School Projects

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Monday, May 5, 2014

School Days: Brynnie's Pocahontas Costume

Happy Monday!  Did you all have a nice weekend?  Ours was quite busy - Aaron got the shower in the master bathroom tiled (post to come), I went to some garage sales, the kids played outside a lot, I tried a different method of marbling paper which was an epic bust (no post to come on that one) and we had company for Sunday dinner.  It was a great deal of fun, but the fact that the kids are STILL sleeping on this Monday morning should tell you how tuckered out they got.

If my marbling project had worked out I would probably have posted about that today, but as it was a complete flop (I may try again in the future with a different type of ink...we shall see)I will instead show you Brynnie's Pocahontas costume, which we made over the course of several months.

In case you didn't know, November is National Native American Heritage Month, so as part of my kindergarten curriculum I have had the kids learn about different tribes and traditions during those weeks and then it ties in very nicely with the story of the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving at the end of the month.  Brynnie spotted instructions for making moccasins from felt in one of the library books and decided that her life would not be complete without her own pair of moccasins.  Thus began our journey to a Pocahontas costume.
The moccasins took several days to complete because Brynnie did most of the work (cutting, gluing and lacing) herself.  She was especially proud of sewing the little heart appliques on all by herself.
Brynn proudly wore her moccasins around the house as slippers until January, when she discovered that as part of a Valentine's Day event she was going to get to dress up as a literary or historical character.  She picked Pocahontas almost immediately, and began to pester me about making her costume.  She even found a picture in a book which I was required to imitate EXACTLY.  The moccasins were put away to preserve them and I started trying to figure out how to achieve Brynnie's dream costume without breaking the bank or using up every hour of the day for six weeks.

One area of compromise was the beaded belt.  She wanted authentic materials and I did not.  In the end we were able to agree on fabric paint.
The tunic made of burlap was another sticking point with Brynn.  She did not understand why it didn't drape and flow like her picture-book ideal.  I patiently informed her that no Native American EVER had an outfit that looked like that costume.  She was not convinced, but when faced with the choice of burlap or nothing she decided that suffering for fashion's sake was better then the alternative.  Her wounded vanity began to recover when we dug the feathered headband out of the bottom of her brother's toy-box and was fully restored with a string of beads to complete the ensemble.
We may not have (okay, absolutely did not) achieved historical or cultural accuracy with this costume, but we did have fun making it, which is all that really matters.  Right?  Of course right.

Happy costume making everyone!


Jessica said...

I had no idea you were making this! I bought patterns last year for Indian costumes...too bad I never told you. Your's is delightful and Brynn is happy, so that's all that matters.

Valarie Blomquist said...

Adorable! You've got skills,girl, and lots of patience. That photo needs to be printed and in her room. I hope you have a fabulous Mother's Day!

Dana said...

Mom - I was determined not to buy anything new for those Valentine's Day costumes - but I'll keep your patterns in mind for future reference.

Val - I try to get pictures of all her costumes to keep in her baby book. She has so many her wall would be overflowing =)