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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Just Sew Stories with GUSA by Victoria


I am putting together a short story collection for an African fashion designer for a series of sewing and crafting camps this summer. Victoria has been in business in York for about a year, and this camp is a brand new thing we are trying. In addition to her marvelous fashions, her shop includes art from local artists. She has also been teaching Swahili and sewing classes, which I think is awesome! I think we are going to have tons of fun this summer.

If you are in York, certainly pay her a visit at GUSA by Victoria.

Anyway, in keeping with her theme of African design for these summer camp experiences, I am writing a book of short stories where sewing or crafting is relevant to the story in some way. I know I am rewriting a Kenyan Cinderella story (no prince, no glass slipper, but a talking flamingo) and a Kenyan version of the Miller's Daughter/Rumpelstiltskin (no baby, no talking animals, but a smart young woman having to find a way out of a bad situation with a tricky suitor).

I also wanted to include some modern stories, and I definitely wanted a few stories were boys were sewing, too. I hope you'll enjoy this first one I want to share with you.

Boys Sew, Too


“Drat! The button came off my sweater and I can’t get this thread through my needle!” Evie complained to her friend Nairobi. Classes had been dismissed early, so students were on the playgorund outside the building. Parents would be arriving soon, but not immediately.
“Can I help?” Evan, a boy from their class, asked.
“You?” Evie scoffed. “Boys can’t sew!”
She and Nairobi laughed at the idea.
“We do, too!” Evan insisted. “When I was very young, I watched my grandfather repair fishing nets. Later, he showed me how. Then, my mother said if I fix any holes I rip in my clothes while playing, I won’t get in trouble for them. So I’m pretty good now.” Evan puffed out his chest with pride, and twisted his leg to show some stitches that were not created by the original designer. “See? Lots of practice.”



Image Created by Phyl Campbell using StoryBoard That!


Evie looked at Evan. Then she looked at Nairobi. Both girls shrugged their shoulders. It was worth a try.
“All right. I guess I trust you.” Evie said finally.
“Gee. Thanks. Thanks a lot.” Evan said with a frown.
“Besides,” Evie added, “buttons are easy. I just can’t get my thread through the eye of my needle, and I left my threader at home.”
“Why don’t you just wait until you get home?” Nairobi wanted to know.
“I don’t get home until late tonight. I have a music lesson, and then soccer practice,” Evie replied.
Evan cleared his throat. “Are you going to let me help? Can I see your needle?”
“I don’t know. CAN you?” Nairobi teased.
“Do you want my help or not?” Evan held out his hand impatiently.
Evie handed him the needle. “You MAY have it,” she said.
Evan held the needle with one hand. The eye of the needle was small, but his plan would still work. He slid his backpack off his shoulder and with his free hand fished out a notebook. He tore a small corner of a piece of paper out of the notebook. He folded the small piece in half and held it to the eye of the needle. Unsatisfied, he tore the piece even smaller, folded it in half again, and held it to the eye of the needle once more.
Evie and Nairobi watched, fascinated.
“What are you doing?” Nairobi asked.
“You’ll see. Evie, hand me the thread, please.”
Evie handed Evan the thread. Evan placed the edge of the thread inside the fold of the small piece of paper. Then, he pushed the paper with the thread inside through the eye of the needle.
When he finished, he pulled the paper off the thread and stuffed it in his pocket. The needle was threaded.

Image Created by Phyl Campbell using MS Paint.


“Whoah! That was cool!” Nairobi said.
Evan grinned. “I know.” He handed the threaded needle back to Evie. “You CAN have that back now,” he teased. He put his notebook back in his backpack and started to walk away.
“Wait, Evan.”
“Yeah?” Evan turned back toward the girls.
“That was really cool, Evan,” Evie said. “Thanks for showing us that trick.” She set to work re-attaching the button to her sweater.
“You’re welcome. Glad I could help.” Evan said.
“All done!” Evie said. She snipped the last thread and put her tiny sewing kit away.
“Great! Now you can help me with something,” Evan said.
“Sure. What is it?”
“See, well, I was playing tag over there and I was IT.” He reached over and tagged Evie. “But now you are!”
“Hey! Wait a minute! Evan!”
“No tagbacks!”
Evie quickly reached over and tagged Nairobi. “No tagbacks.”
Both girls got up to join their friends in the game.

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