Sewing with a Plan

I am once more attempting the SWAP Contest at Stitcher’s Guild and this year the SWAP focuses on fitting, and making tried-and-true patterns: testing and fitting paper patterns, muslins, and fashion garments that will help lower the overall sewing failure rates,  result in fabulous clothing to be proud of, and (hopefully) give every contestant a pattern or two that works every time it is used.

You choose any seven garments from this list:

Button Down Shirt w/Collar         
Blouse or shirt   (collar is optional)               
Shorts or Capri Pants     
Jacket (jean jacket, windbreaker, hoodie, etc.)                   
Coat  (suit or sport coat)
Overcoat or Raincoat   
Bathing Suit Coverup  

From those seven, you can choose four to make twice for a total of 11 garments that will work together.   Those four may either be repeated garments from the same pattern, or one each from two different patterns.

The contest runs from 26 December 2011 until 30 April 2012 and you can have 2 previously sewn garments amongst the total 11.

Now I’m planning on using my last 2 garments as the pre-sewn items, so it looks like Navy will feature quite strongly in my SWAP.

The garments I have chosen so far are:

2 x Blouse or Shirt – Vogue 8572  (OOP)
– Burnt Orange – completed 
Navy/Gold/Brown – completed

1 x Dress – Simplicity 2648 
– Navy linen with pickstitching – completed

2 x Jeans – Jalie 2908 
– White Jeans completed
– Navy Jeans completed.

1 x Jacket – Vogue 7975 
– Navy with some seam details added

1 x Skirt – Vogue 7937
– Navy linen, View A – completed

1 x Raincoat – Minoru 1103 
– Navy ripstop – pattern adjustments done and fabric cut out and nearly finished.

1 x Shorts – Sure Fit Pants
– Navy twill – completed

1 x Vest – Jalie 3129
– Navy linen – completed
2 x Knit Tops 
– Navy/Green striped using Kwik.Sew 3740 – completed
Brown/Navy/Cream abstract print from Fabulous Fabrics using BWOF 02-2009-108

The remaining 4 garments are still a question mark:

  • Do I make 2 knits tops, but
  • I really need shorts, which can be a test for the fit for pants 🙂 1 pair now in the plan
  • I will need a navy skirt to go with the jacket (fingers crossed I have enough fabric) Now in the plan
  • I really want to fit the Connie Crawford B5300 shirt, but not sure if I have a shirt fabric that will go with the Navy as I’m tyring to work from my stash.

 Now I need to make some final decisions and that includes a name for my SWAP.

As I don’t like having a pictureless post, I thought I would share with you one of Roscoe’s favourite things to do:

It takes days to get the sand out of his fur 🙂

22/1/2012 – Plan edited – Jacket out and Skirt in.
17/4/2012 – Plan edited – Shorts, Vest and 2 knits tops are in.

Stripey Wrap Top

My sister gave me this fabric last week and as I need some tops to take away with me, this was made up using Butterick 3344 (oop) View A.

Now this top is not new to me, I have made it quite a few times, however this time I have finally managed to have enough fabric for long sleeves LOL.

The other plus is that it goes with my brown cropped pants for the 2009 SWAP so I am quite happy about this.

The sad news is that this is the extent of my 2009 SWAP. Time and patterns didn’t mix too well and we fly out for a month’s holiday on Monday so madly packing and not sewing this weekend.

Here is the pattern review.

Pattern Description: Close-fitting top has neckline variations and stitched hems. View A – elastic neck, mock wrap, long sleeves

Pattern Sizing: Size 10

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The neckline was a bit low so I added to this and a used “seams great” for the next edge, stitched this on stretching it a bit and then turned under and coverstitched the neck edge.

Fabric Used: Knit of unknown quality, it was a gift from my sister.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

Front Pattern Adjustments

* Round Shoulder
* 2 x Gaposis on the neck edge
* Full bust and folded out the dart
* Added 1/2″ to the neck edge
* Added 3/4″ between the bust and waist

Back Pattern Adjustments

* High round back
* Sway back
* Broad back

* Large bicep (same as I did for the Grey Knit Top)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, this is the third top I have made from this pattern.

Conclusion: This top is such a great wardrobe item. I have it in a lace for evening, a quieter knit for work and this one is going on holidays with me and will be great for casual wear.

McCalls 3132 (OOP)

This is my first completed “bottom” for SWAP 2009 the brown cropped pants.

The pattern was fitted for me by my sewing teacher before she moved to Queensland.

I found one of the adjustments interesting, it is a diagonal tucks across the front leg (I have drawn it in blue to highlight it but the actual tuck is not quite as straight as the blue line).

The other adjustment was on the back pattern piece, a 1cm tuck was taken from the bottom of the waist dart all the way down the leg to the hem and then this was tuck further increased from just below the crotch curve and back to the original tuck for a length of 26cm.

And now, the back view ….

BWOF 5-2008-103

This is the first BWOF garment I have made and besides a few fitting issues that I have found now I am wearing it for the first time, I am really happy with the outcome.

First of all I really appreciate the Reviews at PatternReview so before I even traced the pattern I was aware of a few issues.

1. The neck line was a bit lower than most of the reviewers liked, so I added 1cm.

2. The bottom hem on the front of the top is actually curved at the bottom (you can see the curve line that I drew when tracing the pattern) it ends up following the edge of the bottom of the band. This is not how I want to wear my tops, so I added to the bottom of the front pattern so that it was the same length as the back pattern.

3. Others commented about the fullness in the front gathers, so I took out 1cm in the width above the horizontal dart to reduce this fullness.

4. The band is rather wide so I took out two lots of 1cm from the width to make this smaller as well.

These adjustments are in addition to my standard adjustments e.g. rounded shoulder, high round back, sway back and gaposis on the front neck edge.

So without further ado, here is the finished top

As you can see it is pulling in the front around the armholes and I need to deepen these as they are “cutting” into me and I’m not sure if this will fix the pulls in the picture, I will have to see. This will be a bit of a challenge as I have sewn the seams with my overlocker and can’t afford to make this top any tighter LOL.

My Janome CP1000 was christened for this project, and after doing the first lot of hems on the band, the sigh of relief that resulted with no tunnelling that I continually suffered with twin needles on my sewing machine was immense and even though I did have to “frog stitch” the hem, after reading Debbie Cook’s Coverstitch Tutorials I found the secret to doing these.

SWAP 2009

Story Board

Well here is what I have decided so far:

A number of the patterns are TNT’s and the two pants patterns have been toiled although this was before I gained the extra weight from the gym.

As you can see there are two pieces of fabric that don’t have a pattern with them so far. I’m desperate for tops and really don’t want to make the same 3 styles all the time, so am trying to find new patterns.

The red woven is partialy completed and hope to have it ready to show by the end of the weekend.

I then think I will do a wearable toile of the casual pants in a mustard colour stretch cotton that I picked up in Brisbane during the ASG Convention.


Okay the stash has been spread around the sewing room and as most of my sewing buddies will tell you there is a lot of brown in there LOL.

Working on the twist of “Real Life Week” I can say that my week is working in an office full-time (although not corporate) and then on the weekends I sew with my sewing buddies or go to the Australian Sewing Guild Meetings as well as shopping. We enjoy going to the Sydney Theatre Company’s Plays on a regular basis so I have included this as well as this area is lacking in my wardrobe.

On that basis, I have chosen the following fabrics:

Now to go through the pattern stash and work out if I have any TNT patterns for these fabrics or whether I need to get moving on some toiles.