28 Jan Whitney’s Handmade Travel Wardrobe Plans, with MyBodyModel
MyBodyModel tester Whitney used her new custom body model croquis templates to design a breezy and romantic travel wardrobe. Read on to see every detail that she’s envisioned using her 12-model and 3-model page templates. Bellissimo!
A few months ago, Erica reached out to ask me if I’d like to be a tester for the latest round of improvements to MyBodyModel. How could I say no?? As I’ve been playing around with it, I’ve discovered it’s the perfect tool for planning the largest project I’ve ever taken on: creating an entirely handmade wardrobe for a month-long trip to Italy, ending with a family wedding. This will be my first trip since learning how to sew, and I’m excited to show off my new skills to family and friends — and of course do a little fabric shopping in nearby Milan!
Dreaming and planning with my body model templates in a sunny corner of my sewing room
My husband is originally from a small city in the northwestern region of Piedmont. During the month of June, the average high temperature is 79°F, but it can also be pretty humid due to standing water in the surrounding rice fields. I know that I’ll need plenty of easy, breezy silhouettes in light, breathable fabrics if I don’t want to turn into a swamp monster by 4 o’clock every afternoon. I also know that I feel my most confident in a skirt or dress. And since I’m trying to save up my fabric budget for shopping in the garment district in Milan, I want to use stash fabrics for as many of these looks as possible. Keeping these things in mind, and using MyBodyModel to help me visualize how these pieces will work together, I’ve come up with the following plan for my summer travel wardrobe.
The Neutrals: Cashmerette Appleton Dress, Seamwork Akita Top + Megan Nielsen Wattle Skirt, & Seamwork Ruth Top + Made by Rae Cleo Skirt
Look 1: Cashmerette Appleton wrap dress in Cotton + Steel ‘Moons’ knit
I never travel without a little black dress, and this one will double as a comfortable, put-together look for our 20+ hour traveling day. Bonus: if my daughter isn’t totally weaned by June, this will accommodate an emergency nursing session.
This is pretty much my dream outfit for strolling through the farmer’s market: a sweet little white blouse and a breezy linen skirt, cut on the bias so it skims over my curves beautifully. This will also be great for those hot late afternoon strolls through town, getting gelato with my husband and watching our daughter run circles around the fountain in Piazza dei Pesci with all of the local kids.
This black linen skirt is a workhorse in my wardrobe all year round, and it’s going to look so pretty with this floaty, romantic blush-colored wrap blouse and my embroidered espadrilles. The perfect outfit for a day date with my husband! (One of the many upsides to visiting family is free childcare, right?)
The Colors: Megan Nielsen Jarrah Top + Made by Rae Cleo Skirt, Seamwork Kimmy Dress, & Colette Aster Top + Seamwork Laura Skirt
Every travel wardrobe needs a good t-shirt, right? For this one, I’m going to try dyeing a white linen jersey with a purple corn powdered extract from Nade Studio. I recently made this tie-waist version of the Jarrah sweater in a sweatshirting fabric, and I’m excited to try a t-shirt version for summer. The chambray linen midi skirt is another workhorse in my wardrobe and will go with all of the tops I’m making.
Look 2: Seamwork Kimmy in olive double gauze from Blackbird Fabrics
For this dress, I’m going to embroider a daisy chain motif in white along the neckline and front center bodice seam. I think it’s going to add a beautiful, feminine touch to the otherwise utilitarian olive color.
I’m very excited to try dyeing the linen for this blouse with some avocado pits I’ve been saving up! I’m hoping to achieve a nice blush pink color. For the Laura skirt, I’ll be deviating from the pattern by shortening the length, creating a more A-line silhouette, and cutting the fabric on the grain.
The Prints: Colette Myrna Dress, Colette Penny Dress, & Seamwork Sky Dress
Look 1: Colette Myrna in rose print viscose poplin from Blackbird Fabrics
This is the dress I will be wearing to my brother-in-law’s wedding toward the end of June. The bright gold roses will mimic the sunflower yellow in my daughter’s flower girl dress (another project in my queue!), while the free-flowing skirt will keep me comfortable during the four hour reception feast.
Look 2: Colette Penny
I’m going to be living out all of my Roman Holiday fantasies in this retro-style shirt dress, but I’m still undecided on fabric. Stripes? Floral? Polka dots? Leave a comment and help me choose!
Look 3: Seamwork Sky in coral floral rayon challis from Colette
I had originally purchased this fabric to make the Myrna in Look 1, but changed my mind after buying the rose fabric. The Sky pattern is written as a jumpsuit, but I’ll be attaching the bodice and waist ties to a swishy midi skirt instead.
This will be my longest trip ever to Italy, and it’s a delicate balance between leaving enough room in my suitcase for souvenirs and taking enough that I don’t get bored with my options by the end of the second week. As we get closer to June, I plan to use some of the 8-model and 12-model page layouts to do quick sketches of the various outfit combinations I can make, and I’ll slip those into my suitcase for days when I need a little inspiration. I’ll be back in July with another blog post, so you can see how my travel wardrobe worked out in Italy!
Whitney is a stay-at-home mom to 2-year old Cleo. She started sewing in 2017 as a way to reclaim her own identity separate from motherhood. Since then, making has become her favorite way to carve out a little time for herself at the end of the day. She also loves to knit, cook, and occasionally travel to her husband’s native Italy. You can find her on Instagram @whitneyknits and her blog.