Sewing the Squirrels – mistakes and corrections – I am learning

I started cutting the squirrels without first measuring my parka. Big mistake! I cut all the squirrels and all I had left was to sew based on the exact measurements. My mom and her high school classmate Anna Jacobson encouraged me to continue and they said it’s ok – that I am in the learning process. 🌸

My first sewing of the squirrels I doubt myself but I believe because people believe in me. In the dime light limited by lack of electricity and modern antiquities – our ancestors figured out a way to survive the harsh Arctic conditions by making nature into themselves.

Under the electric light in the darkest time of the year on a different time – we are blessed because of the what was in the past – perseverance one thread at a time.



I will have to continue even after the mistake of cutting without measuring the parka. In the mean time I have started sewing the squirrels together piece by piece

I started by below the center shield; front from below the shield it is 23.5 inches long and the back measures 25 inches long. The width of the center squirrel is 5 inches. I had 4 inches in most of the squirrels so I had to add 1/2 inches on both sides to make 5″ width. The good thing about these mistakes is that you can add by sewing to make the measurements right.

From the center I will sew the squirrel parka out to the sides to merge the front and back. Shoulders and then arms out. Most of the parkas I have inspected I always go straight to the arm pit to see how it’s done. Measuring tape will be my contemporary tool and I will research the hand finger measurements when time permits. img_7528Thank you for being patient with me with my posting of the parka progress. There is more to come.

Merry Christmas; the reason for this season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus! ❤️🌸

Author: Nasek'taq

Merna Wharton “Nasek’taq” is Yup'ik from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) lives in Anchorage Alaska. Merna is an Alaska Native artist, poet, traditional and contemporary seamstress, carver, gatherer of greens and berries, and loves the outdoors of Alaska! Merna enjoys finding art in natural elements and shares her experiences through her website, Merna crafts to preserve her culture and art and shares her worldview from a remote village Yup’ik girl’s perspective with a glimpse of life in Alaska in her writing and poems. More information about her art can be found at

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