Archive for the ‘Blank Slate Patterns’ Category

For Christmas, I made my daughter a new bathrobe!

She really needed one; she was still wearing one that I’d made for her in 2015… and she’s quite a bit taller these days, haha!

I decided to do some hacking and use the Blank Slate Sora cardigan (<–affiliate link) as my starting point. I used a size larger than my daughter’s measurements indicated so that it would have a more oversized fit. I’d seen Melissa’s tutorial on converting the Sora cardigan into a “grandpa” sweater, so I used the same steps to straighten the side seams and remove the gussets. I also added 12″ of length to bring the hem long enough to cover her legs past her knees. I added loops at the side seams for a belt (in retrospect, they should be higher, but I was guessing, since this was a surprise!). Finally, I widened and lengthened the sleeves instead of using the cuff piece.

There’s a funny story about this fabric. I was given this fleece yardage by a neighbor, but I didn’t realize that they had a cat (or maybe more than one!). I prewashed the fleece as per my usual habit, and spent an hour or so one evening cutting out all the pieces. The next morning, I woke up feeling very sniffly and exhausted. Of course, I worried that I was sick, but it felt more like allergies. Christmas was approaching quickly, so after taking a nap to fortify myself, I headed back to the sewing machine to get going on construction. I powered through about three-quarters of the way through the project (sniffling and sneezing the entire time) before realizing that I was occasionally seeing a cat hair in my fabric– and that perhaps I was having an allergic reaction! That explained everything. I stopped sewing, took allergy medication (which makes me so sleepy in and of itself!), and was good for nothing the rest of the evening. But I had to finish the robe before I could wash it again! The next morning, I will admit I was feeling some trepidation. I did NOT want to have another day of allergy-induced stupor, but I really wanted to finish the project. I put on one of my masks and was able to finish the robe without any more complications! I washed it twice before wrapping it for my daughter to open on Christmas morning!

Thankfully there have been no more allergy incidents, and my daughter is loving her cozy new robe!

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Our daughter dressed as Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

We found some amazing reference images from a book of concept art (aff link), and those images gave some great insight into the layers we needed to create.

We used ready-to-wear leggings and boots on her lower half, and we spent our energy creating the layers on her upper half.

The first layer was a blouse with lantern sleeves, and I used the Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up (aff link) as my starting point. The main hacks I made were to the collar and sleeves. Zelda has a tall collar closed with a single round button, so to create that effect on my daughter’s blouse, I increased the height of the collar stand and omitted the collar pieces altogether. I was pleased with how easy it was! Since there is no visible placket on the character’s blouse (fantasy means no practical concerns such as how you put on a garment!), I added hidden snaps between the placket layers.

I used a modified version of the Melly Sews lantern sleeve hack: instead of inserting a rectangle, I used a trapezoid shape. That resulted in an ungathered seam at the elbow and an asymetric blousing effect at the cuff. I stitched the gathers to wide elastic and then covered the elastic with a cuff made from the same knit as the jacket. If I were to do this again, I would omit the elastic and just stitch the gathers into a cuff!

The middle layer was a jacket effect. Since there were no visible closures (again!) and raglan sleeves on Zelda’s, I decided to use the Blank Slate Rivage Raglan (aff link) as my base pattern and an aqua knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics. After making a quick trial version from scrap knit, I added 2″ of height toward the neckline on the back and sleeve sections, drew the notches in the hemline and sleeves, and modified my pattern pieces. After I cut and assembled the new hacked pieces, I started adding the gold trim. Let me tell you, lamé bias tape is no joke to work with! I also realized only after I’d opened my packages that I’d purchased single-fold bias tape, rather than double-fold! It was an adventure, but I took it slowly, stitching it on with a long stitch length in clear thread (and just plain white in the bobbin). (I will admit that this costume was an exercise in not letting perfection be the enemy of the good…).

I cut the decorative shape at the neckline from craft foam, painted it with a few coats of metallic gold paint, and attached it at the front, behind which the gold crosspieces are pinned in place: I wanted to have enough room for her to get her head in and out!.

The outermost layer is a corset effect (velcro closure in the back), which I constructed from scratch. I added batting and quilted the design, adding the top bands of gold trim over a strip of aqua fabric to match her jacket layer. Husband created the “leather” belt from craft foam. He scored and heated it to give the effect of leather tooling before painting it brown and giving it a wash of black paint for further depth.

He also created the Triforce medallion from layers of craft foam and painted the details with metallic gold paint. We simply hot-glued it in place!

The final touch was her hairstyle! I have no idea why I have not used YouTube for braiding tutorials before–now this has opened a whole new can of worms, haha! THIS video was the perfect tutorial for this cute headband braid style: I learned some new tricks, and we’re excited to keep trying some more in the future.

We got some absolutely beautiful (if I do say so myself) photos of our daughter acting as Zelda during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

Summary of patterns:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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My children talk almost nonstop about their progress playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild! Since they love the game so much, it was the perfect source for costume inspiration. Without further ado, I present Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild!

Our son specifically requested to wear Link’s Zora armor, which is what his character in the game was wearing at the time we decided on our costumes.

The costumes were a collaboration between Husband and me: he made all the foam accessories (Link’s armor pieces and brooch, Zelda’s belt and Triforce medallion, and the Sheikah slates), while I focused on the fabric pieces (and I made Link’s beaded bandolier).

During our photo shoot at a nearby pumpkin patch, they had a really great time getting into character and acting out scenes for the camera.

I’m thrilled with the costumes, and I think our children are, too!

I will do separate posts (Zelda, Link) with details for each costume and one for the Sheikah slates, but until then, here is a list of the patterns I used:

blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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When Melissa asked me if I’d like the opportunity to sew up one of her new fabrics through Riley Blake, I jumped at the chance!!

I sewed up the sunshiny-golden geometric print into a Bexley dress from Blank Slate Patterns (<– aff link). This cotton-spandex knit is so soft and the perfect weight for the dress. Ask your favorite fabric shop to stock this line– it’s gorgeous and includes rayon challis and knits!

I feel like I’m wearing sunshine when I wear this dress!

Thank you, Melissa!

disclosure: I was gifted this fabric in exchange for sewing it into a Blank Slate pattern. All opinions are my own!

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Last August, I started this pair of white Garnet Shorts (affiliate links used where available, at no cost to you, but I may earn a small commission!). As soon as I finished my denim pair, I knew I wanted to make a white pair. I got them fully constructed, but when I tried to buy buttons, there were only 9 at the store, not the 12 I needed! The buttons were on backorder, and got lost in the shuffle of restocking after COVID-related supply chain issues. I finally acquired the rest of the buttons I needed, just in time for a warm and sunny spring break this March!

I used the same pattern pieces as my denim version, but I adjusted the front rise length a bit more. However, the biggest modification that I made was to fully line them. The white twill (from my stash) was going to be just a bit too sheer for shorts, and so I used white cotton (also from my stash) as the lining layer.

To add my lining: I constructed the outer layer (front and back, including pockets) as written, but stopped before adding the bias binding. I then taped my pocket pattern piece to the front pattern piece to cut my front lining pieces, and constructed my lining layer with no pockets. I stitched my outer layer and lining layers right sides together, understitched as far as possible, turned them right side out, and topstitched the finished edge. From this point, I followed the written pattern instructions to attach my waistband and finish the shorts.

I love the vintage vibe from these shorts, and I know I will get a lot of use out of this pair! For my first outfit, I decided to put together a Donald Duck Disneybound look–

why yes, I did wear a yellow mask… too “on the nose?” ::wink, wink!::

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On our second Hollywood Studios day, my son ‘bounded as R2-D2. When we’d first started discussing clothing ideas for him, he actually came up with this idea, and I was delighted that I could make it happen for him!

I used the Blank Slate Patterns Bookworm Button-up pattern (affiliate link), and using photos of R2-D2, I planned out color blocking to evoke the character. The shirt is white (of course), with a grey yoke, horizontal blue accents on the pockets, a blue collar, and blue tabs on the sleeves. I like how the vertical blue tabs look like the blue accents on R2’s struts.

I used blue buttons down the front placket, white buttons on the sleeve tabs and one of the front pockets. Of course, we had one red button right on the front!

I think my son really enjoyed ‘bounding one of his very favorite Star Wars characters! And I love that he’ll be able to wear this shirt for dressier occasions and still subtly celebrate his fandom!

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For our first day in the parks, we went to Hollywood Studios.  We arrived before the official opening time, and while the (very light) crowds were all going one way to get into line for other rides, we went the other way and ended up in Galaxy’s Edge first thing.  

Wow, it was incredible–what a way to begin our trip!  Galaxy’s Edge was amazing, not just for the ambience and architecture, but also because it felt like we had it to ourselves!  We wandered around in awe, and even after we walked onto and rode Smuggler’s Run, we had plenty of time afterward to take photos with the Millenium Falcon before anyone else was gathered there!  

For my R2-D2 bound, I decided to go for a straightforward color-block effect and use a belt to emphasize the character.

My top is an Abrazo tee from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link).  The fabric I found at G Street Fabrics was a remnant cut, and so while I had originally planned to do elbow-length sleeves, I needed to shorten the sleeves by 4.25″ from that elbow length to fit it on the fabric!  I calculated my 3″ long circular ruffle using the Melly Sews tutorial that I’ve used before (it’s so great.  I love adding ruffles for a little extra touch of customization!).  The great thing about this tee is that I can make it from cutting to finishing in one day!  Talk about a satisfying sew.

This skirt is another quick-to-sew, fabulous-to-wear pattern: the Delphine skirt from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch book (affiliate link).  Based on my denim wearable muslin, I’ve slightly modified the angle of the waistband side seams for a better fit.  I used some white twill that I’ve had in my stash for ages!

I used a wide elastic belt from Buckle Down (affiliate link) to complete the look. Let me tell you, it was perfect– and it was super comfortable to wear all day!

Here are some more photos–

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Many years ago (I think maybe even decades!), I got this t-shirt because I loved the quirky picture on it. It is a very soft shirt, and I wore it sometimes as a night shirt. Recently, I’ve begun to realize that regular-ol’ crew neck t-shirts really aren’t a style that suit me, and lower necklines are more comfortable, so I’ve been wanting to refashion some of my favorite tees into tops that I can enjoy wearing more often.

A couple weekends ago, I was feeling really worn out from school all week, and I felt like I didn’t have any creative energy left. An attempt to look through my fabric stash for fun fabric for (more!) masks for our family turned into me reorganizing the closet in my craft studio where I keep all my fabric. This project was long-overdue– it was a mess in there! But look how tidy it is now:

As I was pulling everything out, I found this t-shirt, which I had cut apart with the intention of making into a differently-shaped t-shirt, but didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern I’d been thinking of using. I’d put it away, but this time, I realized I could probably turn it into a Blank Slate Kirei cami (<–affiliate link).

Since this t-shirt fabric was a lot less stretchy than the knits I would usually use for this pattern (and because I learned my lesson from a previous t-shirt refashion attempt), I added width to the bodice pieces and scooped out the underarm by just a little bit. I used some scrap grey knit to make the neckline binding and straps, and this shirt has been transformed into something that I’m excited to wear more often!

This was a really satisfying accomplishment on a weekend when I thought I had no inspiration left! I will definitely be looking at my other t-shirts with new eyes after this successful refashion!

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Here’s a little backstory. This fall, we are homeschooling for the first time, and the first couple weeks, while good, were incredibly exhausting for me. I could barely think about making dinner, let alone doing anything creative. But if you know me, you know that I can’t go too long without sewing or scrapbooking before I start to get a little crazy! So as I began to climb out of the fog, I started thinking about how to scratch the creative itch that was starting up again.

I’ve been seeing some amazing Blank Slate Patterns Esma tops (affiliate link) and hacks recently, and when I spotted a leopard print rayon skirt on clearance for $3, I knew that I had to try a ruffle peplum for myself.

In minutes here and there while my kids worked, I put together a quick muslin of the pattern, and then in one weekend, I cut out my pieces from the skirt and sewed up my top!

One little surprise that I hadn’t thought of when I snapped up the skirt was that it was actually cut on the bias… so my top ended up cut on the bias, too!

I used the skirt’s existing hem for the peplum– cutting a 10.5″ strip from the bottom of the skirt. I barely managed to eke out the rest of my pieces– I had to shorten the waistline by 1/2″ to fit the front and back, there was a bit of creative cutting in order to cut the cuffs! But I managed it! This is literally all that is left of the skirt, except for the elastic, which I will save for some other project in the future!

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Ever since I made THIS ruffle-sleeve Blanc tee almost exactly a year ago, I’ve wanted one in black. In December 2019, I placed an online order from LA Finch Fabrics that included this gorgeous black double-brushed poly, and I specifically wanted to make this top. Of course, I didn’t get to it right away, but it never left my to-make list!

And finally, here it is! I used exactly the same pattern pieces that I’d made for the original ruffle-sleeved top.

It’s everything I wanted it to be. So, so comfortable, yet at bit of flair with the ruffle sleeves. It can be dressed up or down, and I specifically made it to go with these skorts that I love to wear on hot summer days!

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