Monday 10 February 2020

School sewing and lessons learned

I don't care to think how many years ago it was that I last sewed a big batch of navy school shorts and skirts for the kids, but judging by how tight P's shorts were getting it was a while.
(whoops, 4 years, just found the post. Bad mummy! :) )

But they'd lasted well and so I'd put off any updating. Fast forward to the start of this school year and both kids were in need of some fresh clothing for their bottom halves.

I found some super cheap lightweight navy fabric at Eliza's and bought about 5 metres (for maybe $20). It has a little bit of stretch and I guess is best described as a tropical weight suiting fabric. I've used perhaps 2/3rds of it here to make the following:

3 pairs of Oliver + S Sketchbook shorts in size 10 for P - He's still comfortably wearing these size 8 ones, but I figured since he's almost 12 it was time to go up a size, and he measured perfectly for the size 10 although much taller. I didn't add length as they're a comfortably long pattern to start with.

For A, I made two of the Oliver + S Badminton skorts. This is a sweet pattern with a little pair of built in shorts and is one of the only skirts in her previous school wardrobe that she liked. I toyed with leaving the scallops off and just doing a straight hem facing but she said she liked the scallop bits.

And she got two pair of her favourite shorts, the Oliver + S Class Picnic shorts. Hers are all a straight size 10 as well cause while she's shorter and younger she's measuring the same in waist and hips as her beanpole brother.

As with any Oliver + S patterns, the sewing was a delight and I found I enjoyed working like a trojan to get them all made in the few evenings between holidays end and school starting.

And then the tragic part? After only two weeks of wearing and washing (like maybe two to three wears each for A's clothes) everything is falling apart.

I could cry, except in the scheme of heavy stuff going on in my life right now, some frayed school clothes is so trivial it's not funny. Which makes it kind of funny.

Anywhere I trimmed to 1/4" (and that was as close as I got) it's all falling apart. And of course with the Class Picnic and the Badminton patterns, that's pretty much the whole facing edges. I've just gone around the hem lines with a zig zag stitch as I could not bear to think of any more involved kind of rescue. That'll do and they still look better than the official school uniform clown sized trackpants.

Lesson learnt: Life is too short to buy shit fabric.

P.S. How classy is our rental? :) It's a bit of a dump but that clothesline is absurdly functional. Massive, blasted with westerly sun and ridiculous amounts of wind. If there was a surburban rental laundry competition I'd be all over it!!


  1. You’re so lucky you can make darling shorts for your girl. Our school uniform has unisex shorts which look horrible on the girls

  2. So sorry to see your time investment not pay off because of a "misplaced economy" in fabric! :( I do remember that it was years ago now that I sent you DS's outgrown pants.

  3. Oh no, all that beautiful work... and I'm with you on the fabric. If you're going to put the effort in, you need good quality materials. Magnificent hills hoist, by the way. We have one at our place - it doesn't turn, though, because of the trees behind it - and when we bought the house my husband looked at it and said 'we'll rip that out', to which I said NO!

  4. Well done for getting so much sewn but how disappointing that the fabric is such a failure.

    I love my Hills Hoist, it was at our property when we purchased it and we still have it.

  5. Had the same thing happen to me in pants (at the welt pockets). Only one pair thankfully but frustrating nonetheless. Sorry you’ve got hard times right now. Hang in!

  6. Nooooooo!!!!! That is a lot of clothes to make only to have them fall apart! UGH!! Oh Shelley! Perhaps this isn't the worst thing ever, but I want to cry along with you here. Oh well, moving on ...


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