Last year, Whitney wrote about using her MyBodyModel fashion croquis to plan an entirely handmade travel wardrobe for a month-long trip to Italy. Now, thinking back on the heat waves and affogati of her Italian summer, Whitney reflects on the me-made items in her handmade wardrobe that she wore during last year’s travels.
Last summer, I spent a month visiting my in-laws in Piedmont, the northwestern region of Italy. I had some very lofty goals for everything I wanted to make ahead of my trip, which I shared in this blog post. While I only ended up making one of the projects from that post, sketching on my custom My Body Model croquis helped me realize that I had a lot of amazing me-made pieces that worked well together already in my closet.
I used the 12-model page to sketch out everything I wanted to pack. I ended up taking 2 blouses, 2 t-shirts, a cardigan (for the plane), 3 skirts, a jumpsuit, and 9 dresses.
The knit Colette Moneta shown below was perfect for our 24-hour travel day. The knit fabric and elastic gathered waist kept me comfortable, while the dark color hid any toddler-related stains. I also made a Pattern Scout Luna Crossbody bag for the trip, and it was the perfect travel companion!
We spent most of our days in and around my husband’s village, Asigliano Vercellese, and the nearby city of Vercelli. Halfway through our trip, western Europe experienced its worst heatwave since 2003, with the heat index reaching 114 degrees one day! On those days, I really appreciated the linen Made by Rae Cleo skirts and short, breezy Seamwork Veronica dresses I had packed.
Naturally, a lot of gelato was consumed! One of my favorite ice cream treats is an affogato, which is a scoop of vanilla gelato ‘drowned’ in espresso. Fortunately that espresso blended right in with the tan-colored flowers on my Colette Wren, because I definitely spilled it all over myself! I had almost overlooked bringing this dress along with me to Italy, but sketching out my outfits on my croquis helped me remember just how much I love this silhouette.
The real workhorse of my travel wardrobe ended up being this Colette Myrna made out of a lightweight shirting fabric. The structure of the pattern helped me to feel a bit more polished than I did in my knit dresses, while the lightweight crispness of the fabric kept me cool on the hottest days. I wore this dress when we went to the mountain sanctuary at Oropa, while shopping in the heart of Vercelli, and during a day trip to Lugano, Switzerland.
The one garment I made out of all the sketches in my previous blog post was another Colette Myrna, this time in a silky viscose poplin. I fell in love with this dress after sketching it on my custom croquis, and I knew it would be the perfect thing to wear to my brother-in-law’s wedding. And how perfect did it look against the backdrop of the rolling hills of Monferrato?!
From days when it was too hot to do anything but hang out at home drinking an Aperol spritz, to spontaneous lunches at sidewalk cafes, to the pre-wedding dinner at an incredible trattoria in the middle of nowhere, I felt like I always had just the right outfit for whatever adventures came our way each day.
Are you inspired by Whitney’s beautiful wardrobe sketches and finished garments? Check out these posts:
- Whitney’s Handmade Travel Wardrobe Plans
- Whitney’s Fall Sewing & Knitting Planning (stay tuned for her finished outfits post, coming soon!)
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Whitney is a stay-at-home mom to 3-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 @whitneygetsdressed and her blog.
3 thoughts on “My Handmade Travel Wardrobe: Summertime in Italy”
You did a great job. I look forward to sketching my projects
Darling outfits. Did I count five pairs of shoes? Way to go!
So helpful – thank you for all the details! Makes me want to visit Italy and wear a handmade wardrobe!