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.