In May I planned a last-minute trip to visit my aunt and uncle in Southern California for the first week of June. Having grown up and lived on the East Coast of North America, I had always wanted to visit them. Everything finally aligned so that I could do so! In preparation for this, I had to figure out all things packing, no checked luggage, COVID requirements, and border crossings during a pandemic. It turns out that air travel is even MORE complicated now than it was the last time I flew post-9/11 in 2009. I also had to figure out clothing to bring for 38-45 degrees Celsius weather in the desert of the Coachella Valley. I basically grabbed a bunch of loose linen and cotton clothing I was going to refashion anyway, and made some hasty alterations (will refashion another time).
Since we had sent our son off with most of our luggage to his Master’s program in another province, I had to find bags or a bag that would meet all the size requirements for different airlines (I’m looking at you, United!). At a thrift store, I found a beautiful floral-on-black roller carryon. I also found a black underseat bag that didn’t have a strap, so I made a strap for that. I ended up just bringing the underseat bag because I didn’t want to risk having to check my roller bag at planeside and have it go missing amongst all the connecting flights.
As you can see, I’ve a few other travel accessories to go with the thrifted bags. I made this black purse from recycled black linen, zippers from clothing pieces, and pieces of vintage sheet fabric. I’d never made a bag like this before, with pockets next to each other, so it was a bit of a challenge. The zippers and the strap look crooked, but I think I know how to remedy that for the next time I make one. I did LOVE handsewing the beads to the linen!!
Here’s a cute and handy little luggage tag I made from a pattern I found online. I had a piece of clear thick plastic that I’d used as a table cover years ago, so I used that for the window. I like this style because you close the tag in with the strap, and you face your information inwards. It’s not perfectly sewn, but I was in a rush to get things done. Again, next time…it’ll be better. The first few times of making a new item are always experimental.
I love the pattern I found for this neck pillow! It was so simply shaped. I used more pieces of vintage Wabasso sheet fabric that I collect, and stuffed the form with the rest of the polyester fiberfill I’ve had for years from when I first started making bags for sale. It’s very comfortable.
I haven’t had a water bottle in years, because for day trips I would use a big thermos and bring a glass in my lunch bag. But, travel. Water bottle needed. I found this insulated turquoise bottle in a thrift store and loved the colour. And while I was in the frenzy of making things for my trip, I noticed a theme…I was gravitating towards black, pinks, and turquoise. So out came my black and pink yarn, and I crocheted the cover with drawstring for the bottle. It was very handy for the trip, as I drank TONS of water. Planes are dehydrating, and it turns out deserts are, too!
Of all that I made or thrifted, I ended up taking the black underseat bag, the water bottle and carrier, the luggage tag, and the purse. I left the neck pillow behind at the last minute, because I was afraid someone along the way would make me consider it luggage. And, it turns out that I was right. In one airport, a United employee informed me that I could only have two items, not three (I also had another small carry-purse). I was WEARING the cross-body purse, but nope, it was a third item, so not allowed. Next time I’ll put it under my clothing. I managed to stuff it into the other carry-purse, and she let me through. I will say, though, that the neck pillow came in handy this week when I spent sixteen hours in the ER with my daughter. She used it to sleep while waiting to see a doctor about some post-brain injury issues (yes, I have yet to write a post about her accident; it’s been a long eleven months).
Bear with me for one more thing. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I love cotton vintage sheets. Well, this week I found THREE in EXCELLENT condition, all at one thrift store!!! My daughter was with me, and she just rolled her eyes at me. Here they are!