Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Clothes for Camping


Home again, home again, clippity hop!

Thanks so much for all your comments and critiques on my most recent posts.

I’m back home after a fortnight in the depths of Mexico (more to come later) – I have a lot to show and tell but first I’ll cover the Scotland holiday camping trip wardrobe. This camping trip, tent and all, occurred the very first week of July with two girlfriends. We journeyed all the way to Durness and if you get the weather that we had, I would strongly recommend this as a destination. However, if the forecast is four days with gales and pouring rain – I would definitely not suggest you go there. I guess you take your chances with Scottish weather and we got lucky! The sky was really and truly that blue – these photos are not Photoshopped.


Our half acre camping site: tent, camper van with awning, outdoor kitchen, fairy lights, lanterns, candles, solar lighting, sitting area, wind break and views out to sea – perfect!

Now, I know you’ll be thinking: what on earth do you sew at home for a camping trip iin the most northerly town in the United Kingdom where it never got dark at night and the weather was extraordinary?  This is our beach…..IMG_0391While packing, I was preparing to experience all seasons in one week, as is customary for UK holidays, but ultimately we had Mediterranean weather for the whole week – which was nice and my homemade wardrobe fitted in perfectly. I did purchase some cheap RTW long sleeve T-shirts to add to the rotation and provide some protection from the sun but otherwise this is the packing rundown.

Gather together the following patterns:

Pirate Skirt pencil skirt

Greenstyle Sundance Jacket 

Vogue Paco Peralta 1550 trousers

Marcy Tilton Vogue 8837 pants (OOP) but any legging/jogging bottoms are suitable.

A few tops / T-shirt patterns that in my case incorporated : Merchant and Mills Bantam vest; Centre for Pattern Design bias cut top: Drape Drape 2 asymmetrical top; basic long sleeved T-shirt from whatever pattern you favour.

Slide1Choose co-ordinating fabrics and sew at will. What you can end up with is at least a five day wardrobe……..

I looked at specialist RTW clothing  before I started sewing – outdoor activity sites, camping gear, mountain rescue clothing and the like but everything was in the colour range of black, navy or khaki. I most certainly didn’t want to wear these on holiday. There’s a gap in the market there somewhere…..


Pencil skirt and white T: eating an ice lolly and carrying a bag of ice for cocktails back at base camp.

My primary colour was the lime green flowery scuba from Fabworks. It has pinks, greys, black and white incorporated, which then became the co-ordinating colours for the extended holiday wardrobe.


One thing that is of ultimate importance for camping clothing is comfort and flexibility, lack of wrinkling is also a benefit so this wardrobe is wholly comprised of man-made fibres – no I tell a lie, a few items are cotton jersey: all that bending down and stretching and sitting and fixing things and walking, putting things up and taking them down and what have you requires clothes that move with the body but don’t shift. The ability to layer is also useful for evenings when it might become a little chilly.

Mostly I wore trainers during the vacation, in the following photos I wore pink flats.

The photos are taken at home after the holiday but hopefully you’ll get an idea of the interchangeability, co-ordination and range of looks, style and most importantly, wearability of this little wardrobe. And just because you’re sleeping in a tent, doesn’t mean you have to look like you are during waking hours.


As always, with a little bit of left over fabric, I made a little sling purse and a narrow neck scarf – just in case I felt I wasn’t totally co-ordinated enough.


Slide2The Greenstyle Sundance jacket proved to be indispensable: I made a full sleeved, hooded, pocketed outer layer in the flowery scuba and then made a sleeveless, non-hooded over/inner layer in heavy pink cotton jersey for layering purposes. This relaxed front zipper closing sports jacket incorporates a drop back hemline, optional hood, zippered side seam pockets for extra security and an additional pattern alternative for a pleated back which I didn’t use. Because I made both a sleeved and a sleeveless version, the two could be worn together, either on top on underneath.

The pattern includes a long cuff with thumb holes for those of you who run on the streets in winter and for those of us who don’t, it’s a little design feature to keep your hands warm should the need arise or else provides you with the style ability to mimic your teenage children by being slouchy with an attitude.


If you don’t want to look like this on a fabulous, truly memorable camping/outdoor holiday….choose your clothes to reflect the experience.


Sew your own……….

No, I will never wear the two together but it was fun to show you.

Next time, it’s Mexico……

42 thoughts on “Clothes for Camping

  1. This made me smile. How fabulous! Why should we wear dreary clothes for practicality when we can make the same pieces in cheery fabrics that make us happy. Sounds like you had a great vacation. Thanks for posting.

  2. Magnificent! I much prefer your interpretation of what to wear whilst camping. You were exceedingly fortunate with your weather. I recall a trip to Peebles in July where three of us got into a double sleeping bag in all of our clothes – including coats – to keep warm. My friends dad invited the dog to share with him!

    • I know Kim, we were absolutely the most fortunate of travellers – totally sunshine, warmth and just one night of blustery winds when I thought we might end up in Kanas!

  3. Only you would you sew a couture, coordinated, cheerfully-colorful camping wardrobe to go camping! Love it all.

  4. I’m not a camper, but I would wear this everywhere! SO fantastic. You are so right- why do they make camping wear so gloomy looking? Love your color palette and pattern choices!

    • I’m not a camper either Ann – this was a girls away week and it was the cheapest way we could do it. However, I might be tempted to go again next year…….
      Thank you

  5. I LOVE your camping wardrobe!

  6. Your camping capsule wardrobe is brilliant. You definitely stepped up the usual dreary coloured basics.

  7. When I first saw the title of your post, I thought, “why would anyone make a camping wardrobe?” And then I saw it, and it was fabulous! I just hate the boring grey, black, khaki stuff that is sold for outdoor activities. I’m off for a camping trip myself soon and although I think it’s almost certain to be colder, wetter and dirtier than your trip, you’ve definitely given me something to think about. Can’t wait to see the photos of your Mexican wardrobe!

  8. You chose great coordinates for fabrics.

  9. Wow so many outfits! All lovely pieces and so perfectly interchangeable! So classy too – I usually wear yoga pants and tee shirts. Please don’t camp beside me! ❤️

    • Thanks Linda.
      We had the most glamorous, decorated and prettiest camping site in the whole place. People would come to just look at what we had created. Aren’t girlfriends the best?

  10. You never cease to amaze with all the colorful ideas you come up with–fabulous set!

  11. Neon fabulosity! I just got back from a lovely short break in Aberdyfi with the missus and friends, and wore red and purple throughout! Yay!

  12. You are by far the most fashionable person in a tent!

  13. Oh wow Ruth your camping gear is fantastically brilliant, I want it all. If only I could find that lovely scuba to start with. Can’t wait to see your Mexico wardrobe, I am sure it will be equally brilliant and I will be lusting after it too.

  14. Your bright and colourful camping wardrobe is an inspiration. Love it.

  15. Fantastic. I loathe those greys and khakis, but I suppose the manufacturers must think that anyone wearing them wants to be inconspicuous in the wilder environment. As you say, definitely a gap in the marker.

  16. When I saw you made a pencil skirt for camping, I was skeptical but what an incredible wardrobe! I have had my eye on that Greenstyle jacket – love the back pleats – but I think mine will be black, lol!

    • I know crafty, I was dubious about sewing and packing a pencil skirt too but the scuba just stretches and fits and I don’t own a pair of shorts. Thank you

  17. Lovely. Wondering, though, I am always filthy after the first hour of camping? Maybe you were too in real life camping? Or maybe I’m a slob?

    I know bird watchers are supposed to dress in blend in with the environment colors, perhaps that is an origin point for all the gloomy out door wear colors? I personally want to be easily visible to the rescue helicopter, should it come to that.


    • Thanks Ceci. With no rain we were clean as whistles – no mud!
      I agree with your notion that you should be visible in case of rescue but we didn’t venture too far into the wilderness anyway.

  18. So now I’m curious! I researched Durness and environs. Wow, such a small small population. How do you travel there from Ireland? Also, did you visit the craft village, see the outrageous dunes and cliffs, and the inter-connected sea/land cave with the river in it? Interesting place…

    • Coco, we did all we could: craft village and Cocoa Mountain, Smoo cave, ancient ruined churches and graveyards, walks along the cliffs, swimming in the sea – there were even two bagpipers playing on the headland to wake us up on the first morning and I saw a man in a kilt tending his vegetable garden.
      Ferry across to Scotland, 3 hour drive to overnight stop; another 4 hour drive north and you’re there! Reverse journey home again.
      Durness is remote, I think the nearest town is about 55km away: single lane road the whole way there with the obligatory sheep in the middle of the road, one shop and a petrol pump. Two pubs though!

  19. What wonderful colours, so bright and uplifting.

  20. I just hope all these comments convince you to keep the blog alive! You are an inspiration in those lost-sewing-mojo moments.

  21. Pingback: Kilty | corecouture

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s