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SWAP 2019 Pre-Rules Discussion

Started by Medea, October 01, 2018, 07:53:15 am

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I'm planning too, Indigotiger !
I'm not sure I need 9 new garments in my wardrobe, but I have items I'd like to replace, items missing and items I wear right off the clothesline that I'd like to duplicate. I also have an impressive (to me, I know we are all different) fabric stash that I'd like to reduce in order to have more storage for bed linen. Putting everything together might lead to enter SWAP 2019  ;D
However, to make the equation just a bit more interesting, I have some kind of personal uniform plan based on dresses but most of the fabrics I have are rather suitable for separates (considering both weight and meterage). I might end up with skirts...

One Dress A Month Sew Along


October 26, 2018, 08:50:10 am #71 Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 01:41:08 pm by Medea
Quote from: Philippa on October 25, 2018, 05:58:26 am
Am in planning mode - does anyone have any ideas of a pattern  so I can copy this top

Such beautiful, classic designs - at eye watering prices..

Philippa: The Dutch sewing magazine Knipmode often has dresses with folds and so on. I searched and found this top and dress with a similar fold that you maybe can move to the neckline.

You'll find the patterns here
I'm at Instagram @ medeasgarderob (Medea's Wardrobe)


Quote from: CCL on October 25, 2018, 10:11:15 am
Phillipa -- here's the link to one of the Lekala patterns that could perhaps be adjusted.


For the dress, here's one that perhaps you could start with, and again, maybe adjust.


In a quick perusal, I saw a couple of others - in the dress and top categories that might make good starting places.  I find the price inexpensive enough to gamble on experimenting with their patterns.  Hope that helps.

Thanks - will have a look through; really appreciate everyones input..


October 27, 2018, 04:15:38 am #73 Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 08:37:03 am by bessiecrocker
Mods we're on a tangent here, you may want to pull this topic off into another thread.

Quote from: Lisanne on October 25, 2018, 05:10:46 pm
This is a bit off tangent to SWAP, but the Eileen Fisher link I put above gave prices in £, around £400-£600, twice what The Fold charges.  Similar to what EF charges at their London outlet.

The EF US site insists on giving me prices in £, but it's a very very long time since I saw a jacket from EF costing £100.  Where did you get that price from ?

Zara in the UK is a cheap fast fashion store only slightly up from H&M, not making any claims to boutique quality.

Perhaps I should not have tried to compare brands across countries as, despite our assumptions about the international nature of style and fashion, perceptions can be so different.  Brands can present themselves so differently in different markets.  I think we have already seen that with sewing machines !

There's a bit of a misunderstanding, let me try to clarify.
My assumption is that you are a woman, age 30-50-ish, have a mid level professional job (manager, law office, bank) and can afford to spend circa $250-$300/£195-£235 for a blazer/suit jacket suitable for work.
budget $250-$300 = £195-£235

note--links to my example garments at the end. conversion rates just off today's internet, no bank conversion fees, shipping, customs, etc, have been factored in. Be sure you are looking at the right currency, they are not shown listed in the same order each time.

Need to add...I do lots of international comparison shopping, since clothing prices are outrageous where I live.  Also, I agree that Zara is the wrong brand to look at here...however, it's a good brand for young career women with less money to spend. Does H&M sell in the USA market? H&M is like a half step up from Target...cheap disposable fashion that is popular with the 13-18 year old consumer.  Falls apart after three times in the washer -- which doesn't bother your teenie at all as they just want to go out and shop for something new. Ask me how I know....

Let's go shopping:

You live in the USA: Talbots jacket would run you Talbots $239=£186     (note this does not include sales tax...so purchase would come close to $250. Low end of the budget. EF jacket would run  EF from Nordstrom's org. $298.= £233 , high end of the budget. Also worth noting, you can almost always find sales in the USA...so, with careful shopping, you might be able to get either of these jackets at major savings, like up to 40% cheaper.

You live in the UK: The Fold jacket price the Fold £220=$280, mid range of the budget (VAT tax is already included***.)  EFisher clothing is much more expensive in the UK due to import duties, shipping, exclusivity, etc.  Harrod's price for a EF blazer is  EF at Harrod's £380=$488*** , putting it -way- over budget.  Sales in the UK work differently than in the USA, so you might find some bargains but I can't provide details.

Here are links to my examples garments...just looked quickly.





***mta:  to really compare fairly, you need these prices without VAT/tax. So Harrod's EF is equal to net £316 = $406. The Fold net is £183= $233  The Fold and Talbots are a very similar price range and appeal to more or less the same type of customer.


another way of looking at this...(I did some more calculations, just out of curiosity)

you can afford a jacket that is priced at retail at $250=£195.

You live in Chicago. With local sales tax 6.3% you pay $266=£207

You live in the UK. With VAT 20% you pay $300=£234

same jacket!


I'm going to gently tug this back to SWAP.  :)

I am actually dithering now about participating, although ultimately I probably will.
Here are the reasons I am hesitant:

1. I need pants, and I want to try a more structured pattern, something with a zip.
2. I need a winter/fall coat, completely new territory for me.
3. I really need more variety in my tops, so I want to move away from the TNT patterns I've used the past few years.
4. I don't want to start something I cannot finish!

No pressure Mudcat, but I am hoping the rules come out soon so I can see how they fit with my wardrobe needs.

Sew Ruthie Sews

I want to make the teal wool coat this year. I've made a test garment and it wasn't really that hard as I have picked a simple pattern.
I will somehow make that fit into the SWAP rules if I can help it!

It will be fun to see the rules when they come out. I will try hard to achieve a swap along with my other sewing. I wonder what they will be!
Ruthie in Derbyshire UK


I am loving reading about everyone's ideas.

Philippa: The top and dress you are looking at remind me a bit of the Burda 118 January 2018 dress pattern: https://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/tight-midi-dress-012018

The twist is not as elegant in the Burda pattern, but it looks as though it could be adapted from a stretch fabric to a nice woven. Like Sizun, I especially like the darts on back, bottom part of the Fold Waverley dress that you linked to. I can't think of an exact pattern, but Burda often has dresses with these kinds of features. Perusal of the Burdastyle site might yield something.

The talk of Eileen Fisher had me checking out jackets on her site, and I now I really want to make this one: https://www.eileenfisher.com/velvet-notch-collar-blazer-r8vl-j4916/?&color=2081. I have been planning to make a velvet jacket for...forever...although I am not sure I am up to the challenge of velvet. I love the classic, boyfriend style of that one. I should probably save myself the pain and buy the jacket. :)

I am trying really really hard to not join SWAP this year given that my efforts blew up into a million pieces in the last two years, but there's a relatively simple collection forming itself in my mind. Maybe I've finally figured out that what I most want in my dressing is to be comfortable in quality pieces that suit my climate (which in winter is very very cold). Whenever I veer from those simple ideas or try to overcomplicate my life, everything blows up. Oh well, we live and learn, don't we? :)  Can't wait to see the rules.


I will post them tomorrow, but I may as well warn you all they will be a variation on last years that will provide even more flexibility.


I'm quivering with anticipation, and fingers crossed that this year's rules will allow for more than one print/stripe/plaid/etc fabric. I loved last years rules, but the only one print was a real challenge for me to find a way to fit my own wardrobe needs with the rules. I understand how it is easier to combine solid colors than prints, but once my solid color niches are filled in my wardrobe, I really want to add in the coordinating visual texture of printed fabrics. But then, everyone knows that I am not a "classic" style wardrobe person.

I think I've identifies most the the gaps in my wardrobe, and really hope that I can match those gaps with the upcoming rules... Gosh, I feel a bit like the night before Christmas...
The Things that Make us Happy Make us Wise.

Read about my daily life at Acorn Cottage ~ Acorn Cottage Artisanry

"It is known (to some) that by dwelling in the present, conceding what is necessary to past and future, but no more than is necessary, it is quite possible to live happily ever after"      - Edgar Pangborn




indigotiger: I had the same issue with pattern last year. I do like pattern.

Excited to see the rules!


I do wear a lot of solid colors. While I wouldn't describe my wardrobe as a "uniform" it is more of a tested "recipe". Except for in the heat of summertime, I wear a pinafore every day, and those are solid colors. Underneath the pinafore I wear either a dress, or a top, or a knit top, or some combined layering of those depending on the temperature. The RTW turtleneck tops I own are mostly all solid colors as well. For the dresses, and the tops, that I sew... my preference is for coordinating printed fabrics in various combinations of colors.

What I learned from my SWAP sewing last year, is that if I have a huge project as part of SWAP, it will take over all my energy. I adore my Alabama Chanin style cardigan jacket I made last year, and it has proved an excellent addition to my everyday wardrobe and gets worn often, but after putting in over 100 hours of hand stitching, I ran out of mojo for quite a while. I will be careful to plan my SWAP for 2019 with a bit of an eye to time balance, and choose, in the theory of the very first SWAPs from Australian Stitches magazine years ago, some patterns that are fairly simple, while also being good additions to my wardrobe that fill empty niches
The Things that Make us Happy Make us Wise.

Read about my daily life at Acorn Cottage ~ Acorn Cottage Artisanry

"It is known (to some) that by dwelling in the present, conceding what is necessary to past and future, but no more than is necessary, it is quite possible to live happily ever after"      - Edgar Pangborn



I'm looking forward to seeing the Rules.

Meanwhile I've been remembering the delights of wardrobe patterns for simplifying wardrobe planning, if you can find one you like.

I pulled together some links and have updated them.
From the date on that, I wrote it this time last year when thinking about SWAP  :D

I'm particularly remembering the Burda pattern collection bundles if you don't mind using pdf patterns.  A generous group of patterns designed to work together, for about $25 - 35.

Thanks to Mudcat in anticipation, and Good Luck to all for having fun with planning.
For some of us that's our main participation    ;D
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - opinions on style, wardrobes, patterns
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lisannebainbrid/ - useful style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - links to good technique advice
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - listing of Peggy Sagers' sew-alongs
https://usingmybernina500e.wordpress.com - instructions for using my embroidery machine

Sew Ruthie Sews

I've done a post on Wendy Ward's book 'Sewing with Knitted Fabrics' and managed to find in various place on her blog photos of each of the different styles. I think for a casual at home lifestyle you could make a whole SWAP out of these 'loungewear' styles.

Ruthie in Derbyshire UK


thanks for the link to the Burda wardrobe pattern bundles! Didn't know they had any, so it's fun so look through them.

Allison, your cardigan last year was well worth all the effort and sewing-mojo-loss, it is soo beautiful! But I get your point - if you want there being a chance of finishing a SWAP, garments have to be less complex. So, no tears about not finishing last year as the pay-off is this wonderful jacket, but different approach this year...


Yes, thanks to Lisanne and Ruthie for the ideas for one-stop wardrobe patterning.

And Indigo, your experience with the lovely Alabama Chanin cardigan is exactly what has me a bit worried about this SWAP. I am certain that the garments I need are going to take up a lot of time and energy.  Still, I can't imagine sitting out SWAP this year. I'm looking at pants fitting videos and books to get myself ready!


Quote from: warpjr1965 on October 28, 2018, 06:41:04 am
/Snip/is exactly what has me a bit worried about this SWAP. I am certain that the garments I need are going to take up a lot of time and energy.  Still, I can't imagine sitting out SWAP this year. I'm looking at pants fitting videos and books to get myself ready!

I think there are thousands of reasons to join in on SWAP sewing..even if one has no hope of finishing by the deadline.  I figure Indigotiger's cardigan is a perfect example of a successful SWAP - in the sense that maybe it was the SWAP planning and energy that helped make it happen. 

I always think the SWAP I did for BH was my most successful because the whole thing got me to try again after many years to make trousers for him...and he loves the last pair...and hopefully will someday be well enough to wear them again.  So it was definitely worth it.  The SWAP took me two years to complete, but I am so glad l did it.  (Says she who is not quite ready to declare herself finished with last year's SWAP.)

The one year I actually completed a SWAP within the time frame... I didn't end up loving any of the garments and most of them have been given away or donated.  But even then, I think was a terrific experience to re-immerse myself in sewing. 

This year I am hoping again that with Mudcat's inspiration and guidelines I can put together a plan that will help me sew up some of my orphan fabrics...as I really did a crazy bit of fabric purchasing at the end of summer.

But first, I have get over a lost mojo hump myself.  Maybe it's time to re-energize that thread.


CCL: Your points are really good ones. SWAP re-energizes me after many months in which my time is usually not my own (travel, work, etc). Food for thought!

Thanks for the reminder in regard to wardrobe patterns, Lisanne and Ruthie. I was recently looking at some of the 1980s Vogue ones and thinking how nice many of the patterns are.


Quote from: Lisanne on October 28, 2018, 01:23:10 am
I'm looking forward to seeing the Rules.

Meanwhile I've been remembering the delights of wardrobe patterns for simplifying wardrobe planning, if you can find one you like.


Thanks to Mudcat in anticipation, and Good Luck to all for having fun with planning.
For some of us that's our main participation    ;D

I'm thinking of building on the wardrobe concept ... possibly doing a collection based largely on the Fit for Art patterns by Rae Cumbie, Carrie Emerson, and Sarah Veblen. I just took a workshop class this month with Rae on quilted jackets and realize the jacket from it will work nicely as a pre-sewn or inspiration piece for SWAP. Plus, from the fitting tips in the class, I now have a head start on coming up with TNT knit top and woven blouse patterns. The pants will be the real challenge, as always!



I love FFA patterns. Have purchased most of the addons too. im sure you  could make a very nice wardrobe using nothing else.  Think Rae has posted at least one sample of a complete wardrobe.


I've posted the SWAP rules.  As mentioned earlier they are similar to last year but with more flexibility for prints and a couple of wild cards. 

I'm not really a fan of the vivienne files because the styles are boring and there is a lack of prints.  However, I looked at a lot of the starting with art and starting with a scarf and liked the way items were chosen even though the majority of them were too bland for my taste.  Still I think it's a good idea as a basis of planning a wardrobe that works together so that is the direction I went.


Thanks, mudcat! Starting with an inspiration piece is a nice turn. And I really like those rules - so very flexible.  :applause2:


Now that we have rules (thanks mudcat!), it's time to go to to a general discussion swap threa, so this one is being locked.