World Book Day at school! Which means everyone dresses up as a movie character, right? 🙂
The Bee, however, begged to be Katie Morag, the strong-willed little red-haired girl who lives on the fictional Scottish Isle of Struay in Mairi Hedderwick’s charming tales. Katie Morag is highly recognisable, as she almost always wears the same outfit: a cream knitted sweater with blue zigzag detail around the neckline, a green tartan skirt – and black wellies. (Even in her dance show, she still connives to wear “tackety wellies”, sporting nails in the soles for tap-dancing – I love it!) In the new and equally charming BBC adaptation of the books, the actress playing Katie Morag also wears the same outfit week in week out. Here they are side by side:
Courtesy of some lovely neighbours, the Bee already owns a “Katie Morag skirt” (green-and-blue kilt) and “Katie Morag boots” (still two sizes too large but hey, they look more like wellies that way) – so that just left the jumper to figure out. And the red hair. And one little sister wheedling her way into getting a costume too…
Lucky for us, two little cream jumpers were quickly found and bought, and grandmotherly advice sought and offered on how to embroider the blue patterns. The answer? Lazy daisy stitch and some royal blue wool. And a lot of help from Grandma in getting them stitched up in time for the day. Grannie Island and Granma Mainland would’ve been proud!
(We like this book, not least because it includes a recipe for Grannie Island’s “porridgies”, a.k.a. flapjacks…)
The Smidge’s skirt was a serendipitous charity shop find – a men’s tartan shirt, which quickly became a simple elastic-waisted skirt. We only got a week’s notice of the event at school (i.e. no time for ordering fabric online), so I was pretty pleased to find something so close to the colours of the original. I pulled the gathers round to the back of the skirt to make the front flatter, more like Katie’s skirt. The Hello Kitty wellies are somewhat less authentic, admittedly, but fortunately the Smidge didn’t fuss.
And the hair? Orange hairspray. Oh, how happy the Bee was with that hairspray! We had a nerve-wracking day while she was at school, wondering whether the spray would rub off on her jumper and ruin all that hard work, or just not wash out of her hair at all. In the end it came out just fine and gave the girls an orange bath to play in, too. And, because random rules stated firmly enough sometimes have the desired effect, we quickly developed a new rule of “no red hair until you are five years old” to explain to the Smidge why she (at the tender age of two) would not be participating in this stage of the costuming. It worked! And now she’s waiting it out, asking every day when she’ll be five and can have Katie Morag hair…