The First Day Of School Dress That Almost Wasn't


I'd like you all to know that you shamed me into making this dress.  Until I saw all of your posts on clothes that you made for your kid's first day of school, I had resigned myself to the fact that this dress just wasn't going to happen.  O definitely had an idea of what she wanted - "I need more long sleeved dresses" - but I didn't have any fabric in my stash that would meet her demands and I don't live close to any store that sells apparel fabric.  I had just accepted the fact that it wasn't going to happen this year, but then the guilt set in and I knew that I had to get my butt in gear, so we headed to a fabric store the Saturday before school started to search for some jersey fabric.  Unfortunately I wasn't in love with 99% of the knit fabrics that I saw.   So many were polyester knits and the others weren't particularly kid friendly.  Fortunately, stuck in between a bunch of quilting cottons was this Heather Ross knit fabric that just so happens to be 100% cotton and very kid friendly.  Now if it looks familiar it's because:

1) it's been used all over the internet and
2) I actually made O a shirt out of the red version of this fabric for her first day of school last year.

I swear that I didn't plan to use the same fabric for another first day of school outfit.  I'm a huge nerd, but not that big a nerd.

In an attempt to make O a nice comfy knit dress I started with the Flashback Tee pattern, elongated it, and widened it at the bottom.  My so-called attempts at pattern modification didn't go so well though. I tried to add gathers to the sleeves, but I didn't alter the sleeve enough so you can't really see the tiny, almost nonexistent gathers.

I also attempted to scoop out the neckline but I got a little overzealous and cut out way too much so I had to add gathers to the front to prevent the dress from looking like an off the shoulder Flash Dance tee.  Then I had some trouble getting the binding to lay flat along the neckline, but that's par for the course for me.  Also, the dress fits a bit bigger than I was imagining but that's probably because O is a string bean and I should have gone with a size 4, rather than the size 5.  The good news on that front though is that this dress will probably fit her for longer than a week.  Woo-hoo!

So, the dress is not quite what I imagined and doesn't fit quite like I would have preferred, but I seem to have a happy customer anyway and in the end, isn't that all that matters?

Happy first day of school, O!  You go, girl!

PS - You may have shamed me into making a dress, but you didn't shame me enough to make another backpack!  Store-bought backpack, baby!

PPS - Like the painter's tape on the door?  Keeping it real around here!


  1. I love your blog. My kids are grown now, but, with sewing -- and life! -- the process remains much the same. O looks like she is loving her new dress.

  2. I think the dress turned out super cute despite the invisible sleeve gathers. :) :) I have been there many times, trust me. :) I have the same fabric and now I want to make a dress like that. Every time I check your blog, I want to be a copy cat. :)

  3. HAHA you're welcome for the peer pressure, think I might've been one of those pushers. Such a cute dress! And really, knit dresses with sleeves are great for "take a sweater off immediately" girls. Happy school days, O!!

  4. I'm so glad you're blogging more again. I love your posts so much! I think the dress is great. And if it makes you feel better, Iris will be getting a third-week-of-school dress. Because, you know, first day of school would be too predictable. (hahaha) Speaking of school, when's your first day of school this semester?

  5. a) happy first day of school, O! b) great dress - wouldn't have guessed any of the issues c) I am very glad of compulsory school uniforms over here! d) we had painter's tape around our bathroom ceiling for about seven years, maybe more... it's totally hip, good to see you're catching on

  6. So stinkin' cute!

  7. i don't know how you do it, but your posts always make me smile (and laigh!), even now when i am visiting my relatives in The Netherlands! b
    By the way, i also love that Heather Ross fabric. Too bad my daughter is way too old to wear it. (senior in high scjool now) :-)

  8. sorry, this keyboard is a killer...

  9. Loving the dress, she looks so grown up in that 2nd to last pic (not so much in the last one as she tries to pry her wee sister off though ;o) )

  10. Oh, so cute! Of course I was thinking, ooh, I love that gathered neck, is that a new pattern? But you know if I tried to replicate it I would mess it up somehow, right? Haha.

    Yeah, after the backpack, I was like, you go ahead and wear that untucked onesie to the first day of school, Maggie. Fine by me. I have done my part.

    1. P.S. I like your yellow door. Are you going to change it or is that the fresh paint?

  11. hee that's great. Nothing new for my kids' first days this year! OH WELL!!! Love this dress!!

  12. O looks adorable in her first day of school picture! And hugging sisters? So cute!


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