This winter I’m joining a bunch of other talented seamsters in the Stitcher’s Guild’s Sewing with a Plan 2012 challenge. We’re all making eleven garments from tried-and-true patterns. Unfortunately, I don’t have any. My goal is to discover several TNTs over the course of the challenge through proper fitting, and this post marks the beginning of the saga.
My sewing class last week consisted of me cutting out my next animal blanket and watching others sew appliques on their bags. I did no sewing. It turns out my machine’s light had burned out, and the machine itself had picked up a squeak that no amount of oil would fix. So, instead of forcing my classmates to listen to it whimper along, I checked it in for a tune up. Or, as my sewing teacher called it, a trip to the spa. And, now that I don’t actually have the option to sew, not only do I want to finish my animal blanket, but I also want to start working on all of the other projects I’ve bought patterns and fabric for over the last year. (This drive is likely also due to the fact that I’m supposed to be writing a review paper and am dragging my feet a bit.)
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.
I don’t really have any tried-and-true (TNT) patterns, but I’m excited to put a valiant effort into building a library of such patterns.
From there, the goal is as follows.
Choose any seven garments from [the] list [below]… 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.
My personal goals for the next six months (really from now until what seems to be the end of time) including fitting a button-down shirt and a blouse pattern, making a few cute skirts, trying my hand at making jeans, adding a few more outer layers to my closet, and finally getting around to making the bombshell dress from Gertie’s class. I also hope to draft a basic bodice block for myself using my new Patternmaking for Fashion Design book. I would like to use it to draft a simple cape, and then hopefully have the confidence to branch out into more creative tops once the SWAP is finished.
Fortunately, muslins, fitting, and cutting can begin anytime. Also, two garments can be sewn before the SWAP officially starts on December 26th. The rest have to be finished by April 30th. I’m counting my circle skirt as one of my SWAP garments.
Since I haven’t had any time to sew in the last two months, I’m not sure why I think I can meet this kind of goal, but I figure it can’t hurt to try. I have most everything on hand already anyway.
Here are the possible garment categories from the SWAP 2012 Official Rules, and my choices for garments I’d like to sew.
- Button-Down Shirt w/Collar
- Blouse or shirt (collar is optional)
T-Shirt Vest Overshirt
4. BurdaStyle 5/2011 Bustier Dress with Draped Detail in teal shantung with dragon print cotton lining (previously discussed here)
Trousers Shorts or Capri Pants
8. BurdaStyle Kasia skirt in camel-colored gabardine
- Jacket (jean jacket, windbreaker, hoodie, etc.)
Coat (suit or sport coat)
- Overcoat or Raincoat
10. Amy Butler Rainy Days jacket in ivory gabardine with striped Burberry rainwear lining
11. Cape in Cocoa & Black Herringbone wool with royal blue Bemberg lining (pattern needs to be drafted, fashion fabric needs to be purchased)
Bathing Suit & Coverup
I hope the collection of neutrals and blues will easily work themselves into my everyday wear. I also hope this contest will give me the motivation to keep sewing a little bit here and there over the coming year.
Is anyone else out there thinking about joining in? It seems like it would go along with the seasonal Sew-Alongs that keep popping up. And, it might work really well with people like Amy of Cloth Habit who enjoy sewing in industrial-style stages. Let me know, if so.