First Day, First Grade

Sewing for the first day of first grade | The Inspired Wren

And just like that my favorite blog distraction is off to school!

This Sewing Showcase post aims inspire with a unique combination of sewing patterns and fabrics.
Scroll to the bottom of this article for full details.

Every summer I promise myself I don't need to sew the first day of school outfit. It's too hard to get to the machine when the last of Summer is calling us to the pool/ice cream shop/concert. I try to give myself grace to let it go. I really do. And for the second Summer in a row it worked. I was relaxed and fine until the day before school, just like last Summer, and then I had to sew her something to wear, just like last Summer.

Sewing for the first day of first grade | The Inspired Wren
Progress at about 5:00 pm the night before school.

I have a tradition of dressing The Peanut in the same chambray outfit for the first and last days of school. I ordered this Robert Kaufman Dot Chambray from Hawthorne Threads and it's my favorite chambray so far -- lovely, light drape and pleasant to sew. I stitched it into a Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S accented and lined with a speckled mustard quilting cotton.

Sewing for the first day of first grade | The Inspired Wren
Since she's currently wearing it, this mobile phone pic on my kitchen floor at 1:30 am will have to suffice for details.

Then, for variation, I paired it with flower-printed teal Go To Leggings. It was a leap of faith to deliberately not match. Even as I held the yellow and teal fabrics together next to the chambray in the store  (planning for picture day, not the first day) I was a little unsure. But I'm thrilled with the overall feel and look of the final ensemble -- even her new school shoes help pull it together completely unplanned.

Sewing for the first day of first grade | The Inspired Wren
I should have swept the front porch, and how do I get rid of that dent in my door?

She woke up nervous and excited and I'm terribly jealous because I would love to go back to elementary school. Our morning flew by and before I knew it she took off leaving me in her wake and hopped onto the bus in a mobile-phone blur.

Sewing for the first day of first grade | The Inspired Wren
There's an entire post in the works about the Fifth Annual Backpack -- stay tuned!


Roller Skate by Oliver + S, size 5
Go To Leggings by Go To Patterns, size 5


Robert Kaufman, Dot Chambray in Indigo (Hawthorne Threads); Jules & Coco Speckled Yellow Dot (Joanns); Doodles Denim Knit Blue Sketch Flower (Joanns)


I went out of my way to get a chambray again, making this the fourth back-to-school dress in chambray. How long do we think I can keep this up? How long do you think she'll be perfectly happy waking up and wearing a dress that wasn't there the day before and she didn't choose?
Thanks to helpful tips on Instagram as I was sewing, I moved the elastic casing down about a half inch and used her chest measurement rather than her waist for the elastic length. I'm hopeful the loose fit will let me do the Last Day of School pic in this same outfit, but I wonder if I should have moved the casing down even further.


The pattern is as impeccable as you'd expect from Oliver + S -- beautifully lined and drafted with easy to follow instructions; perfect since it was my first go with this one. The mustard/gray/teal combo works really well for me (please don't tell me otherwise). I'm super happy I went with it even though I was initially unsure.

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

You should really see all that goes into each project!
From my marathon sewing sessions, to all that I do when I #shouldhavebeensewing catch daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress. Get that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of upcoming tutorials, too.

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