Sunday, July 21, 2013

yearning for winter and sewing my dreams

I am cruising along on my beach capsule.  So far I have three tops, a pair of drawstring pants, and a dress to pack up for my winter travels in Mexico.  We spend the first part of the winter camping in the desert, off the grid, and my clothing there is utilitarian.  Here is a photo from last year in Death Valley---->
Hiking boots, jeans, knit tops and tees, and a warm jacket.  It is cold in the desert during the winter!  Here we are camped about a mile from Furnace Creek in Death Valley, and actually had access to a bathroom and could either haul water or fill our tanks.  It was incredible to be able to use as much water as we wanted while in the desert.

As the winter progresses, we go south toward Mexico, and stay in a variety of "campgrounds" on BLM land.
We use solar panels, and propane for power and heat.  Most camps are 45 minutes to an hour from a small town or gas station. There is no cell phone or WiFi. Load your Kindle while near civilization!
By the time we reach Puerto Penasco, Mexico, we are ready for electricity and running water (with bleach).   If you scroll down, you'll see how our life during the winter becomes less isolated and more luxurious as we reach Mexico.  I find this ironic as some people still think of Mexico as dirty. Parts are, but we also find the same poverty and dirt in some parts of the US.

What does this have to do with clothing?  To be very clear, we get pretty dirty camping off grid for 2 months or so.  Even stopping in RV parks occasionally in order to regroup, do laundry, shop and so on doesn't really cut it.  Your body, and your wardrobe, begin to need serious care.  I sometimes agitate for a longer stay, just so I can sit on grass, or swim in a pool.

Arriving in Puerto Penasco, Mexico is a celebration and a time for serious rest.  The park where we stay is comfortable, not fancy, and has lots of wonderful residents and staff.  There is even a chocolate shop in one of the full time spaces!  I like to dress to keep the sun and wind off me as much as possible, and I also feel like it is more respectful to their culture to dress nicely.  I need to be able to dress for dinner in town, or in a nice beach hotel, and to attend meetings, class, and volunteer at the community center.  And, Mexican women dress to impress :-)

Here is one outfit from my beach capsule-the loose cotton pants have a drawstring and are made with a shirting fabric from Michael's Fabrics.  They are taupe with teeny stripes of brown and black and maybe blue.  I used NL 6838 for the pants as well as two tops I'll share later.  The pants are ginormous!  These are xxs as altered, and  I will not recommend this pattern for the pants.  The top is V8390 and made from a cotton knit I bought in San Francisco.  My, such a serious face!


There, that's better...a big smile.  

Hasta la vista, amigas.



26 comments:

  1. I had a feeling we had a few things in common! We used to own an Arctic Fox TT which we traded in on a new 35' fifth wheel. We haven't got into boondocking extensively yet but I don't mind a night or two off the grid here and there. :) We spend our winters in Florida. We prefer state parks, COE campgrounds and National Forest CGs. I too sew casual things for our trips but like looking decent too. :) I enjoy your blog!

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    1. Oh, 35'...what a wonderful switch that would be. Is it also an Arctic Fox? If you come west, you can plug in at our house.

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    2. No, we didn't like the Arctic Fox fivers. We bought a new 2012 Open Range 345RLS and LOVE it! It's been a great rig and we've already towed it over 19,000 miles. Getting ready to take an eight week trip way up north in a week or so. We have 3 large slides and the space is wonderful!

      We haven't been west in a long time but one of these days, we'll be heading back! ;) Thanks for the offer of a plug!

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  2. You look fantastic in the start of the capsule wardrobe!

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  3. Looking good. I miss the years of traveling off the grid and into Mexico. When we lived in San Diego County, 40 years ago or so, we did a lot of camping in Borrego and in the Baja. Many, many fond memories of a time when my girls were young, and so was I.
    My current husband doesn't believe in camping much to my dismay. Enjoy your time. And I totally get the need to stop for a while after being off the grid for even a few days, let alone a few weeks.

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    1. Hi Lynda! No camping? Not even in a park? :-( sad for you but you do have all the memories of SoCal and Mexico. How is your shirt project?

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  4. Hey, wow! Have a great time and be careful out there (that's Tennessean for stay safe)

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    1. MaryBeth, We are very careful out there. Thank you :-)

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  5. warning - selfish comment follows:

    I always miss you when you're gone. :-\

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    1. Not gone yet, so no tears. :-) I think we are staying at home through December this year. We were really cold last year. COLD.

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  6. Sounds so fun... Love your last outfit.. and you look pretty smiling.

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    1. Thank you very much! These pants are really baggy but will be great on a windy beach.

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  7. I might yearn for *your* winter but not ours (near Buffalo, NY). ;) I am enjoying reading about your winter plan and history, and I surely like the beginnings of your winter capsule.

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    1. Thanks Sandra-wow NY winters are serious! We get snow here in central Oregon, but nothing like your blizzards. Thanks on my wardrobe.

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  8. Great wardrobe!!

    I was also wondering why you were yearning for winter--spring and summer are my favorite seasons--but now I see you go south for winter.

    Thanks for your comments on my cat bag! I just love that fabric! You will see me make more things with it, that's for sure.

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  9. Wow, thanks for the glimpse into your travels! It sounds like a pretty intense off the grid experience! Your outfit looks great, though I would think those white pants are going to get dirty in that environment pretty quick. ;)

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    1. Thanks shams, and I'm saving the white pants for the beach.

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  10. Looks like a really comfy outfit.

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  11. I was just over in Redmond and prineville.
    Incredibly pretty but hot.
    Glad to be back in the Willamette valley.

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    1. Hi kathy, We lived in Philomath, and Veneta years ago. You are in Canby?

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  12. The outfit is perfect and looks great on Mary, even with the oversized
    pants. Looks like you should roll them up and enjoy that beautiful water when you get there. I am however dreaming of winter too, and some good cold weather and snow! Takes me all winter to get sick of it, takes two hot days in a row for me to be done with summer...

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    1. That is what I plan-wear them with a tank top and rolled up while I wade in the Gulf looking for seashells.

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  13. What a lovely post! I have just moved back to Seattle after years in lovely warm San Diego. So this year I am plotting an escape from winter, something I never did before since I was working and couldn't get away and in San Diego I didn't want to get away. I'm inspired by your tales of desert to sea travels!!

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