Camper van shirt all sewn up

Let me tell you a tale. Three women sat around a table discussing VW vans. The first one, who was in her early twenties, and very into windsurfing at the time, said that when she saw a VW van it always had surf boards strapped to the top and was heading for the coast. These vans were perfect surfing vans and she would love to have one.

camper van shirt matching fronts

The second woman, in her early thirties and craddling a small baby, said that when she saw a VW, they were always parked in a lay-by, with a potty sitting on the floor behind it. These vans made perfect family holiday camping vans and she would love to have one.

The third lady was older. She smiled and said that when she saw a VW van it always had a retired couple in the front, parked up overlooking a view, with steaming cups of tea misting up the windscreen. She could see herself travelling around the UK in one and would love to have one.

back of camper van shirt

The decades have passed, but the fact remains that VW vans are iconic. They inspire lifestyle dreams in many of us*. Something about their design represents something slightly different for all us dedicated dreamers, depending on our stage of life.

I can confirm that I no longer hanker for a surfer’s van (sigh), I’ve passed the potty van moment in the outside lane, but am a few years off window shopping for a gone-roaming van. I’m sure that there is a van out there for this stage of my life. I still dream.

camper van fabric

In the meantime, and to give this tale a bit of a middle, I sew. I fell instantly in love with this camper van fabric. I spent longer deciding whether to go for the mint or the sky blue. Then there was the purple, cerise or red. Decisions, decisions. I knew it would make the most perfect shirt for TF. Everyone else pulled faces and suggested shorts, but TF is happy with my choice of shirt, so shirt it is.

cutting camper van fabric

Each van is so sweet and fun. I’m not sure which one I’d like to scale-up and drive away in. I had great stress fun lining up the camper vans on the front and sleeves. The children are particularly pleased with the button nose of one of the camper vans. I’d love to say I planned it but it is just the way it worked out.

button on camper van shirt

The end of this tale is not yet written, so maybe, one day, I’ll have my very own VW van. I wonder what stage of my life it will represent? Maybe an otter-spotter van or a hiking van? For now, I can use our old Landrover as a back drop.

camper van shirt by car

Pattern Simplicity 5581
Fabric : Supplied by Minerva Crafts (speedy, helpful and a lovely range of fabric) I love this fabric! Thank you!

Something handmade for each of the children (here and here). Complete. My turn again, I think!

*Not all see the charm of a VW van. My husbandΒ  only sees broken down VW vans on the side of the road, waiting to be rescued. This is the vision he reminds me of every time I look misty eyed at a VW van. (sigh).

Disclosure: Minerva Craft Centre sent me the fabric free of charge.


  1. Brilliant. My husband sees the same! He’s much happier with a tent – which I don’t mind but I do love the idea of being a bit cosier! Juliex

    1. It doesn’t help that he points out every parked up VW van and suggests that they may just be waiting for help. πŸ™

  2. That fabric is amazing. It looks lovely all made up. I dream of a VW upon retirement, at the moment we have a caravan and that is cramped enough with all the dogs and children. We’re going to have to wait until we are on our own. We’d never all fit in one now!

    1. Ah, maybe. A dream yet to be realised. I told my children that we’d get a van when they leave home. One promised she’d come home just for the holidays!

  3. My oldest daughter decorated her room in vw vans for a time.. nostalgia for another generation. The fabric is wonderful and what a job you did. It’s perfect! πŸ™‚

    Blessings, Debbie

    1. Thanks, Debbie. Little chap loves his new shirt. I wonder if he’ll be after a VW van themed room next…….

    1. Thanks Tash. So easy to find great fabric for my girls. I was thrilled when I spotted this one for my boy. He loves it too!

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