It’s not required, but . . .

that doesn’t mean I don’t want/need a jacket.  After all, it is Utah.  In October.  And I’m from Houston.  But, rather than the stupid (already returned) badly fitting structured blazer, I’m going with a DIY solution.  I’m using this pattern (which is not as easy as it looks), so try to imagine the jacket in a navy blue ponte knit.  That pretty much EXACTLY matches the pants I bought at the beginning of summer (which are gonna be a whole lot looser on me now).

Like this, only cut out and sewn together. 🙂

The pattern is way more complicated than any pattern I have used before, because it has this weird Y-seam going on at the shoulders.  I tried really hard, but I couldn’t get it to be perfect.  I’m okay with that, because the shawl collar is gonna cover that up.  I am VERY proud of my armscyes, though.  For you non-sewers, that’s the armhole.  This was the first time I was able to produce a perfect, non-bumpy, non-gappy, set-in sleeve.   So if you see me at the Convention, you are allowed to come up and compliment me on my sleeves, but no fair lifting my collar to see the craziness going on at the shoulder seams. *grins*

Coin Purse Modification

Remember when I said I had plans for the coin purse that came with my Village Tote?  They have come to fruition!

20140529-100353-36233691.jpgCoin purse as it came to me: cute, small strap that could be used as a purse leash inside the tote, or to make this a tiny handbag (as shown), or to make it a wristlet.

20140529-100355-36235287.jpgAdd one LONG strap made from fabric saved from making the reproduction 1912 uniform for the last National Convention.

20140529-100356-36236867.jpgAnd a strip of the same fabric handstitched to the outside of the bag, and voila! A crossbody bag that will look fab with my suit, but is still usable the way it was intended to.  It’s just big enough for my wallet, phone, chapstick, and a room key.

What do you think?


My Big Girl Backpack

I am SO excited!  I just got a “real” backpack.  A couple of years ago, when preparing for my family’s trip to Orlando/Disney World/ Universal Studios, I got a Kelty Cardinal Convertible lumbar pack (fancy hiker’s fanny pack, *grins*).  It was highly recommended on a lot of sites for plus sized people planning this trip.  It gave me the option of carrying it just as a lumbar pack for most of the day, but then expanding it to a backpack once the souvenir shopping begins.  And all the straps would fit me. YAY!  Honestly, this is a great pack I used all the time for Girl Scout camping, family hiking, theme parks (both the Orlando trip and trips to Sea World).


As a backpack, it is lacking.  The straps are just webbing, which make them very packable, but they hurt when you are wearing them for long.  The neckline, for lack of a better description, is not cut well, so the fabric tends to rub the back of my neck and dig in.  And it is strange looking on my back, not attractive.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except I was noticing that I was using it as a backpack more and more.

And I had Camelbak envy.

So, I took advantage of my REI dividend check and the Memorial Day Sale and got my new backpack!  It’s not for going backpacking, hiking out to a campsite and spending the night.  My physical fitness is not there, yet, but it is something I want to do eventually.  My new backpack is more along the lines of what I need now – something to hold a binder full of medical information, a fairly large first aid kit, snacks for 2-12, tools, jacket, plus whatever the girls need me to carry.  Or my kids.  Or my husband.  My husband and I trade off being pack mule.

So, what did I get?  An Osprey 22L Talon and a 100ml Camelbak reservoir.  It’s black, which is the only thing that doesn’t thrill me, but it’s okay.  At the store, you would have suggested that I look for another because there was no way that hip belt was going to close around my girth.  And this is too expensive to buy it on the assumption that “I can use it when I lose weight”.  I know you have some clothes like that in your closet.  We all do.

But I got it anyway.  Why?  Because I can sew!

I picked up some webbing at the fabric store, cut the original hip belt straps up and sewed in some new ones that are not just sized to fit me, but give me a little play.  I don’t expect to get bigger, but I don’t like having to fumble for the little bit of an end in order to cinch in a strap.

After removing one of the original straps.

New strap attached to backpack.

It was actually a really easy fix, less than an hour total for both straps.  And now I have a great new backpack – just in time for our next trip to Sea World.  I’m not sure I would survive Sea World in June without a hydration bladder. No pic of me in it, yet.  When I have a good one, I will post it. 🙂

Sewing For Travel

I like to sew.  Honestly, most of the purses I own I have made.  When I couldn’t find a good hygiene bag for my son (they were all either too big or too girly), my next visit was to the fabric store .  No picture of that one, sorry.  It got was gleefully received and then disappeared upstairs.  But this is some of the sewing I realized I needed to do for my trip to Utah.  My Village Tote is a great bag, but it is one big cavernous hole that I will easily lose stuff in, so I am making little pouches as I find a need for them.  First up, a pouch for my chargers.

This is the interior view of the pouch above, with both my chargers in there.  There is still room for the backup battery for my phone and a mini charging station.  The pouch itself was made using this tutorial (quickly and sloppily *grins*).  The outside fabric is some pretty PUL that I found at Joanns – the only one my 7 year old wouldn’t consider too babyish or girly.  I got it to use as a waterproof lining for his hygiene kit (because we all know he’s just going to throw everything in there wet, right?).  Having my chargers in a waterproof bag is not a bad thing either. 🙂

Then, I decided I needed to get my cords wrangled.  So I used little bits of the fabric and this tutorial and made some power cable wraps.  Great project for using up scraps, btw.  I really like the chevrons on the fabric, since these are for power cords – it pleases the comic book nerd in me.

Adult Girl Scout Uniform

Quick Quiz!  What is the official Girl Scout Uniform for Adult Volunteers?



According to GSUSA,  it’s a navy business outfit with an official scarf and your membership pin tab.

Yeah, that’s not what I wear in any of my roles.  Sorry, GSUSA.

As a Troop Leader, I wear clothes appropriate to the activity (jeans and t-shirts for meetings, with hiking boots and bandanas added for camping).  As a Community Leader (the new name for Service Unit Manager, which I am not fond of), I wear nicer clothes, put on jewelry, and maybe put on makeup.  As a Facilitator, I wear khakis and a darker shirt which identifies me as a Council Volunteer (as required by my Council).

Houston, we have a problem.

I’m kind of a casual dressing person.  In my head, I look like this, very subdued and loose, kinda boho (but not crazy), nothing glittery or neon.  My jewelry is usually more like this, though. *grins*  We’ll talk jewelry later.

But business attire?  Um, nope.  Not in my closet.  I am a mostly Stay at Home Mom, with some Jewelry Teacher thrown in on the side.  These are not careers which call for a suit.

And navy?  Seriously?  Ooooh, boy.  I don’t wear anything navy except denim.  I love blues, don’t get me wrong! But navy is so somber; I prefer teals.

Okay, so I will have to acquire the required uniform.  Now comes problem #2.  While, in my head, I am this tall willowy figure who can wear anything, in reality I am a tall plus sized woman who carries a lot of her weight in a well distributed way.  I do not have a shelf butt, nor am I exceedingly top heavy.  Think of it this way: I have an hourglass figure that holds enough sand for 2 days. 😉  I find tight structured clothing extremely restrictive, and frankly it doesn’t serve me well, style-wise.  Most suit jackets for some bizarre reason end right across the hip, which on me would kind of point out where I am widest.  Doesn’t that break a fashion rule somewhere???  And while Anna Marie Chavez may be able to really rock a standard business suit; to me, it is just reminiscent of a badly designed corset.

Don’t even get me started on trying to shop for a good looking suit.  If you are a plus sized woman, then you have gone through the process explained exceedingly well (with images) here at Buzzfeed.  One thing they don’t mention is that even though there are a huge number of online options available now, 99% of them use “plus size” models who are a size 12 or so, so the customer has NO realistic idea of how the clothing will look on them.  We just get the slender look they want us to think their clothes can give us.

So, add it all up, and my best option is to make my own.  I will get something in fabrics I know will travel well, sized to fit me exactly, in a style that will make me feel comfortable and confident.  Here is the pattern I plan to use (notice the woman on the package is plus size!).  I love waterfall style jackets, and they will look so great with scarves – which is something I will have to practice wearing in a professional way.  I usually use them for my hair! 🙂  I will be getting white or ivory sleeveless shells to go under the jacket (because I don’t really get cold easily), and a nice green based blouse that I can wear with my suit.  I plan on getting one pair of more standard suit pants to expand my wardrobe for the week.  (I’ll get more specific in a future post.)

One of my fellow possible delegates (who has been there, done that 3 times) said that any official uniform is acceptable at the National Council Sessions, so she is going to be rocking the green one from the 70’s!  🙂 Not my style, but I really like the scarf’s design.  I would have to sew 2 together, though – it’s only 36″ long.