Junior high school boy!

Junior high school boy!

Junior high school boy!

Sidra has started junior high school this week! Yesterday was the entrance ceremony at his school.

The junior high school is actually right across his elementary school, and most of his friends go there, so there is not much difference than the elementary school days. But still, he looked so different and mature in uniform than he was before.

After the ceremony, we went back to a spot near the school where we took a picture 6 years ago after the elementary school entrance ceremony.

Several elementary school kids stopped by to watch us taking pictures with tripod and timer under the light rain. Everyone else took pictures in front of the school gate but we went to this spot beside the street, these kids probably thought about how weird these foreigners were.

I asked Sidra once, “Everytime Papa and I go to school, why are the kids staring at us and whispering to each other?

Sidra said, “Because you are foreigners!”

“But you are a foreigner too!”

“Yeah, but they see me as a Japanese now.”

Apparently, Sidra is a Japanese kid with foreigner parents (^_^”)

Elementary school entrance ceremony 2009 Junior high school entrance ceremony day 2015

Thank you for all the replies on my previous post about Japanese school uniform. I’m happy that many people also find it interesting. Several people asked me about the care and cost of the uniform, so I will break it down here witn approximation in USD.

  • – School jacket – 50% wool, 50% polyester: ¥21,600 / USD180
  • – School pants for winter – 50% wool, 50% polyester: ¥10,150 / USD85
  • – School pants for summer – 95% polyester, 5% cotton: ¥5,620 / USD47.
  • – Long sleeved white shirt: ¥1940 / USD 16
  • – Short sleeved white shirt for summer: ¥1830 / USD15
  • – Belt: ¥1580 / USD13
  • – White socks (3 pairs): ¥1080 / USD9
  • – Inside slippers – to be used all day inside school: about ¥1080 / USD9
  • – Inside sports shoes – to be used during sports class in the hall: about ¥2,800 / USD23
  • – Sports uniform – this includes short sleeved T-shirt and shorts, long sleeved top and track pants: about ¥14,000 / USD117
  • TOTAL: ¥61,680 / USD515

The cost for uniform jacket for girls is slightly lower than the boys, but the skirt costs higher than the pants, so the total cost is more or less the same. I don’t know much about second hand uniform, although I’m sure people can find one to buy. When my husband and I went to the junior high school for the school explanation, there was a hanging rack with several second hand uniform in sale with very cheap price.

The uniform is washable, and actually they are pretty durable. I’ve asked a friend about it, and she said that she washes the uniform by putting them into laundry net bag and use the soft setting on the washing machine. She washes the uniform only on weekends. Sometimes the uniform gets too dirty on weekdays, then it can be washed at night and it will be dry in the morning. She said that she doesn’t have to be extra careful about taking care of the uniform. Her son also uses the same pair of pants for both winter and summer. I’ve seen that his son has spent the entire three years using the same uniform, so I think Sidra’s uniform will be fine.

In addition to the uniform and all the regulated items above, we still have to buy a school bag and a pair of sneakers to be worn during the walk to and from school and outside sports class. The bag and sneakers can be in any color, but we bought both in black for Sidra because well… it looks good with his uniform, isn’t it?

I guess that’s about all that a Japanese high school student needs, besides books and stationery items. Hopefully Sidra will experience a happy three years in these uniform!

Japanese junior high school uniform – with user’s manual

Japanese middle school uniform

Japanese junior high school uniform

Sidra is entering junior high school next month, and this is the uniform that he will be wearing for the next three years. No, I didn’t make this, but it is a very interesting uniform so I want to post about it.

I think every parent with a growing child understand how difficult it is to find a good fitting clothes for their child. A good fitting outfit is nice to look at, but sadly can only be worn for several months or maybe a year.

Then people usually buy or make clothes that several sizes too big to prolong the wearing life, which unfortunately don’t look too good on the child. That is why so many children are wearing either too big or too small clothes.

This set of uniform is not too cheap, so people want them to last for the three years of school life. Not many people want to buy a new set of new uniform each time the child grows up.

But uniform in several sizes too big won’t look too good, not to mention uncomfortable for daily school life. This is where the Japanese engineering comes in. The uniform is designed in such a way that they can be altered to several sizes up!

Japanese middle school uniform

User’s manual

This is the user’s manual that comes with the uniform. It says something like, “Thank you for purchasing this product. This is the manual to ensure long time wearing.”

Japanese middle school uniform

How to care

First, the usual care information.

Japanese middle school uniform

Button types

Japanese middle school uniform Japanese middle school uniform

The jacket has metal buttons with metal shank on the other side, connected through small buttonhole. In this way, the buttons can be removed and installed back easily. I guess it will create much stronger buttons than the ones attached with thread. As you can see, the buttons on Sidra’s jacket are type A.

Japanese middle school uniform

Lengthening the sleeves

Japanese middle school uniform

Tiny yellow stitches

The steps for lengthening the sleeves.

  1. Remove the buttons.
  2. Unpick the stitches connecting the lining to the sleeves hem, indicated by yellow thread.
  3. Once the yellow stitches are removed, the hem can be folded out.
  4. Press to remove the fold mark.
  5. Mark the buttons placement.
  6. Attach the buttons back.

I think the sleeves have two levels of hemmed edge. The first level is attached the ordinary way at the edge of the sleeves. Then moving up several cm, the hem and lining are stitched together again using the yellow thread to shorten the sleeves. To lengthen the sleeves, the yellow thread is removed. You can see the tiny yellow stitches in the picture.

Japanese middle school uniform Japanese middle school uniform

The manual shows two types of jacket, one with partial lining and the other with full lining. Sidra’s jacket has full lining. The jacket can be lengthened the same way as the sleeves, by removing the yellow stitches thread along the hem.

The little hands on the manual points the position of the stitches that need to be removed. To keep the hem from falling open, there are several yellow bartacks on the lower part of seamlines. The bartacks are removed as well when lengthening the jacket.

Japanese middle school uniform

Enlarging the jacket

Japanese middle school uniform Japanese middle school uniform

The jacket can be enlarged simply by opening the darts on the underarm of the jacket and the pleats on the lining.

Japanese middle school uniform

Enlarging the pants

Japanese middle school uniform

The center back of the pants has two seam lines, one in blue and the other in black. The pants can be enlarged by removing the blue stitches as indicated in the manual.

And here is some more details on the uniform, if you’re interested.

Japanese middle school uniform Japanese middle school uniform

The pants has a name label attached on the lining of the back pocket. The cuffs have snap-on buttons so they can be lengthened as well. Sidra’s pants are actually too long but they have been altered by the store where we bought the uniform.

Japanese middle school uniform Japanese middle school uniform

The inside part of the jacket. The name label is on the inside of the left side upper pocket. The pocket on other side of jacket has zipper.

For me, the most impressive thing is the fact that all these alterations can be done even by someone who has no experience in sewing. No sewing machine needed, and the only hand sewing required is for attaching the buttons on the sleeves – which most people can do.

The shoulders are still a tad too long for Sidra, but I guess altering jacket shoulders with pads is quite a difficult thing to do. The jacket and pants are made with washable wool with a bit of stretch in it so they are quite comfortable to wear.

Now that I don’t have to worry about the uniform becoming too small, I hope they can withstand all the activities that a junior high school boy will do for the whole three years!

Graduation suit!

Graduation day Graduation day

Here’s Sidra in his new suit!

Graduation suit Graduation suit

Graduation suit Graduation suit

Graduation suit Graduation suit

The trousers have thigh-length partial lining. I connected the seam allowance at the inseam using chain stitched thread.

Graduation suit Graduation suit

Graduation suit Graduation suit

Sidra had a blast at the graduation day yesterday, laughing and taking pictures with his friends. Some of the girls from his class were crying as if they will never meet again, but actually most of them will go to the same junior high school.

Graduation day

Sidra Fun with selfie stick

Graduation day

Graduation day

This is a picture of us in front of our old apartment before going to Sidra’s elementary school entrance ceremony. And the second picture is us in front of the house after the graduation ceremony. Everyone’s getting older now. How time flies by!
Entering elementary school Graduation day

All patterns from Burdastyle, size 134:
Jacket: Boy’s Classic Button-Up Blazer 02/2015 #142
Trousers: Suit Trousers 02/2012 #138
Waistcoat: Boy’s Waistcoat 02/2013 #145

Elementary graduation suit: in progress

Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

Sidra is graduating from elementary school this week! It seemed that not a long time ago he was entering first grade. Time flies so fast. It seems that not a long time ago I made him an entrance ceremony suit.

I asked Sidra to pick the color of the suit he’s going to wear to his graduation ceremony. He said, “I want a white suit!”

I don’t have anything against white suit, really. There must be a right occasion for that, but this is an important event for all the graduating children. It won’t be fair if everyone has their attention caught on this one kid wearing sparkling white suit amidst the sea of greys and blacks.

After several back and forth, fortunately we were able to settle on grey or brown. I bought this grey tweed fabric in Okadaya, Shinjuku. Before I started a project, I love to put the fabrics and all the notions in one plastic bag to make it easier later to find something.

Since Sidra is a bit skinny, I use pattern size 134 cm although his height is 137 cm. The muslin was a bit short, so I lengthened the body about 2.5 cm.

Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

I was considering using proper hair canvas for the interfacing but decided to just use the fusible ones. I’ve never used hair canvas before so I am curious! Maybe for a future project.

Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

I cut the undercollar on bias so it would roll better. Here it is being pinned on the dressmaker’s ham after being steamed into shape. The jacket also has a back stay cut from muslin and a couple of thin shoulder pads. The shoulder pads help to shape the shoulder and upper sleeves.

After stitching the facing, I basted them into place and pressed them.

Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

My husband ordered an adjustable tie from an online store but it turned out to be in adult size. I cut it open, shortened it, and put it back together.

Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

The book is Making Trousers by David Page Coffin, it is a great book with lots of information on construction techniques that couture seamstress might use. I don’t usually use this book for making ordinary pants, but this is a special occasion that deserves special treatment.

Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

Sidra said the fabric is itchy, so I added lining to the pants. The pants has back welt pocket, zipper fly, and grosgrain ribbon waist facing. I added a waistcoat to the outfit, which has a couple of welt pockets on the front. I think by this time I have had enough exercise on making welt pockets!
Making graduation suit Making graduation suit

His comment? “The pockets are not big enough.” LOL. I might change the pockets later after the graduation ceremony. More pictures later!

All patterns from Burdastyle, size 134:
Jacket: Boy’s Classic Button-Up Blazer 02/2015 #142
Trousers: Suit Trousers 02/2012 #138
Waistcoat: Boy’s Waistcoat 02/2013 #145

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