Thursday, February 2, 2012

DIY: How to Dress Like a Kindergartener

Warning: This blog post is full of the World's Most Annoying Photos. But I have excuses! I have a head cold; it's really early in the morning; I'm all jacked-up on herbal tea and sudafed. AND I was born this annoying. So, what can you do?

Hey! Look! It's a thirty-something dressed like an over-grown 6 year old! Listen, folks, I'm just trying to keep it real for the under 10 set, 'kay? Thankfully, I teach the littles. Can you imagine what middle school kids would have to say about my look? I shudder to think.
 Okay, I know I look like I've been put in the corner (which if my parents had done more often, I'd probably be a much better person), but I'm just trying to give you a view of the heart in my dress. And my giant slinky-esque hair.

The idea for this dress came to me on my recent visit to San Francisco. I found this most incredible creme-colored dress with a heart cut out of the back. Despite the despicable number 4 size, I was determined to try it on. And. Get. It. Zipppppped! After which I couldn't breath nor feel my fingertips. Right before I passed out from lack of oxygen, I managed to break free of the dress and return the ugly ole rag to it's rusty wire hanger. I didn't really like it that much anyway. 

But who am I kidding? It was one of those dresses that haunts you. It comes to you in your sleep and whispers in your ear, "celery and water for the next thirty days and we could be together!" Hmmm...

"A grapefruit and a couple of prunes a day for a couple of weeks and I'll be all yours!" Well...that doesn't sound too bad...

"Give up chocolate for a week and that zipper will glide over your ---"

Wait, what?
Did that dress just say "give up chocolate"?! Ho, no. That ain't even in my realm of possibilities. Sorry, dress. But that's where I draw the line.

Sorry for the grainy photo...just trying to give you a closer look. I told you my hair looks like a slinky! Wiggles like one too.

So I decided to make my own version. With this sad little plaid jumper I'd picked up a Goodwill ages ago and worn just once. I had always liked it for it's vintage-y Catholic-school-girl jumper look but it was really long. Like, down to my mid-calf long. It made me feel as though I'd been swallowed up by some giant kilt. It seemed the perfect blank canvas for my dress-terpiece.

I was seriously nervous about cutting the heart out of the back but it turned out to be the easiest part. I used a paper template, cut around it, notched the heart, tucked and ironed it under, sewed around the heart and I was done. Seriously. That simple.
Another grainy number. Sorry.
And I had thought the pocket would be the easy part. Ha! Silly me. I tried to create the pocket the same way I had the opening in the back. Cut out a too-big heart, cut notches, tuck notches under and sew.  But the velvet proved to be too flimsy and my heart looked lumpy and weird.

Plan B proved to work much better. I cut out the heart in velvet, mustard yellow linen and some slightly stiff backing. I sandwiched the backing in between the two fabrics and did a tight zigzag stitch around it. Which, by the way, all sewing machines have. My ole Kenmore had this same function. From there, I sewed the pocket onto the dress.
Could I be anymore annoyingly excited? I warned you.
I also took up that hem several inches. I used the excess plaid fabric as a bow for my hair. Kinda hard to see as it blends in with my 'do. I also made the belt. I'm rather matchy-match like that.
My Peter Pan collar which was referred to thrice as a bib. Yeah...not exactly what I had in mind but whatever.
I created the Peter Pan collar after seeing a similar idea here: The tutorial there used leather for the collar but I decided to use my mustard colored linen again. Just like the pocket, I sandwiched a piece of backing in between two pieces of mustard fabric and zigzag stitched around the edges. I stitched very small button holes at the top and bottom of the collar to feed the ribbon through. Once I had the ribbon at the right length, I cut it and waved a lighter under it to seal the ribbon and keep it from fraying.
My finished kindergarten look. The best part about this dress? The always-forgiving elastic waist band. Which means I can eat as much chocolate as I like. Take that, Size 4.


  1. I'm in love with your kindergarden dress and your annoying photos (which are not annoying by the way!). Good for you to have fun with your outfits, I admire you for it :) and I'm also admiring your slinky hair!

  2. OMG. I just found your blog (I know and admire your wares on your etsy store) and I am SO EXCITED. I just love your sense of style!!! I look forward to catching up on all your past posts!

  3. Well, I love both of your blogs, so I'm thrilled that you read my lil ole blog! Thanks, it means a lot to me!

  4. love this post! Well done! I'm yet to attempt the peter pan collar...<3 The cut-out heart is awesome, will keep this in mind for my next thrifted dress.

  5. Cassie, this outfit is so cute on you


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