Pioneer Day

Look at those pioneer children!

Just a couple of weeks ago was Pioneer Day, and to celebrate we gave the Primary children a day in the life of a pioneer.  I designed vests and neckerchiefs for the boys and bonnets and aprons for the girls, and two other moms and I sewed them out of cheap muslin for all of the Primary children.  The bonnets were a 16″ circle gathered with a 20″ piece of elastic string, and a rectangular brim 18″x4″ with rounded corners.  Of course, there was a 1/2″ seam allowance added to all of those measurements. I added a 50″ ribbon around the top of the brim and hanging down on both sides to tie under the girls’ chins.

How to sew the sash so you can insert the apron

The aprons were just rectangles we gathered with a basting stitch and inserted into the sashes to hide the unfinished edge (see the diagram).

Eyelet Lace Detail

We added eyelet lace to the bottom edge of the aprons.

The neckerchiefs were just simple triangles the same size as the scout neckerchiefs.

Vest diagram

The trickiest things to sew were the vests for the boys.  The diagram I’ve made is to scale–you just need to add the 1/2″ seam allowance.  Snip little easements around the curves so it doesn’t bunch up when to turn in the edges.

I painted the covered wagon in the picture so we could pose the kids like the pictures of pioneer wagon trains.  Of course the pictures’re in sepia tones to add to the historical integrity 😉

Their own little wagon train

The kids did pioneer chores like digging for potatoes and making their own fry bread and butter, they played pioneer games like the indispensable stick-pull, and they made their own covered wagons out of popsicle sticks.

All in all, the kids had a really good time, and the pioneer costumes really helped them to “get in character” for their day in the life of a pioneer.

About sappling

When God created the world, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I always wished there was just one more day in the week, an eighth day just for me to pursue the thoughts in my head and translate them to the physical world. There are only seven days, however, so I steal my creative moments in between being a mom and my work binding books and making boxes for clients all over New York City. I love working with my hands, learning new things, and I'm here to share those lessons with you. There are only seven days in a week. Why not eight? Guess I'll ask when I get there.
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7 Responses to Pioneer Day

  1. Caroline C says:

    This is a lovely blog with so many creative ideas. Thanks for sharing your talents!

  2. Bethany says:

    This is so neat! How do you make the covered wagons. I can see the notches in the popsicle sticks. I’m trying to come up with a hands-on “pioneer” activity for the primary kids this Sunday (2011).

    • sappling says:

      The popsicle sticks are called skill sticks which are available at Michael’s and maybe Joann’s or Robert’s. They fit together like lincoln logs, only much more tightly.

  3. Heather Warner says:

    I love your covered wagon painting! I need a backdrop for a Pioneer Day photo booth. I wonder if I could do something similar? Did you paint on a canvas drop cloth? What kind and colors did you use? It seems like it can be reused over the years … so cute! Please share via my email if you can. Thanks!

    • sappling says:

      Home Depot sells disposable drop cloths that are paper on one side and plastic on the other. I used sepia, burnt sienna, and white craft paint–pretty much everything in the bottles, and I bought the big ones.

  4. Pingback: Pioneer Day Costumes »

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