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Archive for the ‘Blank Slate Patterns’ Category

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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And to go with my new Blank Slate Garnet shorts, here is the Blank Slate Hathaway tank! (affiliate links used where available, at no cost to you, but I may earn a small commission!)

This is a woven top pattern with V-neck or round neck options that will be a staple in a summer wardrobe!

The neckline and armholes are bound with bias binding (purchased or you can make your own), and there’s even a little pocket to add to the front. The pattern comes with detailed instructions to adjust the pattern for a perfect fit in the size, bust, and length. It is very straightforward (it doesn’t even have darts!), which makes it the perfect piece to show off a special fabric.

And that’s exactly what I did with this one. This crepe is from a dress my mom made for me when I was about 15. I loved the fabric so much that I’ve hung onto that dress all these years and finally made something else from it!

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I’ve really been enjoying listening to the “Sew and Tell” podcast. They posed a challenge recently called “Sew Your Roll”, in which you roll 3 12-sided dice to determine color, shade, and detail parameters for a sewing project. I thought I’d play along!

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I rolled three dice with the following results:
Blue die = color = 7 = aqua
White die= shade = 11 = neutral
Green die= detail = 2 = ruffles

I was really excited to get aqua (one of my very favorite colors) AND ruffles, because lately, I just love all the girly details, and ruffles are right there at the top of my list!  I promise that I didn’t doctor this roll!

As I looked through my stash (no fabric shopping going on currently), I discovered a smallish (29″ x 42″ wide) piece of dusty aqua rib knit that had been handed down to me a few years ago.  I think the color definitely qualifies as “neutral aqua” 🙂

Next, I needed to come up with a garment idea that would have ruffles…and fit on a >1 yd piece of fabric! I immediately thought of the Blank Slate Patterns Kirei camisole (<–affiliate link).

But how to add the ruffles…  I did a quick Pinterest search of “ruffle tank top” and this came up:

…and that helped me envision ruffles along the front neckline. Even though I used this for inspiration, the final top looks different. As I considered how I would add the ruffles with the binding, I decided to have them point downward rather than upward like the inspiration top.

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And then, as I was getting everything together, I realized that the only thread I had on hand that was even close to matching is a slightly darker teal/aqua… and one thing led to another, and then I was using a scrap of darker aqua knit that matched that thread (from this dress) to add a second layer to the ruffle that would make the darker thread look intentional!

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Another little hack I did was to improvise some knit interfacing.  The pattern calls for knit or stretch interfacing for the straps, and I don’t have any on hand.  Since we’re under a stay-at-home order here, it would have been irresponsible for me to go out on a hunt for some in the stores, so I got on the Blank Slate Patterns facebook page to reach out for suggestions.  Melissa suggested cutting a thin knit fabric on the crossgrain to sandwich into the straps instead, and it worked great.

In the above photos, you can see how I laid a crossgrain strip of knit along the middle fold of the strap piece.  I basted in place with very long basting stitches so that I could remove them easily when the straps were installed.  

I left the bottom hem of my top unfinished, since the rib knit will not unravel, and I have raw edges on the ruffles, as well.

I think this ruffle cami is going to be such a cute layering piece… and I never would have thought to use this hand-me-down piece of rib knit without the Sew Your Roll challenge!

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A while back, I found this coral stripe knit at a very, very good price, so I purchased 2 yards of it, knowing that I have a lot of patterns for knits that I want to sew.  At the top of my mind was the Blank Slate Shoreline Boatneck— I have seen so many gorgeous versions of this, I’ve had the pattern for a while now, and I finally wanted to give it a shot myself!

I chose the short-sleeved tunic version for this sew; I could envision wearing it with black leggings and a denim jacket for fall weather…and in the end, it came out just like I imagined it, and I’m really pleased!

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This was one of several patterns and projects that I cut out in preparation for my ankle surgery– I knew that after my surgery, it would be quite a while before I could stand for long periods of time to do the cutting part of these projects.  I decided to get some projects lined up ahead of time so that I could have the satisfaction of getting back into the swing of being creative as soon as I could hobble into my craft studio.

…And now you get to see photos of me in my lovely and stylish boot 😉 (at the time of these photos, I was able to get around with just one crutch the help me out… it’s just out of the frame of the photo!)

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In the end, I know that this particular fabric isn’t the best color on me without a jacket layered over it, but I’m delighted in the fit and the shape of the Shoreline.  I think this will be the first of many to come, especially since there are so many options and variations with the pattern, and even more with the hack pack!

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We have continued an inadvertent “tradition” of having my son in a green costume each year!  He was Prince James, then Pascal, and then Peter Pan last year… and he’s the Green Ninja this year! (2019 costume overview post HERE)

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Like the Nya costume, the base patterns for Lloyd’s pants and tunic were the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pants and Citronille Emile bathrobe pattern, respectively.  The pants were a basic modification: leave off the cuffs and lengthen the legs to compensate.  The tunic top was a different story, haha!

Because I really, really love to copy every detail that I possibly can, I convinced Husband to help me to drastically modify the bathrobe pattern to capture that really handsome-looking triangular cross-over that Lloyd’s minifig wears.  I would have tried to do it myself, but I wasn’t able to stand up long enough to make large-scale changes to a pattern like that… so I am very thankful that Husband agreed to help me!  I think he did a great job.

We cut black trim on the bias so that it would easily go around the curved parts of the modified front (mostly the flap that crosses under), and I also added black trim at the cuffs and hem.  We added snaps at the corner of the triangle, the neckline, and one snap at the hem to keep the tunic hanging properly.

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I wanted to make actual frog closures for Lloyd’s tunic, but when it came down to it, I didn’t have the right cord on hand.  Instead, I raided my button stash and found some decorative gold buttons that had been given to me, as well as a little scrap of metallic gold trim that was just right.  I attached one end simply by stitching the braid and the button to the tunic, and on the other end, I stitched the button to the braid and then stitched a snap to sandwich the braid.

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We made the gold dragon designs the same way as for Nya’s costume–hand drawn, scanned, adjusted in Silhouette Studio, and then cut with my Cameo 3; I especially enjoyed getting the curled dragon on Lloyd’s back just right…but then we decided that it would be best to mirror it, so that it would connect more logically to the dragon head on the front.

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Again, we changed out the not-really-a-real-character symbol printed on the minifig for Lloyd’s dragon symbol from an earlier incarnation of his outfit on the show.  It is also cut from gold vinyl and applied onto a circle we cut from a scrap of the same dark green fabric as his head tie and belt.

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The belt and head tie were made from fabric left from his Prince James costume, but we didn’t have enough for the leg ties.  We had a scrap of an old dark green t-shirt that was a close match in color, so we used that for the leg ties instead.  We ended up cutting out his hood from a women’s t-shirt, because I couldn’t find any other knit that was a good match!  It was nice and soft, but was a bit more prone to stretching out.

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Action shot!

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Let’s talk about Nya!  (2019 costume overview post HERE)

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When we were starting to plan these costumes, I started looking at commercial patterns that I could use to construct them.  As I looked, I wasn’t really finding exactly what I wanted, and I also knew that I had a great PJ pants pattern that I can make in about an hour that I’d use for the bottoms.  Husband and I were sitting together discussing the top, and our daughter walked into the room wearing her bathrobe.  Husband instantly made the connection, and we realized that the Citronille Emile bathrobe pattern would be just the right basic shape!

We ended up making the size 4 pattern that I’d made for her way back in 2015: we simply lengthened the sleeves and shortened the hem length to make it into a top.  I added black cuffs, added a black band at the hem, and used black fabric as the facing (in the original pattern, you’d use the same as the main garment).  In the unaltered pattern, the facing is only supposed to show around the neck, but I tacked it open at the hem as well, to show the black border all the way down the front.  I added two hooks-and-eyes to help hold it closed under the belt.

The aqua belt, head tie, and leg ties were all made from some scrap aqua knit I had on hand.  I was so excited when I discovered that it was exactly the right color– and my daughter already had an aqua shirt that was almost a perfect match to wear underneath.  I was really excited to find inexpensive dark red knit for the hood that was a nearly perfect match the the woven we’d bought for the main costume pieces.

Probably the most time-intensive parts of these costumes were the gold vinyl dragon designs.  I spent some time looking online for images or stencils that I could adapt for my purposes, but in the end, I decided that it would be easier–and more accurate– to draw them myself.

I first sketched them in pencil:

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and then I colored each one in with black marker…

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This design is for Lloyd’s back, but you get the idea!

…so that I could scan them as .jpgs and trace them in the Silhouette Studio software.  I spent a lot of time editing points, smoothing edges, and fine-tuning the shape, since we connected the dragon pieces from front to back.  Since I could only cut 12″x12″ areas of vinyl at a time, I disguised the joins by making them look like scales.

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I asked for it…I told her to look at me like a ninja…haha!

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We cut the dragons on my Cameo 3 from Cricut vinyl that I got on a very good sale; we deliberately did not use the iron-on (HTV), which was about 3 times the price (after all, these are just costumes…)… but it would have worked much better.  I knew I wasn’t using the appropriate kind of vinyl, but I was dismayed at how poorly this vinyl stuck to fabric.  At the end of a day of wearing these costumes to school, it was definitely and obviously peeling off.

If we ever have the kids wear these costumes again, it would not be hard to re-cut these designs (now that I have them!) from high-quality HTV and replace the peeling vinyl.

On Nya’s back, we decided to use her symbol, rather than the unidentified character that appears on the 2019 Legacy minifig (see Lloyd’s post for a reference photo!).  I cut it from the same gold vinyl and applied it to a circle cut from a scrap of matching aqua woven.  I used fusible web to attach the circle to the top’s back.  I didn’t have any energy left to satin-stitch the edge!

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Now, how about some action shots?!

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sassy Nya, giving Lord Garmadon a “look”

 

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I mentioned in a recent blog post that I’ve been on the lookout for a better women’s pajama pants pattern.  Well, I think I’ve found one!

The Blank Slate Peppermint Pajamas are fantastic.  I had the opportunity to test the pajama shorts pattern** right before my ankle surgery, and I absolutely love how they turned out.

**The pattern includes a pants-length version (with a cuff!) and a great, comfy knit shirt with two raglan sleeve lengths!  I just didn’t have the opportunity to sew it all before being of commission for several weeks.

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The shorts are comfortable and super straightforward to sew.  And I only needed a yard of fabric to whip them up!

They have an elastic waist and pockets.  What more could you want from a pair of PJ shorts?

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You can be sure that I will be making more of these as soon as I’m back in the game.  I am certainly enjoying the ones I already have!  I think this is going to become one of my tried-and-true favorite patterns.

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Be sure to check out the pattern— not only are there shorts and pants options, but there’s a coordinating raglan-sleeve shirt pattern included for knit fabric!

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I’ve made several sets of matching PJs for my son and Husband, but up until this point, V and I didn’t have any matching PJs!  Well, when I made my lavender pajama pants for VBS this year, I had excess fabric– enough to make a pair of pants with V!

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Of course, I used my tried-and-true favorite kids’ PJ pants pattern from Blank Slate Patterns, and V sat on my lap to help me sew as I put these together.  I’d found a perfectly coordinating lavender tank top on clearance for $1, and so her outfit was complete in less than an afternoon.

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I thought it would be especially fun to have these matching PJs finished in time for our family vacation this year, but I realized that I didn’t have a great top to wear… until I remembered that I’d also found a $2-on-clearance 3XL men’s T-shirt in the exact same lavender, intending to turn it into a Blank Slate Texana Tank for next year’s VBS.  It was the day before we left, but this is another TNT pattern, so I was able to whip it up in about 2 hours from start to finish!

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My PJ pants are a modified version of Simplicity 1504, but I adjusted them slightly again for this version.  I’m still not completely happy with the pattern, so I’m still on the lookout for a better women’s pajama pants pattern.

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One last little detail– for VBS, we’re supposed to wear our team bandana every night so that we can be easily identified, so I’d used my lavender bandana as a faux piping/trim at the cuffs of my PJs. I managed to eke out enough from my bandana scraps to add the same trim to V’s!

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Recently, we had a fun-filled week of VBS at our church!  We tried our best to deck ourselves out to coordinate with the theme of each evening.

Monday night, we went on safari!

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We dug out a plastic pith helmet for B that had been part of a butterfly catcher costume for Husband in 2007 and 2011, and a tan bucket hat for V.  V chose a tropical print sundress to wear, while B and I layered button-up shirts with rolled up cuffs over our team color shirts.  B is wearing his Peter Pan shirt, made from the Blank Slate Bookworm pattern, and I’m wearing a cream-colored cotton Blank Slate Novelista!  I sewed my headband from my team bandana fabric using the tried-and-true mmmcrafts Kinder, Gentler Headband pattern that I’ve been using for years.

On Tuesday night, the theme was animals!

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B’s class was known as the “Tiny Tangerine Tigers,” so that was our obvious inspiration for his costume.  Husband added stripes cut from electrical tape to the $1 orange t-shirt I’d purchased, and I quickly sewed up a tail and tiger ears from orange felt, adding more electrical tape stripes to complete the costume.

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V was tickled to receive a super-cute hand-me-down bee costume from a family at church, and it worked perfectly with her class color (she was one of the “Golden Gazelles” this year)

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I repurposed some fabric fish and shells from a previous year’s VBS costume and attached them to my headband to make myself into a coral reef.  I also dug out some big, wooden, fluorescent fish earrings from when I was in middle school or so to complete the look!  Haha!

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Wednesday night was color night, so we did our best to infuse as much of our team hue onto ourselves as possible!  B and I added “hair mascara” to color our hair; we had neither lavender nor orange, so I mixed pink and blue for mine and yellow and red for his.  I think his hair looks a bit like flames!

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I repurposed one of V’s dress-up princess dresses for her skirt: her Snow White costume had saggy elastic in the bodice, so I unpicked the stitching between it and the skirt, added a waistband made from a yellow t-shirt scrap and called it done!

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The Thursday night tradition is pajama night!

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I had a yellow sheet in my stash, so I whipped up a pair of yellow PJ pants for V, and then I found some $2/yd orange fabric to make a pair for B, too.  His have dino fabric at the cuff to coordinate with a pair of Daddy’s.  Both of their pairs were made from the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pattern (I have made SO MANY pairs of PJs using that great pattern!!) .

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After several years of being on the lavender staff team (snacks!), I decided to finally make a pair of lavender PJ pants– and I even incorporated my team bandana as trim above the cuffs.  I couldn’t resist re-using my moon-and-stars headband attachments again this year (previously used in 2017 and 2016!)

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On Friday, it was “Mathletes and Athletes” night.

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B proudly wore his tee ball shirt from the program he did this past spring, and V wore her ballet class gear.  I decided to take the opportunity to tackle a project that I’d been wanting to do for a while– make a shirt with heat transfer vinyl!  It was so very satisfying, and I’ll have a post about my first shirts soon.

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But our outfits/costumes weren’t the only VBS crafts this week!  The weekend before VBS, the staff worked hard to transform our church with all sorts of decorations!  I mostly helped out with the snack area, called “Grizzly Gulch.”

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We decided to make it look like a nighttime campsite in the Rocky Mountains(ish), so we cut out bear silhouettes from black paper and attached them to a starry background.  We assembled our artificial Christmas trees from home and made a little pine grove, and made the kitchen window look cabin-like with curtains that I made from the plaid-printed plastic tablecloth material.

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I had fun making a sign and a campfire out of cardboard and paper scraps, too!

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Melissa has re-released another fantastic top pattern at Blank Slate Patterns– the Rose top (and dress!).  This knit shirt is so flattering and comfortable, and with the contrast woven neckline, the fabric combinations are seemingly endless!

For my final version in the testing process, I decided to go with a blue and white double brushed poly for the main body of the top, and I added plain white cotton at the neckline.  I chose to end my sleeve just above my elbow, but there are short- and long-sleeve options, too!

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I liked my first test version so much that I finished it, as well– this is a lighter weight “mystery” knit paired with a bright patterned cotton at the neckline.  (do you recognize that grey-purple fabric? ::wink::)

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