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.



I am stuck.

I would like to keep sewing this Burda top, but I think the fabric and pattern are all wrong for each other, and wrong for me.  The fabric is too shiny and fancy, and the pattern is too hip and oversized.  I am pressing on, cause really I only have 6 more seams to sew and I’ll be done, but I think this is the wrong track.

I should really look at this as a learning experience, but I don’t really have any time for that!  I need clothes and a polished authentic look now!  Mistakes are inconvenient.  The main issue is that I am trying to complete SWAP, and spending most of February on a mistake is a mistake.

Part of the problem too is that I don’t know what I want my style to be, I just know that I want something other than what it is. I sew to make my own items that no one else can buy, but mainly I sew t-shirts and anyone can buy those! I am trying to up the interest by using new patterns like this Burda top, and texture like this shiny knit, but again I think I missed the mark.


Took the time today to trace out V 8859, OOP Marcy Tilton skinny pants.  I got these prior to discovering Stylearc patterns.  I whipped together a muslin from some gifted random knit. I chose a size 14 based on my measurements. Boy. No.  As usual the waist was very huge, not a bad fit in the thighs but as I have had great success with Stylearc, these are just meh.  Like I don’t even know if I want to wear them as pajamas.  I may try to salvage them into leggings for this SWAP, but that may not even be worth the effort.

The fabric was part of the problem.  I got it from a fabric exchange last year, it is pretty shiny so I am guessing a fair amount of poly, and my least favorite color for me: gunmetal gray. blah. I also omitted the yoke, and the knee pleats as I was short on fabric and just wanted to get a sense of the style lines.  I’ll keep it around for a while, but will probably gift it away at some point.

I will hold off on pants for now, instead I want to get going on Burda 6850, which I just picked up today.  I should muslin this too, before cutting into my fashion fabric, as it is very unstructured and I run the risk of being swallowed by my garment otherwise. I plan on a sweater, perhaps an overshirt of linen or similar, and a tunic with this crazy (for me) chevron knit. First the muslin.