corecouture

Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane


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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.

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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…..

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Sew your own……….

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

Next time, it’s Mexico……


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Scuba Gardening

Frogs in a Bucket brought you plain and solid; Sewcraftychemist brought you stripes: both versions are absolutely fabulous with very accurate seam matching and are stunningly finished and flattering dresses, so much so that I had to make this dress. I have a bit of a posh thing to go to in July and thought I’d try this…. not in solid, not in stripes………

I bring you flowers!

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It’s not finished yet – need to hem and sort out the facing and maybe line the dress  but I’m feeling a wee bit guilty about not blogging and the sun was shinning.

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Burda 04-2016-119 – shift dress with asymmetrical neckline with detailed seaming.

It’s not a shift dress – it’s a very fitted dress! But don’t you just love those back darts?

I traced a size 42 and then fitted to body along the sides, taking in where I had to. I didn’t put in a back zip  – pointless, as the scuba stretches. And the sway back adjustment was a piece of cake as there is a waist seam, so just make a curved seam at the back. I started with the usual 5/8″ at the side and graduated to 1.5″ at centre back, then out again to 5/8″. Added 3.5″ to length and 1″ to bodice at waistline.

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Order of construction went like this:

  1. Sew front bodice and back bodice but leave centre back seam open. Sew together at shoulders, leaving side seams open too.
  2. Make facings, leaving centre back open and right side together, sew to bodice all the way around armholes and neckline. Trim and clip. Under stitch as far as possible.
  3. Pull the left back through the left shoulder seam and same for the right hand side.
  4. Press with a damp pressing cloth, 3 or 4 times.
  5. Sew centre back seam and facing all in one. Here’s a video to show you how.
  6. Sew front skirt and back skirt.
  7. Attach skirts to bodices.
  8. Put dress on and pin along both sides seams evenly to fit. Sew side seams and side seam on the facings in one go.
  9. Press, press, press
  10. Hem. (Yet to do)

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The whole of the front of the dress is cut on single layer fabric and you need about 1.5m . I got 2m which meant I could position the pattern pieces over certain flowers and fussy cut. There’s no way I was even going to attempt to pattern match. I’m making a long relaxed very fine wool pink coat to wear over and wanted more pink and purple flowers at the front as the coat will be open. The fabulous fabric is from Fabworks – Pretty Kitsch! Notes about scuba….

  1. Scuba – a spongy fabric that will not take a precision press
  2. Scuba – does not wrinkle  so can roll up in a suitcase for travelling
  3. Scuba – stretches to fit the body, even after a very large lunch or dinner
  4. Scuba – irony! – make a body con dress for people who have body con issues
  5. Scuba – disguises lumps and bumps – don’t know how, just accept and embrace it.
  6. Super to sew with; easy, stretchy, doesn’t fray.

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So, go sew this dress in geometric, animal, paisley, checks , colour blocks………

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