SWAP 2017.

So I think I am going to do this SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) thing. It’s pretty exciting, I’m not going to lie. Thanks especially to Steph and Kate for the encouragement to take the leap!

Firstly I was thinking about entering because I thought it would be fun to do. I was trying to make a plan around what I had planned to make in my upcoming sewing sessions. And it wasn’t really working for me. I was trying to incorporate casual, work, and evening and the patterns were all over the place. And while things would have technically *gone together* they weren’t outfits I would have ever worn.

Enter an MC gig I did recently where I wore this silk jacket that has languished in the back of my wardrobe for about 4 years. I love it, I did a great job making it, but I don’t wear it and don’t know what to wear it with. But on this day, an afternoon concert where I was both singing and MCing, it seemed perfect. I put on my favourite pair of pants from my favourite NZ designer, WORLD and it was awesome.

Except that I had literally nothing to wear underneath the jacket and I ended up wearing a piece of underwear. It was perfectly modest, although so much cleavage on display (not my usual MO) that both Husband and one of my besties remarked on it:

  • Alex: Whoa babe, that’s a lot of boob!
  • Bestie: Nom, you’ve got the girls out!!

I have no photos for evidence, but even I thought my cleave looked impressive.

Image result for meme cleavage lady funny

I do have an entirely separate wardrobe for evening. It mostly consists of full length gowns and cocktail dresses. The sort of thing you can see from space in some instances. However, I am realising as I get older, that the type of performing I am doing requires some more low key mix and match options.

And, I’m not gonna lie, I saw an episode of the latest series of Project Runway and Nina Garcia was wearing some killer evening pants and I thought “I have to get me some”.

So using my already made silk jacket, introducing The Evening SWAP!


The Breakdown


5 Tops

  1. Bias cut camisole x3
  2. Shell top, perhaps with french darts
  3. Lace t-shirt

3-4 Bottoms

  1. Cigarette pants
  2. Wide leg pants
  3. Bias cut skirt
  4. Layered chiffon skirt TBC

2-3 Overs

  1. Already made silk blazer
  2. Kimono style jacket
  3. Sheer over top TBC

The Patterns

  1. The camis and the bias cut skirt will be made using the Vogue nightgown pattern View C
  2. The shell top, the lace t-shirt and the TBC over top will be made using my pattern block
  3. Cigarette pants, I’m thinking of using this Butterick pattern
  4. Wide leg pants using the Simple Sew Culottes pattern with some modifications
  5. Skirt, from the bottom of my vintage vogue dress pattern Vogue 8728
  6. Jacket, already made using New Look 6035
  7. Kimono Jacket, Named Emse Cardi or the vintage Simplicity – or maybe a mash up of both…

The Fabric

  1. Silver quilted style fabric purchased using Fabric Store voucher – cigarette pants and shell top.
  2. Silver satin purchased from a bridal shop that was closing down – camisole and bias cut skirt
  3. Green chiffon (a little darker than showing in the photo), gifted from sister from recent second-hand fabric haul – camisole and layered chiffon skirt
  4. Navy blue stretch lace purchased from the same bridal shop as #2 – lace t-shirt
  5. Black spotty crepe backed satin as seen here purchased second hand – camisole and wide leg pants
  6. Cherry printed gun-metal satin purchased from a school fair for 50c! (keys included for scale) – kimono top and potentially a layer in the green skirt

I am lucky to have these pretty damn special fabrics just sitting in my stash, which I want to use as the basis of my SWAP.  #1 was purchased for SWAP with a $50 Fabric Store voucher a delightful colleague gave me.

For fabric#2 I’m cutting it a little fine on fabric, but I think I can do it. For #5, if I can’t make the camisole as well as the pants, I might allow myself to purchase some black silk or burn out velvet for the cami.

Having planned this out more thoroughly I now know that I need to buy another metre of #1 – glad I worked that out now! If I make the sheer over top, I may need to purchase some fabric that suits. But that will probably just encourage me to make the skirt instead.

I will let myself purchase some (hopefully second-hand) trims and notions. Definitely thinking some fringing for the kimono.

Outfit combos

As far as I can see the only outfit combo that might not work will be the silk blazer with the cigarette pants and the shell top. Colour wise the mother of pearl and bright silver don’t really float my boat totally.

I don’t see myself wearing the silver cami with the cigarette pants, but all four other tops will be killer with those so no biggie.


In terms of era, style or particular inspiration it’s a bit all over the place: a bit of 30s, a bit of 60s, and a slight nod to the 90s. Really it’s the function and the colour that are leading, and while it would be nice to have a compelling story to run alongside, I will content myself without. However if anyone (*cough cough* Steph, Kate) can see any clear inspiration or story I can incorporate, please sing out.




22 thoughts on “SWAP 2017.

  1. Your planned wardrobe looks divine, and very 30s to my eye. But that’s fashion, I guess – it keeps repeating itself! The slick minimalism of some fashion in the 90s owes a lot to 30s bias cutting. I have to say I lol’ed at the cleave meme! Work it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, yes I think it’s mainly 30s (with the 90s does the 30s nod). It’s just the slim line cigarette pants throwing me off!
      And glad you enjoyed the meme, being of course the Queen of Memes yourself 😉


  2. I’ve seen references to SWAP but haven’t seen an explanation before. I really get this now with your plan & fabrics.
    The idea of your wardrobe:it looks very glamourous and to my mind, perfect for performing. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress and all the garments. It’ll be inspiring, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Naomi…!!!! I am in love with your plan! In my dreams I would be so glamorous (I’m much closer to tomboy rolling in the dirt). For me, also, there’s quite a bit that feels 1930s (but current, too). When I was making the 1970s YSL dress last year I read that it was a pattern he used in the 1970s to “do” the 1930s, which were the “vintage” to reference at that time. I haven’t met you in person, obviously, but I have the impression that you exude the confidence and glamour of the stars of the 1930s, but updated to now. Modern vintage. I am in awe of your organization, right down to pattern and fabric, with all of those amazing fabrics from stash and also your plan to buy second-hand notions. Your fabrics are a dream. Way to go! PS I am trying to find a piece of art I used to have a poster of. The lady is an actress and wearing a beautiful silk kimono (probably Belle Epoque period, actually). So lovely. I’m really excited about that piece (kimono jacket or Esme cardigain, which you have already done so well), as well as all of the trousers because, well….trousers! Lots of applause from over here as I am confident that you will execute this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steph you are such a sweetheart! Thanks for you enthusiasm and support. And “modern vintage” is the best description of my style I could think of. And perhaps my entire lifestyle!
      I was getting some solid YSL feels from this plan too, a few pinned on my inspiration board. I hope you do rustle up that kimono photo, love the BE period too – of course! A kimono style piece is something I have long desired…


  4. Wow, how splendidly organised this is Naomi! I can’t wait to see how SWAP all comes together.Love the fabric colour and texture combos and of course your vintage patterns. Some great fashions are timeless. Happy SWAP sewing~cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mona. It’s been a lot of fun and I ❤️planning, so the organisational aspect really part of that. Some lovely vintage patterns in there, and some I’ve yet to use which will be enjoyable.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post. Your plan sounds great: you’ve really thought about the wardrobe gap and translated it into specifics. Most importantly, it’s ambitious but looks doable, because you’ve limited the number of patterns. Can’t wait to see the items become reality!

    PS: I’ve become obsessed with your Esme cardi in plaid. More on that later 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Esme is awesome, I have worn that so much! (Just watch out for the silly pocket construction).
      Thanks for you kind words, a lot of thinking when into it, but when it settled it felt perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Blooming heck! You are fast (ahem). I don’t know how you did that. I have been thinking about SWAP (often just before I go to sleep) for weeks now and I am not there yet. Far from it. I have half the garments decided but still have to find at least half the fabrics and a couple more patterns yet. So I suspect you have been wanting to do this for a long time, but didn’t really have the reason, and now you do. It is absolutely great – such a super idea for someone who actually has an evening life that is not spent in PJs. I envy you in every respect (I go to bed at 10pm if not before!). Lovely, special, valuable fabrics and sexy, challenging patterns. Wonderful. It’s Cabaret!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kate! Incredibly kind comments.
      Maybe ‘Life is a Cabaret’ needs to be my theme.
      (And make no mistake, when I am at home, I am in the closest apparel I can get to PJs and I am a total homebody. I save the drama for the stage!)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s