A number of us have been reflecting on SWAP over at Artisan's square, and why we finished, or didn't, as the case may be. Now, dear reader, I have to tell you that SWAP is worth doing, and I love it. It helps you plan. It makes things work. And, there are clothes that I still wear from my very first black and white swap so many years ago.
But, this year's swap was a failure for me. Not because I didn't have time like last year (I did), but because I violated that first rule of all sewing and fashion: know thyself. Or, to put it more positively: Dress what you have, not what you wish you were. And, it is a sad fact, when looking in the mirror, that the very 'in look of the drop shoulder' does not flatter me in the least. All of my swap was based on that look.
This failure to finish is not the fault of swap. I did not use the tools I have to make better design choices. The clothes I made fit very well. They just don't look awesome or wonderful on me. This could have been prevented by using a personal croquis, and testing it all out in drawing. A design course I took long ago taught me that you can tell if you will like something if you draw it out and like the design, and I have found that to be very true. And a fashion drawing can head off many a fashion failure like this.
My sister, who is a lovely fine boned rectangle, has inherited two of the pieces I made, and all the patterns, and is thrilled to pieces with them. She rocks the dress that made me look like I was wearing a sac (still makes me want to cry that the dress did not work for me). She was thrilled beyond words to get the patterns. And I have decided that I will bite the bullet and make a proper croquis in the next week so that I have a better idea of what works for me.