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Tuesday 27 August 2013

Back to school swap things I made

I had no idea what to make for the Back to School Swap until my swap partner (Betty B in the USA) told me that her Caleb wanted a school uniform. She sent me some photos of him and it was none other than the intrepid Caleb who took to White Water Rafting at the 2011 Sasha Festival. A sporty, loving boy making the most of his opportunities.
Betty's Caleb at the 2011 Sasha Festival
Betty's Caleb having fun playing with one of the babies
My mind went to my primary school and I got on with the fun and pleasure of researching and creating. I was gratified to find out that the uniform has hardly changed since I was at the school.

knitting the school socks, from page 132 of the 3 Ann's book
Pinehurst school socks in progress
Nicholas James modelling the partly made blazer and socks
This is the letter I sent with the items for Betty :

When you told me your Caleb wanted a school uniform I thought not of English public schools which have uniforms (though the state schools have uniforms too) but of my own primary school in Cape Town, South Africa. 

When I went to Pinehurst Primary School ( in Pinelands during the 1970s it was a very new school, white children only. This was the height of the apartheid era and schools were strictly segregated. My family were very anti apartheid (but as my parents were British Passport holders resident in SA, they couldn’t vote, though we had considerably more privileges than Black, Asian or Coloured families including access to some of the best education in the state sector). I am extremely proud of the fact that at the earliest opportunity both my primary school and my high school (Pinelands High School decided to admit children of any race, but this happened after my school days. Both schools go from strength to strength which is wonderful. 

The uniform I have made is the boys Summer uniform for Pinehurst Primary School and the cricket clothes (your Caleb seems a sporty boy as he likes white water rafting). See This means there is no school tie (they only use a tie in the winter). All items I made myself, except for the cricket ball and bat which I bought in the UK. The cricket pads I made from lolly sticks and fabric. I did all the hand embroidery. The blazer is made from my elder daughter’s old school blazer (I was able to make three from the fabric, as I'm making the boy and girl Summer uniforms for my own Sasha family). The socks I knitted from a pattern in the second 3 Ann’s book. The main uniform is virtually unchanged since my days at the school and I can remember wearing those socks with their distinctive stripes. I haven’t made shoes as this is next on my list of things to try and learn how to do. The uniform requires black lace up shoes and the cricket outfit requires white sports shoes (they’re called trainers here and ‘tackies’ in SA). I haven’t knitted the sports socks (they should be black with yellow stripes).

The blazer badges (I made 3) with my original blazer pocket and badge,
the cricket shirt and sock in progress
The 3 blazer badges and my original badge, along with the school logo
The embroidery on the cricket shirt
Reuben and Nicholas James helped model the clothes as the outfit came together.  Reuben was glad to pose for the photos when everything was finished.  The photo session which would have been outdoors ended up coming inside when the rain began to fall.
Reuben in the cricket outfit
cricket pads I made from lolly sticks
Reuben indoors in the cricket outfit
Reuben in the cricket shirt
Reuben wears the school shirt, shorts and socks 
with the addition of the completed blazer 
close up of the blazer and badge 
close up of the socks 
The Pinehurst cricket set 
The blazer was fully lined
(from the school jacket pattern in the 3 Ann's book)
Miniature Pinehurst blazer, socks, shorts and shirt
the complete set ready for Betty and her Caleb 
Betty's parcel took a bit longer to arrive than mine, and I was relieved to get a message from her today confirming that it had got to her at last. She said "I have received a most wonderful school uniform, the cricket ball and bat is something I have never seen before, what a delight."  She went on to explain that she knows nothing about cricket so I've sent her some information about the game, which is a distant cousin of baseball and rounders.


Julie said...

What a fabulous gift. Your attention to detail makes your outfits so special.

Serenata said...

An absolutely fantastic swap gift! You really put so much effort into it that I am sure that Betty will really treasure it. The little embroidery is such an extra special touch. Well done!

Dee said...

Faboulous swap gift , she will be over the moon to receive such a lovely parcel.
Love the little school sock's especially and all the extra little details.

PrairiePosy said...

Wow, what a spectacular gift, Anna! Betty's Caleb is sure to be thrilled!

Sharon said...

WOW that's a great swap that you've made there Anna! The attention to detail is perfect and that cricket outfit is really great, you have a great imagination, using the lolly sticks for the pads! Brilliant!
Your swap partner is going to be thrilled with this parcel!!!

Janet said...

Not only is the swap a fabulous gift, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your own childhood.

After seeing your creations, I know that the Three Ann's book will be my next purchase.

DollMum said...

thank you for all your kind comments. I'm pleased to report that my swap partner is delighted with what I sent to her and there are some photos on Lorraine's blog showing Prince and Caleb wearing the outfits.

Unknown said...

Such an interesting blogpost, I really enjoyed reading it. The pair of knitted socks has to be my favourite item, although I do love the embroidered blazer. Hope to see your Sasha dolls wearing the other 2 sets.