I have been sewing, and made a chiffon dress for myself to wear to the wedding - just need some full length pictures before I post about it. I hadn't intended sewing any school clothes, but I had started this dress and blouse last year, and decided to finish them.
This dress has been in my head for about 2 years or more. In old family photos from the 1940's and 1950's, I noticed the school uniforms had a small square yoke, with a pleated dress and belt, so this is what I sewed.
Though there are vintage patterns available in this style some of which I have pinned, I couldn't find one in the right size.
What I found, after some searching, was a European sewing magazine for teenagers called Trndz from 2008. The pattern had to be sized down, and I omitted the waistband and the sleeves. All the pleat edges are edge stitched, both inside and outside, to ensure they hold their shape. Also the pattern instructions are not in English - it needed some thinking and planning to decide the sewing order!
Like the Oliver+S uniform dress I sewed last year, this dress also has a fun lining for my animal-loving daughter. The square yoke is lined with a Robert Kaufman cotton with pink frogs and the pockets are sewn with the same fabric. There's some Liberty bias binding on the armholes.
But my favourite part is the belt. The belt came together almost by accident, as I was hoping to avoid the time-consuming interfacing bit. I had already tried making a belt from 'D-rings' and janemeans ribbon, and this belt has a similar look.
It struck me that the belt could be strengthened from the outside rather than the inside. I sewed this sweet cat ribbon from janemeans on the underside of the belt which works perfectly instead of interfacing and it also adds another fun element to the uniform. My daughter was very surprised when she saw the finished belt, and was amazed that she would be able to wear the cats as part of her uniform.
wired ribbon from janemeans (I removed the wire!). Ribbon is a good choice for this hem which is straight, a curved hem edge would need bias binding.
If I was making the dress again, I would cut the yoke smaller, especially across the shoulders, and I would leave a larger hem allowance, using this method by Sherry to turn up the pleated hem.
The dress turned out better than I expected, and will make a perfect winter uniform, because the fabric is a lightweight wool.
Edited to add: Linked to Justine's Sew & Tell Saturday Pin It Now!