My SWAP (Sewing with a Plan) 2012

My SWAP (Sewing with a Plan) 2012

More than just lining up a playlist of clothing to be made, SWAP is about finding the holes in your closet and choosing colors and fabrics that will mix well with what you already have. From what I have found, it was a thought proposed by Lynn Cook in Australian Stitches in 2003 and promoted by Julie Culshaw of Timmel Fabrics in Nova Scotia, Canada. (Here is a pdf of the article about SWAP found on and the cached version of the article from via the waybackmachine.)

I have a lot of black, gray, red and white in my wardrobe. I always forget about brown – and it mixes in well with what I’ve already got, so brown was my color focus.

Here’s my plan for this year – and where I am:

Pattern 1: Blouse (Sorbetto) x 3

Done – black/white polka dots, yellow floral, maroon print (seen in this post), and white/green polka dots
Do I get extra credit for the 4th? 😉

Colette Sorbetto

Pattern 2: Skirt (Burda 8155) x 4

2 down – grey suiting and brown suiting (seen in this post)
2 to go – dark brown suiting and brown houndstooth brushed cotton

Burda 8155

Pattern 3: Evening Dress (Butterick 6582)

Done – the red dress

Butterick 6582

Pattern 4: Dress (Peony)

Colette Peony

Pattern 5: Dress (Simplicity 2588)

Simplicity 2588

Pattern 6: Blouse (Simplicity 1542)

My next projects are the other two Burda 8155 skirts left to go (the fabric is already cut out) and Simplicity 2588 in a burgundy suiting. With the temperatures dropping and the thickness of the houndstooth fabric, I’m thinking it will be first on my agenda.

I have a few lap-sized quilt tops to put together for my church’s quilting ministry first, however. I may drag the fabric with me on my trip Thanksgiving week and do a little sewing on my mother-in-law’s machine. (Did I mention she gave me my first clothing sewing lessons about 4 years ago? She taught sewing for 4-H for many years. If she can teach elementary kids, I figured she could teach me!) I’ll be sure to “show and tell” the quilt tops as I do them.


Sewist, knitter, reader, dancer. Wife. Lover of things vintage and retro.


  1. Huh, I wasn’t aware of SWAP’s Aussie origins! A timely article for me to read…despite black not being one of ‘my’ colours, I find myself gravitating to either a black top with a colourful skirt or black pants with a colourful top…I have tried other combinations but if I’m in a hurry, it’s the black + colour combo that I grab every time…You’ve got me seriously thinking about my own SWAP….Your’s sounds great!

    • I hear you! Black isn’t really the most flattering color (or non-color?) for me since I’m so fair-skinned. It actually ends up being pretty harsh. Hence the push I’m trying to make toward brown. And I’m so glad to hear that burgundy is an “in” color this winter – it’s another one I can wear well. Next spring? Let’s all push for cobalt blue or turquoise to be in! I have some in my stash and need to use it up. 😉

  2. Burgundy’s ‘in’? Excellent! I can wear that colour! Much as I love ‘Tangerine Tango’ it’s a shocker on me!! Brown..I am trying that too but it just doesn’t grab me…charcoal grey is better….

    • I have a grey-ish brown that I’ve been wearing that I love and it seems to go with pretty much everything. Well, except for maybe a true cool grey.

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