Controlled Chaos, Behind the Scenes Before & After: Reviewing DC Sip & Swap w/ @TheSwapaholics

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting Thursday night was at the DC Sip & Swap with the Swapaholics from Boston, MA.

Around 5:15pm we could already feel the energy in the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, VA. Ladies were steadily dropping off bags and bags of clothes and picking up their complimentary bag for the swap.  Some stayed around and relaxed on the sofas and others went to the bar.

Check-in table
Swappers lounging in the waiting area

Silver Spring Sewing Sisters showed up for the DC Sip & Swap

Silver Spring Sewing Sisters, Kanisa, Xtine and Hadiya turned Swappers for a night

My girlfriends and I came a bit early to assist with the sorting. This process is no joke. We had to make sure only the best and most current clothing items were to go on the swap floor. Thanks to Lily and a few others for doing such a great job.

Lisa and Lily sorting clothes before the swap
Lily was very focused on sorting clothing. Eventually she had to remove her shoes for more comfort

By 6:30pm we were in full swing. The bar and the waiting area was buzzing with anxious women who couldn’t wait to get their hands in some fabulous clothes. Many were ordering appetizers and making new friends

Ladies waiting patiently
At the bar sipping before the swap

We were slowly but surely getting things sorted and put out on tables.  Such helpful volunteers who were focused and dedicated.

Almost done. We're getting there
The jeans table was beginning to grow
More dresses

At 7:30pm the intensity was up by ten times and most were sitting on the edge of their seat or standing near the curtain. I was concerned folks might get trampled on the way in. It sorta reminded me of the Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement. Total craziness!!!!

About 15 minutes before the curtain gets pulled back

One last look at the room before the swappers come in. Everything looks good and we are just about ready.

Moved the tables closer to give swappers more room

At 1 minute to 8:00pm as I sent my final tweet before the swap Melissa from the Swapaholics went on the other side of the curtain to say a few words and set the ground rules. Then the curtain opened and that was all she wrote.

Posing for the camera before entry
This is the only pic I have from the mad dash. See the full video later in another blog post

By 8:05pm the women were already pulling accessories from the stage and finding plenty of clothing on the tables. The selection was endless.

These ladies were going to town
Even I was getting in the mix of things. I picked up a couple of tank tops. That was all I managed to grab
Controlled chaos is what we like to call it 🙂 Photo from The Swapaholics

17 minutes later the racks were empty, the tables were almost cleared off and most of the shoes and purses had been stashed in the ladies bags. Whew! I was worn out just watching them.

Empty Racks
Empty hangers in 15 minutes
All that was left of the shoes. Completely wiped out

Toward the end of the swap the women were taking pictures

in their fabulous finds and most were all smiles.

This swapnista looks fabulous in her new halter dress
Lily after putting in all that work found some great items
These ladies were so happy with their finds
One of Silver Spring Sewing Sisters walked away with this stylish coat
Pretty blue dress
My friend Georgiana found this great designer skirt

In the end nothing but table clothes and a few miscellaneous pieces

After the swap ended the Swapaholics moved on to the raffle. Four participants won great giveaways

Melissa getting ready to pull for the raffle but always prepared for a photo op.

Overall it was a good time had by all and we can’t wait to do it again. The next Sew Frugal and Black Eyed Susie Swap will be in mid-September. We will be announcing the date very soon and we hope to see you all there.

From left to right: Yours Truly Jen from Sew Frugal and Fashionable; Melissa and Amy from the Swapaholics, Lisa Rowan of QuarterLife; Amy; Shanna Gadwani of Goodwill of Greater Washington; and KT Boyle, Speaker of the Blouse at the Washington Post.
Fun Swap Stuff

Enjoy the rest of pics!

Me on the phone around 5:20 on a conference call from work. Don't they know I have serious fashion business to deal with 🙂 JK it was important
These ladies were going to town
No pushing or shoving. Everyone swapped peacefully
After a few minutes there was no more chattering. All you could hear were feet going pitter patter on the hardwood floors
Me and Lily
Swappers going through the short sleeve shirts
Clothes going to Goodwill
All done.....After all that it was sad to see everyone gone
The Goodwill truck came to pick up the left over clothing
Kaarin having a little fun with the balloons
Kaarin trying to keep balloons steady for the word SAP
PAWS - Made me miss my dog, who by the way has been at home waiting patiently for me to come home. I think I should leave now
Eventually we had to say goodbye to all the SWAP balloons 😦
Can't leave until me and the organizers take one last picture

Published by Jenna M

Sew Frugal & Fashionable and The Urban Sewing Society is all about helping you building a fashionable wardrobe through sewing, refashioning vintage and thrifting. We offer vintage and ready made pop up shops which feature carefully selected clothing and accessories to help you achieve that one of a kind look. We have sewing classes to help you unleash your creativity and style. Follow us on Instagram @SewFrugal and @TheUrbanSewingSociety

4 thoughts on “Controlled Chaos, Behind the Scenes Before & After: Reviewing DC Sip & Swap w/ @TheSwapaholics

  1. Love these pictures and your writing! You captured the evening so well! (And thanks for including the spelling game with the balloons. Hilarious!)

  2. Jen! What a picture perfect recap of the night. It was SO amazing finally meeting you in person, and thanks a MILLION for all of your help organizing, sorting, and generally being awesome. We loved swapping in DC with you and Lily and Serena and all your Sew Frugal & Fashionable sewing sisters and cannot wait to come back again soon. Hugs & much #swaplove!

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