While all these enthusiastic sewers were posting their patterns and fabrics and ideas, I hadn't a clue even where to start.
The 2013 SWAP is supposed to be easier than previous years':
Two distinct collections - 4 or 5 pieces in each one.
One bridging garment to tie the two collections together.
About 11 garments in total.
Sewing starts on the 26th Dec and finishes some time in the spring. I haven't got as far as the finish date yet, seeing as I was having difficulty just getting started!
Ordinarily, sewing 11 things in three to four months would not be a major issue, but when you have to plan, organise and then stick to the schedule - it becomes a very daunting task.
I had a breakthrough last weekend. This is what materialised in my head during church on Sunday.
Perhaps divine inspiration, but first I tackled the colour scheme.
There is no point in selecting colours that I won't wear but I have bits of navy and plenty of neutral/browns, so anything made for SWAP will coordinate with existing wardrobe items. Looking at the end date of the SWAP, it will be spring so the clothing should be adaptable enough to see out winter and into early spring. Cool blues for winter and warm sand for spring.
Then I had to come with a theme - or at least two themes for the two collections. I started with City and Country, Chic and Casual, Day and Night and so on and gradually and gently these initial ideas formed into two distinct styles that represent two 20th century icons....
Audrey's collection is dressier and smart and definitely feminine but I'm also including the cropped, fitted pants from 'Funny Face'. She liked to wear Givenchy.
Katherine's collection is looser and more casual and veers towards the masculine - wide legged trousers, shirts, waistcoat but also a shirt waister dress. She preferred Valentina
The bridging item will be a trench coat (rain mac), as worn by both women and completely gender free.
I like Chanel. So between all three of us we might just cover three couture houses in one sitting.
Now all I have to do is select the patterns and find the fabric and start sewing at the end of December.
I am determined to use only the patterns I already own - I'm not buying any new ones, so there may have to be a bit of mucking about done.
Chaos sketching - perhaps a better name for my collection.
I don't have much of a fabric stash at the moment, which I'm a little bit glad of. I'm back to buying for a purpose (BFAP) so this time round I can choose the right fabric for the right pattern and not try and make do. I'm not aiming to recreate the clothes of Audrey and Katherine exactly - just use them as a style guide. I'm also hoping that some of Audrey's can be worn with Katherine's and vice versa.
Other news this week:
My removed moles did a tour of the laboratories, the research units and the clinic and ended up being so annoyed at all that travel that they went bad. One was dysplastic (cells thinking of moving to the dark side) the other was full blown malignant melanoma (cells that are already paid up members of the dark side).
Here are some things that I am extremely grateful for:
1. Living in the UK with the wonderful and attentive National Health that doesn't cost me a penny.
2. My eagle-eyed consultant who spotted the baddies and cut them out
3. The nurses, Sharon, Michelle and Helen who kept talking the whole time and kept me comfortable
4. The 23 sutures in my right thigh to hold the second incision closed until mother nature does her work. This latest scar will be a beautiful lazy S shape. Unique I think.
5. The fact that the doctor was concerned about her sewing abilities after she heard I made my own clothes. That was funny - she even had me take a look to offer some constructive feedback on her stitching ability.
So I'm off work for another week or two while I recover, get my head around this latest news and perhaps put some things into perspective; and I will sew like a maniac when I can use the foot-peddle leg again in a day or two.
This gives me plenty of time to think about SWAP 13 and I'm afraid to say, internet shopping!
I said I wasn't going to buy any more patterns, but in the email tray was one from Vogue saying how they'd extended the OOP sale and I just had to take a look. And when I took a look, I bought!
I thought I'd spent a grand total of $6, the patterns being $0.99 each but the total came to $157. I had to email them immediately. Apparently something went wrong with their computer and I got my refund. Which sort of makes it feel I've saved twice. Nice.
So lots of fabric BFAP and some new (old) patterns on their way. But I can't sew these yet as the SWAP doesn't start until after Christmas.
I can't twiddle my thumbs until then - any ideas?