Sewing (sentimentally) for the Girl: the Kindergarten Fave

This will be the first of (hopefully!) many posts about my girl Twinkle’s Fall wardrobe. The girly gone done and grew up too fast, and I’m sentimentally designing a few (too many) things for her special educational start.  My boy is also in dire straights for Sunday attire and more Summer wear, and Baby Girl could  use some more staples to spit up on. And let’s not even dive into the pool of planned pieces for me (I such a selfish sewist!!) So you see, I’m just SWAMPED with sewing projects, which exactly why tonight I agreed  to do a custom bride’s maid alteration. Oh boy!

Anyway, this little color-blocked shirt is particularly sentimental to me, because it is to the very best of my memory, a recreation of my favorite shirt when I was in Kindergarten.  My shirt was purple, and instead of lace it was mesh, but the simple color-blocking and design are the same.  I remember many a morning before school selecting once again the Kindergarten Fave and then dismally assessing the dried and crusted selection of food and worse that had collected on my shirt front. I distinctly remember having the thought Oh it’s okay. Everyone will just think I got it dirty at breakfast! I was concerned that three days worth of accumulated crap would give me away, and yet it never occurred to me that people may remember me WEARING THE SAME SHIRT THREE DAYS IN A ROW. Ah, the logic of a 5 year-old.

I recently came into some beautiful, soft lace  (in the same way that people sometimes come into money) , and I dyed both the knit and lace in the same dye bath (which was an experimental mix of orange and hot pink). They took the color so differently (!), but I’m totally happy with the result. I just completely winged the pattern, and it luckily turned out great.  Sometimes I get lucky like that.

My color-blocking technique was simple: I made a simple 1-piece pattern, cut diagonally, and then added a seam allowance to both edges. Pieced them together, and then proceeded normally. Here’s a quicky color-blocking lesson I gleaned from my Sew Splashy swimwear booklet:

For further reference on how I made this shirt see my basic pattern blocking tutorial, as well as my finishing techniques for knit fabric

Isn’t this shot  just mind-blowingly hysterical? Totally hilar. 

Dude, that girly of mine is straight up adorbs. And yes, I just said that word and No I’ll never do it again.

30 Comments

mattandkikismith

This is awesome! I pinned it and am debating whether the first one I make will be for me or for my girl. Thanks for sharing.

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Jacinta

This is fantastic …. i could totally see my two girls and me wearing that this summer …. the lace is so pretty !

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the mither

This post reflects the journey of mitherhood. Child #1; Spend two HOURS (and yes I clocked it, day after day) arguing with child about what clothing is appropriate to wear around the house, ie. does it match properly, is it cute enough, comfortable enough, etc. By child #4: Is the child naked? NO? Good enough. Lest DCFS rush back in time to arrest me, I will add in my defense, I DID make protests about this shirt Mim is describing from time to time. But Mim was DETERMINED that this was THE shirt and the ONLY shirt worth wearing (not once but again, and again, and again and again and again). But the fact I didn’t stay up late nights washing it reveals I must not have been willing to get over-involved in this decision. If only you’d had a mither like Josie does, who sews cute shirt after cute shirt, maybe you wouldn’t have been reduced to thinking you had only ONE cute shirt! I will also note that from Kindergarten on I was never allowed to touch your hair. You had your own ideas of style that did not include my help. If you ever did relent and ask me to put in a french braid or something, in a few minutes I would see that it was pulled out as whatever I had done had “bumps” in it or for whatever reason did not measure up to your high five year old standards! I’m just saying this to comfort any mothers with high-spirited children out there, that really it’s okay. I remember thinking with child #1 that “if I win this battle I will crush her spirit, and then really we’ve both lost.” So it was a quasi-intentional neglect, this letting go of my will over my children’s. I wanted them to be free to become themselves. I can’t say now whether it happened because or in spite of my efforts, but I stand back in awe of all my wonderful kidlets and their own journey of self and parenthood, and I’m grateful.

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Yam B Fan

The shirt is a-d-d-d-d-o-r-a-b-l-e and of course, so is Miss Josie Pie!!!!! The colors are sensational and look terrific on her. And I love her modeling joy–makes me happy just to see her! What a fun childhood, getting to be a model, (without makeup and other ridiculousness)–just the fun of it!

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the mither

and p.s. I also love it that you, with all that perfectionism that I know is buried inside of you, seem to effortlessly let Jo-jo wear whatever wild combination her heart desires of all those cutisms you’ve created for her!

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Miriam

Thanks Mom, I think that one of the reasons why it’s so important to me to respect her style is that I felt that you respected mine when I was a girl! I don’t know if you were just exasperated with my particularities or letting me just be me, but I FELT that I had a sense of individualism in my style that was important to me, and now, important that Josie have her own style. Now the REAL test will be letting her go to school dressed in what she fancies, because it’s all well and good to let her be HER around the house! I will do my best to respect her style!!
Love you, Mom!

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the mither

I can feel the dilemma ahead. I used to fantasize about having a truly mix and match wardrobe for you kids wherein everything actually coordinated and there was no possible way to go wrong. But since your wardrobes included a large number of hand-me-downs I was never able to come close to achieving this! Let me share that one Sunday I can remember seeking to persuade one child out of a particularly outlandish choice and I said “people at church might make fun of you.” This had the effect I desired, which I was glad about. But from that point onward I noticed that child being concerned about what people would think. I ended up being very sorry I had pulled the peer-pressure card, inadvertently creating a concern in a child that might not have arisen, at least so soon or so consciously. I later heard another mom handle it like this “You get to make choices all during the week, today it’s my turn to make a choice, and I need you to look extra-special today, okay?” That might have worked better. It also might work to pull out bunches of clothes and have a little pre-lesson in coordination of colors, etc. pointng out that say blue with a contrasting color tends to work better than throwing together several shades of blue, etc. and then let her mind work with that. I really did/do believe that it’s important to let kids have as much autonomy as possible and opportunity to make choices (and mistakes while the stakes are low). Whatever you do I know you’ll do great!

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marseille

so is she going to public school next year? i am curious what you decided & why.

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Miriam

Danielle, THANK YOU!!!! Seriously, that made my day! I love love love when people take the time to say and do nice things! Take care, and say hi to your fam for me!

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Laurin Muller

I bet you anything- you will use the word adorbs again!! Once you start…. Love this shirt, and just discovered your blog. I’m always interested in cute handmade girls clothes that aren’t too ‘cutesy’, or to ‘pillowcase dressy’! Ha.

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Miriam

Oh I totally agree! I think that’s why I love sewing for my kids–my daughter especially! I get to nip all that “cutesy” right in the bud!

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Brittney

I love this SO much, and WILL be making this for one of my girls asap. I have a bit of white lace leftover waiting for the perfect project. Thanks so much for the inspiration! And my girl may or may not have just worn a sweet little mommy made blouse for the third day in a row today, so your story made me smile.

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