Back To (home)School

Back to school shopping is so iconic. It brings back so many memories of trips with my mom and grandmothers before school started. Do you remember that feeling you got when you picked the perfect outfit for the first day? And then the feeling you got when you started second guessing it? 😉  Since my kids have gone to private school (uniforms) and been homeschooled, we’ve kind of missed out on that. I mean, let’s be honest…there isn’t the same FEELING when you’re going to buy navy pants, polo shirts, and Mary Janes! And homeschooling is a whole ‘nother battle. “Mom, why do I have to get dresssed? We’re not GOING anywhere!”


I think I’ve come up with a great compromise this year–clothes that I can make that are fashionable AND just as comfy as jammies! So, I give you my 8th grader’s new school “uniform”…tunics and leggings!

5 out of 4 Patterns, one of the sponsors of this blog tour, provided me with the Weekender Tunic. I sewed up the women’s version for my 13 year old, but there is also a girl’s version (girl’s sizes 2-18, women’s sizes XXS-3XL). This tunic is truly versatile, with so many options that you could almost construct a whole wardrobe from this one pattern.


I chose to use some super soft fleece to make a cozy funnel neck tunic with thumbhole cuffs and a kangaroo pocket. I wanted some length so this would have enough coverage with leggings (we want tushies covered when leggings are involved), so I did not trim the tunic before adding the banded hem as the pattern suggests.


When the tunic was complete, the front seemed a little bare, so I drafted a quick kangaroo pocket in the contrasting print to give it a little pop. A kangaroo pocket is so easy to add to a shirt like this! Cut out a rectangle (I based the size on my daughter’s hands and the tunic front). Fold it in half and trim the corners. Fold the trimmed edge under and top stitch. With the angled corners at the top, pin the pocket to the tunic. I eyed where I wanted it, and then used a ruler to make sure the placement was even. Fold the raw edges under and top stitch all around, leaving the angled corners open. Voila!


She really likes this one. I know this will be her first choice for those cold winter mornings. This will be perfect to curl up with in a big easy chair while she’s working on her Latin or Shakespeare!


The second tunic I chose to make is a pattern I’ve had FOREVER, but somehow, never managed to sew up, the Pumpkin Spice Dolman from Patterns for Pirates. I can’t believe I haven’t made this before. I need to make like 20 for myself so I can live in them this fall!


My goofball’s personality came out in this set of photos! She chose this light sweater knit months ago and it’s been languishing in my stash ever since. I love the blue and silver stripe in this top! But shh…don’t judge my lack of stripe matching…I didn’t have enough fabric. I finished the sleeves and neckline with a rayon spandex.



If you’ve ever known a 13 year old girl, you know how picky they can be. I got smiles, but even better, I got the Dorky Dino.


Since she was very little, Dorky Dino comes out when she’s feeling especially goofy. There’s a dance, there are sound effects…it’s hilarious. And she’d probably kill me for sharing this with you all!

In all seriousness, though, how can she possibly be entering 8th grade? These photos were taken at the college campus nearby and wow. She *almost* fits right in. She’s so strong and independent!


I can’t wait to see what this year holds for us!

There are some really great prizes being offered this week, so don’t forget to check all our bloggers out!

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DAY 1 (Monday, Aug 22):
Monday’s prize is 1 PDF pattern from Filles à Maman and 1 PDF pattern from The Eli Monster
*excludes bundles
This giveaway runs from August 22 12:00 am EDT until August 23rd at 11:59pm EDT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to visit our host today for the sewalong link up and the chance to win our grand prize!

Check out the rest of today’s stops on the tour:

DIY CrushBLAVERRYSew and Tell ProjectThe Wholesome MamaCall Ajaire

Keep an eye on the rest of our bloggers this week for oodles of back to school inspiration!
Call Ajaire * The Wholesome Mama * Sew and Tell Project * BLAVERRY * DIY Crush * Phat Quarters * Mahlica Designs * Handmade Boy * Kaleidothought * The Berry Bunch * Filles A Maman * Sprouting JubeJube * Sew Happily Ever After * Tales of a Tester * 5 out of 4 Patterns * The Crafting Fiend * Create 3.5 * Sew Sophie Lyn * Sweeter Than Cupcakes * Wining Wife * Paisley Roots * The Eli Monster * Cindy Parrett Blog * Sew Starly * Élégantine! * Gracious Threads * Lulu & Celeste * Sewing By Ti * Amazing Adventures with Bubba and Bug * Simple Life Pattern Co. Blog * Inspinration * Mama You Can Make it For Me * Moon Star


  1. Sarah | 22nd Aug 16

    Beautiful tops. The fleece version looks so cozy, I can’t wait for cold weather to get here (it’ll still be hot for weeks to come…); and I would wear that drapey striped dolman everywhere!

  2. Sarah | 22nd Aug 16

    I tried to comment but it’s not showing up, sorry if this is a duplicate. Anyway, these tops look great! Cozy and cute.

  3. Ula | 22nd Aug 16

    I love both looks! I think I need one of those dolman’s for myself actually! Thank you so much for being on the tour 🙂

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Thanks for having me, it was tons of fun. 🙂

  4. Denise/DIY Crush | 22nd Aug 16

    Those are some super cute and comfy looking shirts!! Love them!

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Thanks! Even better when they’re approved by a young teen girl! 🙂

  5. Rochelle | 22nd Aug 16

    Homeschooling is the BEST! Good job mom!
    When my DD was about 6 y.o., the public schools went to a modified uniform. DD actually choose to buy uniforms for her back to homeschool wardrobe! From that point until they were too small, she got up every school morning and put on her uniform so she was ready for school! When she was done with school for the day, she changed into play clothes. That was a great year! She finished school 1/2 way through her 11th grade year, and spent what would have been her senior year as a paid intern for N.A.S.A.
    At her university interview, she called that “a year off ” LOL
    Homeschoolers can do anything, including becoming Olympic superstars! Woot!

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      I have to admit that I love uniforms for a lot of reasons. It just makes mornings so much easier, and I think it’s easier in the classroom, too. It’s been a tough road, but so far, so good!

  6. Kristi Andres | 22nd Aug 16

    great job! I love them both. I home school our kids and my 12 year old luckily will live in jeans and t-shirts but the younger kids always want to stay in jammies… let’s just say I make lots of sweatpants so we can at least change out of jammies!

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Ha! Yes, that was my idea. She dances, too, and loves leggings. I decided to just go with it!! Thank you 🙂

  7. Felicia | 22nd Aug 16

    Great job, Genie. It’s bittersweet when they grow up, but at least she still gives you some Dorky Dino!

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Thanks 🙂 I think I’ll be really sad when there’s no more Dorky Dino. Kind of hoping it makes an appearance at her wedding, years down the road! 😉

  8. Susan Spiers | 22nd Aug 16

    I love fleece when the weather turns cold-just too cute!

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Thanks! Fleece is usually too warm for me, but she sure loves it!

  9. Christie Archer | 22nd Aug 16

    I’m a home schooling mom too and I was laughing out loud at the “Mom, why do I have to get dressed? We’re not GOING anywhere!”. That’s totally my son. He’d live in pj’s if I let him. Coming up with a comfy yet stylish wardrobe is brilliant!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Thanks! It’s hard, isn’t it??

  10. Zulma | 22nd Aug 16

    They look warm and cozy n.n!

    • MadebyGenie | 22nd Aug 16

      Thanks 🙂

  11. Deborah | 22nd Aug 16

    Love the comfy cozy looks you’ve created! and that dolman…I want like 20 of them too! Thanks for sewing along with us!

    • MadebyGenie | 30th Aug 16

      Thanks so much for having me. I really enjoyed the tour!

  12. Brooke | 22nd Aug 16

    They scream comfort! I have been making myself some dolmans but that fleece looks like a warm hug! We are still in winter here in Australia so it is calling my name! 🙂

    • MadebyGenie | 30th Aug 16

      That’s exactly what it is 🙂 It would be way too warm for me, but this one could wear fleece in the hot desert sun!

  13. Liesel | 23rd Aug 16

    I need to make the PSD too! Love this!

    • MadebyGenie | 30th Aug 16

      I need to make so many more! Thank you 🙂

  14. Sharon | 23rd Aug 16

    Comfort all the way!

    • MadebyGenie | 30th Aug 16

      It’s the only way to fly! 😉

  15. robyn caverly | 26th Aug 16

    Thank you so much for posting about sewing for your 13 year old. I have one as well and she is just as picky. She was reading your post with me, and said she likes the shirts you made your daughter. Hoping I can get her to help me pick fabrics for her.

    • MadebyGenie | 30th Aug 16

      I love sewing for her, but it sure hurts my confidence sometimes! I love when I make her things that she’ll actually wear! 🙂 Thanks, and good luck to you!

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