Sewing for Kindergarten: Dresses, Skirts, Tops and More!

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Today I am participating in the new series ‘Sewing for Kindergarten’ hosted by Mie from ‘Sewing Like Mad‘. Savannah started full-day Kindergarten back in mid-August. It has been such a wonderful experience for her. She said that Kindergarten is the best thing to ever happen in her whole like. However, we had a little trouble with the lunch situation on the first day.

1stDayKindergartenSavannah

I’ll chalk it being my first time having a child in elementary school, but basically I didn’t think about the fact that she would need to be able to open everything by herself in her lunch. So I sent this big lunch (since I didn’t know how hungry she would be) with several things that she couldn’t open on her own…….not even thinking about her opening them since she always had help in preschool. Nope, no one helped her and when I picked her up, she began crying and said ‘how could you do that to me?”. Dramatic, much? Yes, but it still broke my heart. I didn’t know what she was talking about. She said “First of all……there was no way I could ever eat all that food you packed me in the short amount of time they gave us for lunch and second, I couldn’t even open it!!” And she said, by the time she got something opened, it was time to go outside and they made her throw it away. I felt terrible. Had I really ruined her first day of school when I tried so hard to make it perfect? Well, I guess that’s the thing……no matter how hard we try, things aren’t always going to be just like the picture we have in our head. A good lesson for both of us. So now I go over everything I send in her lunch to make sure it’s Savannah approved and I open anything that might be difficult. Live and learn.

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com. Peasant Dress.

But aside from that first day situation, it has gone extremely well and Miss S. does not have to wear uniforms at her school. So what does that mean? It means I’m trying my hardest to stock her wardrobe full of handmade clothing. I figure I only have a couple years until she decides that ‘Mama Made’ is not so cool or that she wants to look like everyone else. Hopefully, I can keep her away from peer influence and make her proud of individuality for as long as possible, but I know it’s coming. And since I no longer sell ready-made clothing, I have more time to sew for my own kids, which has been wonderful.

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

So far since Savannah has started school I have made her first day of school outfit with leggings (more info. found here), a yellow peasant style dress out of a vintage sheet for her ‘yellow’ color day at school, the Sydney Skirt (Free Pattern found here), a 3/4 sleeve cotton knit shirt (more info. found here) and a special Liberty of London top variation of my Miss Matilda Dress and Top pattern (pattern found here). Not too shabby, I’d say.

I’ve told you about three of the pieces shown above, but I don’t think I’ve shared anything about these two……..

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

This is a top I made for Savannah out of some Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric and the top design is my Miss Matilda Dress and Top Pattern. This top is about the most dreamy feeling thing ever. If you’ve never sewn with Liberty, the fabric is truly divine. It is expensive, but I got a great deal on this one and it truly is a pleasure to use while sewing. Savannah couldn’t believe how soft it was and just kept petting the fabric (my kind of girl). I decided to make the top all in one print this time and left off the sash so it was a little bit more casual. I covered the buttons in liberty as well using interfacing in between the metal and the fabric so that no metal would show through on the buttons. I will have Savannah wear this with a cardigan or layered with long sleeves in the fall / winter and she can wear it as is right now while it’s still warm.

 Sewing for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com. Peasant Dress.

On the first day of school the kids were sent home with a letter saying they were going to be focusing on colors for two weeks. They were instructed to wear a certain color each day and bring a snack that was the same color. I kind of wish we had been give more warning on this, but then I probably would have gone nuts and sewn an outfit for every color in the rainbow. Well, when yellow day was coming up, I looked in Savannah’s closet and realized we had nothing. Savannah is not a child where I could get away with putting her in something with just a little yellow. This little lady likes everything to be just right, so when the teacher said to wear a certain color, she wants the majority of the outfit to be that color. She’s particular that way……I don’t mind……I’m kind of like that too.

Sewing Clothes for Kindergarten from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com. Peasant Dress.

So the day before yellow day, I whipped up this little peasant dress while Savannah was at school and my other two kids were napping. I had this yellow vintage sheet in my stash that I had found at a thrift store for 25 cents and knew it would be perfect. This dress took me less than an hour including cutting. I didn’t even have to hem the sleeves or the bottom of the dress since I used the already hemmed part of the sheet. It was SO easy and Savannah loved it. This is a peasant dress pattern I drafted several years back and have just modified as the kids get bigger. This is a size 6 and it’s just two pattern pieces. If you’re interested in it, I can try to get it digitized and up on the blog for free. It’s a great go-to pattern when you need to come up with something quickly and is very comfy for little ones.

So that’s the start of my Sewing for Kindergarten. I’m so excited Mie put together this series. It was a great way to get all of us excited to sew for our new little Kindergartners. There will be lots more to come as the year progresses. And if you have a new Kindergartner (or other school aged child), I hope their year has gotten off to a great start!

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39 Comments

  1. Mie@Sewing Like Mad says:

    LOVE IT! Love the post and love all the clothes you have made. Thank you so SO for participating!

    • Thanks so much for coming up with this great idea! It really got me motivated to sew for Miss Savannah. Thanks for including me, Mie!

  2. The Miss Matilda Top is gorgeous in the Liberty fabric! It’s the prettiest one I’ve seen yet!

  3. I know I already said it on facebook, but just in case you missed it– I would love a pattern for that pheasant top! Also, MANY thanks for mentioning how they have to be able to open their own food in kindergarten! I never thought about that, but now I’ll be ready when my time comes!

    • Well, it might be a little while for the dress, but that shouldn’t be too tough to get finished. Yes, the whole food thing didn’t even cross my mind. Live and learn, right?

  4. I love it all! You are so generous with all the free patterns you have already provided, but I would love your peasant dress pattern too. Simply gorgeous!

  5. Love the post! I had the same experience about lunch when my now 9 years old started Kindergarten Oops! I learned that the thermos are difficult to open because the heat inside vacuum seals the container.
    I’ve been following your blog very quietly for quite some time and I love it! The clothes you make, the fabrics you choose are very, very pretty and on top of all you are SO generous with all the free patterns that you provide.
    I also make clothes for my kids and hope I can get away with it for a while. I’d love to make the Peasant dress, it’s so beautiful.

    • Good to know about the thermos…….again, I would have NEVER known!! Well, I’m glad you’re not being quiet anymore. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment…….I always love to get to know new people. Have a great day, Lindsay.

  6. I would love a freebie pattern to make that beautiful peasant dress! My girls would love it (as they do everything I make from your patterns!).

  7. I would love to make your peasant dress, my daughter would love it.

  8. Yes! Please share your peasant dress pattern. Been searching for one!

  9. She looks so cute in all the things you’ve made! And a big fat YES YES YES to the peasant dress pattern! We love your patterns so much!

    • Hi Sarah, Well, it sounds like there are quite a few liking the peasant dress, so I’ll have to work on that one when I get a little time. Thank you so much about the patterns! Have a great day, Lindsay

  10. Well of course I’m interested in that peasant dress pattern now that I have the little girl clothing bug! (sigh!) Sorry to add to your workload but I love it! And I hear ya’ – it’s so frustrating when school teachers suddenly throw a request at you with no warning. Sometimes I get a 1-day notice that, “oh by the way, he needs to wear an orange shirt tomorrow and have black shoes for the play.” Huh? I’m pretty sure they know 3-4 weeks in advance that they need specific items like that and I sure wish they’d say something earlier. And PS – I envy you for having Liberty of London fabric in your stash! It’s all so pretty, I’d have a hard time just choosing one. Or two. Or even THREE!

    • Jen, I think you have the little girl clothing bug now too, right? It shouldn’t be too tough……it’s only a couple pieces. Yes, I currently have four Liberty prints and they are my favorite, but I decided I wasn’t going to just keep looking at them, I’m going to put them to good use!

  11. Hey there! Huge fan… in fact your blog is what inspired me to try my hand at sewing when I discoverd your site 2 1/2 years ago. At the moment I am sewing a flower girl dress for my daughter using your Party Dress tutorial… and I would like to think that I will have time to make my daughter an Alice In Wonderland dress for Halloween using your Georgia Vintage Dress pattern (and I SO thought of doing it before you posted the picture of the Tea Party on facebook… they just got around to sewing it first LOL). I am also looking forward to the book release and what I’m sure will be some upcoming sneak previews (I hope!). Anyway, just wanted to say that you are a great talent and I aspire to someday be equally as talented.

    Also, I would also like to be another little voice to chime in and beg you to please share your peasant dress pattern – it’s SO cute (BTW – great find on the vintage sheet… it was meant to be made into this dress).

    Thanks for everything and all the inspiration!

    • Awwww, what an incredibly sweet comment, Jen! Thank you!! Ok, so it sounds like the peasant dress is a ‘go’, so I’ll get working on that when I get some time here. I agree……..that sheet was begging to be made into a dress. Great to hear from you and have a wonderful day, Lindsay

  12. Oh, wow! What beautiful outfits! I love her first-day choice so much too! She is one lucky girl! would definitely be interested in the peasant dress pattern too. 🙂 How fun!

    • Thank you! I love the first day of school outfit too and I think she will get a lot of wear out of it. Thanks so much for commenting!

  13. Lovely as always! the peasant dress is beautiful and so simple – Hope you do the pattern. I can think of lots of fabrics to make that in!!

    • Thank you, Patty! Yes, I think the peasant dress is a definite must. It will just take me a little time to get it ready. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day, Lindsay

  14. Lindsay, I feel your pain! We have a Kindergartener eating lunch at school this year, too. I decided to go the bento route so that he would only need to peel the lid off and could see everything, and manage his lunch more easily. I recommend using divided ziplock containers (they wash really well in the dishwasher) and silicone cupcake liners to further divide things, if you’d like. I picked everything up at Target. I just needed to be sure that the Ziplock container could slide into the lunchbag and we were all set. Have you seen “100 Days of Real Food”? She has some wonderful ideas and pictures of school lunches, and has a list of supplies that are economical and really work! Tomorrow we’re going to try packing fruit and yogurt smoothies for my two elementary kids in thermos bottles. That’s another way to get a lot of good nutrition in an easy-open package.

  15. Love the yellow-day dress! Simple and fast is rather perfect, too… especially something that uses vintage sheets. 🙂 Would love to have access to the pattern!

  16. Brenda Bush says:

    I love all your patterns & ideas. I just got a new house where I actually have my own sewing room & have been looking for some decor items…the button spool is perfect. I can’t wait to try it.

    I would also love to have the pattern for your yellow peasant dress. It is so cute & my granddaughter would just love it. Can’t wait to get it!

    Thanks for all you do for us!

  17. Love your selection of clothing. Making clothing for little ones is so much fun. Such creativity is possible. I love the polka dot cardigan. Did you make it or buy it?

  18. I’d love to have the yellow peasant dress pattern. It looks so easy, and heaven knows I’m all about easy!!

  19. I don’t normally comment but your lunch story made me smile. It reminded me of my son’s first day in Kindergarten. I bought him hot lunch, it was a hamburger (and some other things). When I asked him how his lunch was, he said he had only ketchup on a bun. What? He didn’t realize that the burger was in the little tin tray that was under his bun and he had to open it up! Poor boy…ketchup on a bun…yuck!

  20. Love the beautiful wardrobe, what a lucky girl. My daughter also complained about not having time to eat the first day of kindergarten and she couldn’t open her packages of fruity snacks. Her pre-school served hot lunch in serving bowls. What a difference! Isn’t the 2nd child lucky to have the first child to train the parents? 🙂 Good news is that 1st grade is a breeze after kindergarten. “The routine” is all figured out.

    I’m also sewing like mad before my girls want to wear jeans and a shirt to school. Eeeee gads. I look at the middle school kids and think, “Oh, please, NO.” Secretly hoping she’ll develop an early desire to be different and wear what I deem to be beautiful for children, tweens, etc. Wishful thinking, I know. But one can hope. And in the meantime, keep sewing those precious outfits.

  21. My daughter had the same lunch problem when she started kindergarten just a couple of weeks ago. I made reusable snack bags and made sure she knew how to open them! I love that yellow dress, I love vintage fabrics! I just started reading your blog, but I’ve enjoyed it very much so far. 🙂

  22. I just found your blog, so happy I did – you brought back wonderful memories of when I was growing up. My mother made all my clothes. I remember having wool jumpers to wear in September, in the heat, haha then, when my boys were growing up – I made their t-shirts. Thanks for the memories

    I would love the peasant dress pattern, my grand daughters would love it – all 6 of them ages 10 to twin 5 month olds. Thank you

    Terri

  23. I think I may cry! When I was a little girl, I had a pillowcase in this sheet set on my favorite pillow. I had it until about a year ago, close to 30 years and it finally was so threadbare I had to part with it. When I saw this post in google images, my heart raced. I love it. I am going to try to find this sheet to make a dress for my daughter. Everyone in my family will say, “did you turn ‘yella pella’ into a dress!?!?”

  24. I would also love if you would post a pattern for this 😉

  25. I LOVE the peasant dress. Would love a pattern 🙂

  26. I just came across this post and it’s almost 3 years old. The peasant dress is adorable!! I have 3 little girls and would love to make them matching dresses. Is there a place where you posted the peasant dress pattern for purchase?