But there has also been the first day of school, the first reader, the first parent-teacher interview...
My cheeky big girlie is a school girl now. Which means I can finally participate in Mie's annual Sewing for Kindergarten series! The series celebrates children who start the first year of compulsory education. For us in Victoria, Australia, it is Prep. Australian school year starts at the end of January - early February, so Miss R is over half way through her first year of schooling.
Miss R is happy now, however she was not excited about starting school at first, not a tiny little bit. She loved kinder (pre-school) and wanted to go back there. I knew she needed time to adjust and did not push the topic of school onto her. I needed to adjust to the idea that my little companion will not be with me as much anymore. I may or may not have shed a little tear leading up to Miss R's first day of school (totally cried like a baby one night).
The first day of school came and Miss R seemed fairly confident. She walked through the school yard towards the classroom in her over-sized school uniform, and I felt proud, happy and a little sad at the same time. My first baby just started school! It felt a little surreal.
I asked Miss R what was her favourite part about being at school, and she promptly replied it was Show and Tell and playing with friends during lunch break. The worst part is when it gets noisy, because noise hurts her ears and teachers say, 'One, two, three, eyes on me', and then everyone needs to be quiet which is boring because she cannot talk.
Miss R wears school uniform five days a week, however I still want to be able to wrap her in mummy-made goodness, even on school days. What's the solution? Outerwear!
While she was sleeping, I made a raincoat for Miss R. Making a raincoat has been on my sewing bucket list for ages. I have a few coat patterns that I think will make great raincoats. I chose the Moiano coat pattern by StraightGrain patterns, and only replaced the gathered sleeves provided in the original pattern with 'regular' sleeves (a free pattern piece An shared on her blog). I made a size 5 raincoat which is a little roomy at the moment. I added 5 cm to the length of the coat and 2 cm to the length of the sleeves. Oh, and I skipped the pockets. Pockets full of water is not my thing.
Miss R chose Little Daisy Green laminated cotton from MaaiDesign for her raincoat. I decided to play with the direction of the print. I thought it would add some interest and spare the trouble of having to match the print on gazillion pattern pieces. Yeah, I am a cheater. But I was so busy cheating that I did not realise I cut the sleeves cross grain. I was nearly devastated when I noticed the mistake. Shelley suggested this could be a grain-blocked raincoat (like colour-blocked, yeah?) which I thought was both clever and funny. I was not convinced I would ever be able to see past my mistake, however once the sleeves were in they did not look too bad.
It is not a secret that I love piping. I have no idea if it is OK to use piping with laminated cotton. I decided to give it a go and I love the result. I thought about adding piping to the central panel of the hood and the cuffs, but restrained myself. I half-regret not adding it now.
The biggest challenges of this project were sewing the curved seams on the hood and setting in the sleeves. The seam along the central panel of the hood is curved. I had no problem sewing the lining of the hood which is made from flannelette. Woven fabric was easy to manipulate, however laminated cotton is stiffer and is not easily shaped by fingers, if this makes sense. Going slow and using a ton of pins helped a lot. I just made sure I pinned fabric within seam allowances.
I used yellow flannelette with large white polka dots for lining. An suggests to use lightweight and preferably slippery fabric for the lining, so I did the opposite. This raincoat was meant to be worm throughout wet winter and spring months, so I wanted to add a little warmth factor. I thought flannelette would cushion any possible stiffness in the seams in laminated cotton also. For the record, the seams are not stiff, even with piping added to them.
The verdict? Miss R loves her raincoat. She wore it to school a day after it was finished as it was raining. She felt proud that she did not have to carry an umbrella and that her mummy made her a raincoat that helped her stay dry. She noted that only her hands and her shoes were getting wet, but it was OK in her books. As for me, I am chuffed I finally made a raincoat. It is far from perfect, but it is pretty awesome.
Please visit other participants to see what they made for their kids.
Thank you Mie for having me. I hope you will run this series for at least five more years so that I could participate again when Baby L goes to school ;)