a little plaid jumper

so guess what, guys?  pre-k is going GREAT!  sure she’s been slow to get out of bed in the morning, sure she’s in bed by 7pm many nights because she’s so tuckered out, but nearly three weeks in, it’s pretty clear this kid was ready for school.

uniform jumper

she’s coming home happy, singing new songs, bringing us art projects, talking about friends, even writing her name more clearly.

the thing i was worried about the most – whether little miss picky dresser would be okay wearing the school uniform – has been a nonissue.  in fact, even though she could wear free dress for the first two weeks, she started asking to wear the uniform just a couple days in!  i was unprepared!

uniform jumper

i did get this jumper made for her.  i was pretty excited about trying to sew some uniform stuff, because it’s tradition – i’ve got a cute photo of me in pigtails wearing a mama-made jumper on the first day of first grade.  Em’s school uniform policy is more strict than mine was, but i talked to the principal over the summer and she said as long as i bought the plaid fabric from the uniform company directly and tried to copy the styles as closely as possible, she was very encouraging of me sewing some things for Em.  it was a bit of a bummer for me that i didn’t have much leeway though, especially since i’ve been so inspired by the variety of uniforms night knitter makes with oliver + s patterns.  oh well,  i still snuck one in.  😉

uniform jumper

since i couldn’t change things up much, i ended up sewing more for cost rather than creativity.  though the fabric is $20/yd (way more than i normally spend!), the jumpers are $47 to buy.  it doesn’t even take a yard of fabric to make one, so the savings is pretty hefty.  the principal gave me a jumper from the uniform exchange to make a pattern from (very helpful!), and it turns out the construction was pretty simple – just a bib with facings and folded over sides topstitched to a pleated skirt.  for the bottom i used the 2+2 skirt by oliver + s which was totally perfect, but that polyester is weird stuff and there is a learning curve on matching up the plaid (though i think i might’ve done a better job on that than the factory!).  i made a 3T lengthened a couple inches, then blindstitched the hem by hand to mimic the original.

and because i have a rebellious streak, there’s a pink button hidden in there for her.

uniform jumper

she loves looking like the big kids, down to the playground-friendly shoes her grammie and grandpa got her (way better than the ballet flats she usually lives in).  really, i think her favorite part of school is that she feels like a big kid when she’s there.  the school is pre-k through 8th grade so she looks TINY next to the rest of the grade schoolers lined up in the morning; but it’s pretty much adorable.

uniform jumper

so even though she’s a big important school kid now, she’s still our twirling little Em.

uniform jumper

and we’re very proud of her.


36 thoughts on “a little plaid jumper

  1. carolyn says:

    Yay! I’m so glad to hat that she’s loving school…and her uniform! You did such a fantastic job sewing up that jumper. But of course my favorite part has to be the secret pink button!

    • bobble says:

      She looks great! Nice job!!

      I must admit after 3 years of sewing uniforms, I have grown to love it! I love the pink button. I sneak in little pops of color in button choices and by choosing colorful fabrics for the facing and lining.

      • kristin says:

        i think i’d love it more if i could make that music box jumper! i sent a link to your creations to the principal before i realized i needed to copy the store one exactly. wish i could do more styles! :/

  2. Andrea says:

    I love her smile! AND the pink button! Still waiting to see some lace-trimmed socks (and where’s the picture of you wearing your jumper?!?!) 🙂

  3. sewchibi says:

    Oh so cute!! On one hand I LOVE the look of school jumpers. Then on the other hand, I hate blending in too much (shocking I know 😉 And the repetition would make me sad. The high school I went to in the south starting wearing uniforms the year after I graduated. One of my teachers jokes to my mom about how AWFUL that would have been for me lol. We should all post a pic from high school for fun. How HILARIOUS would that be?!

    I miss seeing those sweet beat up pink ballet flats on her little feet! Hey maybe you could make her a set of school flats and tights or something! I like the idea someone had about the fun linings… you think you could get away with that?!

    Anyways, she looks adorable!! Can’t wait to see you all soon! Azy can’t wait to see “her girl”, Applejack!

    • kristin says:

      I didn’t have to wear them in high school, but by eighth grade i was SO SICK of navy blue and white, i wouldn’t wear it for years.

      her tights need to be either plain navy blue or white, but her shoes can be whatever. i like these because they seem better for her feet than cheap ballet flats, and stay on better than her TOMS. she does change up her shoe selection though!

      can’t wait to play with you guys again too!

  4. Lucinda says:

    How wonderful for you and Em both that her school year has gotten off to such a great start. Every momma wants her kid to look forward to school, and yay that Em does! Great looking uniform – I think the pink button is a terrific nod to being just a bit unique:)

  5. sascha says:

    Wow that looks great! I can’t believe they charge that kind of money and yours is nicer. I have always admired Knight Knitters uniforms too! They almost make me wish my kids were at a uniform school. Almost. Luca would die but the boys wouldn’t care much.

  6. kim says:

    wow, awesome sewing and Em looks so freaking adorable! it’s killing me how cute she is in her uniform. I envy your proximity to the school she’s at, too. The public schools in C-ville are good, but I wish we had your options. Anyways, I’m so glad she’s loving school. We need to catch up soon so I can hear more about it!

  7. Laura says:

    Shame you were so limited creatively but you did a great job. Poor matching up really bugs me too, can’t believe they charge $47 for them and then don’t match it up properly. Maybe she’ll be more excited about wearing your skirts at home now too.

  8. Melanie says:

    I would love to know how you found the right fabric, at my sons Catholic school, the girls wear plaid jumpers. But the uniform stores only sell horrid polyester or acetate things. If could find the right plaid in a lovely cotton, I would buy it by the bolt. I’m jealous of those creative uniforms too. The public schools here have more of a strict dress code than an actual uniform, so you could be creative, but not at ours.

  9. Max says:

    Super cute! I remember when the new school uniforms were phased into my primary school, my mum was asked to test the pattern so I got the first uniform ever made! Mine had white buttons and then the rest of the school’s uniform had navy buttons ^_^ I was always so stoked about that

  10. Rachel says:

    excellent execution on reproducing the uniform jumper! I was wondering how you found the exact fabric (thanks for explaining that).
    my daughter is now attending a school that has a uniform that consists of khaki bottoms/jumpers, but all the tops have to have the school logo professionally embroidered on it, so although I cannot sew any tops or jumpers, I can sew skorts, shorts, pants… so I do plan to sew a couple of pairs of khaki pants hopefully in the near future.
    thankfully we don’t have this problem: http://lainglesita.blogspot.com/2012//grrrrrrrrrrrr.html

    • kristin says:

      thanks. i saw that post…ugh. our uniform bottoms are actually pretty good quality actually. i’ve ended up buying a few more pieces just because uniform sewing wasn’t too fun for me, but i’ll add a few more later i’m sure.

  11. Cheera says:

    You did an awesome job! I was wanting to know where did you get the fabric from? I am trying to find that and the matching ribbon for hair bows.

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