One of the things that bugs me about boys clothes is that there’s not always a great choice – there’s not many interesting colours at the shops and there’s almost no patterns available at places like Spotlight.
And that’s where the internet comes in. Obviously some very talented designers have also noticed the lack of good boys patterns and have gone out of their way to design interesting patterns for boys. Now that I’ve (finally) connected my printer to my computer, and with Kids Clothes Week approaching (more about that later) it was time to explore some of these patterns.
I started at Blank Slate Patterns. I’d been eying these off for a couple of days, particularly with the deal (on the side of the pattern pages) of 20% off when you buy 5 patterns (essentially getting one free if they all cost the same). I chose 5 tops which I really wanted to make – Beachy Boatneck, Hipster Henley, Cool Cardigan, Prepster Pullover and Perfect Polo – and decided to use some gorgeous knit material from Spotlight to make the Beachy Boatneck (material with boats! It was perfect)
Now, I must say that I was really, really reluctant to work with PDF patterns. I thought they would be overly complicated, too hard to print out and piece together. Of course, once I took the plunge I realised I was being silly. Blank Slate Patterns come with excellent instructions (including detailed instructions about printing) and were really easy to piece together (once I was able to stop Squirm from intervening . . . ) There are also some serious advantages to buying a digital pattern, like the fact you can reprint it as many times as you like and simply cut it to the size you need. Plus computer paper is much easier to work with than the silly tissue stuff (and easier to fold up too!)
The Blank Slate patterns are well constructed patterns, but they are intended to be blank slates :) You can make them exactly as is (and they look great), or you can play with colour, additions, buttons, printing, appliques . . . For my first shirt I decided to play it straight – the material I was using was pretty busy and I didn’t want it to be overcrowded.
The instructions included with the pattern were really, really easy to follow. I was a bit nervous about the facing, but it turned out to be really simple. I needed to take extra time with the sleeves to make sure they were done right, but slowing down is never a bad thing for me. The seam allowance was more than I was used to using, but I ended up really liking it. And I ended up with a gorgeous shirt!
And Squirm loved it, and wore it all afternoon
Last night I decided to make another one, and cut out the material, including some moustaches to applique on the front. I had some problems with the sleeves on this one (trying to finish them while Squirm examined the foot pedal was not the best idea) but it still came out great. Hopefully the model likes it when he wakes up from his nap!
This really is a gorgeous, easy to make pattern and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to play with knit material. It ranges in size from 18 months to 8 years old, so you’ll definitely get a lot of use out of it and it would easily work beautifully for girls as well as boys. I really enjoyed making these two shirts and I can’t wait to make more Blank Slate clothing :)