There’s a bear in there….beautiful Jemima. For anyone who grew up in Australia and watched Play School she will be like your girl next door. I loved and adored her as a child. My grandmother made me a lovely cloth doll when I was younger but she wasn’t quite the same as Miss Jemima. Then a few months ago while rummaging through a second hand shop I came across the original ABC Playschool Useful Book. I shuffled through a few pages and there she was. A pattern, a recipe for the original Jemima. I felt like I had the most valuable thing in the whole store and nobody else seemed to have noticed. I tucked it away safely under my arm. No going back to get this little gem later. I could not believe that all the other people there had missed it….I could not believe that someone had parted with it in the first place!
The book cost me 20 cents. The pattern is priceless to me. I made her up as a gift for The Little Bush Princess’s first day of Pre-School (along with a pair of pj’s, a dressing gown, a party dress and a pretty little sun dress…all with matching bloomers and bows for her hair!).
The pattern was simple, naive in many ways. But it had such an integrity. I could have tweeked her and changed her. Made her a more sophisticated lass, sassed her up a bit…but then she would risk losing her ‘Jemima-ness’ that was a part of so many of my days as a child. I left her as she was…because that is how she is supposed to be. Simple, beautiful and so, so playable!
It is so wonderful to be able to hand to your child a tangible memory from your own childhood. Being a child is such a fleeting time in our lives. It should be lived, enjoyed, celebrated and cherished. Every time I walk past our little Jemima, made from that original recipe she makes me smile. The kind of smile you can’t fake.