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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

SWAP 2012 Official Rules

The SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) Official Rules are up at Stitchers Guild. DragonLady has taken things in a slightly new direction.......

No purchase neccesary anywhere; this contest is open to anyone with a needle and thread, regardless of budget or availability of items.  Just jump in and join the fun.

When SG ran the first SWAP contest after Julie Culshaw gave it to us, we switched the emphasis from "wardrobing" to "sewing".  Several people told us how happy they were that sewing was the main point, because SG is foremost a sewing board.  Thereafter, the "sewing" aspect has been the primary focus.  However, last year's challenge was an undeniable flop.  Lots of people made plans, a few bought supplies, a few made a garment or three...but only two people finished.  A wide variety of reasons were offered, ranging from other life challenges to simply feeling overwhelmed with the rules.  I want to continue keeping "sewing" as the main focus of our contest; however, I also want everyone to end the challenge with a wardrobe of gorgeous clothing.

There is, today, also a thread in the "chatter" section discussing sewing success rates.  An informal poll has revealed that a large number of our members still struggle with wadders and failures.   But the tip-over  point seems to be fitting, and working with NEW patterns.   Whether they are purchased or self-drafted, a set of basic patterns that result in successful garments on a consistent basis helps ensure that sewing time results in wearable garments.  And that those that still fail don't make the sewist feel like a failure -sometimes, the pattern or garment just doesn't work. 

This year, our SWAP will focus 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.

Choose any seven garments from this list:

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

From those seven, 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.

 It doesn't matter what styles you choose, but *do* keep in mind these should be patterns you will be using over and over in the future, so keep 'em simple with lots of room for future alterations, changes and embellishments.  You will probably want to make a test muslin of each pattern, so that any fitting issues can be addressed early on.

If you already have a full set of basic patterns, this is your opportunity to expand a bit.  You may have all the coats and coat patterns you'll ever need, so you can skip that and make two skirts instead. 

There is no requirement regarding the type of fabric, whether you use solids or prints, or a certain number of tops and bottoms.  At the end, you should simply have eleven garments that fit you nicely, will live together peacefully in the same closet, and be wearable -often- together.  We're not looking for the most breathtaking garments; we're looking for the ones that fit the best and will work hardest as wardrobe staples.

Sewing will begin December 26th, and all garments must be finished by April 30th, 2012.  Muslins, pattern fitting and cutting may be started whenever you are ready. 

 This is not quite what I was expecting, since I am still a fan of the "wardrobing" side of original SWAP. So I have some thinking to do, and some patterns to consider.


Ruth said...

Swap is very interesting, but I have never tried to join in. Frankly I don't need 11 new garments for my winter wardrobe. If it were seven, maybe. I guess a lot of people don't, so the sheer number ot items may remove a lot of people's motivation to finish.

Carol said...

For me, these rules will make it easier to make a wardrobe. You're so good at putting together a collection that works, you'll have no trouble. You have such a great eye for what works together and you are great at choosing colours. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Sherril said...

Thanks for letting me know about this SWAP. I don't spend enough time at SG and am very interested in replacing my TNT patterns since I've lost mine.

Janis said...

I am highly tempted, especially since having my colors done, I need a new wardrobe:). I think I'll just follow whatever you come up with, Ruthie, 'cause I know it will be great! ;)