Thursday, 23 August 2018

Beach bag and minimalist holiday packing

Minimalist holiday packing - does anyone else try to pack as little as they can to go on holiday?! I find now that with the addition of clothes, toys and books for a 4 year old, plus a few books for myself and my husband I don't really have much room for clothes. Well I mean taking a bigger case and checking in luggage is always an option but we really prefer not to do this as it always adds waiting time at the airports at either end so we have stuck to hand luggage on as many trips as we can.

holiday wardrobe

This was my holiday wardrobe for 10 days in Italy. I took:
Grainline tiny pocket tank (this has been worn so much, I love it!)
American Apparel chambray short-sleeved shirt (worn travelling there & back)
Lilac Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt
Pink Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt
& Other stories striped shorts
Named Patterns Inari tee dress
Japanese dress book Dress D in dark chambray from Merchant & Mills
Brick/rust trousers from Asos

Japanese dress book Dress D
I wore a pair of Steve Madden brown leather sandals and didn't take any other shoes with me, oh and I wore my denim jacket travelling. The only addition to this was two bikinis, underwear and a pyjama short set. There were points when I wished for a better pair of shoes for walking but asides from that there wasn't anything I wished I'd brought, and I wore everything that was with me.  It really brought home to me that I don't need a huge amount of clothes, especially in summer when things can be washed & dried so quickly. I'm gradually getting rid of things now that don't get worn, even things I've made, and it's satisfying to see my wardrobe getting smaller but full of things that are worn a lot and well loved. 
beach bag in situ by the pool at our holiday apartment in Ossuccio, Lake Como

Talking of things that are well loved I also made myself a new beach bag for going away (even though we weren't going to the beach!).  This bag was made from a linen skirt I bought in Hobbs in 2010.  It was bought for a special occasion - a memorial exhibition which I organised of my mum's art work to raise money for Eve - the charity for gynaecological cancers.  The exhibition was a success, it was a lovely event where I got to chat with lots of my mum's friends, and look at all her artwork together in one room. So the skirt holds some sentimental value for me.  It has lasted me really well and was worn up until last summer when it just started to look a bit tatty, it had some holes and some stains around the hem which I couldn't shift. When I mentioned to a friend that I'd like to make it into a beach bag she kindly did me a little mock up of how to do a bag with square corners to make it roomier.  I went to an evening sewing session at Ray Stitch - where you bring your own projects to work on with the benefit of an experienced sewing instructor, as well as lots of other lovely people to chat too! I bought the bright pink webbing there to add a bit of contrast with the straps and, thanks to some extra tips from Rosie the instructor that evening, I came away with a very neat and roomy beach bag! It came in so useful on holiday and was used every day to carry about water bottle, books, pac-a-macs, sun cream (we had very changeable weather the first few days!), beach towels etc.

I don't get so much sewing time nowadays, and when I do it's usually quilts I'm drawn to sewing.  I wear pretty much all the things in my wardrobe and am gradually culling it of the things that don't get worn.  Recently I made a Maya top that was not a success - a combination of cheap polyester fabric and rusty sewing skills - but I'm not dwelling on it as the next sew was a big success - the 'Jily' top by Ready to Sew.  I'll share a review of the pattern soon! I'm trying to cull my fabric stash now too and get rid of fabrics I wouldn't wear if I saw them as garments in a shop, sometimes these fabrics move to my quilting supplies but there are definitely a few that can go to the charity shop. I've never been tempted to read the Mari Kondo book or try that method but am coming round to it a bit now, especially seeing how much stuff we still haven't unpacked since we moved 4 months ago!  The blog Be More with Less has also had some inspiring posts I've read recently so maybe there's a wider decluttering phase starting for me!

the skirt in its original form

an example of one of the holes in the fabric


  1. This post really resonates with me, I’m definitely clearing space and am finding it quite liberating. Hope you had a great holiday x

    1. Hello Jacq and sorry it's taken me so long to reply! I can't get the comments function to work on my phone. Yes it is liberating isn't it?! In the run up to Christmas i suddenly feel the need for more space clearing!

  2. What a great post. It's always interesting what people pack for their holiday. It looks like you have it well streamlined!

    1. Hello Caroline and my apologies for taking so long to reply! Thank you. I think it's easier to be streamlined for a holiday where you know you're going somewhere hot - a bit harder if say, we were holidaying in the UK where you're never sure what the weather will do!