Lightly Bounding Through Disney World

Disney bounding is a subculture, or maybe side culture, of cosplay, or dressing up in costume. But it’s a bit different, because adults are not allowed to dress up in costume the way kids are. So “Disney bounding” is a way to dress like your favorite Disney character without actually being in costume. Thanks to Kay, the woman who started it, and her *amazing* Instagram account, for unleashing an extra fun way to enjoy the Disney parks.

I don’t know what the exact rules for Disney bounding are, so I’m not 100% sure my outfits count, hence “lightly bounding” through Disney World. Not in your face, my subtle nods to some of my favorite characters made me happy, even if no one else noticed. (Actually, several people noticed my Maleficent skirt, but more on that later.) I began and ended with some of my more subtle outfits, two different shirts I made in the last several years, inspired by previous trips. In between, my outfits were a bit more obvious, but sadly, because the weather got really cold the last few days we were there, I was so bundled up, no one really got to see my favorite Star Wars shirt! Anyway, here’s a review:

Super Subtle:

  • Dinosaurs! I wore my Liberty of London dinosaurs shirt the first day, because I had lunch at the T-Rex Restaurant in Disney Springs. It was hard to get a photo, so sorry about the bad selfie. I haven’t outgrown dinosaurs!

My dino shirt in front of a dino in a truck!

  • Jungle Cruise! The last day, another travel day, I wore my Jungle Cruise shirt, yes, inspired by the ride of the same name. Again, it was cold, so I layered with my tangerine orange cardigan, to which I’d stitched a pale blue Disney “D.” Those who know will realize that it’s the Disneyland “D,” not the Disney World “D,” but I haven’t found the later in a patch. (I wore my jacket and scarf over all of this, to be honest – a high of 60*F in Orlando is chilly!).

The ceramic plates on the wall make a nice background for my Jungle Cruise shirt and bright sweater!

Less Subtle:

  • Spaceship Earth: At least, I think this one was more obvious. I really love the design of this classic EPCOT ride, so this Marcy Tilton fabric jumped out at me when I saw it last summer. The added bonus is that this is a shirt I can wear to work or anywhere, without it screaming “DISNEY!” What do you think – subtle or not so subtle?

Standing in front of Spaceship Earth in my Spaceship Earth top

  • Finding Nemo: I mean, this IS Finding Nemo fabric – can’t you see Nemo, Marlin, and Dory? But it’s a cute stripe of sorts, and one that can be worn at any waterside location. I took it to Bermuda the last time we went – hey, there are tons of fish there!

Finding Nemo print skirt with my bright cardigan and rose gold Minnie Ears

Also coordinated my Bikie Girl Bloomers under this skirt for some modesty climbing in and out of rides.

Fishes, next to fishes in Animal Kingdom!

  • Star Wars: I had several Star Wars themed garments with me on this trip. The Millennium Falcon top I made using the Sew Liberated Esme Top pattern (if I make it again, I can size down for sure). It was fairly subtle but hey, the Millennium Falcon and R2D2 are clearly visible – if you look closely.

Standing in front of the Millennium Falcon! <squee!!!> The necklace is supposed to be similar to the one Princess Leia wore at the end of the first movie, during the award ceremony.

Closer look at the print….

Although the first two days we were in the parks were hot, in the 80s, the last two barely peaked past 60*. So my fabulous Star Wars Hey June Lane Raglan tee was only briefly ever visible. I stripped off the layers to get this photo, then hastily added back my extra long sleeve shirt, my Leia jacket, and my supernova print scarf.

Star Wars print tee, silver holographic Minnie Ears, and droids in pieces – perfect!

Gorgeous Art Nouveau styling of my Princess Leia jacket, bought two years ago.

Princess Leia is my favorite Disney princess!

Not at All Subtle

  • Maleficent: My most obvious and more remarked upon outfit was the Maleficent skirt I made shortly before the trip. It was made specifically for the Villains After Party at the Magic Kingdom. I’m not normally a huge Disney Villains fan but I had to have something thematic – er, bounding! And this was the perfect way to test the skirt pattern. Several women complimented me on it, one wearing a scarf of the same fabric! Several wanted to know where I’d gotten the fabric, so I turned them onto fabric shopping on Etsy. Because the party started at 10pm and ended at 1am, and we were in the park until well after that, and the temperature floated down into the 40s (eek!), I wore tights, another pair of coordinated Bikie Girl Bloomers, a tee shirt, a turtleneck, a cardigan, my scarf, then purchased a Haunted Mansion hoody – and I was still cold! But it was worth it, 100%!

Showing off my Bikie Girl Bloomers! That’s almost villainous, right?


I added some accessories to what I’d taken with me. But first, let me just shout the praises of the Minnie ear holder – such a brilliant accessory that made the trip. Those ears aren’t all-day-long comfortable, just so you know! I was able to move it between bags, and always had a place for those ears.

I bought this amazing droid/R2D2 fully reflective baseball cap in Galaxy’s Edge – it’s like they made it just for me!!!

Reflective droid baseball cap, standing in line at Oga’s Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge

Clan of R2D2?

I also got my “name” embroidered on a Mickey hat! I mean, why not, right?!

TinLizzie Mickey Ears

I also bought shoelace charms, no doubt intended for kids’ shoes. But the tea cup and clock face from It’s a Small World are two of my (admittedly many) favorite Disney designs. And hey, they are the same color as my Dansko sneakers! So now my shoes *and* my socks show my love of sewing for some lightly bounding Disney #memade outfits.

Sewing themed socks, Disney themed shoes!

What do you think? Subtle or not-so-subtle? Have you ever done Disney bounding? What are your thoughts on thematic dressing (not Disney related)? Do you think I’m crazy…? Don’t tell me if you do, haha!

Two Events, Two Different Costumes

Different events call for different costumes, and some events end up being all about the costumes. Last week, I had two events, back to back, that were all about costumes – but somewhat different ones.

The Mechanic’s office party is held annually at the Washington Golf and Country Club. Located in hilly northern Arlington, the club is a classic, well-decorated club that has a great view of Washington, DC. The party is “cocktail attire,” which makes me quite happy – this year I went full sequins! But this year, I opted to Rent the Runway – that resulted in a fancier dress than I could afford, and means it won’t hang in my closet untouched, as has last year’s dress. (If you are not familiar with Rent the Runway, it’s a company that allows women to rent designer dresses, gowns and accessories for a fraction of the original purchase price. The dress, and usually a backup size, arrive in the mail, and you have to return it a few days later, using the included prepaid return address label.) RTR DressThe dress I rented was a navy blue and black ombre sequin Badgley Mischka dress, $75 to rent, $465 original price. It was exactly what I wanted – easy to wear, low V-neck to show off some skin, swingy, not too short, and although I didn’t use them, had pockets. I requested the dresses in a size 8 and a size 6, and was surprised that the 6 fit me best – surprised but not upset! I added a plain pair of black patent leather pumps and big earrings, and then added my Bikie Girl Bloomers, just because.

The next evening, I accompanied a friend from work to a Downton Abbey event. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting into, or I might have dressed a bit differently. It was a huge event, held at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, and was hosted by PBS and WETA. I don’t know how many people attended, but the auditorium was packed! We were shown the first episode of Season 6, the last season <weep!> of the show, then the special guests arrived – an executive producer, Allen Leech (who plans Tom Branson), Phyllis Logan (who plays Mrs. Hughes), Kevin Doyle (who plays Mr. Molesley), and the Earl of Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville. The last guest was the best – costume designer Anna Mary Scott Robbins. Woot! I was so excited to listen to her talk about the costumes, as you might well imagine! Downton 1My luck was only just beginning, however, because afterwards, we were able to take part in the cast meet-and-greet! Although I didn’t need to get a poster and have it signed, I did anyway, getting photos taken with Phyllis Logan and Kevin Doyle.

With Kevin Doyle (Mr. Molesley)

With Kevin Doyle (Mr. Molesley)

With Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes)

With Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes)

But MOST EXCITING was talking to the costume designer!!! She was so lovely, and answered all kinds of questions about where she finds the vintage clothing and fabrics, how large of a staff she has (small, only 4 of them, with millinery and jewelry elsewhere), and so on. Having grown up on Masterpiece Theater, and becoming a costume designer in part because of all the British historical costume shows I watched growing up, this was an amazing opportunity for me! I’m still totally jazzed about this! It made me wish I could drop everything and return to my costuming days.

With Anna Mary Scott Robbins (notice the big stupid smile on my face)

With Anna Mary Scott Robbins (notice the big stupid smile on my face)

The last season of Downton Abbey is set in 1925, so the first episode we saw was already hinting at the flapper styles to come. I’m excited to see the rest of the season, with the detailed historical clothing, hats and jewels. Ah, a costumers fantasy…. If there was some way I could spend all my time immersed in historical clothing, I would do it (assuming I wasn’t working for free, that is).

But back to the real world, where I wear boring office clothing, fantasize about all the things I could make, and try to encourage people to not drive their cars every day. It’s the season for sugar plums dancing in our heads, but for me, those sugar plums look suspiciously like jeweled headbands…. Downton 5


Arlington Bike Love

I’m feeling all warm and squishy about biking in Arlington, VA. Wednesday was a very bike love day – I wore my Bikie Girl Bloomers today, got a second pair in the mail, did a bike event with kids, The Mechanic and I had an impromptu bike date, we found out that our soon-to-be-nine-years-old niece has been tearing around her MD neighborhood on her bike, and we saw two parents and daughter groups out biking tonight. Yay bike love! Bikie Girl Bloomers in actionI helped organize a bike rodeo for some Arlington Public School Extended Day students at Jamestown Elementary – 40 plus kids learning their bike ABCs (Air – Brakes – Chainring), getting helmets properly fitted, practicing hand signals, and then riding bikes in the (roped off) parking lots! It was hot but it was so much fun for them! I was so amazed and impressed by the skill and experience with which Meg from Phoenix Bikes, Erin from BikeArlington and Gillian from Kidical Mass Arlington patiently and with humor wrangled and directed Pre-K through 5th grade kids. I was equally or perhaps more impressed with the way the Phoenix Bikes kids helped out – the four of them worked on bikes, directed kids on the biking parts, and gave high-fives during the awards ceremony. I know that whatever they did created a bigger impact that us adults and I am even more supportive of Phoenix Bikes’ youth program. And can we talk about Gillian biking to the school with a push car in her bakfiets?!?!

The Mechanic actually got off work at a reasonable time, so we met at his favorite cafe in Courthouse for a light dinner. While we sat there, a huge cargo van went by, and he fantasized about the number and range of bikes he could store in it. It’s been a while since we went on a fun ride together, regardless of how short a trip, and we definitely need to do it again. Bike Date Bike Van on SteroidsI’m excited to wear my new Bikie Girl Bloomers. They are the Leaping Lady print – I don’t normally do animal prints, but these are my colors, and besides, when I took a poll at work, these got several votes. (What, you don’t ask friends and colleagues about the clothes you buy?) Leopard bloomersI am buoyed by the Arlington bike love and bike love in general. It’s hard sometimes, when you do bike advocacy work (or TDM in general, which includes more than just bikes), to not get discouraged by the resistance or outright negativity, so having a bike love day will have to get me through some of those days. That’s part of the reason why I wrote this post, so I can look back and remember that there *are* good days.

You know what else makes me feel better? A gorgeous summer day with blue skies, white clouds, bright green grass and pink trees. Just looking at this photo makes me relax. Jamestown Trees

Bike Inspiration

There comes a time when we all need a bit of bike inspiration, and this being the beginning of National Bike Month, maybe you are new-ish and want some inspiration. Maybe you’ve been doing this for a while and just want to see what other people are doing. NBM2014_Web_540x59First of all, it’s hard to not be inspired when reading about Gillian, Arlington resident, founder of Kidical Mass Arlington, head of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee and overall bike woman extraordinaire, in the latest Chasing Mailboxes blog post. I can’t imagine biking while 8 or 9 months pregnant (honestly, I can’t imagine being pregnant at all), plus doing it with two other small children! She makes it sound so easy! Inspired – or maybe now I just feel inadequate. Days when my legs hurt and I just don’t want to bike, I’ll need to remember her story and just suck it up.

Maybe I need this tee shirt from Spread Shirt

Maybe I need this tee shirt from Spread Shirt

Speaking of needing to suck it up and do something, I’m pretty inspired by something that is about to happen: Local bike bloggers The DCyclist, Rootchopper, and Bicycle Bug are soon departing on a grand bicycle adventure, doing the entire Pittsburgh to DC Great Allegheny Passage, also known as the GAP (not to be confused with the Gap, a clothing store where I occasionally like to window shop). The Mechanic and I have talked about doing this, perhaps the upper part only, later this year, so I’ll be watching their adventures and eager to hear their stories afterwards. I’ll be the first to confess I’m not as hearty as they are, but I really enjoyed the two nights that The Mechanic and I camped the C&O Canal from Shepherdstown, WV. co_map3_v2

I’ve mentioned Bikie Girl Bloomers before, but haven’t worn mine too much yet – but love them anyway. Imagine my surprise to be featured in the latest Bikie Girl Bloomers newsletter! There were my bloomers, hanging out for the whole social media world to see! (Don’t feel left out, I’ll share them again). Now it’s your turn to #showusyourbloomers!

Lounging at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs

Lounging at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs

If you don’t want to buy a pair for whatever reason, you can always be inspired by my biking and sewing friend across the Pond and make your own. Helen is on a “Ready to Wear” fast (something I should be doing) and sewing up a storm. She’s so talented – check out the jeans she made! I’m inspired to sew harder garments, after reading about her projects.

I don’t know if this will inspire you or depress you, but I have to share this post from The Discerning Cyclist, other friends in the UK, “How to Protect Your Bike from Thieves in 4 Steps.” I love the photo of the bike covered in locks. But along with other reminders/tips about smart and safe biking, protecting your bike should be on the top of your list.  I prefer the lock technique on this tee shirt I bought The Mechanic from Brooklyn Industries. Brooklyn Industries bike locks teeI hope that just the simple fact that this is National Bike Month will inspire you to do something different, learn something new, or bike someplace new. What inspires you?  bike_month_web_900x900_0

Reflecting at and on the Women & Bikes Forum

I was fortunate enough to attend the National Forum on Women & Bicycling, a day before the 2015 National Bike Summit. This was the fourth year in a row for the women & bikes day, and the third year I attended. As promised, I wore my new reflective bomber jacket and my Ligne 8 jeans, and I risked the rain to wear my Dansko Nevin Mary Jane heels. Although the temperatures are no longer flirting with the freezing mark, I still opted for a wool overcoat. But no, I did not bike to the National Forum on Women & Bicycling. I couldn’t get up early enough….  Women Bikes Forum 1

Numbers. Martha Roskowski, the VP of Local Innovation at PeopleforBikes shared some statistics from a recent participation study. Some of the points include the fact that only one-third of people in the US rode a bike last year, 30% of those people rode five days or fewer, and 70% of those people riding for transportation rode to a “leisure time activity,” rather than to work. Martha also said that 39% of women respondents still worry about their personal safety on a bike, that is, they worry getting attacked while they are riding their bikes, and that only 14% of women feel safer than they did five years ago. That’s pretty sad. Elysa Walk of Giant Bicycles said that almost 90% of both men and women have ridden a bike at some point in their lives, but only 44% of women have ridden in the last year, and of those, only 42% rode frequently (sorry, I don’t remember her source). Basically, women ride less as the years go by. I assume this is as their lives get more complicated, and they have children and hobbies and business clothes and meetings or more than one job, or any number of other barriers that keep women from biking. Or maybe they are concerned about their safety, both lack of safe infrastructure and personal safety, and lose confidence and interest. Regardless of the reasons, women are not biking as much as they could be.

"With increasing bicycle infrastructure, there will be more & more women like me."

“With increasing bicycle infrastructure, there will be more & more women like me.”

Speakers. The opening plenary, “A Case Study in Leadership,” featured Ren Barger, the CEO of Tulsa Hub, and her mentor and Tulsa Hub Past Board President Barbara Bannon. Barbara Bannon seems like the kind of woman we should all want in our lives – honest, upfront, intelligent, perceptive, strong, driven, caring funny. The two of them shared how Barbara help Ren grow into a stronger, more skilled CEO while developing Tulsa Hub into a functional organization. I found their partnership inspiring and encouraging. Rue Mapp, CEO and Founder of Outdoor Afro,  was the closing plenary speaker, and also funny and engaging and motivating. Her organization focuses on getting African-Americans in nature, hiking, camping, biking, fishing, and so on, and because I have a strong belief in the need for nature, I really support her mission.

Barbara Bannon, left, and Ren Barger, right

Barbara Bannon, left, and Ren Barger, right

Marketing. Once again, presenters talked about how women are not and have not been represented in marketing, and talked about what they are doing to fix that. Representatives from SRAM, Specialized and Liv Giant are all doing basically the same thing, focusing on building community networks, having “ambassadors” lead events, clinics and rides for women, and focus on the fact that women like social networks. Maria Boustead of Po Campo was the fourth presenter, and the most interesting to me, because she admitted that she started making a product then realized she needed a marketing campaign. Some of the stuff she did was really creative, like hosting a “Braid Bar,” where women could get their hair braided and talk about biking. I liked hearing about Po Campo events because her market is only urban riding, whereas the other three still are geared more towards road and/or mountain biking. Less “bikes as transportation” conversations happening there. Women Bikes Forum 2

Shopping! I don’t only go to the Women & Bikes Forum for the women-owned bike product pop-up shops, but it is a huge plus! I planned on buying “bloomers” from Bikie Girl Bloomers, and she had the turquoise and red polka dots pair that I wanted, yay! Owner Karen and I chatted a bit; she’s only been doing this for two years! I think she has a fabulous product, and I can’t wait to wear mine. I also loved the black pair with the red flames print. I chatted with Susi Wunsch of VeloJoy, Susan Mocarski of Cleverhood, Lara Neece of Forest and Fin and the upcoming Bicycle Wrap Skirt, Robin Bylenga of Pedal Chic, Lani Tarozzi of TandemNYC Skirtweights, and many other creative and talented women who are developing useful and stylish products to help women feel more comfortable while biking. We all have different definitions of comfort, but there are enough options out there that we can find what suits us best. The important thing is to have those options!

My takeaway this year was less inspiration and more thought-provoking. The statistics really make me think about the need for more “comfortable” bike accessibility. I admit that I’m a chicken cyclist – I like my bike lanes and buffered lanes and separated bike lanes, and quiet neighborhood streets. I prefer to ride on streets that have lanes, rather than sharrows or of course nothing at all. I’m not brave like The Mechanic and numerous other men and women I know who bike regularly, although I try to be! I think I am not alone in this. Maybe I need to do more to speak up about my safety concerns, so that planners and developers and city officials and whomever else know that A) I ride my bike B) I shop, pay taxes, and vote C) I dislike being treated as a second class citizen because I don’t drive a car everywhere. Make my city (okay, county) safe for me! And then it will become safer for the children, older people, people with physical challenges, and everyone else in my community. Even those who own cars.

It's not all serious at the #womenbike #NBS15 National Forum on Women & Bicycling!

It’s not all serious at the National Forum on Women & Bicycling!


ICYMI January

How is January already over?! Or as good as – didn’t we just celebrate New Years?!

I was busy this month, despite my best efforts, and felt like I should share some non-bloggy things. You already know about our trip to NYC and my American Girl Doll adventure, but that’s not all I did this month. Here’s a breakdown:

The Mechanic and I also visited the Library of Congress, to see Magna Carta (one never says the Magna Carta, only Magna Carta, apparently). Not only was the 1215 Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta on display, the exhibit followed the different ways Magna Carta, and its ideals, evolved over time – including popular culture! I’m really glad we made time to see that.

I love my Walnut Studiolo “Little Lifter” so much that I wrote a review of it for The Discerning Cyclist. Seriously, if you have to carry a bike up and down stairs on a regular basis, this might be just the thing you want. It makes a huge difference to me.

Staircase of Doom - thanks to my Lifter to make this easier!

Staircase of Doom – thanks to my Lifter for making this easier!

We had our first snowfall, but thankfully have dodged a major storm. I dislike biking in the snow, or more specifically, anything slippery, so I haven’t biked much with these little snowstorms. Snow 2

Our guppies had baby guppies. Lots of them. And they all seem to have survived. I wasn’t really expecting that, and as much as I’m enjoying watching them grow, my teeny 2.5 gallon tank can’t hold 16 guppies and a snail. And the possibility of more. So I’m on a fish tank redesign hunt.

Some of the baby guppies - about twice their original size now!

Some of the baby guppies – about twice their original size now!

Spectre Upside Down

Seriously, Spectre the Mystery Snail is the best pet ever – yes, he was climbing (?) down the leaf upside down!

We saw “Diner” at Signature Theatre in Shirlington, and really enjoyed it. An actor friend said she’s heard rumors that the production is Broadway bound. That would be a true triumph for the Signature! I’ll be watching for that. Diner Signature Theatre

The 2015 National Bike Summit is in March, and I’m hoping to be able to go again. This year, the first day is the women-focused day, which is nice to have it as part of the event, rather than the day before. Two of the sessions that interest me the most are “Powerbrokering for Women in Transportation and Advocacy” and “The Future of the Women’s Market.” I am also amused that one of the sessions is “How to Talk to an Engineer… and Be Persuasive.” I know it’s about bike infrastructure, but maybe it will have tips for me and The Mechanic! They’ve released an initial list of vendors for the women’s pop up shop, too. I am excited to see that Tandem NY will be there with their skirt weight, and I hope that Bikie Girl Bloomers will have her bloomers in a print I want. (For some reason, I can’t find the list of vendors on their website; I got the list in an email. Inconvenient to share.)

Bikie Girl Bloomers in Crazy Daisy (image from Bikie Girl Bloomers website)

Bikie Girl Bloomers in Crazy Daisy (image from Bikie Girl Bloomers website)


I was pretty happy to see that one of my blog posts inspired another bike blogger to try the reflective yarn: check out Red Riding’s projects! I hope her knee problems heal up before the nice weather arrives. (Don’t you just love her all-yellow bike?!)I’ve got a few sewing projects lined up, to keep me busy while I’m hoping for warmer, drier weather. I am ready to get out and get biking, but the cold temps and slick bike lanes/roads don’t inspire me to leave my cozy warm apartment. Maybe in February.