and quake in your boots. Regular readers and those who follow me on Facebook will know the sad story behind her creation. In short, Small Girl ran hysterically into my arms after school one day. Two other four year olds had told her that she couldn’t be a girl because girls don’t have pirate lunch boxes because pirates are for boys. Again, you’ll all know that I get riled at any kind of sloppy sexist diktats be they about piracy, bishopry in the the Church of England or choosing to stay in/out of the workforce to raise a family. What you might not know is that we only ended up with the lunchbox after the shop assistant said “Well there is one more, but I won’t show it to her because it’s for boys.” I said politely that I’d like Small Girl to see it anyway please. You can guess the outcome.
So, I fished out a rag doll pattern that had been waiting close on a year to be made. Wonderful friends sent links to tales of fearless female pirates, and an equally wonderful selection of positively female folk and fairy tales arrived in the post soon after. The Mister added a picture of a girl pirate to Small Girl’s sandwiches the next day and talked with her about strong girl pirates being anything you want. Courtesy of far too many faberdasheries to mention, I bought cottons, felts, lace, velvet, ribbons and embroidery silks. Floral Liberty lawns, pirate prints, blingy buttons and shot silk (ish). Another wonderful friend donated pieces of two different skull and crossbones fabrics which are just perfect. Women generally united immediately to my cause, though in one memorable case an assistant looked perplexed and said “But don’t you want black?” when I was trying to explain the need for a flamboyant female Jack Sparrow kind of cape-styling.
Red Peg is now finished, every last trim and button added, every last piece of stuffing squidged in with a chopstick, every last end sewn in. The pattern has driven me to distraction on several occasions, but did the job. I cannot wait to see Small Girl’s face on Christmas morning. She will learn that yes, girls can be pirates, and that a pirate doll can be as normal as a Barbie and Action Man. I have been reminded, yet again, of just how blinking fantastic my husband, flotilla of female friends and family all are. Thank you! You’re all beyond wonderful.