Monday, April 13, 2009

Wonderful, marvelous pigs!

I've had this book in my stack for a long while. Having taught kindergarten for more than a few years I have more than my share of kid books. When I started having my own kids, I took my favorites out of my classroom stack and put them aside for my kids to enjoy. My oldest and I rediscovered this book last week. Phoebe Gilman writes in the lovely rhyming tradition of Dr. Suess. Jillian Jiggs is her feature character, a lively (if messy) little girl. In this tale Jillian discovers how to make these cute little pigs (making her room really looked as if it had been lived in by pigs). The last 2 pages of the book demonstrate how you can make these pigs, so we did. They are pretty easy to do. I sew very minimally and very basically. Here's what you will need:
-an old pair of tights (I went and bought a pair at Value Village for under $2)
-polyester thread
-ebroidery thread
-a button
-polyester stuffing (I took mine from an old throw pillow)
-felt or fleece (for ears)
First cut the end of one leg of tights about 25 cm (10 inches)

Fluff out your stuffing and fill 3/4 of the stocking

Begin sewing on his nose, eyes and mouth with the embroidery thread

use a whip stitch (polyester thread) to sew on the ears

make 4 small stuffing balls for the feet

one at a time, place the stuffing balls in place onto the body, use embroidery thread (it's thicker) to tie around the ends of the feet (tie them tight)

twist the open end of the pig into a tail and knot it, cut excess stocking off

And here's the pig!

Of course with 2 or more kids you have to be prepared to make 2 or more pigs. I made the 2nd one slightly different than the first to tell them apart (slightly different button noses and different colour ears)

Find The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs


  1. I loved this book growing up. There are so many great ones that I keep forgetting about. So I'll add it to my list of must haves for library.

  2. When I turned five, my mom threw me a Jillian Jiggs-themed birthday party. First, my mom read us the book (I already knew and liked it, but my guests didn't), then we each decorated a pantyhose pig that my mom had made before the party. I also remember that we made ice-cream sundaes in "troughs" (actually banana split dishes), and we also had a cake shaped like a pig. Anyway, it's so funny, because now they have Build-A-Bear, Build-A-Dino, and other similar places where people can pay a ton of money to "customize" a stuffed animal, but really, my mother (and Phoebe Gilman) came up with that concept long before Build-A-Bear was even thought of, except with pigs instead of bears.




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