You know when you receive one of those letters from your child's school saying 'costume needed', it sometimes fills me with dread!
My daughter, Amber brought a letter home from school about a school trip where the kids had to dress as Victorian schoolchildren.
The Victorian era is my favourite. I started to Google what kids wore in this era. The theme for girls seemed to be a white pinafore over their dresses, to keep them clean. As I carried on reading, I found that the mums used to make these pinafores. So I bought a long black skirt and a long black top but I set about making the pinafore myself.
Now I love sewing, I mainly only have time to read about sewing so when this project came up I thought I'd give it a go.
We had an old off-white bed sheet that I thought would be perfect to use, and I also found an old piece of material from my stash (I love collecting fabric, especially from charity shops), which had a crocheted edge, I also had an old pillowcase that had lace all around the edge.
I set to work trying to figure out how I would make it. The first thing I did was find a t shirt that Amber currently wears, so I knew it fitted her. Then I folded the t-shirt in half and traced around the edge onto baking parchment (this is my cheap version of dressmakers paper). I then added an extra 1 cm all around the edge for the seam allowance.
I cropped the t-shirt pattern quite high as I noticed the Victorian children wore them like this.
From the width of Amber's t-shirt at the bottom I just roughly followed it down to create the skirt part (again adding the seam allowance).
I then went round and hemmed all the edges, I double folded and sewed down the middle. You can just zig zag stitch the edges (which would be quicker).
I ended up with 4 pieces, 2 tops (1 front, and 1 back) and 2 skirt parts (front and back).
Because I used a well washed old sheet there was no need to pre-wash, if it had been new material, it's best to pre-wash to get all the shrinkage out of it.
I cut off the crocheted piece and the lace piece off my pillowcase and fabric.
I sewed my 2 top pieces together at the top (across the shoulder), then I sewed on my crocheted fabric from the arm hole from the back, right the way up and over the top, down to the front arm hole area.
I then sewed the skirt part to the top, both front and back. I wanted a few pleats in so I made the width a little larger.
After doing this for both the front and the back, I had almost finished. I know, by looking at Google images, that most Victorian school children tied at the back, but I discovered this after I had already cut my fabric! I could have cut it up the back but I decided to put some small metal press stud fasteners on instead to hold the shape, and for ease for my daughter.
The ribbons in here hair came from a tie on an old pair of my pyjama bottoms!
I'm really pleased with the finished look to say I wasn't working from a pattern. I'd love to know what you think. Leave a comment below if you have had to make certain outfits for your kids for school.
I should have taken pictures for a tutorial, I will do next time!