Back to School Alternative Style

I’m excited to be a part of the Lulu and Celeste, Sprouting JubeJube Productions Back to School Tour again this year! Please be sure to check out the rest of the posts for the week for all kinds of amazing inspirations. Many of our sponsors are offering discounts, so visit them, too!

**disclaimer**  I was given most of the patterns that I used by our generous sponsors and would like to 1) extend my thanks and 2) note that the opinions are my own here. I was just lucky, I guess, to have an awesome bunch of patterns!

My family is unique, and so our back to school is a little non-traditional and had me thinking way out of the box! Our children are all 6 and some change years apart (our youngest is 19 months, the middle is 7, and the oldest is 14). Miss Middle is in the second grade at a Catholic pk-5 school, Miss Teen is a homeschooled freshman, and the baby either hangs out at home with his daddy and big sister (my husband works from home as a software developer and does the vast majority of the homeschooling) or comes to work with me.

I’ll start with my little guy. I know he isn’t really going back to school, but I couldn’t leave him out, and besides. Look at how stinkin’ cute he is!

I made him the Petitboo Designs Baby’s Breath Onesie and the Sofilantjes Domi Sweatpants from a cotton interlock from JoAnn Fabrics, a lime green cotton lycra from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, and some turquoise french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

I love outfits like this for babies. Soft fabrics in fun patterns with really cute design elements. Who wouldn’t love it? I couldn’t decide which pocket I liked best, so I made one of each.

My middle wears uniforms to school, so I was briefly stymied, but then it hit me. Picture Day! The Filles a Maman Mimi Dress and Shirt fit the bill for me. It has a simple, knit design with a cleverly offset Peter Pan collar.

I was able to use some cute, soft, Disney Princess interlock I’d been hoarding to placate my daughter, who refuses to wear anything she deems uncomfortable.

And I think the denim collar really sets it all off and frames that cute little elven face. 🙂 Finally, the length was really great. I often have to add length for my tall and skinny girl, but this was just right as is. I chose to leave the elastic waist out (see above comment regarding comfort). The interlock is no longer available from the shop I purchased it from, and the denim was from JoAnn Fabrics.

Finally, my oldest is homeschooled and therefore lives in sweatpants and tank tops. However, she is an avid dancer–pointe ballet, tap, and jazz. Back to school for all the other kids means that dance jumps back into full gear, and this one always needs more dancewear.

I started with the Jalie Designs Violeta Open Back Leotard and Dress and the Yoga Pants and Shorts. I have sewn swimwear and a few active wear tops, but the idea of sewing a leotard was super intimidating. I needn’t have feared, however. Jalie’s directions, attention to detail, and measuring charts/sizing suggestions were fantastic, and I was able to put together a pretty awesome ensemble using black dance/swim knit from JoAnn Fabrics and black stretch lace from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

The construction of the leotard allows for some cool color-blocking options; I chose to use lace at the top and keep the rest plain. The panty of the leo is a completely separate piece, though, so you could really mix things up.

The back of the leo is very open with a crossed strap which provides plenty of support. I’d like to play with multiple straps in my next attempt!

The Yoga Pants have a three piece leg, which allows a great fit and fantastic movement. Plus, you can color block the leg and the two-piece waistband. Again, my daughter really prefers simple, classic pieces (especially for dance), so I kept it simple but interesting by using the stretch lace as an overlay for texture.

Finally, I wanted to make her a dance sweater; something she could throw on over her leo for warm ups or breaks. Sweaters worn on the floor shouldn’t fall below the waist so the teacher can more easily observe the dancer’s form, so I used the Sofilantjes Otium Sweater as my base. However, I used the low back option without the bow and cut the top at the lengthen/shorten line.

And here’s your feel good bonus; these two have such a special relationship! She is fiercely protective and they both love each other to pieces.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

Sewing by Ti * mahlicadesigns * Momma You Can Make It * Kutti Couture * MoonStar – Wondermirakel * Call Ajaire

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Host: Lulu & Celeste

Sew and Tell Project * From-a-Box * Ronda B. Handmade * MeMade * House of Estrela * My Heart Will Sew On * Tales From A Southern Mom

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

mahlicadesigns * Gracious Threads * Adventures With Bubba and Bug * Elli & Nels * Bellevi * Little Heart Threads * Sewing By Ti * Lulu & Celeste

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Host: Lulu & Celeste

Paisley Roots * The Crafting Fiend * Sewstarly * It’s Liesel * Tales of a Tester * Kaleidothought * auschick sews

Friday, September 29, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

SewSophieLynn * Sew Haute Blog * mahlicadesigns * Sew and Tell Project * RP Custom Fabrics Blog * FABulous Home Sewn * Sewing By Ti * Phat Quarters


  1. Felicia | 29th Sep 17

    How nice for you that you can sew for boys and girls and all different ages! These are all great.

  2. Patricia Metten - MoonStar | 29th Sep 17

    O dear, I think these outfits are my favourite of this week’s blogtour! I love all of them!!!

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