Saturday, 16 June 2018

A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe

My idea was to post this blog article before we went away (not three weeks after our return) and then do a bit of a travelogue during the holiday featuring my outfits. A flawed idea in so many ways.  Not least of which was my forgetfulness about taking photos. We were away for 31 days (35 including travel) and I managed to take outfit photos on 17 of those and three of them were on the journey home! Plus after travelling many miles to be with family and friends blogging is not very high on my priority list. This is despite loving the posts from other sewing bloggers on their travels.

The other flaw was that instead of having the Sunday of departure to laze around writing this post we had to start our journey mid morning. Air New Zealand had to make some big schedule changes because of its Dreamliners being out of service with faulty Rolls Royce engines.  This had a much bigger impact on our journey home which took us three days with unintended stop overs in Los Angeles and Auckland.

The travel wardrobe version 1

I posted about my travel wardrobe aspirations back in February and was quite excited by the possibilities it provided. However due to time constraints (aren't there always) and the holiday happening a bit earlier than planned a few things fell by the wayside and some new ideas emerged.

So what made the cut?
  • In number terms I took 24 items including a coat. The February plan had 24 items excluding a coat.
  • The original idea had four dresses but in the end I replaced two of the dresses with a jacket and the coat.
  • So I took 14 tops, two dresses, four pairs of trousers, one cardigan, two jackets and a coat.
  • I took more RTW tops than I had originally planned (eight versus four).
  • Strangely most of the garments sewn came from the fabric in the extra eight pulled from the stash, rather than the main wardrobe plan.
  • The coat weighed heavily on my mind.  I got as far as deciding on the Waffle Patterns Pepernoot hooded coat and buying some waterproof fabric.  Maybe this will happen soon as I did buy a zip the right length from MacCulloch and Wallis whilst in London. After much internal debate I took a purchased coat with me.
Are the changes reflective of how my travel wardrobe fits into my existing wardrobe, or just that whilst we make a plan sticking to it is pretty hard?

The travel wardrobe version 2

The run up to the holiday was a bit hectic (lots of frantic sewing) so the blog posts for the new garments in my travel wardrobe will follow later.  I will update this post with links when I have them.

Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
The starting 4x4 wardrobe
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
The extra eight
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
The 4x6 wardrobe template
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
United Nude Issey Miyake Step in black; UN X-sandal in silver and mint; Ivy Lee May in faux python
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Clockwise from top left: Jade stone pendant; Beaded Kumihimo necklace (present from Cath);
Pandora/Evolve charm bracelet; Jacket closure safety pin; the earring collection;
leather bracelet; Sue Alexander Owl and the Pussycat pendant;
Singer Featherweight pendant; Sue Alexander dragonfly pendant; 
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
And just in case - Untouched World reversible merino silk scarf
Fantastic for the flight

The 4x4 wardrobe concept

This travel wardrobe is based on the 4x4 wardrobe concept developed by the Vivienne Files. Here is the original 4x4 template by Janice.
The Vivienne Files - http://www.theviviennefiles.com/four-by-four-wardrobes/

The wardrobe in action

Here are the real life shots of the wardrobe...
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Gorgeous Butterflies top and True Love trousers
Sweet Line knit singlet, Flint trousers and Lofty merino cardigan
at the Five Bells, Wickham
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Clockwise from left:
Green/pink Kantha jacket with Gorgeous Butterflies top and True Love trousers at the Manifold Inn, Buxton;
Cut Make Trim Seafoam tee and Flint trousers at St Boniface's Church, Bunbury;
Green/pink Kantha and Roam jackets with ? top and True Love trousers at Lakeside railway station, Newby Bridge
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Green/pink Kantha jacket with Cut Make Trim Mayrose tee and Flint trousers at The Angel Inn, Hetton
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Clockwise from top left:
World T dress at the Anderton Boatlift, Northwich;
Tact Summer knit tee and Lana's Caesar jeans in Sheffield;
Besharl IoW Pocho tee and True Love trousers at Beeston Castle
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Clockwise from top:
Roam jacket, Tact Summer knit tee and Lana's Caesar jeans at the Wensleydale Creamery with Wallace & Gromit;
Green/pink Kantha jacket with World tee and True Love trousers at the Himalayan Gardens, Ripon;
Merino knit singlet and Flint trousers at Monsal Head in the Peak District
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Bloom Swing dress at The Queens Head, Finghall
World T dress in the Yorkshire Dales
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Clockwise from top left:
Green/pink Kantha jacket, World tee and True Love trousers at the Himalayan Gardens, Ripon;
Green/pink Kantha jacket, Lofty merino cardigan and ? top with Flint trousers at Fortunes Kippers, Whitby;
Roam jacket, Cut Make Trim Mayrose tee and Lana's Caesar jeans at The Queens Head, Finghall
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Family moments
I just noticed a common thread with my photos - I only bothered to have one taken where I was wearing a me made item. Rest assured the RTW tops in my suitcase were worn and not just ballast.

The journey home

As we spent many hours hanging about on the journey home I did remember to take photos.

Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
In the SilverKris Lounge at Heathrow in my Cut Make Trim Seafoam tee and Flint trousers
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Yet more construction at Heathrow Airport
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
At the Crowne Plaza LAX waiting for our ride to the airport in Besharl IoW Pocho tee and Lana's Caesar jeans
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
In the Koru Lounge at Auckland Domestic Airport in Roam jacket, Everyday merino top and Lana's Caesar jeans
Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Yay nearly home - coming in to land at Christchurch airport


Unpacking

I didn't take a photo of the suitcase and its contents on the way to England but here it is ready to unpack after a wonderful few weeks away. My clothing fits into the Eagle Creek packing cubes apart from my coat and jacket which are in the top zipped section along with all of the holiday spoils (including a Melin Tregwynt cushion - a present from Cath).

Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe

The dirty washing is not quite in focus but you get the idea!

Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe
The post holiday washing pile


Post travel thoughts

The wardrobe was fantastic I enjoyed wearing it for the whole holiday. It mixed and matched really well and I never felt I was wearing the same items over and over again or got bored with what was available.

The two jackets and cardigan were true workhorse parts of the wardrobe worn every day.  They also layered well with the green/pink Kantha jacket as the top layer and a warm wool layer (either the Roam jacket or Lofty cardigan) underneath.  This was particularly useful on the days we were in the Lake District (especially by Lake Windemere) and Whitby. Amazing how much the temperature drops when there is a body of water nearby.

So what didn't work? Nothing was an absolute disaster.  But there were some lessons.
  • The coat was largely unworn and in hindsight I think my Issey Miyake Gorgeous raincoat would have been a better choice. The Whoops a Daisy coat was long and great for wandering around city streets (I have worn it in Wellington on two of the three weeks I have been back).  Not so suitable for tramping through a field or heavy rain. As luck would have it the coat wasn't needed for either of these events. I should have thought about the context of the holiday more when it came to the coat like I did with the rest of my packing. I did have an umbrella but once again probably not context appropriate.
  • Not an earth shattering observation but the weather makes a huge difference to what is needed.  The first week was cold so the long sleeve tops were essential for layering and the High Rider jeans were useful.  Once the weather warmed up they were redundant.  Although I wouldn't risk a trip to England in May without the insurance of long sleeved wool tops.  The long sleeve Everyday merino top was also comfortingly warm when we reached New Zealand's wintery shores at the end of our homeward journey.
  • If packing space had been an issue the items that I could have left behind are: High Rider jeans; Desigual stripe top; World Cut Make Trim black merino tee; Desigual flower stripe top; Meredith flower top and Untouched World merino singlet. Not sure I could ever get down to sixteen garments but it is an aspirational goal!

How did it compare to the 2016 travel wardrobe?

I was aiming for the same number of garments in my 2018 travel wardrobe as I had in 2016 but I ended up with four more at the last minute. You can however see that 2018 was very much influenced by the contents of the 2016 wardrobe which was very successful apart from one thing.  The trip to the UK in 2016 was also in May but there were more cooler weather days and I would have benefited from a few more warm tops - hence the extras I threw into the suitcase in 2018 at the last minute. Not the thing to do if you want to pack minimally.

Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe

Creates Sew Slow: A trip to England with the 2018 Travel Wardrobe

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

These are my second pair of Megan Nielsen Flint trousers and whilst the first pair are wearable I am much happier with the fit of this second pair.

The outfit of the day

Here I am wearing my Untouched World Lofty Merino cardigan, Andrea Moore Sweet Line Knit top and United Nude Fold-Lo shoes in neon lime. These trousers fit right into my travel wardrobe.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

Outfit two
Still wearing the Andrea Moore Sweet Line Knit top and United Nude shoes, this time they are the Issey Miyake Rock Sandal in lime, with the Issey Miyake Individualist V2056 jacket I made earlier this year. The jacket and trouser fabric were bought together and I always thought they would make a good outfit but now I am not so sure.  Funny how you change your mind when you see a photograph.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers


The comparison

This version of my Flint trousers includes a number of pattern alterations which improved them to TNT state. Next time I make them will be quick and easy.

It is possible that whilst not perfect version 1 will end up getting more wear just because I prefer the fabric design. So much for using the less precious fabric for the first time make, at least they are an acceptable wearable muslin. Ironically it is this version that has come to England with me, fitting right into the travel wardrobe colour scheme  

We took the same shots with me wearing version 1 so that you could compare the two versions. Not an exact science comparison because I had been wearing version 2 all day whilst version 1 was freshly laundered and I find even though it is a non-stretch woven the fabric relaxes with wear.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers
Version 2 worn all day but still fits well at the waist
Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers
Version 1 gapping at the waistband and fabric wrinkles at the crotch
Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers
Version 2 not noticeably different from version 1
Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers
Version 1
Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers
Version 2 still some diagonal lines but I am happy with the fit
Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers
Version 1 looks fine when I really expected them to look much saggier in the bottom 

The fabric

As with my first pair of Megan Nielsen Flint trousers I used a Liberty Rossmore cord, this time in the pattern Lydia.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

The pattern

The pattern is described as wide leg cropped pants or shorts with unique side crossover closure.  Pattern sits on the natural waist and features hidden closure at the left pocket, release tucks at the front, darts at the back, slash pockets, two waistband options and two lengths.

Version 1 is a pair of cropped pants with button closures.  Version 2 is a pair of cropped pants with tie closure. Version 3 is a pair of shorts with button closures. Version 4 is a pair of shorts with tie closures.

Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia TrousersMegan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

The pattern alterations

This version of the Flint trousers is once again based on View 1 size medium.

Version 1 did have a post make alteration because the crotch was so low.  I undid the inseam and removed 5/8" from the back inseam then sewed them back together. This did make a difference to wearability but wouldn't get any points as a text book pattern alteration.

The only fit alteration made to version 2 was to remove 1.25 inches from the back crotch length. I just made a dart in the pattern piece tapering to nothing at the side seam. Then the crotch seam was trued up with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

The other alterations made were to change the seam allowances to 3/8" and eliminate the waistband by adding 1.5" to the top of the pattern pieces. The darts were extended to continue the shaping. In my post for version 1 I talked about only adding 1/2" to the top of the trousers for a faced waist. However once the excess was removed from the back crotch length it became apparent that more height was needed to get the waist to sit in the right place hence the addition of 1.5".

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

Waistband height was added to the top of the pocket pieces too.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

Making the waistband facing took some thought because of the left hand pocket being the trouser opening. The trouser pieces were overlapped at the seam allowances, including adding the pocket to the left back and right front pieces. The darts were also pinned out. The waistband facing could then be traced off to a depth of 2 7/8". The front left hand pocket width (minus seam allowances) has to be removed from the waistband facing as it is effectively part of the facing. I did forget to account for having a seam with the facing on the curved edge of the back left hand pocket piece and you can see this in the sewing photos with the edge of the pocket folded over.

Both the waistband facing and the top of the left hand pocket bags (where they form part of the waistband facing) are interfaced with a medium weight woven interfacing.

The sewing

The sewing was pretty straightforward with the seams sewn on the overlocker. I had to make changes to the sewing order because of the faced waist and how I added the facing to the pocket bag on the left side.

First thing was to add bias binding to the waist facing. Next darts were sewn.

Then the pocket bags were sewn to their respective trouser leg piece, crotch seams sewn, then the inner leg seam and right side seam including around the pocket bag.

Next the facing was sewn (with the overlocker) to the left side pocket bags front and back, continuing around the pocket bag to neaten the edges to the pocket opening notch. The side seam was then overlocked including around the bottom of the pocket to the notch.

Lastly the facing was sewn to the trousers.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

The waist facing is not stitched all the way around to the trousers at the long bias bound edge. I didn't want a visible stitch line so I stitched in the ditch at the front crotch seam, right side seam and the darts (front and back). This is more than adequate to hold the facing in place

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

I chose a small square gold coloured button with a shank that had to be hand sewn on. A couple of test buttonholes were made to get the size right for the square button.

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

And the neatly finished waistband in all its glory!

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

The final step was a hand sewn trouser hem.

The garden

A gratuitous garden shot from the bored photographer.  His model hasn't got the hang of the art of the quick change yet.  Neither for photographs nor real life!

Creates Sew Slow: Megan Nielsen Flint Lydia Trousers

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

I have discovered a small problem with blogging and the rest of life. I can either sew or I can blog. I doubt this is a mind blowing discovery for anyone and I am sure many have experienced this before me. Normally I try and balance the two activities. With the frenzied sewing associated with a trip and the need for a whole new wardrobe blogging fell by the wayside.

That in itself is another interesting aspect of the human psyche. I have a perfectly adequate wardrobe that would have easily served me over my five weeks away yet I MUST have new clothes. It didn't help that our trip ended up being earlier than planned so the sewing list in the time available became ambitious especially from a naturally slow sewer.

This blouse was the first item sewn for my 6 in 6 Pattern Review Travel Wardrobe back at the beginning of February. Not that I finished six garments within the deadline. Photos were eventually taken of the garment being worn in mid April.

The finished garment

The photos don't show this top off to advantage or maybe it does fit that badly. It doesn't feel ill fitting when worn and I normally fuss with garments that pool in the small of my back like this one appears to do.

It does crease badly when washed and  isn't suitable for travel as you can't guarantee an iron will be available. But it looks alright on the hanger!

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

The fabric

For some reason I have always wanted some of the Liberty of London print called Isle of Wight (this is colourway A) and luckily for me The Fabric Store had some in the colour that fitted into my travel wardrobe so I snapped it up during their Summer sale.

I have never even been to the Isle of Wight although my aunt goes there every year in December with friends (and then coincidentally has a cold for Christmas).

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London Tana Lawn Isle of Wight A

The sewing pattern

I discovered the indie pattern designer Okistyle thanks to another blogger and I would give them credit if only I could remember who they were.  Since discovering this pattern company I have bought six of their PDF patterns and have another four on my wish list.

One of the Okistyle jacket patterns is cut out in a lovely two faced leather which didn't quite get sewn in time for the tavel wardrobe.

It is a great compliment to the designer Oki that I have purchased so many of her patterns as I hate (and hate is not nearly a strong enough word) taping PDF patterns together. I have found however that the bench or floor in my hotel room is good for taping PDF patterns together and it whiles away a good few evening hours.

The Madrid Blouse is described as "a sleeveless top with nice peplum, Back darts are visible on the right side. Visible long zipper on back, french darts on front."

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Oki is from west of Mongolia, now living in Germany. She has been interested in textiles and clothing since her childhood, learning dressmaking from her mother.  Oki is a one woman company who in her own words "design, construct patterns, fabric dyeing, sew, model and do everything myself.  I love unusual precious materials and unusual shapes for dressmaking. To sew Okistyle dresses should be fun and it should be even more fun when you wear them :-)"

The pattern alterations

I can't actually tell you what pattern alterations I would have made to this pattern because when I printed it out (the whole pattern not just the first page with the 10cm square) I didn't print it actual size. My 10cm square was about 9cm ish but I only discovered this after taping all of the pages together and whilst I may have been willing to sacrifice a few pages of paper and print it again I wasn't willing to do the taping again.

Something else to note is that the pattern pieces don't contain seam allowances but I didn't read that important piece of information until later.  So with such amazing attention to detail it is a miracle that this blouse fits.  Not a miracle really because I used a TNT blouse to give me an idea of which size to use. I changed the armholes to be the same as my TNT pattern so I could use its' sleeves as a sleeveless blouse would get limited wear.

Two other changes I made were: a forward shoulder adjustment; and lowered neckline. This neckline in its original form is high enough to make me feel like I'm being strangled.


The sewing

This was sewn using my 1953 Singer Featherweight with French seams. The hems and neckband were machine sewn too. Nothing difficult or unusual about the sewing.

I did omit the facing. Instead the neck was stay-stitched at 3/8" then folded to the stay-stitch line and folded again to give a narrow hem.

The other thing I missed out was the zip down the back. I thought the tana lawn was a bit too light for a zip and I didn't need it to get the top on and off with its lowered neckline. This meant the back pattern piece could be cut on the fold.

I really enjoyed making this top on the little table in our motel room and it is great to wear, even if it does need ironing. (Something else to do in my Wellington hotel room to while away a few minutes.)

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse