Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The School Dress

OK, I am super excited and proud of myself.  I have to admit it.  It took me a long time, but I finally made S a dress out of her school shirt.  She started kindergarten this year and I REALLY wanted her to like it.  It has been a tough year with the move and it has been a bit hard for all of us to find our place here.  I hoped, and have not been disappointed, that a new school year with a new class where most people were new would give us an opportunity to meet people.  It has.  S seems to be enjoying her class and her classmates.  I have met many nice mothers and school staff.

Along with being verbally positive about school, I have also tried to make it positive with things. For instance, like many of your kids, she got to pick out her backpack and lunch box.  She got to buy some new school clothes and shoes.  Back in May, we had kindergarten orientation and they sold school shirts.  I encouraged S to get one even though I knew she might never wear it.  She is not into t-shirts like those.  She would get one each year from her gymnastics class but never wear it.  I don't blame her.  They don't fit like the tees from Target.  They are huge on her.  They are wide, like two times her size, and then the sleeves go down to her elbow because the shoulder seem is halfway down her arm.  But, like I said, I really wanted to encourage her and help her see the "coolness" in her new school.

It has been 4 months now and even though the shirt was washed and hanging in her closet she did not wear it once.  I knew that I would have to alter it if I ever wanted her to wear it.  I have been trying to decide what to do and how to do it for about the entire 4 months.  Finally, I went to Target and bought some t-shirts that were on sale so that I could try to make a dress out of it.  Here were my starting supplies:

My original thought was to make the shirt itself narrower and then to add gathered tiers similar to t-shirt dresses I made before.  The shirt was a youth small but even that was way too wide.  I started by just cutting about two inches from each side, cutting off the sleeves as well.  When I then sewed up the sides and put it on S, it was still very long going below her bottom.  I like the tie-dye look to the shirt and wanted to preserve it as much as possible, so I knew the original idea would not work.

When I think of school skirts, I often think of pleated ones (too many catholic school girl characters on TV). So, I thought that I could just use about 5 in. of the maroon t-shirt (a mens' XXL) and add that to the bottom.  I did nothing to the width, just used the bottom 5 in. of the shirt.  I attached it to the altered KRS shirt by pinning it to the middles and sides.  Then I made the pleats (4 front/4 back) so that all the material was used up.  This saved lots of sewing!!  After I did that, I wanted to make the sleeves long since it is about to be cold up here.  I also needed to make the diameter of the sleeves smaller so that they would fit her arm.  (Even after I did this and tried to make the maroon part of the sleeves narrow, she still says they are big.) So I cut up the sleeves, added the maroon part and then reattached.  I faked the serger-type seam on the sleeves so that it would look more "normal."  Here is the finished article:

 It seems like I still could of taken a couple of inches away from the width, but I wanted it to be easy for her to play in.  She likes it a lot and wore it to school the first day she could.  She even got a compliment on it before school even started.

I so wish we could find maroon knee socks. That would look so cute.  I might buy some white ones and dye them maroon.  That would mean she could wear the dress even in colder weather and look super cute.

Her sister has already asked for one of her own!

I was really wild and crazy this weekend and made the girls cute (in my opinion) little change purses that have a strap.  I saw a little girl at the Y with one and thought it was a great idea.  S has already lost one wallet and I fear it may be in a shopping cart at Target or the grocery store.  With a strap she can just wear it.  So far it has not caught on with the girls  :(

That is all for now.  Hopefully, I will have more soon!

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