Blank Slate Patterns Verbena Skirt

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

It has been said before and will be said again. One advantage to sewing is being able to fit someone that may be off the standard size chart. Such is the case for Avery. At 12 years old, she is 5'-3", which puts her outside of many girl's pattern, but she doesn't have the bust or hips for women's patterns. I am finding a few women's pattern I can adjust to work for her. The bonus is that I can justify a few pattern purchases as being for both of us!

This is the Verbena Dress by Blank Slate Patterns. One of the simplest sewing pattern hacks around is changing a dress into a skirt. By shortening the bottom ruffle tier and adding a waistband, you have an adorable skirt perfect for a tween. I love the Verbena method for attaching the bottom tier, because you end up with the cute ruffle edge without having to do a narrow hem or other finish.

I sewed up the skirt portion of the Verbena Dress and measured the waist opening. I cut two waistbands based on the measurement including seam allowances. One the waistband was sewn into a circle, I folded it wrong sides together and tucked the elastic band inside. Then, I attached the band to the skirt. 

Since the Verbena skirt tier has a 3/4 circle skirt, the twirl and swish factor is high. In double brushed poly fabric, it's like wearing a cloud.

Cropped Wyler Hoodie Pattern Hack

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Cropped Wyler Hoodie

Now that the Wyler Hoodie Sew Along has wrapped up, it's time to play with hacking the Wyler Hoodie sewing pattern. For my original Wyler Hoodie, I made the sleeveless vest style adding my typical 1/2" in length.

Wyler Hoodie Waistband Tutorial

For a fun hack of the pattern, I created a cropped version with an elasticized waistband. Simple and sporty.

The photo above is the inspiration behind this style. 

I wanted the look of the waistband with casings, and I have a tutorial for creating it below. For more gathers like the inspiration image, you would need to cut the waistband pieces wider than the pattern pieces.

Blank Slate Patterns Wyler Hoodie

To achieve the cropped look, I cut down the bodice pattern pieces by 3". I omitted the pockets since they would fall at an awkward height with the shortened bodice.

Waistband Sewing Tutorial

To create the elasticized waistband, sew the two waistband pieces right sides together at the short ends. Press the waistband in half wrong sides together. Divide the waistband in three sections, mine are about 1 1/4" apart, taking into account the 1/2" seam allowance to attach the waistband. Stitch two rows to create the casings with a stretch stitch. Leave a 2" gap in each row.

Insert elastic in the bottom two rows sewing the ends of the elastic together. Stitch the casings closed. I used 1" wide knit elastic. I judged the length of the elastic based on where the waistband would hit on my body. For ultimate customization, I even made the top elastic a bit shorter than the rest based again on where it hit on my body. A safe estimate is also to cut the elastic to match with width of the waistband.

For the top casing, sew the elastic into a circle and insert it between the two layers of fabric. Pin the elastic as close to the stitching line as possible. 

Place the waistband right sides together with the bodice and stitch along the raw edges being careful not the catch the elastic in the seam.


 As an added bonus, the extra elastic in the waistband gives a degree of tummy control, and who doesn't love that!

Horse Riding Birthday Party

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Tandy has only been horseback riding for a couple of months now, so as soon as I mentioned the possibility of a horse riding birthday party, she was all in. I have a few mementos from my horse riding days, but my sister supplied most of the horse figures she has collected for her annual Derby party. My Silhouette Cameo came in handy for creating cupcake toppers, labels, number nine, and the paper backdrop ribbons.

Orchestrating a party during this COVID season provided some challenges, but we took precautions and forged ahead. The guest list was small, and the party room was not an option. We fought the flies outside, but the weather ended up perfect.

After 30 minutes of riding, the party goers thanked their horse with homemade horse treats.

The hungry riders had snack options of trail mix and "horse feed". We were sure to use packaged food to keep germs at bay. Snack size carrot stick packs and apples with caramel dip provided a little sustenance, although not a single kiddo opted for carrots with the other options.

Sweet treats included horseshoe sugar cookies complete with sparkling gold luster dust and chocolate/vanilla cupcakes. If you've been around our parties at all, you know this is serious restraint on the sweet stuff for my part.

The watering hole provided bottled water or Capri-suns for kids and hard apple cider for any adults who stuck around.

The center piece for the activity table brought together more of our favorite things. The stencil letters that spell Tandy have made an appearance at her parties for years. I simply switch out the cardstock backing to suit the party color scheme. Most of the horseshoes used throughout were picked up over the years at my family's ranch. As an added bonus, the horseshoes weighed down our colorful bandanas that wanted to blow in the breeze.

My aqua IKEA cart made another appearance at the party too. A sweet friend painted the horse color-by-number for me years ago.

The cart housed our horse party favors including personalized water bottles with a few caramel apple candies inside, pony hair ties, and a color changing crazy straw.

The bottom shelf held our party activates that included horse themed bingo and coloring bandanas. 

The idea to use fabric markers to personalize bandanas was the birthday girl's idea. I see a future party planner in the making.

Of course the horse riding was the highlight of the party. Tandy has become quite attached to Maya who had helped train her from the very first day. Maya made sure to have Tandy's favorite horse, Lucy, available to ride. 

The latest party almost always seams like the most fun, but this one will certainly remain toward the top of the list.  

** This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Blank Slate Esma Pattern Hack

Friday, September 25, 2020

Esma Top Pattern Hack Sewing Tutorial

Pattern hacks are fun to create and add variety to your favorite styles in your wardrobe. Melissa has been sharing a variety of hacks on the Blank Slate Patterns Esma Top lately, and I have already shared two styles of dress hacks with you before. Today, I have a fun contrast center stripe tutorial to add to the Esma Top

Esma Top Pattern Hack

Esma Top by Blank Slate Patterns

I created the center stripe to wrap up and around the neckline. Using the facing as a guide to create the new pieces, results in a clean finish inside and out.

Describing the pattern pieces may be the most difficult part, but bear with me. First trace the front facing on the front bodice of the top. Next, extend a curve down to a straight line offset from the center front fold line. Mine is 1.75" from the fold line, but adjust as needed keeping in mind it will be cut on the fold. Trace the new facing seam line onto another piece of paper. Add a 1/2" seam allowance toward the facing side on the bodice front. Add a 1/2" seam allowance toward the bodice side on the new center facing. Cut out the pieces on the seam allowance line.

Repeat this process with the back facing pieces.

Cut two front bodices mirrored, two front facings on the fold, two back facings on the fold, and one back bodice on the fold, along with your sleeves.

Using the original facing pattern pieces, cut 1 front and 1 back of interfacing. Apply the interfacing to the one new front and back facing pieces.

Sew the shoulder seam of the front and back facing pieces right sides together and press open. Press the outer edge of the facing to the wrong side 3/8" and set aside. Do not press at the short bottom end.

Sew the shoulder seams right sides together for the contrast pieces and the front and back bodice pieces. Press the seams of the contrast piece open. Finish the seams of the bodice and press toward the front.

Pin the contrast piece right sides together with the bodice up the center and around the neckline. Be sure to align the shoulder seams. In the photo, the right side of the bodice is turned to face the right side of the contrast piece. Stitch from the bottom of the bodice, up around the neckline and back down the other side of the contrast.

Clip the seams and press seam allowance toward the contrast.

With the bodice right side up, lay the facing right sides together. Pin and stitch around the neckline. 

Clip the curve and V at the neckline. Press the seam allowance toward the facing and understitch along the right side of the facing.

Press the facing to the wrong side of the bodice with the raw edge still pressed under. Pin along the seam line and stitch in the ditch catching the facing on the inside for a clean finish. Continue with the pattern instructions for side seams, sleeves, and hem. Done!

Esma Top Tutorial for Contrast Center Stripe

How to Sew a Fully Lined Tank

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

how to line the hathaway tank

The Hathaway Woven Tank Sewing Pattern by Blank Slate Patterns is drafted with bias tape finishes at the neckline and armscye resulting in an easy, breezy tank. When is comes to sheer or eyelet fabrics, however, you may want to include a full lining. Let me walk you through the process of sewing a fully lined Hathaway Tank. 

Lined Woven Tank Tutorial

The lining fabric should be something lightweight. I choose a white cotton lawn. Cut the front and back pieces of both the main fabric and the lining. Trim 1/2" from the bottom of the front and back lining pieces to ensure the hem will not show in the finished garment.

Lined Woven Tank Tutorial

Sew the front and back main pieces right sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance at the shoulder. Repeat for the lining pieces. Press all seams open.

Lined Woven Tank Tutorial

With right sides together, pin the lining piece to the main piece. Sew around the neckline with 1/4" seam allowance. Clip the curves the press the seam allowance toward the lining. 

Lined Woven Tank Tutorial

From the right side of the lining. understitch the seam allowance to the lining around the neckline to prevent the lining from rolling to the outside of the garment.

Lined Woven Tank Tutorial

Here is where we are going to employ the "burrito method" to finish the armscye. With the tank flat, roll the fabric from one side to the opposite strap like you are rolling up a burrito with the filling inside. With the bodice rolled inside, you can pin the armscye right sides together. Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance all around the armscye. Repeat for the other armscye. Clip seams and turn right side out and press well. 

The burrito method is a bit challenging to show in photo format. Melissa Mora of Melly Sews has a great video to demonstrate the process.

Lined Woven Tank Tutorial

Open up the tank. Align the side raw edges right sides together. Make sure the front lining is right sides together with the back lining, and the main front is right sides together with the main back. Sew the side seams with 1/2" seam allowance from the hem of the lining to the hem of the main fabric.

Lined Tank Tutorial

The last step is to hem the lining and main pieces independently. 

How to line the Hathaway Tank
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**
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