Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's still summer (and saying otherwise will make me not want to buy your brand of notebook when the time comes)

I have been avoiding like the plague sales entitled Back to School. I have a week and a half before I go back to school, and my kids have two and a half weeks. I am not yet ready to even think about getting up when it's dark outside, packing lunches, making sure homework is done, and all of the other things that go along with the start of school. When I was a student, I used to absolutely love the start of school; I vividly remember all of the smells (new pencils, waxed floors, minty paste) and feelings (cool fall weather, anticipation in my stomach). I have always loved the routine that goes with school, and by the time the day rolls around, I'm ready for summer's carefree we-can-do-whatever-we-want days to come to an end. But I'm not ready for that until the school year actually gets here. Don't try to sell me on it in early August, when it's still hot outside and we still have some time left to be lazy. Don't rob me of that time.

One thing I've done, ironically, during all of this "lazy" time is to create the outfit that K will be wearing on the first day of school. She'll be wearing this camisole (which won last month's Carefree Clothes for Girls Sew Along - thank you!) as well as this skirt:

I made it all from repurposed materials. The main fabric, a pink and white gingham, started out as this dress, from my favorite antique store:

It was $2. It has no tags in it, so it's obviously handmade, and it has (had) a giant yellowish stain all the way up the back, which is why it only cost $2. I tried everything I knew how to get out the stain, including washing it with eco-friendly detergent in our front loader and letting the sun try to work its natural bleaching magic by hanging outside, but nothing worked. Still, I was determined to use it somehow, since someone put time into making this dress in a time long ago and I did not want her hard work to come to an end in 2010.

I cut it off at the waist, cut off the stained part of the skirt, and re-sewed the edges to form another tube. Then I just formed a casing in the top and inserted elastic. The trim at the bottom is a gorgeous two-layer trim (cotton and lace) that was part of a huge bag of textiles I bought at the thrift store last spring. It adds a nice little weight to the bottom of the skirt (and some length, which means K can wear this skirt for at least two more years). It's perfect!

She'll wear it with a cute pair of rose-embroidered knee highs I found at a kids' consignment shop this past weekend. I love that the whole outfit is girly and cute, but not matchy-matchy at all. I can't believe her back-to-school ensemble is already complete. It was, I must confess, a complete accident on my part, as I was just so excited to sew each piece that it never occurred to me that I was sewing her First Day Outfit. Still, I'm going to pat myself on the back for a job completed well ahead of deadline.