It seems when I’m sewing clothes for my boys or any kids, I tend to do things in multiples. I figure it saves me time later if someone likes a pattern, and it helps me be more efficient while I’m sewing.
Blank Slate Patterns’ Facebook group has been running a sewalong with their Prepster Pullover pattern. I really like the casual styling of this top what with the Mandarin collar and half placket. My oldest really liked the button tabs on the sleeves, so I thought I’d join in.
For my first Prepster, I used leftovers of this lovely coral gingham I had previously used for this button down for my little guy.
Because I was working with limited yardage, I had to be creative with my cutting. I had to cut the sleeves on the cross grain, but was able to cut everything else on the straight grain (except where I cut bias pieces for design effects) except for the placket which I had to piece. The pieced section is under the buttons though, so it’s not wildly visible except when unbuttoned. I cut the upper yoke on both shirts on the bias and the inside yoke on the straight grain to tame the bias stretch.
Because I can’t not play with direction when presented with gingham, I also cut the pocket on the bias.
The pattern has you finish off the collar by hand, slipstitching the ends. Undoubtedly, this gives you ultimate control over where the collar edges end up. I decided to go a different route, fusing a line of Steam a Seam on the backside of the pressed under collar. After I took off the paper, I fused the inside collar over the neck seam to cover it. Working from the right side, I used my blind hem foot to topstitch completely around the collar. I do my waistbands this way, and it proved a useful method for this type of stand-only collar too. This was easily my nicest looking collar I’ve made.
I tackled the curved hem by cutting down the hem allowance to 3/8″ and pressing the curve on my pressing ham. My ham is always nearby my ironing board when there’s a curve to press. It allows you to stretch the curve ever so slightly just enough to get everything to lay flat.
After my sick day experiments when I explored simple projects to sew when you’re stuck in bed, I haven’t been able to sew a button in the traditional X or = patterns. I sewed these buttons on in an N configuration.
For the second shirt, I used a quilting cotton that was buried in my denim scraps…leftovers from the lining of a load of grocery bags I made a few years ago. It was an odd bit, but I had just the right amount for this shirt, though I had to add a CF seam.
I had more fabric to work with on this print, and there wasn’t nearly as much stretch on the bias, so I went ahead and cut the placket on the bias. I love playing with stripes on boys’ shirts. When you don’t have the pretty pretty princess and unicorn sorts of prints you get with girls, you gotta do something, and turning stripes at various sundry angles makes for a nice satisfying sew.
The placket directions were fantastic. It’s so nice to get full color photographs illustrating each step, and the method to put the placket in is so clean and professional when you finish it off. There’s no chance of failure with the clarity of Melissa’s instructions!
My son wanted for me to add the button tabs, but they are per the pattern for the long sleeves. My guy specifically wanted short sleeves for the summer, so I just added tabs that folded up and around from the inside of the hem. It was a good compromise, and I love how the tabs look.
I cut both shirts at a size 6 for my oldest. Though the coral shirt fits him well, it’s a little too hard for him to pull it over his head without assistance, so the coral one will probably go to my middle son, though it’s a little long for him at the moment (it’ll last longer though!). On the blue/yellow shirt, I added 1/4″ on each side seam for a little extra ease. It seems like my oldest can get in and out of this one a little more readily.
I think both of these shirts will be a great addition to my sons’ summer gear, and for sure I will be keeping this pattern around for the future!
My pattern review is here.