A-Traveling We Will Go

This year is shaping up to be another Year of Travel. I’ll be heading to Minnesota in a week to present at the Native American Literature Symposium, followed by a trip to Williamsburg in April for RavenCon (I’m a guest!), traveling to Albuquerque for a work meeting in early May, a week-long trip to Hawaii at the end of May (!Robert and I are taking Mom, and we’re all so excited!), and a trip to Scotland in August for a family reunion with Robert’s family.

Oof. I’m tired and excited just listing those off.

And, because that wouldn’t be tiring enough on its own, I’ve decided I need to make a new item for each of those trips.

I know, I know…didn’t I just get rid of a bunch of clothing? Well, yes. That’s rather the point. My wardrobe mostly consists of work clothes nowadays, which is fine for the meeting trip, but those won’t really work for the trips in late May and early August.

My self-imposed rule is that each make has to be somewhat unique and fitting for the trip itself. This isn’t just a case of making the same number of things as upcoming trips. I can’t make five ballgowns…partly because where would I STORE them?! but also because none of those trips are a ballgown kind of trip (also, since when do I wear ballgowns in the first place?). So, each trip requires a specific type of thing.

What I would like to make:

  • NALS in Minnesota: presentation day outfit that I’m calling “Modern Woodland”
  • RavenCon in Williamsburg: Hufflepuff dress
  • Work in Albuquerque: a pair of pants for the flight out that are comfy but also capable of carrying (and keeping hold of!) my phone — I’m tired of my phone always falling out of the teensy weensy pockets in women’s pants…when we’re allowed to have pockets at all
  • Hawaii: swimsuit and shorts for me; swimsuit for Mom; shirt for Robert
  • Scotland: sweater, pajamas, and 1930’s dress

Now, as you read through that list, I can just hear you saying “But, Meg…that’s more than one item per trip.” Yes. Yes, it is. Those are the things I would like to make. This is not to say that every single thing on this list will be made. It’s not an entirely unrealistic list. Especially since I already finished the first outfit on the list, three weeks ahead of time, am halfway through the Hufflepuff dress (also ahead of time), and put the finishing touches on Robert’s Hawaii shirt this past Saturday. I’m also already making progress on the swimsuit for Hawaii – most of the pattern is cut out…I’m just waiting for the swim foam to arrive in the mail.

I’m sure you’re also looking at that last item on the list and wondering “Why, specifically, a 1930’s dress?”

Simply put, because of this…

Because of the size of our group – about 12 people, not counting the portion of Robert’s family that already lives in Scotland – we needed a larger place than usual to house everyone. In this case, it means renting a baronial mansion. This one is the Dalmore baronial mansion, not to be confused with the ruins of the the Dalmore Estate, also located in Scotland, in East Ayrshire. (I should note…there is a certain amount of similarity in style between the original Dalmore Estate ruins and some of the details of the house we’ll be staying in…probably because they were both homes for wealthy Scottish landowners.)

The house we’ll be staying in was rebuilt in 1933, following a fire in the original house so, while I imagine it shares a lot in common with the original look of the property, for the sake of dating the house I’m going to say it’s from the 1930s. Hence, my desire to make something reminiscent of that time period. I mean, come on….the house just screams “Agatha Christie wardrobe,” doesn’t it? (I did joke to Robert that I’m probably going to feel very “colonized” in the house…one of the trials of being the lone Native in a Sottish baronial mansion)

The house and grounds were also used to house RAF officers during WWII, which I find interesting. I’m imagining makeshift barracks set up on the lawns. I wonder if it’s possible to find any pictures of the grounds during that time in the local archives. (And yes, I’m that history nerd who would love nothing better than to shift through dusty old boxes of photos and papers during her week-long jaunt to another country)

Anyhoo…now you hopefully understand my desire for something a little more…appropriate to the tenor of the house. I’ve been leafing through my patterns, pulling out all the styles that are dated from the 1930s and 1940s (remember, the house was in use during WWII). Fingers crossed I’ll come up with something that works.


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