1/11 Down

First SWAP item done!  I finally got my Style Arc Elle pants together. I cut them out a few weeks ago, basted them on for fit. Today I adjusted them at the inseam, then serged them up with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I will leave the hem for later, as I always expect a little shrinkage with washing.


These are made from Telio Ponte that I purchased from Ginny’s Fine Fabrics in Rochester, MN. My sewing group went there on a field trip in November, and O-M-G I don’t know why we waited so long! Ginny is great, so helpful, and her store is packed with everything from basic knits, to fabulous wool coating, to dreamy silks. I will definitely return!

My Bernina 1230 needs servicing now. It has churned through so many projects, and the last one, that lined jean jacket, stressed it out a little. So I’ll pause on the wovens, and start in on knits. My sewing group has an in-person sewing day next week, so I think I’ll cut a bunch of projects to finish on the serger. On the docket:


  • Top: super soft mustard sweatshirt fleece, will probably be a boxy/loose over layer.
  • Second: waffle knit, either a raglan tee or turtleneck.
  • Third: wide rib knit, not sure yet
  • Fourth: embroidered French Terry, NL 6525 View B with sleeves from view A.
  • Fifth: Faux fur jacket in process.

I don’t want to plan much more in advance, I’m terrible at sticking to plans! Till next time.



As in easing sleeves, which is not easy. So I think it should be called something else, like, Not Easing? Swearing and Throwing Things? I don’t know.

Anyway. I’m supposed to be working on SWAP, but I really want to complete this jean jacket I’m working on so I can get the machine serviced. I’ve tried 3 times to ease this sleeve in and it was just not working. This is time number 4, so this time I’m employing Ann Steeves’s method of setting in a sleeve. Here are my pins:


And here is the hand basting:


I was a chicken and did not take out all the pins.

After the first line of stitching, and on the intended recipient!

I am very pleased with this! It’s that old saying, the longest route is really the shortest. Truth: it did not take long to pin and hand baste, maybe ten minutes for each sleeve?

I’ll procrastinate now on the next hard thing: buttonholes.

Till next time!

SWAP 2020

Yearly blogging. Perhaps one day I’ll actually commit, but it might be nice to connect with people online about sewing and creativity, even if I am late to the game here.

Once again I am participating in Stitcher’s Guild SWAP. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve participated, but this event has fueled my interest in sewing, and I credit it, and the community there, for helping improve my sewing.

I’ve reviewed the basic idea behind SWAP previously. This year’s rules:

Your Perfect Vision – SWAP 2020
11 pieces, in two groups:

  • 9 or 10 that may coordinate (be worn together) to form outfits
  • 1 or 2 that MUST coordinate (be able to be worn with all of the others)  (1 if you make 10 other pieces, 2 if you make 9)
  • no required garments
  • no required colors
  • You may include one garment that is knitted, crocheted, or handwoven

This sounds easy, only at first.

For me it means two outer garments, like a jacket or sweater, cause I am determined to make pants AND a dress. So that’s that.

I am settling into a plan of blue and mustard, with accents of black and ivory.  Our sewing group went shopping last month and I picked up a yummy mustard rayon/linen, black ponte for some Elle pants, and an ivory slubby French Terry. I had hoped to get my pink moto jacket involved in SWAP, but it is just not going to happen. That is OK. I’ll sew it up anyway.

My inspiration piece are a pair of blue suede shoes I got at the thrift store.

SWAP 2019

The rules this year are very flexible, with the focus once a gain on producing a cohesive collection of 11 garments.

The collection starts with an inspiration piece, which for me is this wool suiting fabric:


Wool tweed

From there you choose 2 “main fabrics” to form the core of your collection. These can be any tone, multiple different fabrics. Then, you are permitted to make up to 5 accent items, but each fabric regardless of color counts for one accent.

For this year I originally chose neutrals: ivory and black, although pink is strongly in the running, as is blue.

Then I had a think through. I have 2 different ivory fabrics in the stash already plus a chunky knit, but really I would never wear white on my bottom half. So that is a strike against ivory as a core color.

I do have 1 piece of black fabric in stash, and one black cardigan that was finished prior to SWAP. A strike against black. Oh, actually, I have one RTW black t shirt. I would not mind purchasing another bit of black yardage for a shirt, so black is still in the running.

Pink. I straight-up love pink. I have 3 fabrics already that would fit this colorway: a pink ponte for pants, a deeper coral/pink stretch lace, and a very pink wool tweed that I’ve had for over 15 years. So from this already I have a shirt, pants, jacket.

Blue. Must be my second favorite color. I have a blue denim, a blue embroidered lawn, a blue knit for a sweater vest. So from this: a shirt, pants, vest.

Then there is purple. I have a very lovely eggplant purple wool knit that could easily become a skirt, and possibly a jacket, along with a lighter purple jersey that has already become this dress:


NL 6525

I really don’t want to purchase fabric at all. So it would make sense to have my main fabrics be pink and black, as I’ve already got enough in stash to make 5-6 garments.

Then ivory could be my main accent, with blue or purple taking a secondary role. I think I like this! Here is the run-down of garment possibilities.

Black wool Wrap

  • Wild card item/inspiration item


  • Jacket
  • Lace Tshirt
  • Pull on pants likely Jalie eleonore


  • Sweater vest own design
  • Woven shirt
  • Cropped jeans Burda



  • Jalie 2805
  • Raglan T
  • Cowl swing T LN 6525


  • Jalie jeans
  • Cardigan
  • RTW tee shirt


  • dress
  • skirt
  • jacket.


  • Floral print: T-shirt

I’ll never sew all of them, there are 17 options there!  I’ll have to map out a plan to keep me on track, I’d like to finish prior to the deadline this year. The jackets will take me the most time, so I’ll finish the wrap first, then move on to the pink jacket while sewing up some other more simple items concurrently.


SWAP 2018 Complete

All done with SWAP!  I managed to squeak out the last garment with 2 hours to go. I am a master procrastinator!

Here is my assessment of the whole process, copied from the Stitcher’s Guild website:


Neutral one BROWN:

1. Tan Jalie Eleonore jeans DONE
2. Brown Elle pants DONE
3. Previously sewn: linen Plantain tee DONE
4. Ecru knit Shirt No. 1 DONE

Neutral two BLUE

5. Pullover hoodie (Meg McElwee’s Craftsy class) DONE
6. Blue jeans, purchased DONE
7. Skirt (RTW copy, same fabric as hoodie) DONE

Print coral/blue/yellow jersey
8. Plantain tee DONE
9. Tank (RTW copy) DONE


Print 2 Brown patchwork burnout
10. Tank (RTW copy) DONE


Color pop: coral stretch jersey

11. Tank top (RTW copy) DONE

Number of patterns used: 6
Number of new patterns: 3 (including 2 RTW copies drafted during SWAP)
New things learned/tried: Stabilizing a loose knit while finishing a seam, creating a binding for seam finishing on interior.

Every single one of these patterns I will use again. I don’t think there is a single “Hmm, maybe I won’t wear this as much as I thought” item in the lot. I think they all work together much better than any group of items I have sewn. This has to have been my most successful SWAP to date, IMO.


The whole collection


Floral tank, quilted jersey skirt


RTW jeans and tank


Floral T, pull on jeans


My favorite hoodie!


Much loved plantain tee and quilted skirt


Coral tank, pull on jeans


Sweater, coral tank, favorite Elle pants


Clearly I am not a professional blogger. I am not going to mess around with the pictures, I can’t get them the same size!


My favorite makes: the hoodie, coral tank, pull on jeans, and Elle pants. I love them all!  The floral shirts are cozy, and I wear them a lot for work, which means they will probably wear out quickly.  That’s OK. They were quick makes.


Next up is another Sewing With A Plan, through The Sewing Place message board. This one is similar, 10 garments, with a sewing time frame from May to October. I am planning on participating in this one too.

2 Garments

Finally I have gotten started on my SWAP items! Between Christmas, a nasty virus that hit the family, and regular life events I had no time or energy to even sort through the patterns or cut fabric.

I started with the floral knit fabric for a few reasons.

  1. I was looking to add a print to my current wardrobe.
  2. Jersey is very easy for me to sew.
  3. I had enough yardage to get at least 2, possibly 3 garments.
  4. I would be able to use the serger and not have to re-thread it.
  5. I could batch sew, maximizing my time.

First I cut my favorite T: the plantain.  I used Sara Veblen’s knit neckband tutorial, and I ended cutting the band a little short, which pulled the neckline up a little higher than I wanted. It actually makes it a bit more work appropriate, so I’ll take it.

Next I traced off a pattern from DD’s swing tank that I have been coveting (insert evil grin.) For this I ended up doing a fold over binding for the neck and arm holes, using these two links as resources:

https://blog.colettehq.com/tutorials/how-to-bind-knit-edges-the-ultimate-guide https://www.victorypatterns.com/blog/2013/03/finishing-edges-with-bias-binding/.

Ironing the binding was very putzy, but I am always glad when I take that extra time and don’t try for short cuts! Turns out though, the armhole binding was a little sloppy, and pulled the armhole a bit tight. So, I did what anyone might do: chopped it and just turned and stitched.

Both are still waiting for pictures and hemming.

In the Deep Freeze

It is C-O-L-D out there! The high today was -5 F.  I took this picture of the frost on our window yesterday.


I am still in the thinking phase of SWAP. It has only just officially started anyway, but I really should get a move on.  I am behind cause I am making a fleece zip hoodie for DH, and I am stalling on various parts. I don’t know why, it is actually not that hard, but there are a lot more steps in this than in a t-shirt!  Here is a picture of the hood, he wanted the outer to be waterproof, and I had to modify it to have the inner green fleece.


I will probably keep sewing along on the hoodie, and when I need a break I’ll cut fabric for SWAP.  I am bouncing back and forth between using a TNT, or trying something new.  I should probably just do up a pair of SyleArc Elle pants, as they are a quick sew and also something I need, but they feel a bit boring right now.

Annual SWAP posting

Good morning from a soon-to-be-warm December Sunday. The temp is supposed to hit 50 today, very unseasonably warm for MN.  I am not complaining at all.

SWAP is on again, as per usual. This year’s rules are a little more restrictive for me than I usually find. No restriction on patterns or even garment type, but some seriously limiting color guidelines. Here they are:

Choose two neutral colors
Add one accent color and two prints OR two accent colors and one print
Make at least three garments from each neutral color
Make at least one garment from each accent color
Make at least one garment from each print
Remaining two garments may be made from any one or combination of your neutrals, accent(s) and/or print(s)
Create multiple outfits of at least two garments that work for your personal style
Each garment must work with a minimum of two outfits

Optional Accessory: add one self-made accessory as a signature piece that works with at least two of  your outfits

This completely derails my hopes to inject more color and pattern into my wardrobe, mostly because I am on a serious budget as usual, and I have a rather disjointed, limited fabric stash. I am also desperately in need of new basics (read: t-shirts), and all my work pants are looking pretty sad as I wear them multiple times per week. Two pair have likely been worn over 100 times! And the shirts? Not even gonna count. Also, need a few cozy sweatshirt/hoodies, as it gets cold here in fall and winter!

Gah! my head is moving in too many directions!

Here are my tentative plans:

Neutral one BROWN:

Tan Jalie jeans
Brown leggings
Natural sweater (cardigan, or pullover)
Previously sewn: elle pants or linen plantain tee

Neutral two BLUE

Embroidered chambray tunic/dress (cheyenne or west water tunic?)
blue mash up fabric (shirt no 1? tank?)
Blue jeans, purchased.

Print coral/blue/yellow jersey
Tunic or Hoodie

Color 1 Purple wool double knit
pullover based on shirt no 1
skinny pants or leggings.

Color 2 coral stretch jersey
Tank top/tunic

This is far more colorful than last year’s brown/blue theme, what with the coral and purple thrown in. Not much in the way of pattern, but oh well. Here are the fabrics I’ve curated for this SWAP:


I am seriously loving this combination! I’m not sure which to start with first. The practical thing to do would be a pair of work pants. The fun thing would be a hoodie or t-shirt with that floral print! Plenty of time to think it over.


SWAP sewing has come to a screeching halt!

I completed the 2 Jalie t-shirts, both are crew necks due to: 1. not enough fabric and 2. Mock t-band was waaaay too short for the neck opening, and then I did not have enough fabric! No matter, they are done, simple, and I love them.


New simple shirts!

I was supposed to cut out the blue and gray shirts next. I want to try out the Deer & Doe Plantain tee for these, just for a newer silhouette. I got as far as downloading and taping the pattern, and I just couldn’t go on because once again I don’t have enough fabric. To be fair, I purchased the fabric with 2 more Jalie’s in mind, but I just was irritated. So I quit. Instead I started sewing up a quilt top kit that I bought 10 years ago and has been languishing in my stash, taunting me.

I joked a little that it is harder than clothes and in a way it is. Those 1/4 inch seam allowances are unforgiving! If you are a little bit off even half the time, well, I imagine things won’t be exact! There is more room for error in a garment.

Still, I am enjoying the quick little zip! of sewing up a seam. Very satisfying.


Boxy top is done, and in the trash!  Learning experience for sure: wrong pattern, wrong fabric. I may try the pattern again in a stiffer woven or knit, but not now.

Switching my focus to the basics of SWAP, Planning 4 iterations of Jalie 2805:

  • Split side seam mock turtleneck in a blue marled rib knit
  • Second mock turtleneck in a white rib knit
  • 2 crew neck t shirts in gray and blue, possibly with a shirt-tail hem

That should only take a few days, between pre-wash, cut, sew.  The split seam and shirt-tail hem will take longer as I don’t have a pattern and will have to draft them. That brings SWAP to:


  1. Pre-sewn Jalie Eleonore jeans
  2. Purchased boot leg jeans


  1. Blue Mock turtleneck
  2. White mock turtleneck
  3. Blue crew neck
  4. White crew neck

That is actually not bad. 6 of 11 items. I really need a wider variety of overs, 2 would bring me to 8 items. One more shirt is 9 items, and the black or brown Elles or Eleanores gets me to 10 or 11. That doesn’t even count the tunics I want to make!  Plenty of options, and whatever I don’t finish can be added later for a nice capsule wardrobe based on blue, brown, and black.