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Planning Your Travel Wardrobe

By Jo Reimer, SAF-T-POCKETS Travelwear Patterns

The following has been reprinted with permission from the guidesheets of the Flight Jacket Pattern by Jo Reimer, SAF-T-POCKETS Pattern # 9700.

Lots of pockets sewn into your clothing can provide great opportunities for organizing the things you need to carry daily. The key words here are organize and daily needs. Carrying items just because you think they may be useful isn't prudent if your goal is to travel light. Each morning as you prepare to go out consider where you'll go, how you'll travel, and what you'll need. If your trip will include household errands such as shopping and car travel, the way you pack your pockets will be different than if you are taking the bus across town.

How can you eliminate many things that women normally lug around? Ask yourself  what you really need. When I want to lighten my load here's what I put in my pockets:

That's all I usually need for the day. When I'm taking the car I usually have a tote bag for things I need to deliver or pick up, or to use as a shopping bag. If I'm in my businesswoman's role I'll carry a briefcase for papers. For sightseeing my small camera and a sweater might be in the tote bag or I might substitute a daypack for the tote so I can shoulder my light load. I don't NEED anything else so I don't carry it. Since learning to travel this way I've found much more pleasure in my days and I hope you do, too.

Organize yourself. "A place for everything and everything in its place" is a great idea! When you sew your SAF-T-POCKETS jacket or vest you don't need to sew all the pockets in each pattern. Pick and choose and then sew only the pockets you think you'll use. Maybe you need only one large and one small pocket on each side. Add an underarm pocket for ticket jackets only if you take public transportation. Fewer pockets present less temptation to overload the jacket. Add some sort of secure closure to the pocket you'll use for money. Name your pockets: The zippered "money" pocket holds your wallet and checks. The "notebook pocket" should be easy to reach and also house your pen. Always load your cosmetics pocket with lipstick and comb. You get the picture.

Build your travel wardrobe around 2 main colors plus an accent color and you'll need to pack fewer garment . The less you take, the less weight you'll have to carry! It is possible to pack too little, but more probable that you are one of those who takes twice as many clothes as you need or will wear. Here's how to gather your wardrobe.

First, choose a pair of old shoes that are supremely comfortable to wear all day. Clean and polish your shoes. Have them repaired, if necessary. Next, choose 2 jackets and 2 pants or skirts which all work with each other. Add 5 - 7 coordinating blouses/shirts and another comfortable pair of shoes. Then add some accessories: scarves and/ or jewelry that change your look.

These garments should give you 20 to 30 different outfits. Be sure that the clothes you take are ones that fit and that you like to wear. You'll never wear the same outfit twice, but you'll wear the same garments often. Lots of accessories change the look and you'll always look so good that your travel companions will enjoy seeing your creativity. They usually have less patience with a woman who can't manage her own suitcase than one who wears the same clothes often. Travel in comfy clothes that you'll also wear during your vacation.

Most of us don't have the luxury or time to make a new wardrobe for each trip. We shop our closets, choosing well-loved old favorites and sew new companions to add some excitement to the combination. Let your imagination soar. Add one flamboyant color or item to your wardrobe as a great morale booster.

Here are some ideas for color combinations.

Ivory Teal Red Purple
Purple Green Amethyst Brown
White Navy Raspberry Wine
Purple Pink Red Black
Blue Green Hot Pink Raspberry Black
Yellow Royal Blue Navy Magenta
Plum Mauve Violet Lilac
Purple Burgundy Wine Ivory
Mauve Blue Orange Black
Cream Sand Camel Brown
Oatmeal Beige Taupe Espresso
Burnt Orange Lemon Yellow Black Royal
Peach Dove Gray Charcoal Black
Slate Terra Cotta Mustard Black
Navy and White Red Buttercup Dusty Rose

Black, navy, white, and brown aren't the only neutral colors. Consider the new neutral: aubergine, acid green, curry, copper, mauve, eggplant, evergreen, olive, teal. Get used to combining these basic colors with many others by getting an assortment of paint chips from a paint store or by cutting scraps of color from magazine pages. Use these paint chips to work out new color combinations complete with accent colors. Record your favorite combinations and then shop your closet and fabrics to assemble a fresh and imaginative wardrobe.

There are many advantages to packing a one-color basic wardrobe. Many women live in nothing but black and always look fabulous. You can choose your basic color instead of black from those suggested above, add some exciting accents, and always look and feel great. Here's one woman's basic black wardrobe; after you plug in your own colors go to your room and sew something!

  Color My Color
Slacks, straight cut Black  
Slacks, slim Black  
Skirt, straight Black  
Skirt, long/swing Black  
Sweater, cashmere Black  
Sweater, cotton turtleneck Black  
Sweater, cardigan Black  
Jacket, blazer Black  
Jacket Black  
Sandals Black  
Boots Black  
Low-heel pumps Black  
Jeans Black  
Several shirts/blouses Accent Colors  
Fabulous belt Black with metal  

Buy several yards of a lovely lightweight wool double-knit and sew interchangeable pants, skirts, and jackets for 3-season travel. Use cotton and rayon for summer.

More information on traveling and sewing with SAF-T-POCKETS patterns.


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