Sunday, 18 April 2010

School holidays, school dresses

These school holidays have passed in a very satisfactory, full sort of way.  We had a long, lazy Easter weekend, spent some days in Oxford with my parents (and went to the fantastic Black Country Living Museum - do go if you live in the Midlands), saw the Cuban National Ballet on tour in London, had days out with friends geocaching in Epping Forest and learning about cell biology at the University of London Medical School, went running around Kew Gardens with cousins, and even managed to fit in a couple of lazy days at home.

The holiday was rounded off beautifully yesterday, with my nephew Ben's Christening.  He is now my Godson as well as my nephew, and I took full advantage of my special dual status to get as many cuddles as I could with him.

Three generations - my father, me and nephew/Godson Ben

And today I've started to turn my attentions to the new term at school.  I made O the first of several school summer dresses.  The pattern I used is the dress version of the strawberry top I made her last month - Simplicity 2986.

I added a patch pocket, and used some ricrac and ribbon to fancify it a little bit.  The ribbon down the centre of the yoke looks a bit strange - not how I pictured it.  Next time, I'll add buttons instead.

For the facing on the yoke I used some of the Liberty limited edition V&A fabric.  It is very soft cotton so perfect for a lining or a facing, and I rather like the idea of having a very non-uniform fabric hidden away somewhere on the dress.

I bought the gingham fabric from Fabric World - and got metres and metres for £10.  I initially tried Doughtys, but when I opened the parcel of gingham it was a bright turquoise, and the wrong size of check.  I'm all for hiding a bit of secret Liberty fabric on a school dress, but large turquoise check would be pushing the school rules too far I think.

But it was not a disaster getting a parcel of bright turquoise gingham.  I made myself a second summer blouse from Weekend Sewing.  This time it was trimmed with a luscious green Kaffe fabric, last spotted as the backing of my cushion here.

And I love how it turned out again.  Light, floaty, swingy - and in this turquoise gingham rather bright and zingy!

So they have been a really good couple of weeks, and we're all ready for the excitement of the summer term and maybe some cheeky camping weekends if this warm, sunny weather holds. 

I'll leave you with another gratuitous baby photo - this time of Ben with his oldest cousin Cam.  What a gorgeous pair of boys!


  1. I love the idea of homemade school dresses - not only does it look lovely, it's also not covered in Teflon (which drives me potty - why do M&S think I'd want this horrible chemicalness next to my children's skin?!) - it had never even occurred to me to make my own though.

    Love all your lovely dressmaking - the HR tops are both wonderful. x

  2. The school dress must be the nicest I've ever seen, much better than the ones from the shops.

  3. Sounds like a fun-filled fortnight!
    I'm off to Kew on Tuesday (definately not running though!).

    I'm feeling truly inspired by your lovely tops.

  4. I love your top - what a happy fabric accident.

  5. Your lucky daughter. Mine will, sadly, be in the ubiquitous M&S - if I did get the energy to sew them anything, I would be too upset to see it come home after one day covered in indelible whiteboard marker.

    Which they all do, in my house.

  6. Oh blimey, school dress time again. That is a very gorgeous one. As is your top - again.

  7. That reminds me how much I loved my summer gingham dresses when I was small. Think you're right to just go for a top - head to toe gingham not always a good look in an adult, but the top looks perfect.

  8. I love your school dress - it's beautiful and unique. I just wish I could persuade Daisy to let me make her one - she was complaining the other day that the school dresses she has aren't 'fashionable' enough! I really wish she wasn't so interested in keeping up with the other girls in her class!

    Lucy x

  9. Oooooh! Ben is all cuddly and gorgeous!!!
    Very impressed with O's dresses, she will be the envy of her class mates.
    Still not up for camping yet-too cold at night for me until at least June!x


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