How To Sew For Business Travel

Sew Over It Bologna

Hello, hello! I am back from Bologna Book Fair and so happy to be reunited with my blog. Here I am on the first day of the fair, wearing my Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress.

In fact, I wore this shift dress on both days I attended the fair – my navy wool crepe was the second iteration that showed its lovely face. Solid colours keep you feeling safe when you’re too tired to draw attention to yourself.

The Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress is perfect for comfortable, smart attire. Plus, it rolls up small in your carry on case. At the other end, all you have to do is shake it out and hang it up. The long sleeves save you the headache of packing extra layers. A slip, a pair of tights, some statement jewellery and comfie shoes and you’re good to go.

How To Sew With Wool Crepe

I made both of these dresses with the fair in mind. It’s always good to plan ahead. It makes the trip fun, too – imagining your capsule wardrobe. And when the event rolls round, home sewn outfits give you a good conversational ice breaker. The Irish publishers were particularly enthusiastic about my sewing skills and if memory correctly serves, a literary scout came over to tell me that she’d sewn the knickers she was wearing. I didn’t ask to see them. That would have been rude.

Tilly And The Buttons Stella Hoodie

For the travelling part of this trip, I wore my Tilly And The Buttons Stella Hoodie from her new book, Stretch!. This pattern is PERFECT for travel. The kangaroo pocket is ideal for the safe stashing of passport and phone.

I sewed the dress-length hoodie in a navy viscose ponte from TMOS. I liked the viscose detail for breathability; some pontes and scubas can be a bit sweaty, I find. The hood was lined in grey rib jersey and the ties are adapted shoe laces with the plastic ends snipped off and raw ends hand sewn shut! You can see this detail in the below photo of another Stella Hoodie I have sewn:

Stella Hoodie, Tilly And The Buttons

My sewing for travel guidelines are:

  • Forward plan. No, you shan’t sew that dress the night before your trip.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Keep it comfie.
  • Keep it easy to launder.
  • Choose fabrics that roll up small and don’t crease.
  • If you are wearing home sewn knickers, find someone to tell! (Or was that just between me and the literary scout…?)

That’s it! Do you have any top tips of your own?

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16 Responses to How To Sew For Business Travel

  1. LinB says:

    Reversibles are always lovely for travel. Make them in colors that coordinate with your already-chosen travel garments. You can easily make pull-on trousers and skirts by leaving part of one side seam open for turning right-side out, as in bagging a lining. Insert a circle of elastic at the top of the waist, and then topstitch it into place, for an easy waist treatment for these skirts and trews. Wear your reversible woven tees untucked, or make some reversible sashes/belts to add even more variety to your wardrobe.

    And pockets — lots of pockets. Sew floating pockets to hang inside your waistbands. Insert them in side seams of reversible tops and bottoms — I find it easier to put one pocket for each “side” of the reversible.

    Looks like you had fun. Glad you made it home safely.

  2. That shift dress is perfect! This is the exact reason why I love dresses.

  3. Candie says:

    I agree on the hang pockets on the inside of waistbands. I was recently traveling and my pants just happened to have a pocket that was perfect for my room card and the other for a credit card. They were perfect!

  4. Robin says:

    Tomorrow I will be in a pair of silk lined wool pants for the third day, on my way back home, and they’re still lookin’ good! I slept in them on the plane overnight, then walked through rainy Paris streets the next morning. They dried like a dream. Pull on elastic waist, in a dark navy pinstripe. Got lazy on the pockets, though I could still add a floating inner pocket – love that idea for the room card key. A silk scarf really helped wonders as well.

  5. Philippa says:

    All the things you picked for the trip look lovely and perfectly accessorised, but I am especially drawn to the Stella hoodie dress. I have the book (of course) and thought the hoodie was only for me in the shorter length, but I am definitely revising my opinion now!

  6. Ann says:

    I think you’re version of the Stella dress should be on the TATB website, I have Tillys book but felt the version in the book was for the youngsters, but your dress is superb especially with the stripey top underneath😊

  7. Jo says:

    Definitely need solid colours – that is my tip, Jeans are awful to sit on a plan in so comfy is definitely the way forward. Your Shift dresses are perfect. Jo x

  8. pegasusquilts says:

    Really inspiring.

  9. Your shift dress looks perfect for business travel. I never know what to take and always end up with too much stuff/not enough or the wrong thing for the climate. I do have a whole load of non-iron blouses that you can roll up and have been making more. Hope that you had a fun and productive time. Xx

  10. I love your navy shift dress with that necklace! The long sleeves are also great for hiding a thermal underneath. Your Stella’s are fab too!

  11. Teresa says:

    I make all my own knickers with leftover jersey. They are so so comfy and I’m never buying ready made ones again. There’s something really satisfying about knowing you are wearing matching top and knickers!

    • LinB says:

      I read a travel tip once that was useful, the one time I traveled afar: Plan to throw away your under-panties. Don’t worry about washing them and waiting for them to dry. Just toss them into the closest waste bin.

      This tip presupposes that you are packing dingy old panties that were already due for disposal, or ones bought cheaply. And that you wear cotton panties, which take a long time to dry. I am an old woman, who DOES wear cotton granny panties, and no one (including my husband of many years) is paying any attention to my underwear.

  12. Zoe says:

    Great ideas here! A couple of years ago I made a dark indigo stretch denim A line skirt (New Look 6106) which has been so useful for work travel. It’s smart/dark enough that it can be dressed up with a shirt and jacket for work, but can also work with a t-shirt for sightseeing and travel days. I’ve worn it with tights and boots in the winter and with sandals in the summer. It’s pretty much worn out now, so I’m planning to remake it!

  13. That sleeveless Stella Hoodie is gorgeous! Such a good idea to combine it with a stripped top, so many options there! I a gonna make it in cotton sweatshirt…

  14. Great advice. I do a tiny bit of travel so this is good to read. I’ve made a lovely purple SOI Cowl Neck Dress in ponte and though it’s lovely and crease-free, and easy to launder, you’re right that it’s a bit on the warm side. Trips to south of France might get a tad sweaty..! 😊

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