Thursday, 20 October 2016

Girl Guide uniform for Laura

This year's Chat 'n Snap has a theme of Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows and Beavers Jamboree.  We've been asked to dress our Sasha and Gregor dolls in uniforms for the Guiding and Scouting movement.

I haven't had enough time to make uniforms for each of these branches - only Laura has benefited from a uniform.  My younger daughter and I decided that the uniform featured should be a vintage South African Girl Guide uniform from the 1980s when I was a Brownie then a Guide.  I still have my Guide hat and belt as well as my Basuto blanket which has my badges from Brownies, Guides and Ice skating stitched onto it.  I also have photos of me and my sister wearing our uniforms.  In the Brownies I was in the Hare six and in Guides I was in the Arum Lily patrol.

I was fortunate enough to attend a very enjoyable 75th anniversary of Girl Guiding in South Africa camp at Easter time in 1985 with about 100 other Guides from the Cape West district - making friends, singing around the Camp Fire, tying knots, craft and sporting activities being the highlights. I adored all the Guide camps I attended.  The best thing about those camps was that Guides of all colours attended in mixed patrols despite it being the height of the apartheid era - somehow the movement was able to defy the Government of the day and it provided a wonderful opportunity to make friends with other children who lived in segregation from each other in our daily lives.

Me wearing my Girl Guide uniform in the 1980s
The miniature uniform is made from blue polyester cotton, the tie is made from yellow bias binding, the woggle from embroidery thread, the lanyard made from cotton cord and tied with a proper slipknot.  The hat is made from dark navy needle-cord lined with black felt to stiffen it.  The belt is borrowed from Gregor blue jeans (the only item along with the shoes and socks I didn't make). The Trefoil badge pinned on her collar is actually an earring from Girl Guiding UK (I don't think they make them anymore unfortunately).  On the left shoulder are the patrol colours which I made from scraps of bias binding cut to size.  I hand embroidered the hat badge on the navy needlecord (a separate piece which I stitched onto the hat) and the Arum Lily patrol badge I hand embroidered on some black fabric.

My girl plaited Laura's hair in two French plaits - she did a brilliant job even though they took ages to do.

Laura in her uniform with my belt, blanket, hat and my daughter's modern Guide blanket with her Brownie sash stitch onto it
Close up of Laura wearing the South African 1980s Girl Guide uniform
My Arum Lily patrol badge surrounded by the 75th anniversary of Guiding in South Africa badges
Close up of my Guide hat and my Camper badge along with a badge from an international badge swap
My Girl Guide belt and whistle
Some of the badges on my blanket along with the shoulder colours for patrols (I was later in another patrol for a short while)
Close up of the hand embroidered badges
Laura and my 75th anniversary camp badge from 1985
Laura is looking forward to joining in the Jamboree at the Chat 'n Snap.

4 comments:

Serenata said...

What fabulous work DM. Such attention to detail, I am sure she will enjoy the jamboree very much. Lovely to also hear about your experience as well at such a time and to learn that children of all races were able to join in despite the apartheid of that era.

Dee said...


A very interesting post. Laura's uniform is wonderful and I am looking forward to seeing it close up. Great to hear that all colours could attend the guide meetings in that era and I loved seeing all the close up details of your own uniform from that time.
Sounds like a wonderful group to have belonged to.

Ginger said...

Wonderful uniform for Laura. I love seeing your girl guide photo and your badges. So nice to have those happy experiences and memories. A great post. I hope you enjoyed the CnS! 😊xxx

Ginger said...

A great uniform for Laura and her braids are very nice. I loved the photo of you in your girl guide uniform and seeing your badges. So nice to have had those happy experiences and memories. ;) xxx