Just because I’ve never actually sewn an official SWAP wardrobe, doesn’t mean I don’t plan at all. Before heading to Los Angeles to PatternReview Weekend to buy fabric, I decided I wanted to buy knits to make tops that would coordinate with crop pants I own in basic colors and get some Ponte in solid colors to make pull-on stretch crops. This is the group I picked up for around $14 at the FIDM Scholarship store after viewing the latest group of Oscar-nominated costumes on display there. Later I went to Michael Levine’s and picked up 3 pieces of Ponte and a few other knit pieces in their by-the-pound loft. So I call it Buying With A Plan, BWAP. The sewing comes later and everything should dovetail right into my basic wardrobe without a hitch, but I am flexible as to patterns used and have no firm plans as yet, unlike with a true SWAP wardrobe. I adhered pretty well to my rules going in, only buying one fabric that wasn’t a knit in a basic color or colors that would coordinate with basic pieces in my wardrobe. My go to solids are Navy, Dark Brown, Black and Red. My stash reduction project has gone so well that I was mostly down to knits that I had purchased with someone else in mind that are not colors I generally wear. So now I can start sewing quick knit tops again with my favorite patterns.
Before I left for LA, I sewed up a nice piece of batik using Simplicity 1614 and it turned out well with no real hiccups:
The only changes I made to the pattern were the facings. I always eliminate facings when I can and use self bias tape I make with one of my bias tape makers. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to give up those little devices like our workshop instructor Lynda Maynard suggested we should, but I may try her stretch pressing method on the cut bias strips before running them through the bias tape maker to see if I get fewer ripples when I bind necklines and armholes. I will definitely use her method of sewing darts with a single thread next time I have a dart to sew. Now I’m trying to decide if I should sew my other hoarded piece of rayon batik with this same pattern or choose another, but that decision is on the back burner as I stage the knits I bought in LA with patterns and quickly sew them up for summer.
This rayon top should be a staple of my summer wardrobe as it will go with black or brown or khaki. I love it when a plan comes together and I can reach in to my closet and have many options that all play nicely together. This is the magic result when you BWAP instead of on impulse. Pretty fabric is often not really useful and useful fabric in the wardrobe doesn’t always look pretty on the bolt. How long it has taken me to learn that lesson! Useful is the new beautiful.
Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers who make PR Weekend events possible. They did an amazing job of organizing this event and I had a terrific time!