Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Traveling and Sewing

kbalinski | Posted in General Discussion on

DH and I are shopping campers, and I’m wondering if anyone out there has gone through this experience?  With a nice travel trailer, we’ll have the space for me to do small projects, I’m just wondering if it’s worth the trouble?  I have a mini-ironing board and my “tackle box” easily fits all my must-have notions, I’m just wondering if it’s worth the time and effort?  Any project I’d bring along would probably be pre-cut, so I’d just be dealing with assembly.  Ideas? Comments?

Kristine in Michigan


  1. starzoe | | #1

    We used to travel in a motor home which had ample living space. I discovered that sewing projects were too much trouble, took up too much space and there always were tools or information I needed but didn't have with me.The problem was easily solved as I am a knitter and knitting fitted in perfectly, portable, took up little space and I could do it in transit when the views outdoors weren't particularly interesting.

  2. suesew | | #2

    While in our motorhome for two months last year, I carried along knitting and cross stitch projects and never touched either one. This year we will be gone (to Europe) for three months and I will be taking some russian punch needle just in case, but I really don't expect to do too much of it. It is amazing how a little travel diversity can change one's interests. Also we are not just sitting around with our feet up too often.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    I will have to look and see if I can find the information again.  There were several websites related to RVing and sewing.  One couple had to travel due to the husband's career.  The wife had an incredible sewing set up and shared her info.  She made full sized quilts by machine in their travel trailor.  I would love that lifestyle, myself!!!

  4. sewingkmulkey | | #4

    Well, I have a friend that owns a motor home and she sews in it all the time using her Singer featherweight.  I think if the desire is there then you can find a way.  I'm going on a cruise this coming Sunday and will take along my old 'touch 'n sew' Singer for some relaxing sewing while we cruise.  I've done this several times but can only do this when we leave out of port close to home since flying luggage is so restricted now.  People think I'm bit crazy but it doesn't matter (to me) where I sew!  What's more perfect than a sewing vacation????


    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #5

      Taking a vacation just to sew? Or a tour of fabric stores? Sounds like heaven on earth to me. Cathy

  5. millar | | #6

    My husband and I have lived full time in our motorhome since 2006, as we travelled across Canada and the US.  so having my sewing machine along was essential.  Supplies culled down to the basics in small containers.  For instance, I have a zipper lunch bag about 8 x 10 and 6 inches thick.  It holds, needles, scissors, rotary cutter extra blades, basically anything sharp.  A cutting board is kept under the mattress, fabric for my quilts was in several plastic storage boxes with snap on lids that could be stored on their sides to fit into the spots I claimed as my own.  I've noticed my husband doesn't like to unpack to get what he wants, so I've claimed nooks and crannies of our motorhome to keep an amazing amount of stuff.  Better lots of small boxes than only one or two big ones. 

    If you are staying in camp grounds or resorts, they usually have a place for people to meet and aren't averse to someone setting up a cutting board for a few hours.  In fact, it usually a good way to meet others who may share your interest.  The downside is setting up and putting away because no matter how large your travelling home is, space is always at a premium. 

    One other item is your travel schedule.  If you are only going to be away a month or so, it may not be worth the effort to bring more than some handwork with you for evenings watching TV.  Depending on how far you like to travel in a day, you may not have the energy to sew and being in a smaller space may not be able to if the sewing machine disturbs someone's sleep.  One advantage of travel is new fabric stores, so if you can't sew, you can plan and buy fabric, call it souvenirs of where you've been.  Sewing is wonderfully theraputic but when travelling nothing beats getting out and moving around, meeting new people and seeing new things.  So .... sew if it gives you pleasure but don't forget to lift your head and look around at all the wonderful things you will see in your travels.

    1. Stillsewing | | #7

      While I love to bring along a small piece of work, eg a tapestry, with me when I travel the ridiculous searches at the airports preclude carrying needles scissors etc. Anyone got any ideas on how to circumvent these rules? I thought of bringing along a razor blade to use to cut threads but I suppose that would not pass muster? All suggestions welcomed to someone who always has to fly to exit the country on holidays!!!

      1. suesew | | #8

        There is a necklace made just for that purpose of cutting threads. I think Clotilde's carried it. It is circular and incorporates an unnoticable notch with a blade that will cut threads. It would be handy to use anytime actually.
        I think the rules have loosened up somewhat and you might be able to get away with a nail clippers now. That would get most of the long threads out of the way and you could go back in with a scissors later. Happy travels

        1. Stillsewing | | #12

          Thanks for this. It sounds like a good idea. I will have to look out for this next time I hit the shops. Otherwise I will thrall the internet and get it or something like it on line.

      2. starzoe | | #9

        The other day I saw what looked like an antique ring on a chain to be worn around the neck - but it actually is a thread/yarn cutter.

        1. Stillsewing | | #13

          Thanks for the swift replies. This one sounds very discreet. No excuse but to take the hobby along with me. I will certainly look out for this one.

      3. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #10

        There is a circular thread cutter, a very pretty one that will pass muster at airports! You will find it in the notions department in most sewing and quilting stores. It has hidden blades in a circle, and will only cut thread. I have one, and have taken it on planes in my purse. Cathy

        1. Stillsewing | | #14

          Again I'm overwhelmed all the useful answers. I will now have to visit a quilting shop. As a non quilter (I barely have time to sew my own clothes) I never visit quilting shops and sort of bemoan the fact that there now seems to more of them than of fabric for sewing. I suppose it is good to see some form of sewing about.Thanks for your help once again.

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            :) You are most welcome. I am not really a quilter either, but I am finding Quilt Shops a really great resource for machine and sewing supplies, good thread, good muslin at good prices (it is ON GRAIN), and who said you cannot sew beautiful clothing from all those lovely cotton fabrics in all those lovely cotton prints and batiks? Lots of neat embellishments too! Cathy

          2. kbalinski | | #16

            Thanks to all for your camping and sewing input.  This may be a good opportunity for me to dig out the knitting needles or needlepoint.  Our trips will mostly be 3 or 4 days here and there, throughout the summer.  Probably the best opportunity for me to catch up on reading sewing materials rather than actually working with sewing materials!

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #17

            I like to keep my hands busy, and I know the urge to sew is strong, so taking your sewing with you is an urge I completely understand! Nothing is worse than sitting there thinking " I could have brought...." Evenings can be long, even in good weather. Simple straightforward projects, prepared ahead, from favorite patterns would probably fill the need. You could even try a sewing experiment trip and see what happens. You never know. Keep us posted if you do! Cathy

          4. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #18

            I have nothing more to offer in the way of constructive advice, but this thread made me smile in remembrance of a very talented lady I met when I was directing art festivals...when she and her husband were young and childless, they went sailing around the world for a year and she had a sewing machine with controls that were hooked up some distance from the machine....she had to yell go! and her sweetheart would operate the controls until she yelled stop! Now that's a girl who had to sew! And talk about love! She later became a widely recognized and celebrated hat designer. She made all those gorgeous bonnets worn by Kate Winslet in "Titanic".

      4. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #19

        A dental floss container works well, too. You can put embroidery floss in it and have a way to cut your thread, too.

        1. suesew | | #20

          Dental floss container. What a great idea. The cutter would cut any thread!

        2. Stillsewing | | #21

          Thanks, that another brilliant idea. I have to say the members of this forum are so helpful. Thank you, one and all.

  6. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #11

    I usually take a small knit/crochet or beading project with me when I travel. My beading will fit into a pencil case and a tackle box. I have taken some small felt handsewn projects for christmas ornaments along as well. Perhaps this is the opportunity to practice some fine couture handsewing techniques? Just a thought. Cathy

  7. Teaf5 | | #22

    I have taken hand-sewing or mending projects as well as books and a small crochet project on vacations, but that seems to guarantee --Murphy's Law-- that I will not have the time or inclination to do any of them. However, the corollary of this is that I tend to enjoy the vacation more because allow myself to completely relax, which is a good thing.Lately, I've used vacations to collect inspirations in a notebook or photo for future projects or have picked up sewing and craft items as my "souvenirs." Now, every time I see the hand sewing needles from Colorado or crochet hook from New Mexico or ribbon from Coronado, I'm inspired to use them and recall my trip.

  8. Ceeayche | | #23

    I have a job that requires me to live away from home for two to three months consecutively each year.  The first year I was bored to tears in the room (the times being what they are, I just don't go out alone at night away from home like I I did when I was younger).  So, I started bringing simple sewing projects with me.  I cut everything before I leave. (zip lock bags are a perfect solution for cut pieces).  My sewing tools all fit into a large cosmetics bag I got for one of those Mother's Day promotions.  Thread and needles fit in a plastic container originally used for toting lunch. All of it fits in a large tote bag that I got a conference that has a zipper. 

    Like one of the other posters who indicated she takes the time to sketch and gather ideas, I've started doing that as well. I have one of those magnetic photo albums with the sticky pages that are horrible for photographs but perfect for clippings from magazines.  I toss both the album and the manilla envelope of the clippings I've gathered over the last few months and it's a perfect activity in a hotel room.  The good news is when I get home, I've got concrete ideas on what I'm going to tackle first, and I have one or two projects finished.

  9. Tessmart | | #24

    Way back,I used to have to travel to MI every 6 wks for work,, over the years is decreased steadily till now it's only about every 6 months. But I would always take sewing with me, basting, altering patterns, pre-cut onto fabric and baste together. To this day, i would not travel with some sewing to do. Since taking Susan Khalje's Courture sewing class, I use that method all the time ('cept for knits). This requires quite of bit of basting, marking the seam line on muslins, etc: so I plan projects ahead, but I always have sewing with me. I will precut anything that needs handwork done, pack in individual ziploc bags and do as much of the basting as I can.    (So bad, that on a Sat evening over a friends house watching movies or if doing something that does not require complete involvement, I bring sewing with me.) Now, it's the norm for me.  

    When traveling by car, a fold-up cutting board would not take up much room, picnic tables are readily available for cutting in parks.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More