Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sewing for Kindergarten

Today I am participating in Sewing for Kindergarten, hosted by Mie over at Sewing Like Mad. She has kindly agreed with me that I am an inconsistent blogger and so sweetly encouraged me to post something new on this rusty old blog. Thanks Mie! (Goodbye Easter dress post!)

So why am I sewing for kindergarten? Because my oldest went off to kindergarten this year.

This can be a touchy subject for new kindergarten moms.

I mean, somehow our babies go from this to this at an unreasonable lightning speed:

One day I am a brand new mom, scared and elated by this new little person I am responsible for. And the next day I am walking that not-so-little person through giant school doors into the real world and turning around and leaving her there. How did this happen?

I felt my share of these sentiments, but no, I did not cry on the big day. It was all excitement for us. After my own childhood experiences and also being a teacher, I have an idealized and special place in my heart for elementary schools, especially the early grades. I will be the mom balling when I have to take my baby to junior high (shudder)!

Note to self: Do not think about how quickly junior high will come. Just focus on kindergarten.

For at least the last year I have been excited for Drew to go to kindergarten, and also to sew stuff for her to go to kindergarten in! For a while I was buying tons of fabric and making tons of sketches, all plans for a homemade kindergarten wardrobe.

Right about the time when I started to draw patterns and sew together those plans I got a bad case of "I-Can't-Even-Look-at-My-Sewing-Machine-itis". It was a bad one and it lasted for a couple months. Needless to say, those wardrobe plans turned into making just a few things and letting H&M and Target fill in the gaps.

Here is what I did accomplish!

I love, love this ruffled tee. The peach knit is so soft and the blue stripes came from an old tee of mine, cut on the diagonal.

Another note: This messy hair look is what you get after an actual full day of kindergarten. It's the real deal.

Below you can see how I made this pattern if you wanted to try something similar. Start with your favorite bodice pattern. Cut it from shoulder seam to the center, then add your seam allowances. If you want the V-look using diagonal stripes, you will need to have a seam down the center of the bodice. For the front and back bodice of this shirt (not including sleeves) there were 8 pieces.

And another ruffled tee since I had already figured out the pattern. This one more simple though.

These harem pants are not very harem-y, I realize. They are definitely more slouchy around the crotch area than leggings though so I guess you could call them Comfy Pants or No-Wedgie Pants. Either way they are right down Drew's alley who is particularly sensitive about wedgies. I don't know why I cropped them above the calf. It was a last minute decision. I need to try making more No-Wedgie pants and tweak them a bit here and there.

If you'd like to try to make some yourself, see Mie's tutorial about altering leggings pattern to slouchy pants. I made my pattern almost exactly as she did.

And lastly my piece de resistance. The backpack. I let Drew pick out the fabric and the style of pack she wanted. I altered the pattern quite a bit and spent hours putting this thing together. I even hand embroidered little extras to make it extra unique and special.

And then.

At meet the teacher night, the day before school started, I was told kindergarteners aren't allowed to bring backpacks to school! What? "They take up too much room. And we have these cheap plain totes for each child to use. And they cost $3."

So essentially, after making this awesome backpack I had to pay money for her to wear a plain yellow tote to school. Ah well. Maybe she will still like it for first grade?

Here is to new handmade clothes, new experiences, and a great school year!


  1. No backpacks?!??? What a joke.

    Everything is beautiful and your daughter is lucky to have such a talented sewing mom. :)

  2. You know I LOVE it...just needed to say it again ;-)

    And seriously....could they not have informed you about the 'no backpack rule' a bit earlier than the evening before. Ugh ;-)

  3. No backpacks? That's just wrong! The cothes is super cute. Love the t-shirts. Drew is the best model.

  4. Love whole outfit! Especially the backpack! So sorry about no backpack rule... My daughters' preschool has no backpack rule, either, so I'm making totes for them, but I just LOVE your backpack! It's so cute and original!

  5. If that backpack is anything like ours, it will still get tons of other uses. Beautiful work!

  6. Awesome stuff! I recognize your daughter from one of my pins:'my name is drew':) look forward to following your blog!

  7. Oh please pretty please start blogging again! I love everything you made, including your writing and photography! I am so looking forward to seeing more ;)

  8. Super cool tops! And that backpack is just fabulous. I am in love with the stitching you personalized it with. So silly they won't allow backpacks at school, especially really amazing ones like what you made.

  9. Is very mad that they don't allow your own bag! That bagpack is adorable, but also the shirts are so nice and they look so fresh and comfy.

  10. glad you are back! I have a new kinder too and she starts next week! I love that top! and the harem pants, and the backpack. ok, love it all :).

  11. Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family. Baby Back Pack

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