New tops and bag: The Ogden + Ida Swap 2019

This is my second year doing this swap challenge #ogdenidaswap2019, but this year I decided to do the full thing and made both the True Bias Ogden top and the Kylie and the Machine Ida bag. Last year I only made the Ogden and enjoyed the challenge so much, I thought I’d up the ante this year. If aren’t familiar with the challenge, it’s much as it sounds. You choose to make one or both of the aforementioned items and are given a recipient to send them to. You Instastalk them for a few days and then make and post off your item based on the measurements you receive. Some other plucky soul does the same for you!


It’s definitely supposed to be a challenge with the emphasis on fun and participation, since it’s fairly hard to make a perfect garment for someone you’ve never met, based on a few measurements and a couple of photos. And it did indeed prove to be a little less nervewracking the second time round, but just as exciting. Do you want to see what I made and received? Of course you do!


My mystery recipient was @valeriesexpressions from Alabama. Her Instagram feed told me she is a prolific knitter, but also gave me a few clues about her clothing preferences. She had quite a number of brightly coloured garments – no pastels here – and also lots of prints. I noticed that blue popped up in her feed on a few occasions, and I happened to have a gorgeous piece of Nani Iro double gauze, which I thought she might like and which also might be practical for steamy Alabama.


I didn’t quite have enough for the facings as well, so fashioned those out of a coordinating blue lawn, which was probably a good thing anyway, since the gauze is slightly sheer. I’ve made a couple of things from double gauze before and have found it a little tricky to sew sometimes, but I have to say this piece behaved beautifully. I finished it with French seams and I’m glad to say that it seems to fit Valerie well – whew!


It was actually my first time to make the Ida bag (which is a free pattern), although I’ve made a few bags in the past. I decided to go the whole hog and make it my first leather/suede bag too, by using a piece of this vibrant yellow suede I bought at Goldhawk Road on my little trip with Andrew @mensew last Christmas.


I used a leather needle and regular thread and I have to say it was quite straightforward. You just have to be careful not to make two many mistakes as they show up. My construction definitely wasn’t perfect (I found one side of the zipper a little troublesome) but for a first time I hope it’s acceptable for Valerie. I lined the Ida bag with some colourful Japanese barkcloth and popped in a few little goodies.


My own surprise items came courtesy of Alexa of @almostahippy on Instagram, who is a lovely Irish sewist based in the UK. My Ogden and Ida both had a hint of the floral about them and they turned out beautifully!



First, my Ogden cami fits like a dream and Alexa cleverly used this embroidered chambray border print to great effect. It’s a perfect summer top and it will go with a ton of stuff in my wardrobe, which is fantastic!


The Ida bag is also gorgeous and I just love all the different fabrics she used for the lining and outer body – and also the lovely daisies on the front! I also really like the double zip on the top – really cool feature!


Alexa also sent me a bag of much-missed chocolate Wispa bits and I would happily show you the packet, except that my son and I scoffed them all in about 5 minutes, so I can’t, haha. Sorry – but they were VERY appreciated!

If you haven’t given this challenge a go, look out for it next year. It’s a good one because the two challenge items are reasonably straightforward to make and everyone likes them. Recommended!

5 thoughts on “New tops and bag: The Ogden + Ida Swap 2019

    1. Yes, it’s a perfect little bag for all sorts of things. I’ve made a few bags, but not for a while and I’d forgotten how satisfying it is (in the end anyway!). I must have a look around for some. They make great Christmas pressies too!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I went back and forth on joining this challenge (I did the same thing last year too) and right at the last minute, I once again decided not to do it – because of my nervousness sewing for someone else and time and each year I’ve regret not participating after seeing everyone’s swap! Hopefully they run it next year so I will finally participate. Both of yours turned out lovely! I loved the mustard color and that embroidered chambray! Beautiful makes!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much and yes, I can completely empathise you regarding the sewing for someone else. I did the Handmade Dress Swap last year and that was totally nervewracking, because the dresses are all different and personal. It was a very fulfilling and cool challenge too, and I think took the pressure off slightly for this one this year. If it’s any reassurance, my experience has been of a super friendly experience and everyone feels much the same. I hope you get a chance to join next year – I’d love to see what you make! 🙂


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