Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The happy camper glamping dress

Ah, camping!  Who doesn't love camping?*  The fresh air, beds beneath canvas, barbecues every night... mmmm I'm drifting off into sweet holiday daydreams just thinking about it.


I do have to admit, yes, that it's not exactly glamorous. Glamorous camping is a thing, of course. But our tent does not have solid floors made of reclaimed railway sleepers. There's no wood-fired stove, ethnic bunting or fridge stocked with champagne (because camping is for beer duh!)  What there is, in my world, is fabric. And that, I can work with...

Enter the Lillestoff.

No, we are not glampers. But we can have fabulous, tent-celebrating skater dresses to tart things up. Oh yes indeed.

What, you thought I might have been talking about my daughter?  Where's the fun in that? She doesn't even like the green! No, the cleavage leaves no room for doubt - that there is clearly a LADY skater! And the six-year-old, usually the centre of Lillestoff skater dress attention, got relegated to the job of photographer - a job to which she enthusiastically, if erratically, took. From now on her dad's "I took one picture why isn't that enough" approach certainly doesn't earn him any ice creams. (Though if I want results, perhaps maybe it should? Hmm).

There were many of this quality.

So yes, a Lady Skater, size 4 at the bust and 6 at the waist (I'm a rectangle!)  The waistband is a strip I topstitched on at the end, to break up the ever-so-slightly overwhelming print and delude people into thinking I actually have a waist. Serendipitously, and completely unforeseen, it also creates the illusion of print matching all the way down the dress. While this wasn't planned, I had actually thought about print placement for once - mainly to avoid positioning any bright red tents right on my bust apex. Once that was behind me, this was a very quick and easy make.

See that guy behind me in that pic, doing bike stuff? That's the husband, preparing for his first ever half-triathlon. This was the reason for the weekend's camping trip. An entirely unexciting but perfectly satisfactory campsite on the bank of the Moselle river in Luxembourg, which just happened to be located 3km down a cycle path from the start & finish of the Iron Man 70.3.

My Iron Man at the finish line!

He did it in 6 hours and 4 minutes, including the time it took to stop and change a punctured back tyre. I'm of course extremely proud - and boasting as if I'd done it myself. 

Also, wondering just how long it'll take him to decide that the next step is the full length version.

In the meantime, I'll be wearing this dress and daydreaming of kicking back in my folding armchair-with-cupholder. This girl's got the right idea...

Like so:

Hmm, I should do a knitting update. I have a finished thing and some gorgeous Malabrigo cables going on...

Are you a camper, dear reader? Do you not agree that it's the most superior form of holiday? (If you have children under 5 you are excused - in that case it is a horrendous nightmare and you should go somewhere luxurious with complimentary babysitting).

Would you attempt a triathlon? Or dress head-to-toe in Lillestoff for daywear (PJs don't count!)?

And are you knitting? If so, what?

I am aware that a small number of people do not love camping. I have no idea why though.


  1. Great, not only does your wonderful dress make me feel like I'm inadequate at sewing, now your husband triathlon escapades Aldo make me feel like I'm a sorry excuse for a man ;)

    On a more serious note: I love this dress, it looks super cute on you, yet its not the trivial cute of just slappong a kitty on everything.
    And kudos to iron man, well done indeed!

  2. Adorable dress! Perfect for the holidays.

  3. Absolutely LOVE your dress. I had some of this fabric to make PJs for my godson and although I did consider it as a dress at the time … I chickened out. Yours is amazing and is making me reconsider purchasing some Happy Girls fabric from kitschycoo and giving it a go. As you know, I love a Lady Skater! This is the perfect camping outfit.

  4. Well done all round - super cute camping perfect dress, great triathlon achievement and excellent camera skills!
    I love camping, and I used to love triathlon... maybe I need to get back into that, rather than just using my bikes to hang stuff on at the minute!!

  5. I am a fairly new Glamper, having spent the last 2 years helping my beloved restore our 1974 Kombi. Sunny Boy carries all the things a Glamper needs, including her queen size air bed, annex tent, coffee machine, cider, chocolate, maple syrup, knitting projects and Glamping wardrobe. It's also possible that I have a Glamping wardrobe moodboard on Polyvore, so not only do I understand your glamping frock, I wholeheartedly applaud it and future versions!

  6. So many questions, Jo! LOL!

    What a fantastic dress! I would totally wear this! I love camping, but sadly, haven't been for about 15 years :-( I should change that!

    Congrats to your hubby too!

  7. I adore camping! And I adore your Lillestoff!! I am excused on the basis of children under 5 - but have dreams of blissful isolation where they tend to the fire and bring me cold beers while not endangering life nor knitting... now, to book that holiday with the baby-sitters... - and beware, once the IronMan rises, there will be annual 'proper' ones - sigh... Seriously - awesome effort! & justifiable boasting!!

  8. Well done on all fronts! Love this dress it's cute without being over the top. The fit looks great and perfect for camping, knitting and cheering. Just recently I have had some thoughts of taking the kids camping, but it is so unlike me that I have almost dismissed the thought as a temporary moment of madness. Stay tuned :)

  9. Love the dress, love the fabric and your knitting matches it too! 😄

  10. See this is a weekend of WIN. Camping, triathalon amazingness, cute dresses and I saw mention of ice cream. All of which are WIN.

    Awesome, all of it! I love a bit of camping but am yet to have matched my outfit to my camp. I think you have inspired me to make that happen.

  11. aw thanks! Yes, kitty cute is definitely not my thing while cartoon barbecues I can handle.

    And if triathlons are a measure of manhood - oh lord I do hope they're not... the competitive mid-life crisis of 40-something amateur athletes is bad enough as it is... And I'd like to see any of them daring to wear meggings outside a sporting environment :-)

  12. thanks! That's the plan :-) As long as the weather continues to be sleeveless appropriate (not a given!)

  13. Funnily enough I was thinking of you as I made it - I could totally see you rocking the Lillestoff! And of course it's super comfy to wear too!

  14. ooh wow another triathlete! I can totally understand the three disciplines, they complement each other really well. But those distances... ouch! The event did fit rather well with camping too, I must say - tons of campers were there for it too and the whole thing had a great atmosphere. Get your bikes out!! Altough mid-renovation, I can understand why you wouldn't :-)

  15. Thanks! Yes the knitting post will come soon, I'm itching to show it off now I've got past my first five frogged attempts to a respectable chunk of the cardi! And camping with kids does sound pretty horrendous I have to admit - the great advantage is that once they're big enough they just charge off to play and leave you in peace. As most campsites are pretty safe environments, it's ideal!

  16. hehe! That sounds like by far the best way to do it!!

  17. Yes, the fire/beer plan is a good one, and what's brilliant is, they love it too - win win! Yeah I fear that this is indeed just the tip of the triathlon iceberg... just as well he's equally forgiving of my sewing habit :-)

  18. Haha think carefully! And pick a really good site - good playgrounds and sparkly clean showers can make a massive difference :-)

    And thanks on the dress - the fit really is great, it's so comfy! I don't really know why I got seized with the urge for the silly print, but it's currently my favourite!

  19. Yes! So many greens in that picture!

  20. It's an underexplored avenue of potential outfits, I feel. We should definitely remedy things :-)

  21. Lucy Whittles MarkJune 26, 2014 5:40 pm

    thanks for the get-out clause, but working on myself to get back to camping!
    Great dress :)

  22. Little Miss BuntingJune 27, 2014 12:52 pm

    Just love your dress, makes my navy and white polka dot Lady Skater look so ordinary - I'm inspired! By the way I camp and sew and do triathlons! Can't knit tho.....

  23. Helen McFadyenJune 27, 2014 4:53 pm

    Love the idea of camping, but we live in Scotland and have 2 under 5s, so it's not happened yet! Love your themed dress though. So so cute!

  24. I have a magnet on my fridge featuring a glamorous lady spouting "I love not camping!" - pretty much sums me up. My idea of camping includes a cabin with central air and plumbing LOL! Adorable dress and congrats on your IronMan's accomplishment!

  25. I love your dress, need your dress, where do I get me some of that fabric? I like camping but haven't been since pre-child days when camping meant we (hubby and I) were competing in a 24hr mountain bike race. Small children and those types of races don't mix :) I love knitting and think I am currently knitting up the same colour Malabrigo yarn! It's going slowly though... Life has a tendency to get in the way.. Just discovered your blog and loving it!


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