Thursday, April 30, 2015

Out of Alberta - SWAP 2015 Complete

Phew, I was late to the game, but I completed my SWAP (sewing with a plan) this weekend.  This is an annual contest that runs from December through to April and involves making around 11 garments ( I think that the total may vary from year to year, and the rules certainly do).  This year, they were as follows:

This year, I'd like to see us turn our attention back a bit to the original concept of a wardrobe that works well together -pieces that all coordinate and form a cohesive collection with a huge number of possible combinations.  However, we're still a sewing board, and I still believe "sewing" should be the primary focus.

So.... Let's return to the tradition 11-garment format, with all the tops working with all the bottoms, and wildcard garments that work with every other item.  

This year, we need to make:

5 tops
3 bottoms
3 "wildcard" items

For our "sewing" focus -and this year's twist- let's make at least one garment that is reversible, transformable, or upcycled from another garment. For instance: a dress that can be worn as a shirt, a pair of pants that can roll up to be worn as shorts, or a jacket that can also be a dress.  "Upcycling" includes remaking an older garment into something new, taking a vintage pattern and modernizing it into a more current style, or recycling the fabrics or notions from another item to incorporate it into something new.  The original item to be reworked does not need to be a garment; you can remake a dozen scarves into a skirt or transform an old handbag into a collar and cuffs -use your imagination.
The "wild card" options can be just about anything you like, but they must be "garments" not accessories (hats, bags, blankets, etc.) 

As I mentioned in previous posts, here, here and here, I wanted to try something very different, and I used patterns from a designer called Tina Givens.  She has her own couture line here, and she certainly has an unusual 1920's meets 'Out of Africa esthetic.

This is what my final collection looks like:


Before editing.  I actually made more clothes than I needed.  Just in case!  Unfortunately, the pair of patterned trousers did not make the final cut as not all my tops worked with them.  Nonetheless, I think that they are great, and they will be worn.  Lots!

Here are my finished 11 - five tops, three bottoms, two dresses (that can be worn on their own or doubled up as tunics) and a duster coat/tunic.


Here are the individual garments:


And a few close up photos:


And I was also intrigued to see how many 'looks' I could get out of these garments.  Would you care to take a look? (the answer is after the collection of photos):


5 tops x 1 pair trousers (#1) + 1 duster = 10


5 tops x 1 pair trousers (#2) + 1 duster = 10


5 tops x 1 pair trousers (#3) + 1 duster = 10


2 dresses on their own + with/without the duster + with the trousers (#1) = 8


2 dresses + with the trousers (#2) + with/without the duster = 4


2 dresses + with the trousers (#3) + with/without the duster = 4

For a grand total of 46 looks! Well, that's 'Me Made May' sorted!!  And on the subject of numbers, Tina Givens actually sells her Couture Collection, and I priced up some of the items that I had made.  For my costs I did not pay more that $8/m, the trousers took 2m and the slips/dresses/jacket 3m:

Trousers x 3 = 3 x $270 = $810.  My Costs 3 x $16 = $48
Slips x 5 = 5 x $279 = $1395.  My Costs 5 x $24 = $120
Dresses x 2 = 2 x $349 = $698.  My Costs 2 x $24 = $48
Jacket/Tunic x 1 = 1 x $308.  My Costs 1 x $24 = $24

Now, it would be fair to throw in some thread, buttons, elastic, 3 x TG Sewing Patterns etc - let's say $50.  I am not going to price out my time as I sew as a hobby - this is my entertainment.  So let's look at the totals:

TG Couture = $3201 or $291 per item
Spotty Dog Social Club = $290 or $26 per item

Interesting.  My costs are just less than 10% of the designer originals.  The Couture items are actually sold in a shop in Calgary - I'll have to wear some of my collection and then go and stalk the shop!  Do you cost out your clothes?  Do you think that it is fair to compare with the Couture originals?

Meanwhile, back with the SWAP . . . . . I checked the dates on Artisan's Square (who run the SWAP) and I posted on February 24th that I intended on taking part - so about 8 weeks to make these garments.  Not bad really - the joys of using simple but fun patterns!


I'm just waiting to see what the instructions are for submitting photos etc - I have dozens more photos, and will attempt to load them to Flickr, for you to see.  I've no idea if that link will work - I don't use Flickr very often!

Finally, I wanted to upload just one more photo - after all, Alberta is cowboy country!


24 comments :

  1. I loved your outfits and the colours. liked your cost comparisons but don't think I'd dare put my things next to conture.

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  2. Thanks, the colours are quite outside of my usual range, so it was fun to use them. The costings were interesting, and to be fair, I don't think that my garments are anywhere near 'couture' quality, but as these were the only comparisons that I could find, I'm running with it!!!

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  3. What a fantastic collection - you are going to enjoy wearing these garments I am sure.

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    1. I've worn a couple of outfits so far, and boy, they are comfy and fun! Even Mr. SDSC commented on how good I looked - and he is not liberal with his compliments!

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  4. Awesome and amazing! Love the looks!

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    1. Thank-you! these clothes just make me smile when I look at them as they were so fun to make!

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  5. This was just wonderful - fantastic collection indeed.....and a whole new Spring wardrobe I love it.....smashing!

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    1. Thank-you - I'm just waiting for the weather to catch up!

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  6. congradulations on getting all that sewing done! I am still loving those patterns & serious thinking I need some lol! i will be sewing like a wild woman this week finishing up PR wardrobe challenge lol! I loev all of your collection & can't wait to see what you get into next!

    Helen

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    1. You ought to give them a try - one you have one or two tweaked to your liking, then they quick and fun to make. I'm walking over to PR now to check out your garments!

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  7. I love your wardrobe and the cost break down. It is a fun way to determine the value of your "entertainment".

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    1. The costs were quite interesting - I seem to have spent more money, but I do have a rather startling amount of fabric left over! Although I would never call my garments 'couture', I think that it is fair to say that the designer makes RTW at the price point that I quoted, so al-in-all, I got a bargain. I've manage to track down a local shop that sells the garments, so I'l going in to take a look!

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    2. Argh! Sorry about the typos! I attempted to say that 'I'm going in to take a look' . . . !

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    3. Argh! Sorry about the typos! I attempted to say that 'I'm going in to take a look' . . . !

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  8. Congrats on such a fine SWAP collection. I love the little details on your tops.

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    1. Most kind, thank-you. I could quite get to like these odd patches here and there! I'm on the fence about raw edge bias binding - we will see how that holds up in the wash - although it was VERY easy to apply!

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  9. Amazing! And this shows that home sewing is not always more expensive....a complaint I often hear. It's all about quality, and having fun doing what you love!

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    1. It is indeed - and this really was fun, thank-you!

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  10. Fabulous wardrobe. How marvelous that you have managed a whole wardrobe for the price of one RTW item. Great job.

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    1. Thank-you BeaJay. It does make you wonder how people can afford to pay the full price - I'm just glad that my hobby allows me to sew similar items!

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  11. What a lovely collection you made for SWAP! Love the fabrics, and the total Tina Givens look is fabulous! It is new to me, and I like it! Your colors are also wonderful for a summer collection!

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    1. Thank-you! The look was new to me . . . I've only been sewing it since April (I think) - and I love it!

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  12. What a fantastic collection! All those beautifully coloured solids - and I adore that duster. You have got me thinking of doing something similar for summer!

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    1. Thank-you - and please do. Don't forget to share what you have made, I'd love to see it!

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Thank-you for taking the time out to leave a comment - it is much appreciated!