Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Uniformity. It’s Still So… Uniform.

So, should I be disturbed that my post about a random celebrity I've never met (or am likely to meet) has engendered more commentary, email and excitable conversation than... anything I actually contributed to the world?  I mean, contributed other than bringing the amazing hawtness of Jason Isaacs to your attention.  I didn't make Jason Isaacs.  I didn't offer any useful addition to the world at large or even the small cosmos of our little sewing circle (again, other than perhaps my bringing the amazing hawtness of Jason Isaacs to your attention... which I supposed is worth something...).

-sigh-  Sadly, I feel this might be the story of my life. The generating of random useless pieces of entertainment is my contribution to the world.

Jonas Salk I am not.

Saying that, I have now heard three or four interesting stories about meeting super-hot celebrities-- some random and fleeting, some... not so random or fleeting.  This is pretty cool (for me).  But... useful?  Contributing to the Greater Good?  Hmmm.

To make myself feel better, I'm posting up pictures of the latest addition to TLo's school uniform.


Ottobre 1-2007 #19.  I made this in Angelina Ballerina fabric for The Big One when she was four.  It was keeeyute-cute. It suddenly sprang back to mind this past week as a more interesting option than a plain A-line jumper.  I had to grade it up in width, as TLo is now a 116/122 in length but a 134/146 in width and this pattern only goes up to 128.  Still that wasn't very tricky, I just added some width to everything down the center front and back based on the difference between the body measurements for a 128 and a 146.  Easy-peasy.

No, the big problem was the ruffles.  This pattern calls for a full back in fashion fabric and then attaching the ruffles to that.  Which when I made it in light-weight cotton wasn't a problem.  However, not so good when using bottom-weight twill.  I was worried the dress would weigh forty pounds and possibly I'd get a phone call from school saying my child was stuck on her back like an overturned turtle, arms and legs waving frantically in the air because of her ridiculously overbalanced dress.  I had visions of all the other kids solemnly stepping over her on the playground or a swarm of crazed seven-year-olds howling in panic about "that kid who's stuck on her back under the jungle gym".

Obviously the solution was to make the ruffles in something light-weight.  Except it had to match the base fabric exactly, lest I get a nasty phone call from the school informing me my child's uniform was not uniform.  (OK fine, I've never once received such a call but still... I don't want to chance it.)

Here’s an over-exposed image to show you the ruffles better:


I have thirty-three pieces of light brown, dark brown and navy blue fabric.  Not one of them matches another one.  Not. One.  Much cursing was to be heard.  And I just downright refuse to buy one more piece of light brown, dark brown or navy blue fabric until I get rid of some of that other stuff.  Even I have fabric-buying limits.

Stop laughing.

Despite the fact that I didn't think red-headed TLo would really rock a black dress, blacks are slightly easier to match.  I finally managed to match up a black twill with a black knit close enough to get by.  In the photos it looks like the knit is much darker, but that's a trick of the lighting.  It's not nearly so noticeable in person.


I also used a black-and-white cotton print to do the pockets and the little decorative bar on the front of the bodice.  Despite the above avowal of trying to avoid a distraught phone call from school about non-uniform uniforms, I feel compelled to include a small detail of pattern or color in these dumb things.


Yes.  I'm a rebel like that.

One note if you're going to make this yourself, something I realized the last time I made this and forgot about this time: the straps are crazy long.  I put TLo's buttons about 4-5 inches up the length of the straps and they really need to come up another 2 inches at least.  In fact, I had to pin up the straps this morning before she went to school because they were just not snug enough.  It's almost as if Ottobre designed the straps to use adjustable overall buckles and then forgot and did buttons-and-buttonholes instead.  Which if you want to do overall buckles would be handy.  If I make this again (I probably will, it's just too cute not to), I think I'll do that.

I like to avoid buttonholes whenever possible.


  1. Siriously woman, how am I supposed to stop buying Ottobre back issues every timeI turn around when you keep making such cute things from them?!? Myra must have that dress. Off to plunk down 10 more euros.

  2. Don't be ridiculous, your contribution to the world is your often strange blog posts that make me laugh uncontrollably at their randomness and oddness. And don't think that isn't important, cause it is. At least to me. Cute uniform.

    Word Verification: ropaterv-is this a dinosaur. Must ask Tanit-Isis.

    Why do you have the most interesting word verifications?

  3. I think I've made this dress before. I'm sure of it. Gah... I have such a bad memory.

  4. Well, this is the ruffliest uniform I've ever seen (not that I'm an expert). Good for you for going to the extra effort of making a non-uniform uniform that still qualifies as a uniform.

  5. Matching isn't important anymore. Haven't you heard? Color blocking is the new black? Oh, I guess you have!

  6. This is no ordinary uniform! My kids school would never allow it, but boy would the kids love it!

  7. That is SO MUCH CUTER than the drab uniforms (one design, everyone exactly the same) that kids here have to wear! It would make a uniform so much less boring to have a ruffle back dress. My three year old isn't in a uniform......

  8. Oh, and as for avoiding buttonholes - were you and Keely separated at birth by any chance?

  9. LOL @ Judy Ross-- seems to me that's not the first time that question's come up. I totally related to anyone who wants to avoid buttonholes...

  10. That is a totally, totally adorable jumper. Your ambition and patience in sewing to School Nazi specifications continues to astound me.

    Also, as usual, I agree with Elle C---your contribution of humour is far from insignificant and your posts are always a high point of my day (even if I do find them two days late... sorry)

    Speaking of Elle C, while I'm not aware of any dinosaur currently called Ropaterv, I will definitely keep it in mind if I should ever be naming a dinosaur (this is unlikely since I don't work on them, but, y'know). Although to me it sounds kinda like a new prescription drug. Perhaps one to cure buttonholitis.

    my word verificaiton: tions. I'm thinking it's a mal-folding protein that causes sewing disasters. Perhaps it's the name of the condition that Ropaterv treats.

  11. Every girl needs a little black dress, or so I hear.

    Crap, I better get busy and finish mine!


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