Blank Slate Patterns


Blank Slate Oceanside Pants

I made this version of the Blank Slate Oceanside Pants last year just after my daughter was born and just thought they were just okay.  While they made it into my top 5 misses from last year, I found them recently and decided I’d been unfair to them and the pattern.  It’s pretty typical for me to hate things I’ve managed to make directly postpartum (shocker that my mind would be otherwise occupied in that time! :D).  So, in fairness to the process and these pants that really are quite nice to wear in the heat of summer, here’s the Blank Slate Oceanside Pants in a nice herringbone linen.

Blank Slate Oceanside Pants

Pattern details

Oceanside Pants Sewing Pattern - Drawstring Waist Pants by Blank Slate Patterns

This pattern is a great loose fitting pant with a drawstring/elastic combination waist.  The pattern has just one piece (minus pockets and drawstring) which is a good and bad thing.  It’s good because one piece pants are super fast and easy to sew.   The bad thing about one piece pants is that they can be a little trickier to alter without the help of the side seam that joins the front and back pieces together on regular pants.

The thing that drew me to this pattern are the cute patch pockets.  They have a little corner on each of them that folds down to fasten with a button.  It’s an adorable little casual detail.

Blank Slate Oceanside Pants


As I said, without that side seam, it can be a little trickier to fit these pants.  I have a flat backside, and I always take about 1/2″ wedge just under the back crotch that tapers to nothing at the side seam.  This really helps get rid of some of that excess fabric that I always have hanging off me in RTW pants.

Blank Slate Oceanside Pants

To do this alteration without a side seam, draw an imaginary vertical line where the side seam would approximately be.  Draw a horizontal line just under the back crotch to the “side seam”.  Slash the horizontal line to the “side seam”.  Fold up the needed amount, tapering to zero at the imaginary side seam.

Flat seat alteration on a one piece pant

I didn’t do anything else for fit other than shorten the length a bit.

An easier drawstring

Does anyone else use a drawstring threader?

Easy Threader Flexible Needle Drawstring replacement and craft tool by schaller

I love these things.  When I was a kid, my Mom taught me to thread elastic through casings with a safety pin.  Of course, having done this yourselves, you know that when you do this, you not only hurt your fingers half the time, but it’s cumbersome and slow.  You just might lose the elastic in the process too.  You pass a drawstring threader through the whole casing, then attach your drawstring and pull it back through in one move.  It’s such a time saver.  The drawstring on these pants has fabric ends with an elastic middle.  The casing is really narrow, so even with the drawstring threader, it’s really tough to pull the fabric/elastic combo through evenly.

I learned on the back cutout dresses that it’s easier to thread the elastic through first, then sew on the drawstring ends.  This way, you won’t have to pull the drawstring ends through the whole casing, and the elastic will be where it’s supposed to be.

Retie it dear.

So I had a terrible time of these pants falling off of me.  As the day goes on, they droop and loosen and it’s just a bit fussy and not a look I’d like to wear out.  I don’t really like having to retie drawstrings, especially out in public, but it goes with the territory.  I’m either really lazy or just prefer more fitted styles!

Berry linen no more

This linen had been in my stash for years.  It used to be a berry color.  Berry colors are really far outside of my palette, so I personally avoid wearing them.  Still, this fabric has a great hand and a beautiful herringbone pattern, so I held onto it.  In the end, I bleached it and then ran it through the wash with Rit Color Remover.  The resulting color is this nice wheat color that is surprisingly in my palette.

Cool and breezy

These have been really great pants thus far for summer.  The linen is breathable, and the loose fit provides for enough movement to help fight sticky hot legs syndrome.  Thanks to Andie for pushing me to give these pants another try!  I know she’s been having some great success with her versions, and the turquoise is AMAZING.

Have you had a pattern you made up and came to like a long time after you made it?

mixed media tank

This lace mixed media tank is one of the projects I’ve made in the past couple months post baby that I haven’t got around to writing about.  It’s part refashion, part working with available materials, and a whole lotta pattern hacking in between.  The inspiration for this one was this Anthropologie tank:

Laced Montage Tank - anthropologie.com:

I love how Anthropologie uses fabric, but I don’t often often copy their stuff literally.  This tank was an exception.  I like the woven bottom together with the lace stitched on top of the side seams combined with the comfort of a knit top.  The resulting tunic is just the kind of flowy summer top that I was looking to make.

Lace Mixed Media Tank


In terms of patterns, I combined no less than 3 patterns to get to my final pattern.  The tank part is Straight Stitch Patterns’ Greenwood Tank.  I liked with that pattern how the shoulder hit well enough to cover my bra line (not necessarily a given with tank patterns), but the armholes were too big.  I used my trusty Jalie 2921 to modify the Greenwood armscye to the circumference I was looking for.  The woven part of the tank is a modified version of the high/low peplum piece from Blank Slate’s Marigold.


mixed media tank

For fabric, I used a cotton voile on the peplum leftover from this Mississsippi Ave dress.  I added a CF button placket to make it look like it’s the bottom of a men’s dress shirt.  I cut the same voile in bias strips to bind the neckline and armholes too.

The knit is from an old t-shirt that I’ve had for several years.  I originally bought it soon after my 2nd son was born.  I always liked the color, but not the poofy 3 layered flutter sleeves it had.  They were cumbersome to wear and I couldn’t wear a cardigan with the top because the sleeves were too bulky to fit inside the sweater sleeves.

mixed media tank


I carried a little bit of the green down into the sides of the peplum because…hips!  It also is a nice contrast under the lace.

The lace is vintage crochet lace that I picked up thrifting.  It is simply stitched down along the side seams.  I love this kind of lace for its softness and visual texture.  My Mom has always like prints that look like wallpaper.  It turns out I like lace and fabric that looks like (or came from) a tablecloth. 🙂

Project summary

mixed media tank


Proportionally the top is overall a bit too long on me.  If I repeat this design, I will definitely shorten the knit and the peplum as well as ditch the high/low element in favor of a straight hem.

Overall, I really love this top.  It was a good challenge to use multiple materials and patterns to get at the final top, and it’s super comfortable and lightweight for the summer heat.

My Monthly Stitch Post on this top is here.

My review of the Greenwood Tank is here.

What’s the max number of patterns and/or fabrics you’ve combined into a finished garment?

mixed media tank

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.


Marigold peplum and Jalie yoga pants: Elizabeth Made This

For my contribution to The Monthly Stitch’s Separates Challenge for Indie Pattern Month, I made up Blank Slate Patterns’ Marigold Peplum and paired it with a severely modified version of Jalie 3022 (yoga pants).

Marigold Peplum and Jalie yoga pants

Perhaps I’ve had shirtdresses on the brain for a while, or maybe it really is true that nearly everyone who is a sewing blogger has made a fantastic shirtdress in the past 6 months or so.  At any rate, Marigold qualifies as a great shirtdress.  I love the pretty gathers at the shoulder.  They’re more delicate than a dart and are easier to sew to boot.

Marigold peplum

Blockprinted Catalina Dress: Elizabeth Made This

Hey all,

Today I’m writing my first post over at the Monthly Stitch Collective for Indie Sew Month. I barely squeezed in my Blank Slate Pattern’s Catalina Dress with blockprinted jacks, but I did it. You can head on over to The Monthly Stitch to see my project there.

Blockprinted Catalina Dress

I started with Blank Slate Pattern’s Catalina Dress.  I was originally drawn to it because I’m cheap when it comes to dresses, and I appreciate that this pattern requires very little in the way of fabric.  For me, I’d way rather spend money on a 1 2/3 yards of fabric required for this vs. having to buy 3-4 yards of a poorer quality fabric required for so many dress patterns.  If Liberty ever makes jersey in my color palette, this pattern will be the one I reach for.

As for pattern details, I love the cut on cap sleeves on this pattern.  This kind of sleeve looks great on everyone and they’re so easy to sew.  Also, the pockets are fantastic.  Between the comfort factor and always need a place to stash my keys, a garment without pockets always makes me feel like I’m missing something.  Surely I’m not the only one who has dropped keys on the ground because I was reaching for pockets that weren’t there.

catalina dress
Everyone wears their dresses lining side out, right? It’s the “need more coffee” look.

For my version of this dress, I started with a lovely green knit I picked up at Mood in LA last year.  If I remember correctly, it’s a rayon cotton jersey.  It’s got a great smooth hand, but it’s a little sheer as jerseys can often be.  Thankfully, I had a thin mesh knit in my stash to line the skirt, and I cut up an old camisole to line the bodice, sewing the straps into the seam allowance of each shoulder where they intersected.

The dress came together easily due to the great instructions.  I changed a couple of things from the instructions.

catalina dress
First, I bound the neckline and armholes with strips of stretch lace.  The pattern calls for bias tape, which would work great if you made this dress with a woven.  I chose the stretch lace because it was the perfect color and because bias tape would have shown from the right side due to the sheerness of my particular jersey.
I also waited to trim the seam allowance on the waist seam until after I sewed the casing (which I sewed onto the bodice, not the skirt per the line drawing).  Because I lined my dress, I was dealing with 2 extra layers of bulk, and I wanted to give myself more of a chance to actually catch all of the layers in the casing when I  formed it by stitching from the right side.  This worked out well.

catalina dress
On the pockets, I sewed 4 rows of topstitching, two rows of straight stitches inside of 2 rows that used my asterisk stitch on my Janome.  I like the added texture of the asterisk, and it plays into the pattern for my blockprint.
I chose to print my dress after I sewed it.  I figured it would save me time in pattern matching across seams.  I also had plenty of fabric leftover since this dress requires so little fabric, so I wanted to have unprinted yardage for other projects.

catalina dress
I carved a stamp of a jack from a small linoleum scrap and my Speedball cutters.
catalina dress
For printing, I set up a card table with a layer of old towels covered with a vinyl tablecloth for my printing surface.  I stuffed the dress with strips of cardboard between the lining and the jersey.  I painted white screenprinting ink with a small paintbrush onto the stamp to print each jack.  I set a yardstick across my dress from left shoulder to the right hem corner as a guide then printed the jacks at 3″ intervals on either side of the yardstick.  I offset each row so that a jack was roughly in the middle of the two jacks in the adjacent row.  I kept moving the yardstick around the dress to get the successive rows, stopping for drying time as needed.  I heat set the ink with my iron without steam.

catalina dress

The cardboard helped me get nice clear impressions.  As a kid, I painted a lot of t-shirts with cardboard t-shirt forms and I always loved how the cardboard kept the fabric nice and stable as you worked.


The clarity got off in a few places, like the waist seam where there’s extra bulk, but for my first go at really printing on jersey, I’m happy with how it turned out.

catalina dress

Mostly, I love how comfortable and girly this dress is.  Why, oh, why haven’t I sewn more summer-friendly dresses like this?!  And I’m so glad I decided to line it.  It’s so nice to be able to grab a dress, toss on a scarf and go without having to bother with finding a slip/making sure that the slip doesn’t show/fiddling to get the slip to lay right etc.

catalina dress
I match the kitchen table!

   Here’s my Catalina Dress review.

Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.


Light Chic

Prepster Pullover

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.

Prepster Pullover

Corduroy vest: Elizabeth Made This

It’s the start of baseball season.  That means by this time, my husband has poured over countless articles stats, predictions, and every other nitty gritty detail you’d never even think to consider concerning the Giants.  By now, my boys have all had their own Spring Training games in the Minor League Park that is our backyard, but for me, the beginning of ball season is a time to assess my family’s baseball wardrobes.  Which shirts are too small and need to be passed down or replaced, what needs to be bought, can I make anything? etc.

This year, my oldest is in need of a bigger jacket.  We’re going to a game in San Francisco in the summer, so I wanted something that would be light, but warmish enough to withstand San Francisco’s cool pleasant breezes.

corduroy vest

The pattern:

As I was planning, I came across Melly Sews’ Punk Vest and immediately fell in love with the topstitching details and the great story behind the pattern.  

spray glue

My new camera is in the process of getting some accessories in the way of a camera bag and some cozies to house my lens and camera body.  I knew when I got the camera I’d want to make a cute bag.  I’m almost finished with Blank Slate’s Padded Camera Bag–just need to add the top zipper.  I had hoped to finish today, but the smell from the spray glue is lingering, leaving me a bit light headed.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that’s not a good thing.  I’m letting it air out, and hopefully the smell will go away.  In the meantime, here’s some sneak peeks:

spray glue
denim reverse applique on strap



spray glue


spray glue

Going to get some fresh air!
Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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