Wednesday, February 16, 2011

JAM #2, a Travel Vest/Cape and Travel Wardrobe

Not much sewing last week but in between visits with friends and family I still caught up at odd moments with my blog reading list.  My blogging only started in September but I so enjoy this delightful way of communicating our sewing joys and sorrows (darn wadders!) around the globe.  So thank you, readers, followers, visitors, lurkers and linkers, you make my day more interesting and my sewing more adventurous.

Speaking of adventure, we leave next week for our New Zealand trip.  Here's the travel wardrobe so far.   I've just finished hours of bias binding this clever pattern, the Vest-S-Cape from Saf-T-Pockets,  #2011 "Sew Accessorized."   Saf-T-Pockets Vest-S-Cape
Cape-S-Vest from Saf-T-Pockets Patterns 

Pattern Description:   When you are on the road there is nothing better than a beautiful, easy to use scarf or our amazing Vest-S-Cape to expand your wardrobe.

Pattern Sizing:  XS-3XL  I used the first size grouping, for XS-L

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, I believe so.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Instructions are very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I was considering a few types of shawls that I could bring on an upcoming trip of a lifetime to New Zealand.  I like the versatility from this design.  It is basically a large round tablecloth with holes for armholes but it fold and drapes into several different looks.  What I didn't enjoy was sewing yards and yards of bias washed rayon binding.  I'm not good at evenly binding an edge entirely by machine so I hand stitched the binding on the wrong side....around each of the armholes and the entire circumference.  Don't ask me for the total length (I got a D one semester in geometry) but I can tell you that I threaded my  much loved Susan Khalje hand needles 14 times.
Yes, that's how much there is to bind.

washed rayon bias binding

Fabric Used:  Wonderful double knit poly rayon lycra blend from Fabric Mart bias bound with a brown washed rayon also from Fabric Mart, both in my stash.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  None necessary
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I don't think I'll need another one soon but it would be nice in a lightweight silk as another travel accessory.
I tried the first version in a black microfleece.  Not good.  The microfleece did not drape nicely and got caught up on my backside.  It looked better on the dressform.  Oh well, it will become fleece socks.

Here's the back view of the brown double knit:
Worn cape-like, my favorite version

Conclusion: I'll be curious to see what I think of it when I use it for our trip.  I'll try to remember to update this review with any additional insights from actually wearing the garment.
Short cape look

What else am I packing?
Most of our days will be spent hiking so I have the standard collection of rain jacket, Polarfleece 200 pullover, gloves and hat (for elevations, something I don't worry about in Florida) hiking pants, one pair a lovely black stretch pair from EMS (recommended by Summerset Banks on her wonderful blog, Pins and Needles blog which combines things I love....artistic sewing and her hiking pictures) and a khaki pair that zip off.  Two pairs of jeans, one a dark wash and one a brown Chicos pair.  That brown is the inspiration base for the rest of my clothes which I will mostly be wearing to the evening dinners and for a few daytime sightseeing excursions without hikes.
Here are some of the evening and sightseeing looks I have planned.  This is a black slinky skirt that I can wear with this Eileen Fisher silk chiffon and silk tank top.

Slinky skirt with Knip Mode top

Sleeveless Jalie twist top made into dress

I'm packing my brown sleeveless knit dress from this past September's sewing projects ( brown sleeveless dress post)and plan on using it with a jacket and as an underlayer for a knit top and even with the poly version of the Chico's top (thank you Anita for that suggestion) from this post  Chicos poncho blouse knock off instructions .  Of course, depending on the weather, any of these tops can go with those pants for cool evenings.
Jalie twist top dress underneath RTW top

Chicos poncho knock off

Simplicity 4095 wrap top

Jalie twist top
Boiled wool RTW jacket
Any thoughts or opinions?  I may be am packing more than I need but I do enjoy having some variety when I travel.  Suitcase on wheels and I can manage just fine.  If we were traveling with more flight connections and more countries or locations than I would agree to pare down.  But this is about as bare bones as I want to be on this trip.

We'll be spending our first two days in Wellington, then take the ferry and the next two days in the wine country in Blenheim.  I'll be celebrating the big 6-0 birthday that last evening (hours ahead of time of when I was actually born!!!) but not exactly as planned.  Mr. Lucky went ahead and wanted to surprise me with a special dinner....only to get an email last night that the restaurant had a fire and will not be open.  Glad to know no one was hurt but any recommendations for dinner in Blenheim, New Zealand?
The following day we meet up with our travel group, 14 of us, who have joined The South Island Adventure with a British hiking travel company, The Wayfarers.  We've traveled with them twice before starting 13 years ago for our 10th anniversary.   The guides and fellow travelers as well as gorgeous outdoors make this our very favorite way to explore another country.

Lucky the rescue dog waiting patiently for the news that he can run and play again
And of course, I can't close out this post without and update about Lucky the rescue dog.  Today is day 27 of his 30 day confinement for heartworm.  It was a rough week for him last week as he had several gagging spells and other unpleasantness as the dead worm makes its way through his bodily systems.  In the last two days, however, he is truly feeling perky and ready to romp.  We take him to the vet for a day long treatment on Friday and then he might be good to resume moderate playtime.  All of us can hardly wait.


  1. Jane Very nice travel wardrobe have a wonderful trip

  2. Wow, that is a lot of binding! But the end result is very stylish and looks quite versatile. You have a fabulous travel wardrobe planned - isn't it fun to have made so many of the items yourself?

    Have a wonderful trip!

  3. My, that is a looong length of binding! Lovely travel wardrobe - you seem to have covered every possibility, and a girl does need options.

  4. Jane -
    I am so impressed! What a great wardrobe! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cape vest. Have a great time.
    Michele P

  5. Looking a nice wardrobe. I'm not a tramper-type so have no idea what would be suitable for that. However I can say that at the moment we've got unpredictable weather but has been warm.Probably not as warm as Florida though. The weather patterns seem to be warm and muggy in the daytime with or without cloud, suitable tee-shirt/tank and shorts wear, maybe with a light cardy/jacket. But nights are cooler and definitely will be cooler overnight up higher. We're in Dunedin. If you get here definitely try and take in the Albatross colony and penguins on the Otago peninsula. Also penguin watching in Oamaru. The South Island really is a beautiful place. The metservice has a mountains/parks section if that helps.
    Enjoy your trip!

  6. Sounds like a wonderful trip you have planned. I really like all the clothes you have packed. They all work so nicely together. Good to hear Lucky is still on the mend. Happy Birthday!

  7. Just looking at your wardrobe and suggest that you have some tshirts, tank tops and shorts... we are in the North Island here, nearly 10 pm at night and I am in tshirt and shorts. It is currently 15 degrees C in Christchurch, 13 in Blenheim and 17 in Nelson at 10 pm. I am not sure what that translates to in Farenheit but it has been warm this week. The rest of your wardrobe looks fabulous and very versatile

  8. That's a cute as heck vest/cape. Just thed right amount of coverage for a chilly day. I LOVE Lucky. I had a little guy like him who pretty much took over the running of the house!


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."