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SWAP 2020 general discussion thread

Started by Lisanne, October 30, 2019, 05:35:57 am

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For the pick stitching- personal taste.  I've also done this edge finishing by hand with small, visible running stitches- sort of halfway between a pick stitch and full on top stitching.  Best do some samples...

For the machines, the one I use at home is from 1912 if I remember rightly, but these really old ones didn't change much at all.  I'm no expert!  {we use two at school for my sewing club, one's 1921, one's 1940-ish I think]

All are beautiful HEAVY solid and totally, utterly dependable.  Real work horses.  The buttonhole attachments are easily available here, and only cost about £30.  With the actual machines averaging about £50, that's a real bargain!

I find piped buttonholes MUCH simpler than bound, and for thick fabrics. much easier to control, especially if you hand sew them.  Saves a lot of fuss.  Here's the video I learned from, the buttonhole part is at about 2.20  Piped buttonholes
Apparently I'm a quintessential Gemini- but I think that's a load of b.s. myselves...


Thanks @dementedfairy. That is so helpful! I am going to have to get an older machine. As soon as we are free to move about I am going to begin my search. Thanks also for the help re. piped buttonhole. Yay! :)

That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


April 02, 2020, 08:29:03 am #352 Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 08:47:46 am by LillieT
Just a note to let you know I am still kicking.  I had been working really hard on items to sell at a spring bazaar which was ultimately cancelled.  When it was cancelled I was so bummed, had put quite a bit (energy and money) into new displays as well as products, that I pretty much sat and did nothing for a few weeks. 
Some of you will remember my alter-ego Lillie, she has been prodding me to get up and work on my SWAP - so, i finally stirred myself to switch gears and shake off the funk. 
I had finished the brown twill pants and the turquoise print jacket in early Feb. but hadn't taken time to write anything about them.  I love the jacket, have worn it a lot.  It is bright and colorful and cheery.  I also love the pants, but they are pilling.  Was quite disappointed as the fabric was not cheap, came from Emma One Sock.   Linda agreed to refund part of my money but I haven't ordered anything yet.
I knit the cream wool cardigan last week, was a bit pinchy when I ordered the wool, had barely enough for the cardigan, realky a coatigan, as it is knee length.  I had decided to add pockets but don't have enough yarn.  I ordered more, but with this pandemic Knitpicks is not staffing their warehouse and won't ship the yarn till who knows when.  Sigh.......
I then moved on to the turquoise patchwork tunic and was nearly finished when my machine decided to start skipping stitches on the knit.  After trying everything i decided to go to the local quilt shop and purchase Schmetz ball-point needles to see if that would fix the issue.  Alas, they were closed, reduced hours during this crisis.  I will go this morning in the right time-frame - hopefully will fix the issue.
My, my, what a lot of rambling.  Will attempt to get pics today of the knit jacket and coatigan.  Also the tunic if new needles solve my problem, have only the hem to go. I have the jeans skirt cut out and the denim vest finished except for buttons.  Having a really hard time finding the right ones.  Have ordered some from eBay, hard to tell if they will be the right color or not until I get them.
I have went on long enough, stay safe everyone. 


Can't wait to see the knit jacket and coatigan, LillieT!


LillieT - I think we all understand the sitting and doing nothing.  I've definitely been there in the last weeks.  Crazy times.

Stephaniecan - I've not been reading this site for a while.  I wanted to wait until I had the time to read it properly.  I've just seen all your lovely photos.  The last post of your checked shirt really shows up the pockets well.  They look great, a really lovely feature.  Your silk blouse also looks lovely and your coat is coming on great guns.  All the muslining was worth it.  On a jacket I am currently making I did a straight stitch on the machine set at the longest stitch and then I used that as a guide to do a running stitch by hand in topstitching thread and then removed the original stitching.  For the parts where the original stitching wasn't so consistant, I was able to fudge it with my hand stitching.

My SWAP - hmmm.  Not sure if I will finish it with the extended deadline.  Or perhaps start in a different direction?  I think I will find it difficult to talk about summer clothes in the middle of winter.

My sewing has gone down a jacket rabbit hole.  I made a Sienna jacket last year, but I didn't like the sleeves.  They were enormous in the plus size.  It was in a lovely colour, but I realised it would fight with so many other garments. Altered it slightly and my daughter loves it.
Next I made a jacket based on StyleArc sasha pattern as part of my SWAP.  I may well wear it come winter, but I wasn't happy with the proportion of the lapels.
I pulled out an old TNT jacket and made a vest out of it (not enough fabric for the sleeves).  Great fit!  Decided to do the French jacket thing using that pattern.  I'm probably a third of the way through that.  But then I tried to wear the vest and realised the length didn't fit with the length of top I currently wear.
Next I tried to do the best of both worlds.  I traced off the body shape of the Sasha and reprinted the lapel and collar from the Sienna.  It took a bit of making it work (a la Tim Gunn), but I think it's a success.  I've made another sleeveless jacket and it looks good.  Still needs some more hand-stitching, but I'm pretty happy with it.  Maybe it might be the base of a new SWAP direction?


@KathrynT: Thank you so much for your kind comments. Thanks also for the information about what you have done with success on your jacket. I read this after I had already pick stitched the coat, which fortunately worked out well.I really love hand stitching and trust my hand more than my hand on the machine! Your jacket sounds great. I admire your willingness to cut and change and make hybrid things to your satisfaction! I wish I had that confidence.

I don't know that most of us are very excited or motivated by our SWAP collections right now, with so many other worries, but I am still planning to complete my SWAP by June 30. Tethering myself to a goal like that is helping my state of mine, which is anxious at best.

Take care, all!
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


@Sew Ruthie Sews love your mod of changing pockets to jeans style!
@LillieT Sorry to hear about the skirt that went wrong, brown denim sounds like a good alternative though
@GraceNZ good job on your progress!

I'm working from home now but I'm working harder than when I worked at the office. Working at the office, I could go home, whether it was 5:30pm or 9:30 pm but working from home is like 24 hours. All the workaholics are sending emails at unearthly hours   :lost: So I don't think I'll be making much progress from here on, but one can hope. Anyway, I will pop by once in a while to see what everyone else is up to and cheer you on!


Firstly I hope everyone is well and safe and doing what they need to for their wellbeing. Stay safe and stay home if you can :)

Secondly there is some great clothes being sewn up for the SWAP (thanks for extending the deadline too!)

@CCL I love the striped dress and it looks great with the red coat.

@Morzel Both navy dresses are fantastic.

@mahgret Well done on all the firsts with your chiffon blouse.

@indigotiger I hope you are all recovered from your surgery.

@Medea Good luck with the fabric store during this turbulent time.

@sewordinary Hopefully work eases up for you and you can do some sewing soon!

@dementedfairy The masks you made look amazing. Fingers crossed they can be used at some point.

@LillieT Great welt pockets and I love the lining print on your knit jacket.

@stephaniecan hopefully everything is ok with your partner in Italy. I can't wait to see the embroidery on the coat.

Take care!
More details about everything on my blog.



Popping back in to say hi!
What a month. Sheesh. I hope everyone is well.
I finally have gotten some personal sewing done today. I had to revisit my hoodie, the 2 oatmeal tops, as there was some tying of ends and a re-do of the hood required. All of that was completed today, so I can officially say I am done with those items.
Still need to hem up my blue sweater and blue striped tees, those are next on the docket for SWAP.
After that I will recut my fuzzy jacket and attempt to finish that off. I'll have a nice 6-ish pack if I can do that.


I set the brown herringbone denim out on my cutting table, and there it still sits.  I have more of it than I thought - 3 yds. - I am waffling on how I want to use it.  I don't need another jacket in my SWAP, but Silhouettes Carol's jacket would look great in this fabric, and I already have the pattern, have used it once.  I guess I can always make it, just not include it in the SWAP. 
I had to have my husband transported to the hospital yesterday, he has a UTI and had a high fever that I couldn't bring down at home.  He is a T9 paraplegic and when he gets a temp he just wants to sleep so I can't get him up or get him to drink the fluids that he needs.  He is a big man, around 230 lbs. too much for me to handle so I had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  With the COVID 19 pandemic there is no visitors allowed at the hospital, not even a spouse, kind of frustrating.  I know he is where he needs to be and getting the care I couldn't give him. 
Enough of that - I hope everyone has a wonderful blessed Easter if you celebrate it.

Susan in Saint John

I was puttering in my pattern and fabric stashes and came across this pattern Vogue 9004 which is out of print but still available https://mccall.com/v9004.  One of the things I like about it and why I am posting about it here is that the colour blocking could be useful for leftover pieces of fabrics from other SWAP garments because they could be used together to create a "bonus" garment.

I discovered that from a basic bodice/torso block or TNT shell pattern, View A is actually a shoulder princess seam through the bust apex on the right side and an armhole princess seam through the bust apex on the left side which is extended to meet the right side princess seam at the hem.  A bit of dart rotation will do the trick.


Just popping in to wave to say hi! I'm happy to see that people are still sewing, even if it can be difficult to focus attention on this when so many other worries are at hand.

@Medea : Love the coat! I can't see the fabric clearly. What is it?
@indigotiger : Being a lover of colour (who also loves to wear grey at times), I love the idea of a teal pinafore! Go for it!

I'm working on my coat, very slowly. It is near to being finished but I want to complete the embroidery before I put in the lining, so that is causing me some grief. I also started a pretty random, improvisational fair isle project, with a grey background and lots of bright colours: red, yellow, orange. This is going to be a very odd SWAP collection, I admit, but I'm calling it COVID improvisation: What better way to enjoy simply take pleasure in being safe and being able to make things?
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


@sewordinary I laughed in recognition about colleagues who email at all hours. Unfortunately, that is my usual work environment, as I am often beholden to government ministers who have grand ideas at all hours, or need a response to some attack from the opposition. (I find that politicians are often especially adept at ruining bureacrats' and technocrats' Sundays... :) ). Sigh. Hope it gets better for you as people start to adapt to the new environment. I have learned when I can ignore these emails, or push back and say I will get to it later, and when I really can't...
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Stephaniecan, I was thinking the same thing!  Maybe my wardrobe might be called something like Emergence for when we can get out and about again.  When everyone else was hoarding for pantry supplies,  I was at the fabric shops buying fabrics.


@stephaniecan "Random" fair isle?!!! Steph, it's absolutely beautiful. So glad to see that you ordered more yarn for it's completion. Can't wait to see the end result.


Hi @KathrynT I love that!! Emergence!! Maybe mine should be called Eccentricity or COVIDeccentricity. :)

Thanks @sewsy I should give credit for the fair isle chart to Sarah Dallas, who I believe got it from a vintage design. The sweater itself I am making up as I am going along, but the chart is a traditional one not invented by me. The one thing I had fun with was trying to jam a whole bunch of sunny colours into the same spaces in the chart as I have a deep, deep yearning right now for all things bright and wonderful.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Just reading a bit further back in the conversation and wanted to say:

@LillieT I hope your husband is doing better and is home now. My partner had to take his mother (91 years) to the hospital in Italy a couple of weeks ago as she slipped in the bathroom and broke her leg. It was a total nightmare in this COVID environment so I can sympathize. They got her home as early as possible to avoid transmission in hospital and have to do all care at home. They also were not allowed in the hospital when she was admitted. This situation with COVID is creating so many inhumane situations for many.

@GraceNZ Thanks for your kind words, Grace. It certainly is a stressful period in history for many.

@warpjr1965 Glad to hear that you have been sewing, Wendy.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


What a fabulous thing to do with your time and sewing skill @dementedfairy. I salute your generosity!
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Quote from: stephaniecan on April 18, 2020, 10:57:21 am@Medea : Love the coat! I can't see the fabric clearly. What is it?

Thanks Stephaniecan. The fabric is an unknown fabric I found amongst the large fabric stock I bought from the closing fabric store to start my business. But it feels like a cotton blend maybe with some sort of polyester/polyamid on the outer surface. Or maybe just mercerised cotton.

It has a lovely drape and I will use the jacket a lot.
I'm at Instagram @ medeasgarderob (Medea's Wardrobe)


Now that's a photo @Medea ! Thanks.  It's lovely and perfect for that design. I am putting something similar on my list as I think it would be a very useful item to have in the wardrobe. Thanks for the idea.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Finally got up the motivation to cut out a few more projects!  I have a huge stack of fabric, just waiting, including SWAP but so much more...it is actually overwhelming.

so I cut out 3 quickies: a shirt no. 1 from 100 acts of sewing, and 2 plantain tees. They may or may not end up in SWAP, all fit in with the color scheme at least.

Once I get those done then I'll dive back into the stack to see what rises to the top.


That's inspiring, Wendy! I wish I were similarly prepared. I am afraid I have started to lose interest in my wools (of which I have many) as spring starts to dawn here. Now I'm left with not too much choice if I want to change my SWAP a bit to become more spring-like (and I do!). Oh the dilemmas!

I hope everyone is OK and is able perhaps to enjoy some sewing.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Well, I am completely avoiding anything with more than 5 pattern pieces, LOL!

I managed to squeeze a tank out of some SWAP leftovers, so that makes one more shirt to complete.

Next I'll Cover stitch anything that needs it, then switch over to blue thread to deal with the Shirt No. 1.


May 03, 2020, 08:01:48 am #373 Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 08:38:10 am by stephaniecan Reason: typo
Wendy, there is a lot of prudence in working with things with five pieces! I am starting to move in that direction myself, having overcomplicated things for myself in the beginning.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Ruthie, The latest sewing is impressive! I love the pattern mixing in the Marnie jacket, which seems to have nice lines, too.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Ruthie, that Marnie jacket is something else!!

Stephanie: Affirmation SWAP! I'm all over that.
I've always had trouble once April comes around with my mind wandering toward summery things as well. I've done it again, with the addition of a tank to sew up!
Luckily April is mercurial here in MN, today was a brisk 61, perfect for a cosy coverup. Back to winter! (almost.)


Well I totally fell off the SWAP wagon!! I own a personal shopping & delivery business and it's exploded over the last couple of months. I've had 3 days off since March 17th. No sewing at all for me, my friend with almost zero sewing experience made me some masks. Just catching up a bit. Love what you're all doing.

Sew Ruthie Sews

For some reason I was unable to get to SG for several weeks I think, although I checked with others and via my work network and could access. However before I got round to logging an issue with my broadband provider it sorted itself out.

I have sewn a few more pieces in my SWAP colourway - a black cardigan, a red cardigan and scrappy jacket (this really taxed my brain).

Then I changed over and made 75 red, white and blue pennants for some VE day bunting.
I think some blinds made from an old duvet cover might be next, to screen my view of the neighbours laundry!

Hope you are all doing OK in this new strange world. I am working from home and visit the supermarket once a week on a mid week evening.
Ruthie in Derbyshire UK


Ruthie, I really love that jacket! I love using up small pieces, it's one of my favourite things. I hope it gave you the same buzz.

Indigotiger, I also love that print you bought for a blouse.  Very pretty. Makes me smile.

My SWAP has definitely changed. I'm going to call it Emergence and it's about extra casual clothes for working from home and one or two things for my back to work winter wardrobe. I made a black and white jacket, but it's too formal for wearing at home. It will be great for work. I'm now working on a similar jacket but unlined boiled wool, which will work for home.  After that, another pair of jeans.

Helen M

I've decided to pull out of SWAP as I've made no progress since the end of February. Motivation has completely gone due to the current situation and I don't think I'll be needing more clothes for a long time.

Good luck to everyone, there are some lovely collections in progress!
Sewing in Cheshire


Aww Helen, I hope that in time your desire to sew returns, and that garments you already completed stand you in good stead
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

Susan in Saint John

I am still working away on muslins for SWAP.  I have 2 muslins for sleeveless tops ready to move into real fabric from Brooks Ann Campers' Tops class.  I am working through a classic sleeved shirt in an online class by Alexandra Morgan (In House Patterns), Fitting Essentials.  I am to the point of trying to sort out the most difficult part for me, the sleeves.  I am really impressed with how Alexandra is using technology so effectively for instruction videos, a class forum, and live conferences.  She also has a lot of free content on her web site.  These 2 classes are quite different but although expensive, I have found them both excellent.

My SWAP needs some bottoms too.  I have decided that I am really not a skirt person so will be making trousers.  I've bought 2 new patterns -- Cashmerette's Calder Pants and The Sewing Workshop's Hollywood Pants.  I like details of both of them and I do have a muslin developed primarily from a Loes Hinse pattern waiting to be tried in real fabric.


Wendy: April is mercurial here, too. We have snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow night! And it was 15 C today. Oh well.

@Helen M Sorry to hear that sewing your collection has lost its appeal for now. As indigotiger says, hopefully what you have done is useful to you.

@KathrynT I love that: Emergence! Beautiful.

@Sew Ruthie Sews: A blind sounds like it could come in handy. Glad to see what you've been up to.

@Susan in Saint John: Sounds as though you are making good progress!

Ah sigh...I feel like a bit of a nutty person but I have pivoted again. I have a new SWAP deisgn using different fabrics in stash and more of a primary colour palette to suit my crazy mood. I've cut out three garments and designed the yoke for the sweater I am going to make. I think I'll cut out a jacket version of the coat I made in a colour that suits the palette and so that all that learning on the coat won't go to waste.

Affirmation SWAP it is.

Be well, everyone!
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Susan, I'll be interested to see your tops from BrooksAnn's class.  I have my eye on that, but i'm not ready to commit to something like that.

Helen, I get the mojo leaving, I certainly have my days.

I am working my way through a bunch of unfinished projects, including tops for SWAP and some other random stuff that has been hanging around. I am attempting to do things properly, so I am stabilizing hems prior to sewing. Takes longer, looks better. I've got 2 tops to finish, then I'll switch over to blue thread and get going on those items. That will probably have to wait till next weekend.


Oooh beautiful work on the collar, @indigotiger. The fabric is so lovely! I had a similar realization with a floral I cut out to be a skirt last week - I realized that it was directional (even though there are some flowers that tilt in the opposite direction) so I had to take extra care cutting out; I even tried to pattern match, but we'll see how that goes). As always, your sewing is exemplary!
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia