Lots More Sewing

May 29, 2009

to come…

I just realized I can sew a lot more if you cut the same colored fabric out at a time, thread your machine, pin all the darts and seams that will be sewn first and just start sewing.
Following this theory of mine there was a lot of green on my desk these past two weeks.
Sewn:

  • a tunic with a decorative trip, Indian style with instructions on how to apply the embellishing band
  • 3 jersey T-Shirts or tops

Pending:

  • a green dress with some crochet detail that I haven’t decided upon yet
  • a pair of thin stretch green pants

In the meantime we are planning a crazy backpacking camping trip to Europe. Me and my husband will start in Amsterdam, visiting the city and the surroundings, maybe even catch a train to Brussels for a gofre if we get the munchies one day. We plan on spending a few days hiking in the Alps, in Grindelwald a small tourist village close to Interlaken. Then we will be off to Salzburg, again in the mountains somewhere, to see the glacier, lakes and villages. We will be traveling by train, we have the opportunity of buying Interrail passes, since we are Romanian citizens and I know we will be missing out on so many things throught Europe and these 2 weeks will simply scratch the surface….but there will be 3 different countries, some city strolling and mountain hiking, a lot of photographs.
From Salzburg we will catch the train to Budapest, meet with my parents in law, drive to Valea Draganului, Romania, spend 3 days at the cabin.
5 days will be left for our home town of Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Why am I writing all this on a sewing blog? Just wondering what clothes to wear in fashionable Europe, while keeping my pack really light and having clothes for the mountain side and anythiung the weather will throw at me.

We will be doing a lot of walking through the cities, camping at high altitudes in the mountains so we need to be ready for anything.

Long sleeve tops in lightweight cotton would offer some protection from the sun. Like the tunic or the raglan tops with gathering around the neckline. These can be layered over a camisole, and taken off it is really too hot.

Shorts are cool for summer, but I think knee length pants are more stylish and are more practical for bike riding, etc. Lightweight jeans that convert into cropped version are also versatile. I wonder how these will look like with those hiking sandals… Linen feels great but it will be very wrinkly so I don’t think I’m going to pack that…I’m also thinking of packing some silk tops because they are so lightweight and dry easily, but those would be for wearing through Cluj where there won’t be a backpack on me…

Cotton is great and I love it, but for dry weather. It has no moisture wicking properties, on the contrary, it is very absorbent, so all the sweat from a day of walking/hiking will be stuck in the fabric, transforming it into wet sandpaper that irritates the skin.

So then I was looking online at those lightweight synthetic button down shirts, with UV protection that are perfect for hot wet weather. They wick moisture away and dry quickly. Essential if I’m going to pack light and wash my clothes often. A shirt I think will be always classic no matter what, so it will do for a walk throught any city and it will protect me from the sun and heat so I won’t have to wear that sticky sun screen lotion. Shirts like that from Columbia run around 30-50$ each and I think they look great for men, but they don’t really have a more feminine cut for us girls.

Another essential item I think would be a softshell breathable, waterproof or at least water repellent, moisture wicking jacket. This is great to have with you on the trail, at high altitudes where weather can play tricks with you and seasons can change by the hour. It will keep you insulated and dry. These can run up to over 200$ depending on what the label sais.

The downside with the synthetics is that they can become smelly after wearing for long hours.

You hear all these buzz words that add a lot of $$$ to prices, like SPF, water repellent, moisture wicking, breathable fabric, etc… I googled them and ended up finind this little online store called rocky woods: http://www.rockywoods.com

They stock up all the fabrics I mentioned and are specialized in outdoor fabric. I’m not crazy about the pictures, because they do not portrait the fabrics, it is just boxes of color, so I’m not sure what to expect.

I just ordered today, all these for about 100$:

  • Burlington Moisture Control Sun Blocker Fabric for two long sleeved shirts (eucalyptus and brick red)
  • Burlington MCS Blocker Sun Protective Fabric Prints for two long sleeved shirts (Blue Plaid and Pink plaid)
  • Polartec Windbloc Laminate – Graphite/Brick
  • Gore® Soft Shell with microfleece liner – Grey- the last two are for a soft shell, that will have reflective zippers ans pockets

I’m sure this makes no sense and I can’t seem to see all these in a collection, but I do need to think about pieces that go together, can be layerd, are practical and easy to care for,  lightweight, do not wrinkle….

In the end, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up wearing the hiking clothes through the cities as well and look like the American tourist…

Locations to visit around Salzburg, not sure how we could get to all these places, we will probably need to choose:

View Salzburg, Grossglockner in a larger map

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9 Responses to “Lots More Sewing”

  1. Becky Says:

    Actually, it does make sense to me… but then, I go backpacking a couple of times a year and have attempted to make my own hiking gear before. So here’s my one suggestion from what I’ve learned… with the laminate, if you can find some stuff to seal up/waterproof the seams, it’ll probably help to keep the wind from cutting through those places. (Also, make sure the pattern fits you first… my rain gear attempt was kind of a disaster. The jacket was ok, but the pants didn’t fit at all!)

    • Becky Says:

      And have fun on your trip! That sounds like a blast!

      • Mirela Says:

        Thanks Becky!
        I totally have to research how to sew this GoreTex fabric…
        So far I found that there is a seam sealer tape that can be ironed on, but with special care, since you can either melt everything or not heat it enough to adhere:
        http://www.cascadelayers.com/tseam_seal.htm
        And there’s also a SeamGrip glue like substance…
        Any tips? Do these methods work on the laminated GoreTex fleece fabric, that has a pile on the back as well?

  2. Meream Says:

    I am jealous. While I am not the backpacker type, I am jealous that you will get to see all of those nice place.
    Hope you post lots of photos!

  3. me Says:

    You will be right at home in Swiss cities, a fair amount of people in Switzerland dress in permanent, stylish hiking gear. If I recall Amsterdam right everything goes, Brussels too. A little bit more stylish (and crazy) than the real practical look of Switzerland, but nice hiking gear fits. Salzburg lot of hiking gear too. By the by I travel always in sturdy shoes I use for hiking too, nice pants, jeans in winter, some modern fabric in summer. This works all through Europe including Paris and I didn’t get any odd looks. The key is fit and muted colors. I like rainbow colors, but hiking gear in cities is best in some fairly neutral palette, especially for the pants. Jeans (or dark blue), grey or black and nobody guesses that the pants might be hiking pants. With neutral color pants with a great fit, the rest of your wardrobe doesn’t matter. Maybe a not-more-than-one-primary-color windbreaker would be advisable. In every city with students there is hiking gear, pretend to be a crazy professor, they all wear hiking gear in my experience ;-).

  4. mirela Says:

    Thank you, “you”! I do teach sometimes for the company I work for, so I can definetly act like a crazy professor :)) This will really make me feel at home then, my biggest worry now will be that I’m going to like every place so much, I won’t want to come back to Florida…oooh well…

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