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When spring hits, I always take a second to re-evaluate my closet. Every year, I find that while my wardrobe is large (the nice thing about sewing is that you can whip up a top or pants in a moment’s notice), it doesn’t really coordinate. You see, I sew on a whim…. when I find a style or fabric I like I immediately put it to use without thinking about how it will work with other garments in my closet. Consequently, I’m going to try something new – something that has been floating around magazines and the internet for years, but I’ve never taken the time to try. This summer I’m “Sewing With A Plan” (SWAP).

The idea of the SWAP originated in Australian Stitches magazine (Vol. 5 Issue 2) and discussed how to make items that you are able to mix and match together to make simple, yet flexible wardrobe combinations. This idea has gotten so popular that numerous websites have competitions (Timmel Fabrics started this contest 5 years ago and it’s grown into an international event!) where readers vote on their favorite combinations. The premise is simple, create 11 garments (which should give you 48 wardrobe combinations): 2 pairs of pants, 2 skirts (one solid one in a print), 2 tips (one solid one in same print as skirt), 4 tops that coordinate with the solids, and a solid color jacket. So, my question is – who’s with me?

For more on the article that ‘started it all’ read here


  • Missing

    Sep 2, 2016, 10.08 AMby jennethbalsarza2016

    It is nice to engaged in sewing at a younger age. As skills will be developed over time. – Bath Planet

  • Emilykate_large

    Mar 4, 2008, 05.27 PMby emilykate

    This is SUCH a good idea. I’m forever making stuff that doesn’t really ‘go’ exaclty with what I already have; this would be a way of making it all WORK!

  • 5895503519_d42bddbd6c_o_1__large

    Mar 2, 2008, 02.53 PMby nikkishell

    This is sort of what i am planning for my autumn/winter wardrobe but not sticking to 11 garments. I’ll be using mostly BurdaStyle patterns since they are pretty much all i sew anyway with a few others thrown in. I do need to work on coordinating my fabric choices though :) But it seems i’m sticking to a certain colour palate, blue’s, oranges, greens and browns mostly.

  • C94b10e754a19be626dd3ae051241a7e18f9a7d8_large

    Mar 2, 2008, 08.15 AMby jj1

    I’ve done swap once with patternreview.com. I sew 11 pieces for my theme, south east asia in shoestring. The clothes were for hot summer in Thailand and Burma. That was very stressful because I found the sewlong/contest too close to my vacation. I had a month to sew 11 pieces plus 1 top for Burdastyle contest. But it was so much fun. I love the deadline otherwise I won’t do anything useful. But I lernt that this SWAP stuff is copyright, if we are going to this we have to change some rules and give it the new name.

    Why don’t we use only Burdastyle patterns?

  • Efb472bd8e296043cd7cfd0eb765f2c56f8d3034_large

    Mar 1, 2008, 10.52 PMby lilo

    sounds very practical! i have the same problem with my wardrobe as you do, i actually plan for a couple of garments to combine with each other but I get so easily distracted by other newcomming fabrics/designs so i abandon my precious plans and sew on a whim (have been planning for those solid black pants, skirt and jacket that would combine with everything else i have for years! but then again, the fun factor in making them has been too low so far)

    So YES, i’m with you (if the time frame we are talking about is feasible, keeping in mind that i’m employed full-time and have a family and, and,and…).

    I suggest we upload an image of the fabrics we select for our SWAP wardrobe before we hit the sewing machine, so that we can follow each other’s wardrobes from birth.

  • E23f19f00b253e0974b569f4379a6a6b717f3d61_large

    Mar 1, 2008, 04.54 AMby bell

    sounds interesting but what time frame are we talking about. Would love to sew more but cant always find the time.

    • This is a question
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