I have not used much knit in my life, and my experiences with it have been touch and go. But I knew what I needed to make- my princess started a new school Monday, and she literally had TWO shirts that fit the uniform dress code. And she hates how dress pants feel. And she had ZERO solid colored sweaters without zippers or hoods.
So, a new uniform.
But, how to do that in a manner worthy of Project Run and Play?
And besides, I hate uniforms…
But necessity won the day and we made a plan and went to the fabric store. Picked up some white jersey knit and rib knit, some lovely coral sweatshirt knit and fleece, a navy knit with barely discernible sparkly pin stripes, and some cute little flower buttons.
(I was actually surprised she wanted girly details, and a tiny bit super excited.)
I started with Peek-a-Boo Pattern’s Poppy Polo, which she is almost outgrowing, so I added a little space at the neck and shoulders and hips.
And we changed the silhouette. Added a peplum at the bottom (for shape and length) and lengthened the sleeves.
Picked up some colored buttons in a pale coral shade. (Because buttons aren’t part of “solid colored,” right?)
I basically followed the directions, the only problem I had was the button placket, and that was because I accidentally messed up which side to sew on…
I changed the collar to be more rounded, and I added a cute little trim between the two layers.
I didn’t have fold over elastic, and the plain edge looked boring at the front, so I added lace.
I also decided to just stitch the placket half open, half shut instead of doing buttons and button holes because the buttons princess picked were so tiny, and they were shaft buttons and I didn’t think they would stay buttoned and that would be a problem at her school.
Instead of single folding the hem and sleeve edge, I doubled it for a more finished interior, and then I ran a second row of stitching to make it look more professional.
I also top stitched the arm seam.
And the peplum seam, on both sides. It looked kind of sad, and the top stitching spiced it up a bit, almost like a belt.
All in all, I love it, and so does she.
Next up were the pants.
I used a pattern donated to me by someone whose kids had grown up at least a decade ago, but the simple style was fairly timeless and I’m adept at tweaking. (Simplicity 9461)
I stuck with the pattern, but added pockets of my own design.
A little trick for stitching straight lines- scotch tape! Seriously my best friend.
The knit fabric I was using had such a beautiful backside, that I just double folded the the hem of the pants and the edge of the pocket. I made the waistband with the reverse side as well. While the front has a subtle silver pinstripe, the back sparkles all over.
I also added a decorative button at the waist, the last of the flower buttons that I used on the shirt.
I love the subtle pink contrast thread that I used to shape the pockets and topstitch just about every seam. Subtle enough that it still falls within dress code.
The pants are so flowing and soft she says they feel like pajamas. Score.
Finally, I created her a sweatshirt that fit the dress code. No zippers, no hoods, solid color.
I used Kwik Sew pattern 3635 for a Misses’ sweater. I altered it quite a bit, shortening the torso and thinning the waist and shoulders.
I added fleece to all the layers. This not only made the stretchy knit easier to work with, it makes the finished sweater divinely soft and cuddly.
Instead of sewing the front panels to a single waistband, I made two separate bands and created an open style. This is still up for debate. She originally wanted it to pull over the head, but I suspect the reality of an overhead style would make it harder to take on and off. So I’m having her try it this way for a while just in case.
I also added cuffs to the sleeves after shortening them a bit and left a thumb hole. I am in love with how that turned out! (Even if my machine hiccupped a bit going over that seam underneath the thumb hole. No one will notice. You probably wouldn’t have either, if I hadn’t said anything…
In the end, the sweater landed right at the top of the peplum waist of the polo, exactly as I envisioned. (Don’t you love it when things actually go according to plan?)
So there you have it- a new school uniform that fits the dress code while simultaneously showing off her unique style, created out of all knit fabrics.
I feel like this outfit has caused me to grow and improve as a seamstress in a number of ways. I am a lot more confident with knit now, and I have a lot more problem solving up my sleeves. In fact, I just ordered a few more yards of knit to play with.