Sunday, 6 October 2013

Storytelling Sunday - A Level Toys

Act One
Scene One

Three 16 year old friends are sitting around a table in the needlework classroom of a secondary school.  The teacher is telling them the items that they will need to make in the next two years in order to get their A Level: an outfit for themselves comprising of a jacket and at least one other item, an item of children's clothing incorporating hand embroidery and a soft toy. 

The girls search through a Simplicity sewing pattern book for inspiration.  The smallest of the group sees something that takes her eye.  Something that will fulfil the last criteria and give her the opportunity to customise it to show off an extra sewing skill.  In order to make life much more difficult for herself, she decides to make the base of the toy out of cordoroy which will prove very difficult to work with and cause endless frustration trying to line the fabric up with the pile going in the right direction and all stripes of the cord matching exactly.  She will also choose to do hand sewing to make the major part of the toy, trying a technique she has never used before.  Something that seemed a good idea at the time, but will untimately reduce her to tears as the teacher looks at it and says 'No, I can see your stitching.  Unpick it and start again.' 

After finishing the items and passing the exam, they will be packed up and put in the loft.  They will be transported during each future house move and each time she will be quizzed 'Are you sure you want to keep this?' and she will reply 'Yes, I spent HOURS making that, I'm never throwing it away'.  For it does not only represent an exam project, it reminds her of the hours spent in the company of good friends, chatting, laughing, sometimes crying, discussing hopes and dreams for the future.  It holds such memories of two years of growing up from a school girl to a young woman.  And one day, someone will encourage her to bring down that toy and share it as part of Storytelling Sunday.


24 comments:

Karen said...

Oh Deb - what a lovely Turtle. As often is the case on these Sundays you have reminded me of my sewing project for my 'O' level needlework. It was a felt squirrel, complete with acorn, which I embroidered but sadly haven't a clue where it is now.

Mel said...

He has aged well and I can see why you want to keep up. I don't have the mini school uniform I made for as barbie in textile!

Miss Smith said...

Deb, this is such a wonderful story and it seem like a beautiful finished toy! I love that it reminds of you good times (and the odd tear) and I agree that you shouldn't be parted from it!

Sian said...

I love this! He's Precious alright :) You brought back such great memories of those Simplicity pattern books and wrestling with the Domestic Science sewing machines! TSO is doing HE GCSE and I've tried to tell her how it used to involve sewing, a lot of sewing, and she finds it very hard to imagine. You have conjured it up so well I can even smell our classroom now..

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I can just imagine how many hours went into piecing all those hexagons! I would never part it with it either.

Julie J said...

I wouldn't throw him away either. I think I had that pattern and never got round to making it.

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that is lovely. I never finished my sewing project and swapped to the Food science and Nutrition version as soon as possible. Made a conscious decision to give away the not sewn together shirt when I left home and was sorting things out.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Eeeep! I saw the turtle toy with the link on Sian's blog and popped right over. He is SO cute, Deb. And so much work for a 16-year old. I am officially impressed with your sewing skills, and I loved reading your story about him. I'm so glad you've kept him all these years - great story this month. :o)

scrappyjacky said...

He's gorgeous,Deb....definately needs to be kept forever.

Becky said...

A great story and a wonderful turtle!

Ruth said...

What a lovely story! Perhaps you could bring him down from the loft permanently ... as long as you kept him safe from Coco!

Jennie said...

Oh but he's gorgeous! A real precious. Thanks for sharing him and the his story Deb - it was delightful reading. Jen x

Louise said...

...and he looks to be a fair size too! Can you believe, I left mine project on the bus on the way home from school. Never to be seen again. It was no-where near as lovely as your turtle, I can see why you want to keep him xx

Abi said...

He is super cute. I love the cord bottom. He is definitely something to keep. My mum still has a womble she made in a similar sounding sewing class!

Alison said...

What a great project....no sewing O'Level here!!
Alison xx

Sheena said...

He certainly is precious x
Many thanks for sharing your lovely story :)

Gail said...

Oh, he's most definitely precious and in super looking condition. I so enjoyed your story this month.

Sandra said...

oh my gosh, I was right there with you flicking through those books, a beautifully told story. And oh yes he certainly is precious

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

such a wonderful story & a great toy!

Jo said...

A great story and a gorgeous turtle, you must be so proud of that! x

Sinead said...

This is such a lovely project and a great story to accompany it! Thank you so much for sharing x

Melissa said...

Wow - what a fabulous completed project & such lovely memories to go along with it! Thanks for sharing!

Cheri said...

Reminder to self - never sew with corduroy! Great project. We made aprons and draw string pants in Home Ec. My girls didn't even have to take it - totally elective nowadays.

S said...

Well yes after all that I think one would feel like that raised that turtle over a very long time. Cute!