The Girl Urkel Grows Up

with sweater
So warm and cozy for wintertime wear!

I’ve been working on an assignment for the past few weeks, so there’s a limit on how crazy I can dress. Happily, this frock — which I dubbed the School Girl Pinafore — is work-friendly, thanks to the argyle print action.

All in a day’s work.

This dress was a whip-up project that I finished with special care. I had about a yard of this mid-weight, sweater-ish knit fabric, and had no clue what to do with it. Then, one day, I drafted a bodice pattern for myself. It featured four front waist darts, and two back waist darts, plus an angled waistline seam.

But it was too small! So I created and attached plackets to both raw edges of the center front, and inserted a zipper by hand sewing it with pick stitches to the plackets. I took care to line up the diamonds of the placket with the diamonds of the bodice fronts.

Neck and armhole binding.
Neck and armhole binding.

For the skirt, I trimmed the remaining fabric and sewed up the open side to form a tube. For symmetry, I made a mock seam on the other side of the tube. I aligned these seams to the side seams of the bodice, taking care to align a column of diamonds down the center front. I gathered the skirt to the waistline as I sewed, and made a fold under hem.

To finish the neckline and armhole, I went to my old favorite: bias binding! I used black store bought bias binding for the armholes, but for the neckline I cut some stretch poly satin on the bias and made my own binding. That was so tricky to work with, and it was my first time cutting bias from a used scrap of fabric (instead of buying fabric, squaring it off, and making bias that way). Risky! Especially since I only had enough scrap to make one length of bias. But it worked out beautifully.

faux mirror
Pretending to powder my face.

When I first made this dress, I did a fun little photo shoot in my room. And when it’s just me and the camera, I’ve found that I get a kick out of pantomiming everyday actions. I also get a kick out of dancing, but those videos are not for public consumption — I’m like Carlton in heels!

skin take
Bare armed for warm weather.

Which awkwardness brings me to the title of this post, and a little bit of my childhood. When I was a girl, my friends — for whatever reason — called me Urkel. Now, I never let on how terribly hurt and offended I was to be likened to him, but I did one day ask a friend where the commonality lay. She suggested it was my inadvertent clusiness. ‘Did I do that?‘ But I was secretly convinced it was my subpar wardrobe.

What is my hand doing???

To me, this dress kind of plays homage to those awkward days, while still being cute, wearable, and made by me. So yes! I guess I did do that, after all. :)

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  1. Girl, you look good in that dress, not an Urkel in sight. (I hated that show, too. Had some friends who loved it; had to get rid of them. Ha, ha!) The dress would work with black tights or a blue purse, too, I think, for your 60s mod days.

    Thanks for the Carlton Dance moment. Did you know Alfonso Ribeiro was the kid in the famous Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial?

    1. Wow, thank you for such an awesome compliment! And I love your styling ideas, I actually loooooove the 60s mod look.

      I did not know Mr. Ribeiro was the kid in that commercial, so thank you for the link. I also loooooove commercials. :)

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