Sewing a Travel Wardrobe

Sewing for an upcoming vacation is the perfect excuse to think (thoroughly!!!) about what you’re sewing and packing. And I’ve learned that there is something magical about traveling with handmades – I don’t know if it’s seeing all your handiwork together (in a suitcase!) or planning items and having wonderful trip memories tied to them when you wear them later (to work!). Here are a few guidelines and pattern recommendations for how to sew a travel wardrobe.

Plan it! Consider sewing a mini capsule wardrobe for your travel wardrobe, with basic pieces pair and work together in multiple ways and in prints and solids that coordinate well. It’s a fun exercise that you’ll learn from – and bring over into your regular sewing practice. In an ideal world, planning a capsule will help you sew – and pack – more efficiently.

Consider the weather and your travel method. Especially if you’re headed somewhere with a vastly different climate. And even more so if you’ll be in the car for three days! Or both! Consider styles that can be layered when you’re back home, too, to get the most from your makes. Or make a lifestyle change and go all caftan, all the time!

Other considerations? Pick fabrics that won’t wrinkle – or look okay wrinkled! – and are low on bulk factor. Think thin layers! Consider elastic waist everything (or no waists – seriously, caftans!) and simple silhouettes that are easy to dress up with accessories – pack extra jewelry items rather than another outfit.

On my journeys, True Bias’s Emerson Crop Pants have served me well. The chic pleated front and elastic back create pants that are comfy and stylish – the winning combination for travel. And bonus: there’s an option for shorts, should your adventures call for that!

Skirts can work overtime on vacation as well – a knit skirt with an elastic waist is a go-to. The Feeling Flouncy skirt is a great pick – in a bold print, the skirt is upscale and artful. Or sew it in a basic shade and wear it to the beach and back!

If there was one MVP item on my trip, it was the backpack I finished just before we left. A handmade bag is a must-have for travel. There’s something magical about it: a visible reminder of your own craftiness and something that is incredibly useful.

For a feminine weekend-friendly pick, try our Wendy Weekender – there’s even a kit! (And it’s on sale!)

For something more rugged, try the Portside Travel Set by Grainline Studio.

Consider investing in a pattern bundle that does the capsule work for you, such as the Travel Trio Two Pattern by Christine Johnson.

For more info on the subject, check out our Packing Right and Packing Light: The Travel Wardrobe ebook.

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