn't cause me any angst. I could just get on with putting my collection together and sewing. I didn't enter the contest because I started early. I might have been a little flexible with the numbers of items in certain colors, but I think if I went back to check I probably followed the rules in one way or another.

Offline Lisanne

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 05:41:42 AM »
My comments are incidental, as I have never actually taken part, though I have always done the planning  ;D
I liked the freedom of garment type, as my wardrobe needs are nothing like the plans stylists like Nancy Nix-Rice and Janice of Vivienne Files come up with.
The limitations on colour were very simple for me as I basically wear variations on 2 neutrals anyway, and used white as one of my  'colours' ! 
My main concern is closing out people who like to have every garment in a different colour and print - but a plan which suited them would have me   :run4hills:
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 08:46:56 AM by Lisanne »
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - comments on wardrobes, patterns, style, fit
https://uk.pinterest.com/sewingplums/ - style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - good basic sewing techniques
https://easyjackets.wordpress.com - no need for tailoring, unless you want to
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - Peggy Sagers sew-alongs

Offline Sew Ruthie Sews

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 06:45:40 AM »
People have different personalities, colouring and lifestyle so I don't think there is ever going to be one set of rules which work for everyone.

When certain garment types were required some struggled with having to have layers (or for me not enough layers, but they just existed off plan) other people always wear dresses or never wear dresses.
I like print and colour, but some people only wear plains and neutrals.

If there were specific garment types (or horrors actual patterns you HAD to sew) then I would probably not participate.
If there was no colour, I'd sew and show the neutrals but IRL wear with colour because that suits my personality and colouring.

I also learned the hard way on a previous SWAP that if things look same/similar in a small photo they don't work for SWAP photos as people can't tell the difference between the grey, dark green and black pencil skirts for example although they are different in IRL.
So this year I left out the other brown trousers for example as they looked too similar.

Offline LillieT

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2018, 10:07:46 PM »
Lillie and I have reflected on 2018 SWAP rules and have concluded that they were extremely easy to follow, and Lillie, my designer, wondered how one could make a bunch of diverse colors and prints cohere to make a mini wearable wardrobe. She prefers to use basic colors and build on that - therefore the rules were perfect.  She was very glad that complicated pieces were not required as they would not fit my lifestyle or budget.  The pieces Lillie came up with will serve me well all summer and into the fall.  Overall, it was a great experience for both of me. (tongue in cheek) is there an emoji for that?  I hope to be able to participate again next year.

Offline indigotiger

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2018, 06:30:12 AM »
I have to say that out of all the SWAPs I have participated in over the years, either to completion or partially, the rules for this SWAP 2018 were the best ever. While they did encourage careful thought to plan out a coordinated wardrobe, the way that Mudcat set up the combination of choosing colors and requiring garments to work together, without requiring a certain number of specific garments created a template for wardrobe sewing that seems to have worked for for people who have very different personal styles.

While I had really hoped to be among those who completed this SWAP, I rather burned up all my sewing time and mojo on only one garment, my hand-stitched Alabama Chanin style cardigan jacket. By the time I finished that, my income work picked up and I had no time to spare for personal wardrobe sewing. Nonetheless, I will use this SWAP template again in the future as a matrix to guide my sewing, and to help others in thinking about building a coordinated wardrobe.

Bravo to Mudcat for such thoughtful planning, and huzzah to all my fellow stitchers who actually completed SWAP
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Offline dementedfairy

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2018, 09:02:03 AM »
Indigotiger perfectly expressed.  I think I can work with this idea any time, with any set of colours.  I really LOVE my collection, feel great wearing it, and get lots of compliments.  Over at 'The Sewing Place' we're running lots of challenges and competitions, and are trying a 'sort of SWAP' with a longer time frame...I'll be using this year's approach to colourise my autumn wardrobe.
Three cheers for Mudcat!
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Offline Towanda

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2018, 06:36:01 PM »
I have to say that out of all the SWAPs I have participated in over the years, either to completion or partially, the rules for this SWAP 2018 were the best ever. While they did encourage careful thought to plan out a coordinated wardrobe, the way that Mudcat set up the combination of choosing colors and requiring garments to work together, without requiring a certain number of specific garments created a template for wardrobe sewing that seems to have worked for for people who have very different personal styles.

While I had really hoped to be among those who completed this SWAP, I rather burned up all my sewing time and mojo on only one garment, my hand-stitched Alabama Chanin style cardigan jacket. By the time I finished that, my income work picked up and I had no time to spare for personal wardrobe sewing. Nonetheless, I will use this SWAP template again in the future as a matrix to guide my sewing, and to help others in thinking about building a coordinated wardrobe.

Bravo to Mudcat for such thoughtful planning, and huzzah to all my fellow stitchers who actually completed SWAP

I totally agree with your comments. The collection created by the rules will be great for creating my summer wardrobe. I subconsciously loosely used the rules when I did my vacation sewing. My colors were blue, beige and white using a mix of solids and print fabrics.  I sewed 10 garments, added 3 garments already made and wore 3 RTW garments. It worked well except I ran out of time to finish everything that I wanted to take with me.

I didn't finish my swap but the garments that I finished will work as the base for my fall/winter collection. I learned that I didn't do a good job of picking out fabrics. The knit fabric that I used did not work with the black floral woven fabric. In the fall, I'll replicate the ponte knit garments in woven fabrics. I like everything that I sewed just not in the same collection.

Congrats to all of those who finished and those that created new garments. Thanks to Mudcat for the great rules. Looking forward to next year.

Offline mudcat

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2018, 12:14:49 AM »
Thank you so much for the kind comments.  I appreciate it. 

Part of why I did it this way is because I'm a print person and it has caused a lot of orphan problems in the past.  I've improved some in recent years but still tend to wear the same separates together instead of mixing and matching a bit more.

I'm always so taken with collections and how they all look like they belong together regardless of the individual Designer style.   Sometimes I want to buy one of everything ... if it would actually fit.



Offline Turquoise

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2018, 07:54:03 AM »


Part of why I did it this way is because I'm a print person and it has caused a lot of orphan problems in the past.  I've improved some in recent years but still tend to wear the same separates together instead of mixing and matching a bit more.


I can really identify with this mudcat and taking part in this year’s SWAP has really helped me see what I need in my wardrobe and what really doesn’t work for me.

It was interesting for me to see that as the seasons changed I found it more difficult to keep thinking about the pieces that would have made it easier to mix and match the colours.  I started out sewing a lot of grey pieces with browns as the other neutral but as spring came along was much more interested in sewing brighter colours like the coral and turquoise pieces on my list.  I just about managed to get myself to sew another brown piece to try and make a completed SWAP possible and I’m really pleased I did as I love the skirt and it matches a jacket I made pre-SWAP. 

Trying different combinations of what I had sewn for SWAP to see if I could make a coherent collection really helped me understand what pieces would help create more different outfits from limited pieces - it’s been a great learning experience and doing is far better for that than all the reading of blog posts etc. on capsule wardrobes.  If I hadn’t been hit with that awful cold and the sinusitis that has followed from it I would have managed it with a pair of my grey RTW jeans.  I also have a clear list of garments to sew to extend it when I feel up to sewing again, so thanks again for creating such a good structure with the SWAP rules.  My SWAP was titled “Trying to get organised” and working with your rules has really helped with that goal  :)

It’s great to see everyone’s collections in the photo gallery and it was really hard to choose for the voting.



Offline Scottiesews

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2018, 06:47:17 PM »
If life, sick husband, (therefore no money) etc hadn't got in the way this SWAP would have been perfect for me.  Fortunately he is on the mend & due back to work in another month after over 12 months off with cancer & I am now using SWAP basics to plan a wardrobe for a week in India followed by a cruise back to UK in March 2019. 
A SWAP next year won't ne feasible as I shall be away on aforesaid vacation but who knows......

Offline sewsy

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2018, 07:29:37 PM »
Glad to see that DH is on the mend, scottiesews. As the years go by, the technical part of the SWAP seems to be a moot point. Everyone is so good at clothing construction, I just pay attention to how I think the clothes looks on the wearer, and not how good/bad the sewing is. It's ALL GOOD. I think that's pretty cool.

Congratulations to everyone who entered and posted pictures. You're all winners in my book. Not to mention, great sewists.

Offline stephaniecan

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2018, 02:48:48 AM »
Mudcat, You did a wonderful job. The rules were very flexible and suited many people.

Like Kayotic, I discovered some things about my sewing as I went along. Where I struggled the most was with incorporating pattern. I like pattern, but I realize that I don't use it much, or if I do I don't use it in a repeated way. Wrapping my head around making an actual designer collection was a struggle and I ought to have given it more careful thought. I still can't decide how to use the lovely patterned fabric I bought for the exercise!

I think I didn't finish largely because I bit off more than I could chew. I was very busy at work and with significant travel didn't start early enough. I am at a stage in my sewing at which I am trying to perfect some things, so I am going more slowly than I had admitted to myself. My fault! Nevertheless, the rules got me to make a couple of items in a neutral (hazelnut) that I never would have used otherwise and also encouraged me to make a pair of trousers in an accent colour (teal) that I would not likely have made otherwise. Both are wins and so thanks to SWAP (and thanks to mudcat!!)

Offline LynnH

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2018, 06:06:28 PM »
Like stephaniecan, life and work interfered. So I have my plans, it will just take me longer to finish.
Lynn

Offline Morzel

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2018, 07:45:14 AM »
Even though I didn't finish (I did sew, but other stuff - Kids, Home or not SWAP related), I liked the rules. No garment restrictions are a revolutionary concept and very rewarding. What I did struggle a bit with was the print restriction. I had intended to do a 'blue' SWAP (prerule thoughts), as blue is my colour and can be mixed with alot in my wardrobe. Colourwise I could have split it up in eg. navy, royal and other 'accent' blues. But some of the fabrics (those for tops) were patterend. Like, really patterned (eg. white and red little flowers on blue, coloured birds on blue etc - I just could not define them as solids). They fit nicely with all the blue stuff, but are patterened nonetheless.
My other SWAP intention (prerules) was to get a good sweater pattern going. This worked out nicely (as the rules allowed for that), and I did sew four sweaters. I used the SWAP to try out different types of sweaters (set in sleeve, raglan sleeve, sweater with a big yoke) and really had fun working on the patterns, twisting them and trying out what works best for me.

Bottom line: The rules were good! And even though I didn't finish, I got good new TNTs out of it.

Seeing very wearable and good collections (and so different ones) in the gallery (or even unfinished collections - some really nice garments were being made!) makes me think others felt similar good with the rules. Thanks mudcat!
Eva

Offline dementedfairy

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2018, 09:09:39 AM »
@Morzel yes I found the print rule the hardest but remembered an early question [by Ruthie I think?] and she was reminded she was the designer, and that if a fabric 'read' as a block colour, print or not, to go with it.  So I did!  Of course, it's very subjective how a fabric 'reads' lol
Best set of rules ever as far as I'm concerned!
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Offline Sew Ruthie Sews

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2018, 03:38:03 PM »
More generically about SWAP I have been thinking about planning versus final outcome. -ie how close the final result is to the original plan.

I have to say that in the 12 years I have been trying to sew co-ordinated outfits (my first effort was in 2006) I have not actually managed to produce the garments as I originally sketched out.
I think Treefrog was pretty close to that this year which impressed me no end.

I find things like
- not enough fabric for the style I planned
- things don't seem to really go together as I thought they would when I picked the fabrics from the stash in mid winter under electric light
- I try a new pattern and it doesn't come out how I wanted (fit usually)
- the fabric doesn't behave as I hoped (for example too casual looking when finished)
- I planned complex garments but actually didn't have the time to sew them

Then there's the actual wearing part
- I sew winter things in winter and then they are too warm later
- If I wear the things and wash them sometimes accidents/shrinking happen
- If I don't wear the things then they don't get worn till next year
- I sew things like skirts which I then don't wear (this varies a bit tbh, but skirts have got more hosiery/footwear challnges than trousers)
- I want to mix with RTW in real life but for SWAP I want to sew everything

These days I over sew pieces (took that rather to the extreme this year) and then I have a bit of room for things going wrong.
And I will happily donate things which didn't work for me, its not a failure its a learning experience.

However if I had to say up front exactly what I was going to sew and then be marked against that at the end - big fail!

Offline treefrog

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2018, 01:24:05 AM »
I'm just back from holidays, so my apologies for being late to reply.  This SWAP has been hugely successful for me, with a lot of my wishlist projects making it into the plan and sewn up.   Thanks Mudcat for a great set of rules and for the time and effort you put into running SWAP this year.  It's a huge commitment and very much appreciated.

I think the rules were really great and well thought out.  Especially not having to have a everything matching and not requiring specific types of garments.  It made it really easy to shape the plan around my lifestyle and things that were missing from my wardrobe.  It was possible to mix casual, sporting and office wear as well as summer and winter clothes. 

Using the colour as the base always seams to 'click' for me.  I was working from stash so it is easier to start with fabric groupings and go from there.  I did find that having to use the same shade a bit restrictive in that I tend to wear a lighter shade on top and darker shade on the bottom, rather than a column of the same colour.   I kept wanting to add another shade or print into the collection for a bit more variety.  Perhaps my choice of white as a neutral made it more  difficult as didn't want to include white bottoms - just too hard to keep clean!

The examples you gave and comments about adding texture and being the designer were really helpful.  This helped my narrow down the patterns / design ideas as I was looking for patterns along the same theme - eg geometric lines ( plan B), or Sportalm inspired (plan A).  I think I thought more about what a wanted to make than I have in other plans and as a result stuck mostly to the plan (and that's a first for me). 

My biggest challenge was maintaining the enthusiasm for such an extended time.  There was a big flurry of excitement when the rules came out, then I found myself having to cool my heals until after Christmas, by which time I'd moved on to other projects.  It would be nice to be able to do more in the interviewing time and keep the momentum going. My print choice was used up during the planning phase, so I was only sewing solids for the rest of the SWAP.  Not as much fun as sewing prints, but I really should sew more solids than I do, plus it was nice to play with the design elements.

I've now worn each of my SWAP items at least twice, mostly in combinations with other stuff in my wardrobe.  All those neutrals have come in so handy in the broader scheme of things.  I'm also looking at some winter sewing and finding it would be easy to add in another neutral ( olive) and accent colour (plum) to expand the wardrobe further.  Come to think of it, I think you mentioned this in the rules. 




Offline Sew Ruthie Sews

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 06:08:10 AM »
Treefrog I think you make a really good point about the pre Christmas excitment when the rules get announced.
Either allow more early sewing OR just announce the rules later on!

Offline mudcat

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Re: Final thoughts on SWAP 2018
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2018, 02:21:28 AM »
My print choice was used up during the planning phase, so I was only sewing solids for the rest of the SWAP.  Not as much fun as sewing prints, but I really should sew more solids than I do, plus it was nice to play with the design elements.

I've now worn each of my SWAP items at least twice, mostly in combinations with other stuff in my wardrobe.  All those neutrals have come in so handy in the broader scheme of things.  I'm also looking at some winter sewing and finding it would be easy to add in another neutral ( olive) and accent colour (plum) to expand the wardrobe further.  Come to think of it, I think you mentioned this in the rules.

This was very much what I was going for with the rules.   :applause2: