Saturday, 10 February 2018

The 2018 Travel Wardrobe - a tale of packing and wardrobe planning

In the past I have been a hopeless packer. For my first trip to New Zealand back in 1993 my other half had hopes of getting me into tramping so I had a rucksack which I carefully over-packed.  My other half then came along and emptied it out and cross examined me on the whys and wherefores of each item - some I was allowed to keep and others not.  Even with this judicious examination of my rucksack packing I could hardly stand up with it on my back, and as soon as I stood up anywhere near straight I toppled over!

As an aside his hopes of tramping were further dashed when we had a day walk up Mount Arthur along the Flora and Arthur hut tracks. This is a very easy walk except I had trouble standing up, especially walking down hill, even wearing a good pair of walking boots. Plus I was carrying nothing more than a handkerchief, he carried the day pack. I do walk a lot but I don't tramp.

From this history of abysmal packer I have become hugely more organised. The turning point was in 2001 with an emergency trip back to the UK, where basically I went to work in the morning received a phone call, rushed around to hand over my job, dashed home to pack and flew to the UK that evening. My packing was not exactly focused but I survived a month in the UK with a suitcase that weighed so little I nearly fell over when I yanked it off the luggage carousel.  This taught me the valuable lesson that the kitchen sink is not necessary when you pack for a trip away. But I do like choices and variety.

Having commuted by air to my job(s) for the last ten years it has really honed my packing skills. I typically pack for four days away - two bottoms and four tops with one pair of shoes, a top layer (cardigan or jacket) and a coat. Sometimes I will substitute a top and bottom for a dress.

Enter the concept of wardrobe planning. I just love wardrobe planning - choosing fabrics and clothes that go together.  The Vivienne Files is a blog I enjoy immensely. I have used the 4x4 wardrobe template from the Vivienne Files to plan a 2018 travel wardrobe and you will see the resulting garments over the coming weeks.

Here is a sneak peak of two of the outfits from a recent weekend away.

Creates Sew Slow: The 2018 Travel Wardrobe
Megan Nielsen Flint trousers and UW Lofty merino cardi & merino singlet
Creates Sew Slow: The 2018 Travel Wardrobe
UW Lofty merino cardi & Tact Summer knit tee with AM True Love trousers
Here is the 4x4 wardrobe (the first four rows) and a little bit extra. Having chosen my neutral - a lovely mint colour which Untouched World call "scuba", I went through my fabric stash and it is amazing how many pieces of fabric I found to go with my neutral. Hence the two extra rows to give a 6x4 wardrobe! The Home Sewing World t-dress is in the wardrobe and worn a few times already.

Creates Sew Slow: The 2018 Travel Wardrobe Ideas 1
2018 4x4 (+ extras) travel wardobe...
Creates Sew Slow: The 2018 Travel Wardrobe Ideas 1
...and what the garments are (or will be!)
Actually two extra rows are not enough I had another eight fabrics pulled out as possibles so have included them below.  Two of these garments have already been made - Megan Nielsen Flint trousers and Oki Style Madrid top.

Creates Sew Slow: The 2018 Travel Wardrobe Ideas 2
When you have too much fabric the choices never end
Not shown here because I don't have a pattern sorted or the fabric is the idea I have to make a coat that will look good and have a hood to protect me from the rain. A rain coat is nearly always needed just in case for the places we go and it would be good to be a bit stylish and not limited to the Goretex.

Developing a wardrobe of possibilities to choose from for my 2018 travels led me to the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest and then I was sucked into the thought of the Match your Shoes contest.  Both of which I may enter time permitting.

For the shoe contest I have two ideas.  Idea 2 is made and I could make idea 1 this weekend so both could be within the deadline.

Creates Sew Slow - PR Match Your Shoes Contest Ideas

Then for the Pattern Review 6x6 (six garments in six weeks) Wardrobe contest this is a possible combination:

Creates Sew Slow: PR 6x6 Wardrobe Contest Idea

Some of the 6x6 garments are part of my 2018 travel wardrobe but I had to make changes as my jacket for the travel wardrobe will be too complicated to do in the six week deadline.  So far one garment has been made.

Lets see how much of this comes to fruition, as I may have bitten off just a tiny bit more than I can chew.


  1. Wow, your orhanisation is inspiring. I never know what to do about a raincoat either - it has to keep me dry ish in a Wellington storm and i'm not sure what style options that leaves, but I'm really looking forward to see what you come up with.

    1. I'm good at the ideas, the problem is production! My raincoat preference is veering towards Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat without the fluffy hood.( Is it telling that we have a drying room in our Wellington office?

  2. I'm looking forward to seeing what appears in the 2018 travel wardrobe. Your neutral colour, which I would like to call light turquoise, is a great colour. Those luminous green sandals must be United Nude - I can imagine they would create a huge amount of interest :-)

    1. The sandals combine two of my loves - Issey Miyake and United Nude. How could I resist. Most interest probably when getting on and off aircraft as everyone wonders if I will break my neck!!