SWAP 2016

I am at it again.

This time for me, no one is taking over my SWAP!

Plans mainly to sew from stash, although I just bought the Jalie Eleanor pull on Jean pattern. Like how I did that, right before I put my intentions in writing? I have so.much.stuff upstairs I need to get sewing some of it up.  I don’t know how I’ll get it all to coordinate though, none of it was purchased with the intention of matching anything.  And I desperately need more T shirts, super easy to sew, but I have no good fabric in the stash for that.

I’m going to try 3 new-to-me patterns, no make that 4: the jeans above, a Marcy Tilton jacket that I had to have a few months ago and now I am meh about, 2 woven T styles for variety.  I am working on a muslin for one and am having a bit of a slog with it.  The second I may start today, and if I like it better I may simply ditch the other for now, although without sleeves I think it may get the thumbs up.

No pictures now, just getting reality on paper.


One hour t-shirt

I made a t-shirt in one hour!!

OK, it is not quite done, as DD is not home for me to check the hem length, and I think the neck band will be too tight.


I used a knit from SR Harris, and after cutting it realized it is not as stretchy as some of the other knits I’ve used.  Hence the tight neck band.  The pattern is Jalie 2805 and oh boy is it easy.  It has multiple neckline options: cowl, crew, V neck, Henley.  DD likes the crew neck. It is not too low, and the body has just the right amount of curve for her tastes. I’ve made 4 so far including this one.

Last year I was amazed at all the people posting about their quickly sewn t-shirts. Now that I have a pattern I like and am familiar with (and has only 5 pattern pieces) I get it!  I feel like I’ve joined a secret club.

Adventures in Ottobre

I’ve dived in to the making of the blouse for DD.  I am using an Ottobre pattern, so that means I am in uncharted (for me) territory on a number of levels.

  1. I have never sewn a blouse with a placket in my life.
  2. Cuffs, buttonholes, and collars are completely new to me.
  3. Ottobre instructions are on the minimal side, and there is no cutting layout.
  4. Ottobre patterns do not have seam allowances-gasp!
  5. DD is a size 10 in circumference, and about a 12 in length, so I have to lengthen the pattern.

I think that is it, and that is enough. I thought I should blog the experience as a record for myself, easy enough on the weekend, and harder during the week.

Up today is lengthening the pattern, adding the seam allowance on the fabric itself (per Ottobre instructions), and cutting the pieces. That means I get to use my new sewing tool, a French Curve.

So first I measured from the armscye how far down to make my cut to lengthen the pattern.  Usually I am all just line it up and see what happens, but this time I measured!


See that is my new French curve.  I measured the front and back bodice pieces, added about 2 inches and ended up with this.


Sorry for the unedited  sun spots, and for my photo bombing feet.  I went ahead and traced out all the pattern pieces and added the seam allowances.  This was a very tedious process, but I realized that it is far easier to pattern match without the seam allowance. I added 5/8″ to give me lots of margin for error.

Next I’ll serge the edges, and start construction. Wish me luck!

Down to the wire

April 11, and I have just over 2 weeks to finish the SWAP.  DD has changed her mind on every turn, and we no longer have a rainbow swap, rather a mostly aqua and orange SWAP, with some random patterns thrown in.  That is all fine with me as I know she will wear nearly every item I have made so far.

The rundown on complete items is:

3 t shirts: one teal, one aqua, one teal striped.

2 pair leggings: one orange, one rainbow striped.

2 pair fleece pants: one brown and yellow polka dot, one green and pink/yellow floral.

1 fleece cowl neck sweater: light aqua.

1 magenta heather cocoon sweater.

Next item planned is a woven cotton blouse, which I am totally stalling on, and one as yet unnamed item.  We are missing a refashion, and I am stumped as to what to add in.  I may take her shopping in my closet for a garment to re-do.

For the blouse I need to:

Trace the pattern, add seam allowances, cut out the pattern.

Pin and cut the fabric.

Sew together.

Figure out how to do button holes.

Sew on buttons.

Hope it fits her!

Planning to get the pattern traced and cut, and fabric cut by the end of the weekend.  Tall order, as I am stalling like a champ.


My daughter totally hijacked my SWAP plans.  Little stinker. 😉

So I will be doing the Winter 6-PAC for me, and SWAP for her.  Truly this is better, cause I need the clothes like yesterday, and she can wait.  SWAP doesn’t even start until December 26, and the 6-PAC sew along runs from November-January.  I also need to beef up my TNT patterns, and it is easier IMO to do this with a 6 PAC and not so much with SWAP.

Having said that, I really have my work cut out for me.  She has me doing 2 pairs of leggings and one pair of capris, a pair of shorts, a reversible faux fur sweater, 2 tshirts (thank god), a tunic, and a shirt dress. Oh, and a faux shearling jacket.  Right. And actually I am forgetting something, cause there should be 11 items on the list and I only count 10.  Here is a preview:


legging pattern and fabric choices


Reversible sweater pattern and fabric choices.

I’ve already gotten one legging pair cut and partially sewn (you are allowed to sew up one item prior to the official start date.) I hope to get the other pair cut, the fleece sweater cut and pinned, and all other patterns and fabric purchased prior to the start date.

For me, I have already finished up one item (Barb pants, love them!), and am nearly done with the second (blue sweatshirt fleece pullover.)  No pics to post yet.  I’ll get cracking on a t shirt or 2, probably using my Renfrew pattern, then I have a cardigan to make from a charcoal and white striped sweater knit, and one more pair of Barbs.  I’ll pull together a reasonable  post about the Barbs when the second pair is completed.

Sucked into the Vortex

As usual, October sucks me in. It is gone!  Just like that.  How does it happen I wonder?

School conference day.

Long weekend for teacher conferences.

A few birthday parties to throw or attend.

Halloween costume preparation.

And, done.

I did eliminate a lot of items. Hundreds of pieces of paper.  5 bags full to the brim of clothing. A large garbage bag of magazines and old newspapers.  A box full of beads. And 600 emails.

IMG_3091 IMG_3090 IMG_3088

I can’t show you the emails, or I’d have to kill you.

I feel pretty well satisfied that I have deleted 990 Items from my life this past month.  And pretty well satisfied that I have pared my closet down with the spirit of P33 in mind.  And pretty sure that I cannot live with only 33 items of clothing to choose from for 3 months.  And I am OK with that.

I’ll still be purging. There is plenty of junk in my house to purge.


But my real next project is SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) 2015. The rules are up over at Stitcher’s Guild, and I am pretty psyched!  5 tops, 3 bottoms, 3 wild cards, including at least one up/recycled item.  One item can be purchased, one already sewn, and one (I think?) can be started and completed before SWAP. (This last rule always confuses me for some reason.)

I am going to use my purple and green sweater mashup as a starting point, and will include my black Style Arc Barb pants as my already completed and partially completed items.  If I need to I will include my skinny jeans from the last SWAP, but I’d rather stitch up another pair of Barbs, as I really need some work pants.  I have tons of options here!  Maybe too many, my head is spinning as I type.

Style Arc Barb pant

Style Arc Barb pant

Very excited!  Off to plan.

Project 333 2014

So over at the Project 333 Courtney is gearing up for the next round of Project 333, to start October 1.  The basic premise is to move toward simplicity by wearing 33 items of clothing, shoes, accessories for 3 months.  Everything else gets boxed up or put away for that time frame.  The rules can flex to meet your needs and comfort level.  Some participants follow the guidelines to a T, others include only clothing, and many choose more or less than 33 items.

The twist this time is a challenge to post a different outfit a day for the first 33 days.


I find this very intriguing, but I know full well I cannot post daily, or even be relied upon to take an outfit photo daily.  So I think I’ll put together a core wardrobe for work and weekend, excluding accessories, workout gear, shoes and outerwear, and follow along as others post their outfits.  I’ve really been wanting to participate in project 333 for a while now, and now is the time.

At the same time, I will challenge myself to get rid of the equivalent of 33 items per day for the first month, and yes a piece of paper counts as one item!  I plan to get a head start this weekend, and hope to post my progress every few days this month.  So I guess a few times you’ll have a Project 333 outfit this month!