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  • camillefromthimble

Swim #1- On giving it some time for outdoor swimmers and makers.

Updated: May 30, 2019



The scene:


Our first swim was meant to be Amroth in Pembrokeshire. When we got there the waves were crashing against a dug up pebbled beach. The swell was full, the sounds dramatic, the beach unhospitable.

I really hoped Heather would feel the same way as I did so when she turned around and suggested Fish and Chips I was on board.

Fast foward to full bellies and warm coffee we found ourselves reconsidering our evening swim when we got to Coppett Hall. The day had turned into a balmy evening and a quiet sea awaited.


If you don't like the weather, wait a few minute said Mark Twain (not about Wales)



The clothes:


A Waver Jacket from Papercut pattern

Trousers 101 from Merchant and Mills

A modified Coco dress from Tilly and the buttons

The shoes are made by Conker in Totnes

The Swimsuit is from Bobo chose

My hat is a handknitted purchase from Narberth Wool fair, 6 years old.



My handmade wardrobe always seems in crisis.


I make a lot of clothes as samples for classes, often with time pressure, always with teaching as my prime focus.

I chose garments with traditional construction that display interesting, transferrable techniques.

I chose patterns that will take you from A to B. We will think about F when we get to E. Do you see what I mean?

I have no desire to overcomplicate the craft of making our own clothes because it is a simple, democratic craft.

This pattern makes outerwear a really

The result is however not always a reflection of my current personal needs.





As a seasoned maker I feel I have a responsability towards the things I add to this world.


A question I ask myself when making clothes is

How can this garment become indispensable to me?


So I pace myself and leave big gaping hole in my lining to revisit my make when I have the chance.


The Waver Jacket was one of those project I couldnt bring myself to finish until it ticked a few more boxes to be my primary rain jacket.


An impromptu trip to France was the perfect opportunity to revisit my jacket a couple of days before departure.

  • I added pocket flaps to keep the water away from collected treasures.

  • I sewn chunky ribbing in the sleeve cuffs (sandwiched between the lining and the waxed cotton) to keep the draft away.

  • I inserted a zipper and covered it with a snap button tab to mke it more weather-proof.

  • I made a map sized pockect in the lining.



So following Mark Twain spirit, if you don't like it...

Sleep on it a few months, find an arbitrary reasons to absolutly need to wear it, preferably under tight deadline and remake it.










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Pictures by Old Lands and Heather Birnie.