I’ve chosen to make something slightly different for this month’s blogger network post. It’s something you might not even consider making; school uniform for my primary school aged girls.

Why on earth would I do such a thing? When you think how cheaply uniform can be bought from the supermarkets, it does seem a strange thing to do.

Less so though when you have very tall, slender girls who are incredibly active and prefer to spend their lunchtimes doing gymnastics, but don’t like wearing trousers for school. Which describes my girls to a tee. My eldest has even taken to wearing shorts under her skirts all the time so she can turn cartwheels in her school skirts without flashing her pants!

Enter the Megan Nielsen Mini Tania Sewing Pattern. This includes three different lengths of short culottes for children aged between 2 and 12 and it was a hit with my girls over the summer for combining the practicality of shorts with the floatiness of skirts.

It’s a really easy pattern to make, combining only three pattern pieces (front, back and waistband) and the elasticated waist means it’s easy to fit to your particular child; a real bonus when your child is as long and thin as my two are! There are different pattern pieces depending on which length of culotte you want to make. This summer, I made them both the shortest length in a light weight chambray. School rules dictate that their skirts should be knee length (at least when they’re new!) so I went for the middle of the three lengths this time.

Size wise, I went more on height than anything and so made size 6/7 for my 6 year old and size 8/9 for my 8 year old. I have to say I think the sizes are quite generous; on the high street, I buy size 7/8 for my younger girl and size 9/10 for my 8 year old, because of their height. So to cut the pattern size that corresponds to their actual age is unusual and something to bear in mind if your kids aren’t the tallest in their class.

The fabric choice here was spot on. This grey Gabardine Twill Suiting Fabric is heavier, softer and smoother than the usual school uniform fabric (all good things!) and behaved itself beautifully whilst being cut and sewn. 

It also pressed nicely with a generous amount of steam and a press cloth. I did finish all the seams with my overlocker to prevent fraying, but I’d do that with kids clothes anyway to make them more durable. There are good instructions for the narrow hem. A little bit of ribbon went into the back waistbands, just to show which is the front and which the back.

The result definitely fits the bill; as you can see, gymnastics is more than possible wearing this style, they look suitably girly and (at least for the next few weeks) they appear to be knee length. Result!

Thanks for the fabric, Minerva!

Becca