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

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