Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year In Review, Part One: Revolutionary Heroine or Disturbed Trouble-maker?

Interesting non-conformist or irritating agitator? Charming individualist or borderline sociopath?


Last weekend was a five-day vacation for me: five days of sweet, sweet freedom from the hellish nightmare of endless toil and sufferin-- er.  I was off from work.  And I knew that at least some of that time I would spend sewing.  Or I hoped so.  I had two pairs of jammies, a shirt-dress and a blouse all half-sewn on the table.  I also had two knitted skirts, completed up to about row 8 and two knitted earwarmers,completed up to about... row 8.  (Row 8 seems to be pivotal for me in some way.)  These were all, of course, supposed to be Christmas gifts.

By December 24 at 4:00 pm I had completed one earwarmer. 

I did, however, complete the jammies and the shirt-dress by my last evening off.  And once again, I went whizzing around on the "Why do I stress myself out about a leisure pursuit?" merry-go-round.  I know, I know, we all take a spin on that particular ride now and then.  Usually my little trips are pretty uninformative.  (I do have an amazing ability to combine deep introspective thought with a pathological refusal to acknowledge or alter my self-destructive behaviors. I'm special like that.)

This time, however, I actually came to some conclusions. It's amazing how cogent you become when you've actually had some sleep for three or four days in a row.

Conclusion #1: I think everyone should wear unique and interesting clothes. Or at least my kids should.

Conclusion #2: I actually do have to make TLo's clothing. And in that case I should really make at least some of The Big One's too or she'll get a complex.

Conclusion #3: Artistically speaking, I am a colorist. I always have been. Apparently in garment-making, this translates into wanting to make simply-styled clothes with lots of funky, bright fabric combinations and not highly-detailed, complicated designs with muted, subtle fabrics.

Conclusion #4: I feel compelled, in the interest of keeping myself interested, to make clothes that are either challenging to design or challenging to construct.

Conclusion #5: Conclusions number 1-4 do not combine well with making uniform-appropriate clothes.

Conclusion #6: I really really really hate the school uniform policy.

Hmmph. I don't like my conclusions.

But of course in typical fashion, I did not decide (as perhaps a more mentally sound person would) to just stop making clothes I don't want to make.  No, instead I resolved to even further attempts at twisting and torturing completely inappropriate patterns into something that I could at least nominally call School Appropriate.  Regardless of their actual appropriateness.  I told you I was special.

Which is all to say, I had an idea and I'm not sure it works.

IMG-env-frntB4217-design-changeSo what do you think? Can a surplice knit dress have a collar arbitrarily added to it and look... Not Crazy?   Because The Big One has some serious surplice love since way back and I thought I might try to use her favorite pattern to make a school dress. 

Please vote.


edit: Thanks to everyone who commented and voted so far (and everyone else, please keep voting!)

Uniform Policy Refresher Course:



shirts/blouses/dresses: collar, sleeves
solid color (any)
jumpers/pants/skirts: navy, brown, black, khaki

indoor jackets/sweaters:

solid color (any)
socks/tights: solid color (any)


  1. Of course I voted for the collar. Just because I want to see if the school calls and makes you pick her up for inappropriate wearable. :P

  2. You know you want to...

    What about a stand up/mandarin style collar? Is that uniform friendly?

    I actually do think it would be cute, and it wouldn't be a difficult mod to make. Try it and see!

  3. Looks cute and do-able. Who cares what the school says? Now that my kids are grown I can say LOUDLY that I hate school administrators. They are so THE MAN about the most trivial things.

  4. Definitely put the collar on. Maybe the school dress-authorities won't notice. I think a collar would look great on this pattern.

  5. I am in the mandarin collar camp. In fact I think you should make her a full, perfectly fitted (single colour) cheongsam.

    ... but I might actually be trying to get you called on it, too. ;)

    I try to alternate projects for my kids, but it does get thrown out of kilter by certain projects (like Tyo's winter coat) and hand-me-downs (I owe one of them a pair of jeans, but I'm not sure which).

    I vote you pick whichever option makes you blog more, because I love your posts :)

  6. I vote the collar too. Ott woman did something similar with #17 here-

  7. Don't ever stop sewing! The collar works, and I voted!

  8. Do it!
    Are prints completely off limits? Even if they are monochromatic? I think I may need a uniform policy refresher.

  9. Yes! The collar works!

    TLo is a lucky girl you can sew. She is also lucky you don't just sew boring stuff.

  10. Definitely a collar, mandarin or flat. (BTW, that is so not a uniform policy. Our uniform policy involves Harrow Grey. And a striped tie. And a shirt. Mornings are full of fun here...)

  11. I am totally with you on conclusion 4, and totally opposite on conclusion 3. This should make me a happy fulfilled sewer - oh, yeah, it does ;-)

    Good luck with the uniform policy - here there's ONE uniform once they get to that age. No interpretaion required (just loads of cash)


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