Heidi the Cycling Seamstress


Heidi's Adventures!

Girl Scout Outdoor progression

Between grabbing a bite to eat and loads of office type work, I wanted to sit down and share Girl Scout Outdoor progression.  Helping Girls get the confidence to get outside can be a challenge!  Some girls never really spend time outside of their house, so being in a Girl Scout troop can be the vehicle for that discovery and progression to getting there.  In my troop we are just starting that progression.  There is a workshop you can take called Outdoor 101. This allows you to get going on outdoor girl progression and can take you all the way to a back yard camp out. Back yard camp outs are super fun and is great way to get girls exposed to the outdoors.  Here is a picture of the Girl Scout outdoor progression chart:

So the first step is Look out.  This is where your story telling can really come alive.  I have so many outdoor/camping stories from my days as a young Girl Scout, (I am a lifetime member!) encourage girls to share their outdoor stories. This is great because you can really get a feel for where each girl is and what step to take next with them. 


Meet out.  Have a meeting outside at a park. Our troop is going into second year brownies and we are working on the eco friend badge and this badge covers great topics like observing the natural world and starting to learn about the leave no trace principles. (See attached picture)  Our next meeting for the year we will be observing nature at one of our local parks.


After we have done the eco friend badge, we are going to move on to the next step which is planning a small walk.  We are lucky to live in an area that has some great paved, multi-purpose trails that go through some Nature parks. If we have the space we can even do an indoor sleep over to get girls used to being in different environments than their home.  This is important especially with younger girls who may not have much experience away from their families.


Explore out is taking that next step of learning what to pack to bring along on a hike in a state or national park.  This is the plan ahead and prepare part of Leave no trace.  State parks are great because you can get maps of trails ahead of time and you can practice and explain how to dress for a hike and the weather.  This may take a couple of meetings.  I can see one meeting about learning how to dress for the weather with a clothing relay game and I can see another meeting on the basics of reading a map so the girls can follow and plan out a route they may want to hike at the state park.


Cook out.  If you have young girls, they may not know how to cook for themselves. This is a wonderful step that I can see being done in a couple of meetings.  One of your meetings you decide on a simple meal, make the shopping list for that meal.  You can then have the girls meet at the grocery store to do the shopping, then you can have a meeting where you help the girls cook the meal they planned.  Because we are focusing on camping, and due to burn ban restrictions, I always recommend learning to cook on a camp stove. That way you won't be scrambling to change plans if you can't have a fire.  I am in Texas, so burn bans are frequent.  If you want to learn how to cook on a fire and there is no burn ban in effect, portable fire pans are really efficient and you can get a good cooking fire going, ( they tend to be hotter and less flames) you will be able to teach the girls that to cook over a fire, you will need to start it way before you are actually cooking so your food cooks completely. ( you would not want anybody to get sick from under cooked food.)


Sleep out is my favorite! If you have done the outdoor 101 training, this is the top of where you can go.  Does somebody have a back yard big enough to accommodate some tents?  Then go for it! this is great way to get parents involved in the troop, plus it helps bolster the confidence of the girls for sleeping away from their folks/family and outside with different sounds and experiences


I am going to do camp out and adventure out in one paragraph. Camp out is a 1 to 2 night camping trip. service unit encampments, week end camping trips at a local state park that is where camp out goes.  With the experience and confidence that have learned from the other steps of progression, they are ready to take on more outdoor skills.  Adventure out would most likely be for older girls who are planning on camping for multiple day trips, backpacking trips and that of the like.  If those older girls have gone through the outdoor progression, they will be ready with the skills they have learned on their way up through the scouting ranks to tackle multi- day trips.


Some points to take away.  If you are in the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains council, The outdoor 101 training will be able to let you be able to go as far as camping in a back yard.  The Cabin training will allow you to take your troop to cabin camping and tent camping will allow you to take the girls tent camping at a place like a state park. I hope you enjoyed this little post on Outdoor progression! I am outdoor 101 trained and have Leave no trace training, so if you need some help with either shoot me an email and I will see what I can help you with !

Strava rides! I am tracking my rides now with Strava!

3D printed brackets for mounting a solar panel to a trailer for charging ebike batteries

Video of making a mask!

The making of Face masks

Like it or not, Face masks have been a part of our life for close to a year now.  They are key in helping us keep others safe from COVID.  When in March of last year COVID hit the scene here in Texas, I started making reusable face masks.  I am very trash conscious so a good reusable mask was the way to go.  I hand wash my masks and let them air dry of course!  Now that we can get all kinds of awesome cotton fabric, (yes I still use cotton) I decided to document a little bit of mask making I did the other day. I don't remember where I got the pattern, but I sew a simple structured face mask with elastic ear loops and metal nose bands.

I found this great rainbow swirly fabric that was in a fat quarter size.  I love fat quarters you can get about 2 masks from 1 fat quarter, so you can have all sorts of fun prints! As you can see I brought out my trusty mask pattern which was printed out then affixed to some card stock for a little more durability.  As you can see my pattern is well used!  I made these masks out of the adult size. I do have a teenager/womens size and two kids sizes.  I use two layers of cotton fabric for the outside and then inside.  For the middle layer I use Hepa filter fabric to really help keep those germs to one's self.  Because we know that when wearing a mask our breathing foot print is loads smaller and that is important for keeping the spread of COVID on the low.

So all of this makes two masks.  There is the inner, outer, middle and the nose band pocket, which is the size of bias tape.  I have a bias tape maker so this step is super fast.  I cut out the fabric, feed it through the bias maker and press.  Once it is out, I press again to fold it in half and then it is ready to be sewn on to hold the nose band. I sew the nose band pocket on the inside of the mask so the band can be taken out when washing or replaced if worn out.

Here we have everything stitched together. Once you make your sandwich of mask layers you sew the top and the bottom.  You then flip the mask right side out and give it a good straightening out.  Then you begin to top stitch and add the ear loops all in one.  Once you are done top stitching all you need to do is add the nose band into the little pocket and you have a structured face mask!  It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make a couple of masks. 

Please, please don't forget to wear you mask if you have to go out.  We all want to be able to get back to life on a regular scale.  Just remember with all of the normalizing of wearing masks, once we are through COVID, if you are sick with even a common cold, wear your mask, you will help keep other people healthy and that is a really considerate thing you can do!  As an additional note, with all the mask wearing, there hasn't been as many cases of the flu this year.  

I know that mask wearing has helped and many, many people have gotten the flu vaccine this year. Keep up the good work people and remember to have fun with your masks!

This is Ingrid

Ingrid, (yes all my machines are named!) is a Designer Brilliance 80 from Husqvarna Viking.  As you see her here, she is transformed into her sewing self.  Ingrid is a bit of a transformer being a combo machine.  Her specialties are embroidery and she is a bad ass sewing machine to boot.  She does so much more than just sew a straight seam. I make clothes, loads of clothes and this gal is amazing.  I can sew on all different types of fabric with really good results and don't let me go on and on about her button hole foot. Imagine a button hole so smooth and easy to do that you don't fight with you machine to get one done, it is possible! With her button hole foot all I do is type in the size of the button, pick the type of button hole I want, (there are like 4 or 5) place the material under the foot, lower the foot press start and voila! perfect button hole in like 10 seconds! Oh yeah she can sew buttons on too.  I can finish up a shirt dress that has button from neck to calf, going from no buttons or button holes to all of that in 20 minutes.  It is really awesome.

Ingrid has amazing LED lighting so you can freaking see what you are sewing, always a plus!  She also has 10 inches of working space to the right of the presser foot, great for quilting and managing bigger projects.

Embroidery! we have got it! She does amazing work and that crazy thing is the embroidery arm that you attach the hoops to so the machine will embroider.
I just wanted to give a little introduction to one of my fleet of Viking sewing machines, Ingrid!  Stay tuned to be introduced to Helga and Gertrude too!

Girl Scouts!~

So I love Girl Scouts, I am a life time Girl Scout.  We have been doing zoom meetings due to the pandemic.  Here is a taste of our last activity for our First Aid badge:

What is Solar Punk?

So for about the past 6 months, I have been really interested in a movement called Solar Punk.  It deals with the future, and tends to not be dystopian, but more of a hopeful outlook after and during major climate crisis. I have been reading awesome short stories that have been collected together in several anthologies of Solar Punk genre writing. I have read some great books in the Solar Punk Genre, The first book I read was a story called, "The Fifth Sacred Thing." by Maya Greenwood.  This book is about a future where climate crisis has happened and it has polarized the world. There are groups of people eeking out a living.  The main city is in what was San Francisco and they live very close to nature and all religions are mixed and celebrated and practiced. Paganism is very much alive.

The next Solar Punk book I read was, "Wings of Renewal, A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology." This book is a collection of Solar Punk short stories that introduces us to a lot of crazy awesome authors. Each story has a dragon theme to it, this book is by far my most favorite yet.

I am currently reading another anthology of Solar Punk short stories called,"Ecopunk! Speculative tales of radical futures"  The stories are all over the place. One thing is for sure though, there is lots of tech, Bio tech, renewable energy tech, and stories of people fighting again the the old tech, like fossil fuel and coal industry.  The heroes in these stories can be every day joes or super smart geniuses.  I am enjoying this read as well.

Now onto sewing! I have digitized the Solar Punk symbol and am in the process of embroidering a flag so I can fly it proudly on my bicycle!  Also Solar Punk fashion, layers and natural fabrics.  I take a slightly different approach and use what fabrics I have available or really like. With my ADHD I have some sensory issues so when I find a fabric I like I tend to stick with it. The Solar Punk Emblem looks like this:

Well I have got to go and change over my embroidery to the other side of the flag! Oh yeah, I am setting up my wares with a neighbor in her driveway and we are going to selling stuff! I hope you will stop by as it is this upcoming Saturday!

What about Kids staying home?

I want to begin with saying, "I am very lucky." I had the option of quiting my very low paying, extremely part time job and staying home full time with my kids.  Let me also start with, that my family is very neuro- divergent. My kids like staying home.  I offer you this link about kids that want to stay at home and thrive in that kind of environment

Staying sun safe!

While I do limit my time in the Sun as much as possible, it is a tall order to avoid it all together, especially in Texas.  I tend to wear loose layers, either cotton or sun protective fabrics.  I get my sun protective fabrics at Rocky Woods in Colorado.  For hats, I have a hat that fits around dreads and I also made a conical hat.  The style of the conical hat fits over my dreads and offers great sun protection and does not get super hot. If you are interested in making a simple conical hat to help keep you sun safe check out this youtube video With my conical hats, as in the red one below I cover both the outside and inside with fabric to make it uniquly mine. My conical hat has a 12inch radius, so it is a good size for good shade.  I even made Bee a conical hat.  Hers has unicorn fabric on the outside and flamingo fabric on the inside. For the string of the conical hat I use paracord and a cord lock to snug it down under my chin.

While I am riding on my bicycle I of course wear a helmet, but I have a sun brim that fits on my helmet offer some shade to my head, neck, back, and chest.  For the parts of my body that aren't covered, I wear Neutrogena 100 spf sunscreen.  I don't play around with sun!  Loose layers seem to be the best when dealing with the heat and the sun.  While I do wear tank tops, I tend to cover my pasty white skin when outside.  I have various cowls, and scarves I layer up for sun protection as well.  I know that there are specific sun protective garments that are ready made, gloves, hats etc...  I just tend to make my own.

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