Thursday, June 3, 2010

The thing about saying, "I would never.." is that sometimes you do. Like me and SWAP's (sewing with a plan) - I hate having a list of things to sew. I feel pressured and harried. But the time is right - I feel like a challenge - and the challenge I have opted for is to sew the 10 piece wardrobe for the Pattern Review wardrobe contest. Nothing like jumping in at the deep end.

HOWEVER, knowing myself, I am going to do it my way. That means NO PLANNING. It's going to be a Sewing Without a Plan SWAP. I am going to make one garment at a time. At the end of each garment I am going to decide what to sew next based on what I feel like sewing and how well it fits with the last item. The process will be organic and responsive to whatever inspires me.

My theme is based around my love of a bargain. I am going to only use second hand, thrift store items, sale items, end of season sale fabrics and manufacturers clearance. That goes for patterns too - whatever's in stash, or I can download for free, trace out of Burda or buy on sale.

I am thinking of a title and here are my thoughts, please let me know if any of these appeal:

- Serendipity chic
- Shoestring style
- Second to none
- Leftover love
- Your trash, my treasure.

Here's what my husband said, "It's not going to work. You have no control over your input but you will be judged on your output."
I laughed, "I am not young. I am not thin. Granny chic does not have universal appeal and I take a crap photo. It's a done deal I won't win, the point is to participate and have fun. If I'm lucky I might have a nice outfit at the end."

My first garment is the coverall - a coat, of course. And as it happens to co-incide with the Trench sewalong, I'd thought I'd sign up for that too.

Now please excuse me, I have a lot of garments to sew.

ps. Kbenco, see what you've started!!!

- if my son starts sleeping badly again all bets are off
- I reserve the right to lame out


  1. I love Serendipity Chic. There's a nice bit of alliteration and I just like the words. Given your game plan with this Sewing Without a Plan, I think it is the perfect title. Like you, I enter these contests knowing I will never win, but knowing that the commitment to finish drives me on to sew things when I might not otherwise have sewn. I didn't know there was a trench sewalong. I've been waivering on starting one for three weeks, so maybe I should go on over and sign up. I look forward to your seredipitous garments. Some of my favourite things were made from scraps from the op shop. I made a gorgeous black linen blouse from a remnant I bought for 50c. The buttons were purchased another day for 20c and the bias binding I used came from a massive bag of mixed bindings that I bought for $1. I didn't think I liked linen, so I would never have bought it in a fabric shop and I wear it a lot! Good luck!!

  2. Leftover love gets our pick. I'm glad you're making another raincoat. We thought that when we come to Auckland we could all borrow a coat and there would still be some to spare.

  3. I like Serendipity Chic too. You really are taking on a big challenge! It'll be fun to see all the things you make and hear about how you sourced the materials. Good luck :)

  4. Wot! After all the talk about not following plans or challenges! Anyway you have swayed me more to your viewpoint but I do get why you might want to give it a try. I wish you well and have to admit I was considering doing something along the same lines - if a wardrobe eventuates I might enter...

  5. I think you should call it the SWAP SWAP. Hehe. Although I like Serendipity Chic to. BTW, you are not a granny, and nor do you dress like one!

  6. I have to add a vote for Serendipity Chic. It just sounds cool, although I also like Carol's Sewing Without A Plan. Go you for SWAP-ing your way!!

  7. I, too, like Serendipity Chic the best. I really like your plan and look forward to seeing how it works out!

  8. I am the only one so far who loves Shoestring Style! Prob. because I am hoping you will incorporate grommets and shoestrings into each garment. Good luck! I bet what comes of this will be pretty compelling, whether you win or not.

  9. I like Serendipity Chic. And you're already a winner because I like your ideas for creating the wardrobe-using what you have or re-purposing thrift store finds Very thoughtful. I might join the Trench Coat Sew-Along. Why not? I am so far behind anyway. Another goal to shoot for.

  10. Oh it's leftover love for my vote, because it reminds me of shepherds pie. I love your ideas for this challenge- I'm similarly drawn to bargains, leftovers, and repurposed stuff and the idea of an entire wardrobe constructed from it is, frankly, very exciting, especially in conjunction with a shepherds pie.

  11. Good luck with that - do you follow the Frankie or Johnnie Rotten version of My Way?

  12. You are a braver woman than me. I have vowed to never ever enter another SPR contest again. And the idea of 10 garments? WOW!

    I'm with Antoinette. I like Shoestring Style.

    Go for the gold!

  13. I like your plan for SWAP!! You have the same attitude about sewing with plans as I tend to have!! I like to sew whatever strikes my fancy!

  14. You absolutely have the right to lame out! I have never entered a SWAP because my family already thinks I spend too much time sewing without throwing deadlines in. But no planning?? Isn't the fun part the planning more than the execution? I have thousands more plans than garments I will ever sew.

    The other thing I am curious about is what type of garments you will sew. You already sew a lot of clothes so it is not as though you have a big ol' empty wardrobe that needs filling. And don't the SWAPs only allow one coat. Can you really sew 9 garments in a row without sewing a coat?

    And hey, I like your granny chic and I can get past a less-than-perfect photo to see the fabulous sewing that lies beneath.

    Sorry, does it sound like I am raining on your parade? You go for the SWAP and I will cheer on from the sidelines!

  15. Serendipity Chic!
    You might have less control over your input, but this is great to stretch your creativity - love your approach!

  16. I also like leftover love and after that serendipity chic.

    how exciting - a project which you have little control over except the expertise of your own imagination and sewing. Good luck!!

  17. I like Serendipity Chic too. Do I get to mention the blouse from $4 worth of op-shop fabric and the gifted viyella from my daughter's SWAP? I couldn't do the whole thing that way though, I think a SWAP is sufficiently difficult without adding extra requirements! What happens if you just want to sew up something delicious and not-quite-in-the-budget?
    I find that a SWAP is only fun if you sew what you fancy, and opt out if needed, so your plan sounds very sensible to me.Without SWAPing every so often I would have lots of dresses and no trousers or work blouses.