Friday, April 13, 2018

thinking about planned sewing

in which our plucky heroine cogitates...

Almost every year, I attempt to participate in Stitchers Guild annual SWAP aka Sewing With A Plan, though am not always successful in getting to the outcome of making eleven garments in four months. Over the years, I have learned that it makes more sense for me to sew what I will wear, rather than to sew what meets guidelines (see the year of many tee shirts, even though they are one of my least favorite garments), even when the guidelines are excellently planned.

I have only sewed two garments for me so far this year, of all the items in my original SWAP plan. One was the ill fated but still useful wearable black corduroy pinafore (fabric was misrepresented as all cotton, but has synthetic content that caused the seams and topstitching to pucker). The other is my Alabama Chanin cardigan, which at over 100 hours of hand stitchery, pretty much used up all my personal sewing mojo for the time being. Instead, I have been and am focused on the sewing I do for others: custom commissions, and special garments for my dear Blue Cedar House and Mud Bay pals.

But my everyday wardrobe is, while not unworkably sparse, still scant in some aspects... I have plenty of long sleeve knit tops to wear layered under pinafores in cold weather, and a Useful Abundance of pinafores as well, but nowhere near enough popovers to wear in the summer, and almost no transitional season garments like dresses, or blouses to wear with pinafores. My grey cotton lightweight cardigan is wearing out, and my actual knitted wool sweaters are rising twenty years old and looking a little threadbare. And after a year, my one swimsuit is looking very bleached from pool chlorine.

As warmer weather is coming I could use half a dozen transitional tops, and four or five summer popover dresses. One or two swimsuits would be a good enticement for my water exercise and PT. I can get by with my current cardigans and jackets for now, but want to think about at least three new ones, either knitted, or sewn, in black/grey, indigo, and brown/blue. A new flannel nightgown will be needed before next winter. Before next autumn I am going to sew up the plaid wool pinafore that coordinates perfectly with my Alabama Chanin cardigan, but it really isn't needed now. I will also think about a few underlayers for next year, loose pants and/or underdress/slips.

April SMART goals (x=extra)
1 celtic enamel pelican bathrobe shouldersbag to Goodwill
2 trapunto knotwork taxes donebag to Goodwill
3 pliers rackapple tree pruned spare lawn mower
4 x - -
5 x- -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x


  1. Hope you can sew the things you want/need and not worry too much about SWAP. The Alabama Chanin cardigan is beautiful.

  2. I think its a great idea to sew what you need and will wear, in the timeframe you can manage with your other commitments. Please dont feel contrained by the contest, I don't!

    1. I love the camaraderie of SWAP, but I think I want to sew what I need most, instead. Although, I wanted the cardigan for years, and now it is in my closet instead of in my imagination, so I call that a win, in my book