Sewing for Kindergarten: Alix starts school!


Alix Maternelle201404(blog)

Four year old Alix is starting school this year! And to celebrate, I am taking part in a very special sewing series hosted by my friend Mie of Sewing Like Mad :Sewing for Kindergarten.

I love the idea of honouring this important day in Alix’s life by preparing something unique made by me, by hand, with love and hard work, and made specifically for this precious little girl.

 Alix Maternelle201405(blog3)

Mie asked the series participants the following questions:


Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? 

Nope, Maïan was the first 8 years ago (she started grade 7 this year!).

If not, what number child is this?

Alix is my middle child.  In two  years, Gaëlle will get her turn in “maternelle”.  In Ontario, children start school at age four, which means technically that Alix is starting pre-kindergarten.  In French, we call that “maternelle”, while kindergarten is called “jardins d’enfants”.   But as this is Alix’s first formal year of school, Mie still felt that I met her criteria for Sewing for Kindergarten.

Do you feel like crying or celebrating?

Haha, definitely celebrating.  As wonderful as the baby years were, I just feel more in my skin as a mom with older kids…

And what about your child? 

Alix was extremely excited to be starting school.  She is definitely feeling like a “grande fille” and hordes all the independence she can get.  That said, the tears did flow as we left her on that first day.  A week and a half into the new school year and there are still a few tears in the morning…

What type of school (public, private, homeschool) will your child attend?

In Ontario, there are four school boards that are funded by the province:  English Catholic, English Public, French Catholic, French Public.  Alix is in a French Catholic school.  Our first language is French and since we’re a linguistic minority in our province, it’s crucial that Alix learns to excel in our language before learning English.  Not anyone can send their children to a French school in Ontario… you have to have certain “rights” to it (meaning that at least one parent is francophone or studied in French as a child).  As for the Catholic aspect of the school, even though I am atheist today, I was baptized as a child, giving my children the “right” to attend a Catholic school.  I’ll admit that it wouldn’t have been my first choice but in light of the fact that the school is literally a 5 minute walk from our home (versus a 45 minute bus ride for the public school), it was a no-brainer.

What was your own first day of school like (if you remember ;-)?

I’m about to turn 42 so unfortunately no, I don’t remember.  (And my memory was never that good regardless).  But knowing me, it was probably full of excitement and trepidation.  Kind of like Alix actually.  Hummm…


Charlie Dress and Aster Cardigan Sewn by La gang à Nat

All of these photos were shot on Alix’s first day of school… we just took a quiet stroll down our street a few minutes before leaving for school…

Not sure if you can tell but I’ve been working hard on my photography skills lately and these are the first ones to be shot in raw.  They were also my first series of images to be processed entirely with ACR and Photoshop.  The more I learn, the more I realize how much further I need to improve.  Next thing on the list will be to improve my focus… can you tell that almost all of these images are out of focus?  No amount of Photoshopping can fix that unfortunately…  The weird thing is that I never realized before that I had an issue with focus… it’s when you start looking at them closeup in Photoshop that you cringe!  No worries… I’m on it!

Alix Maternelle201407


Alix Maternelle(blog4) Letting go of Papa was hard to do on that first day…

Kindergarten Dress La gang a Nat

 Recognize the dress?  It’s a Charlie by Mingo and Grace.  An easy and quick sew, with full of possibilities.  The little pocket is my own addition.

I made a size 6 which is a bit big on her so it will fit her for a while still (Alix is 4.5 years old and quite tall for her age so making a size 5 would have been risky… ).

The gingham fabric was purchased from J. & L. Sewing on St.Laurent in Montreal.

Kindergarten Dress Aster Cardi La gang a Nat

The cardigan is the Aster from Willow & Co.  You are bound to see more Aster’s coming out of my sewing room.  I’m dreaming of a collarless version with bias tape ties at the front.

I totally predict this will be the next “it” sewing garment this fall.

The navy blue ponte is from my local Fabricland.  The blue flower buttons are from M&J Trimming in New York.

Now, my lovely friend Christine at 2 Little Hooligans is also sewing for her little girl who started kindergarten so head on over to see what she created!

And to see what everyone else came up with, click on the image below.


SFK 14 participants


19 thoughts on “Sewing for Kindergarten: Alix starts school!

  1. THANK YOU Natalie….this is just perfect!! I looove this outfit and for a person like me (photography clueless) I’m loving the photos. The one where Alix is hugging your husband almost made me cry too – precious!!

  2. So beautiful Natalie! I’m with Mie and I Love the photos!! They’re all precious! And Alix is ADORABLE!! Such pretty versions of Charlie and Aster, and they go perfect together!! 🙂

  3. First day of school was an emotional moment for my little kitten too although he’s almost 6 y.o now. He cried when I left him but after that everything went as normal.
    I love the gingham dress with yellow bias tape, good colour combo, Natalie.

  4. Such a cute outfit! I’ve sewn both patterns and they are among my all time favorite. I guess I will have to try them together…
    And the photos are adorable!

  5. Oh! That photo of Alix and Papa! So emotional! It really feel that moment. Missy started school on Monday. So we’re four days in and so far so good. Sadly children wear uniform in the UK, so no great sewing opportunities.
    I was a little sad at my baby starting the whole school system and the routine of getting two children to school, rather than one, is tough, but today I had my first child-free morning! And that was bliss! (I only cleaned the kitchen etc).
    Missy does everything with a sense of purpose and determination – and I see glimpses of the same thing in Alix’ photos! Hope she settles in well.
    And if I ever get round to sewing knits, the Aster cardigan will be first on my list. I can see it being a go-to pattern!

  6. Natalie…that picture of her clinging to her Daddy’s arm made me tear up…and I don’t really do that often. It is an absolutely beautiful moment, I’m so glad you captured that! Your photography is beautiful, your work is paying off! I love the Charlie in the gingham, too… Well done!!

  7. She’s gorgeous and the clothes are too. I did a lot of sewing for my son until he hit elementary school and then he wanted to wear sports jerseys and that sort of thing. This post definitely brings feelings of nostalgia!

  8. I meant to comment on this forever ago when you first posted it. I enjoyed the interview so much and love what you made. And I wanted to tell you that we were thinking of you today when I used some of the lavender bird fabric you sent for a school project with Tia. We had to make a paper doll that looked like her and we made a dress for the doll. Tia picked that fabric for her doll’s dress. It’s such awesome fabric, I was very careful when I cut into it to save as much as I could. (It’s a bigish doll… but we still have lots of fabric left… whew!) 🙂 Thanks again, so much! ❤

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