We’ve just spent a wonderful, sunny week in the South of France and one of my goals was to pack a handmade wardrobe (or as close to it as possible; underwear, socks, shoes and a coat were the exceptions). I’ll tell you a bit about what I packed, the holiday and some of the last minute sewing.
I’d been planning to sew a couple of swimsuits – the Closet Case Bombshell (green) and Opian Jamanota (blue) – for a month or two, but left it all to the last couple of weeks! Having cut one out, encountered some initial difficulties with elastic and set them aside, I came back to the making process more determined to succeed. I’ll write a separate post about them rather than go into detail here, but here are a couple of photos for now. I wore both of them in the hotel pool and the blue one at the beach too.
For my daughters, I sewed Simplicity 6444 rompers/ playsuits in embroidered striped cotton – blue with flamingos and pink with whales – from Fabricate Roberttown. They were absolutely delighted with the results and wore them about half the time we were away, so they came back with a lot of clean clothes! I spot cleaned some small food marks a few times to keep them presentable.
I’d also made some little jackets in an adorable cactus print as lightweight cover ups, which helped keep the sun off their shoulders.
So, what did I pack?
Trousers: Simple Sew Shannon trousers and Palazzo Trousers, Blank Slate Patterns Forsythe Trousers (all linen or linen mix), Tilly and the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit, Sew Over It Ultimate Culottes.
Shorts: Simple Sew Shannon and La Maison Victor Sunset.
Tops: Vanessa Pouzet Back is Back, République du Chiffon Aréli, CocoWawa Crafts Honeycomb, True Bias Ogden Cami, Deer and Doe Myosotis, McCall’s M7543, Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top and two Helen’s Closet Suki Kimonos, Sew Over It Silk Cami.
Dresses/ kaftans: self drafted cotton lawn maxi, Simple Sew Kaftan Dress (worn as a nightdress), By Hand London Orsola dress and Sew Different Moon Pocket Maxi dress.
I didn’t wear everything that I packed but always had plenty of options. The Orsola dress was perfect for a trip to the beach and linen trousers worked well for travelling in changing temperatures and for evenings when the heat of the day had subsided.
We stayed in central Montpellier, very close to the railway station and the old town. The hotel was just right for us, fairly quiet and with an outdoor pool that was just right for the girls (especially the Smaller Small, as her feet couldn’t touch the bottom and she had to swim more!).
We travelled by train to Sète and Nîmes, by tram and bus to Carnon-Plage and hired a car (much cheaper from the edge of the city than the station!) for the big day out.
On Thursday we spent a few hours at the Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau, near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The Smaller Small loves flamingos and this was one of the reasons for choosing to spend our holidays in the area. It was the Big Small who spotted the first flamingos, flying across the road like a giant pink pencil! The park is amazing and well worth a visit, with many flamingos but also storks, herons, bee-eaters (who seem to have flown South earlier this month), spoonfuls and countless dragonflies.
On our way back to Montpellier, we stopped at Aigues-Mortes (a beautiful walled town by the salt flats) on our way back and also at Mondial Tissus, which was conveniently close to the car hire depot.
On Saturday morning, we met up with lovely Isabelle of Fluffy Fibers, her daughter and creative friend Katia at a coffee shop in the old town, which was a perfect way to end our stay. The journey home was made all the more special as we could see flamingos from the plane as we headed for the runway! It was a really special time away for us as a family, and we would heartily recommend the area for travellers of all ages.
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