SWAP time at Artisan Square and we are debating the 2016 rules/guidelines which are usually published at the end of October. SWAP is a collection of 11 co-ordinating garments. Each year the rules differ; sometimes concentrating on wardrobe planning eg. 3x 3 piece outfit +2 wildcards or where all tops must match all bottoms and jackets. Participating in Swap is a challenge, sewers from all over the world enter, coming together at Artisan Square to inspire, support and share their journeys with each other. You become conscious of your sewing objectives and hopefully more disciplined to create that perfect wardrobe – and you get to benchmark yourself with all the fellow travellers.
Sewing 11 garments that are co-ordinated is tough…. I always make a few that refuse to blend in. The colour/ fabric is not quite right, it may be to formal/ casual or I just cannot find the right jacket colour to co-ordinte. In previous years I have worked from the individual design of the garment, deciding on the pattern and fabric first, then trying to fit ‘these’ individual pieces into a SWAP collection. This year I am working in reverse: BIG picture to SMALL. The big picture approach forces you to see all of the challenges, colours and styles from the helicopter and hopefully not get caught up in the favourites and in the detail that takes you to the normal dead end.
I need a theme or maybe two….I will use my favourite colours BLUE and PURPLE. I went through the stash and cut a bit of everything that reminded my of WATER. Loosely grouping the swatches into bottoms, tops, dresses and jackets and pinned them onto my board. This is my WATER theme. I have 3 pieces if cotton/linen that are printed like water and have usable “wrong sides”. The Japanese cotton especially, is motivating me to create a short boxy jacket/shirt using both sides of the fabric.
I Just couldn’t stop at one….and created – STORM. I cut a swatch of my favourite purple fabric to make a jacket and matched it up with charcoal and cream. Grey, purple, black with small gaps of sunshine is the perfect STORM.
I am hanging the board in my sewing room, and adding ideas to it gradually…. slowly getting into the mood for SWAP 2016. The picture of Terrigal where I live, does present a few perfect storms a year and I do love the colours as long as the WATER theme does not get into the house.
How do you approach planning a co-ordinated wardrobe? Is this a better way to plan? Does the helicopter view help or hinder the planning process? Does the theme have to be yours, or can you be creative enough to go with an imposed theme? Regardless, there will be some fun ahead if you like challenges and a new wardrobe….