Pattern Review

The Prepster Pullover, Animal-Style

I made this shirt for J in the summer and am only now getting around to blogging it! Lazy blogger!

Anyhoo … I was lucky enough to test four of the five patterns in the original Blank Slate Basics e-book by Blank Slate Patterns. This is the Prepster Pullover, a nice, basic boys dress shirt.

Creative Counselor: Prepster Pulloverr
The Prepster Pullover

My fabric is a random polyester rayon that I picked up off the red tag rack at Joann’s. J loves animals and I knew he’d be all over this fabric. I think I paid about $3.50 for the yard that I got and it was more than enough for this shirt.

The Prepster Pullover is a great shirt and a great pattern. I made this shirt in size 3T for J, and the fit was perfect. I’ve been consistently impressed with the fit in the Blank Slate Basics patterns. The fit on the 3T sizes at least are right on for my tall, skinny 3-year-old. If you have a kid who is stockier or broad in the chest or waist, you might need to go up a size. But if you kid hits in the 50%-ish range, the sizing should be pretty good.

I made very few alterations to the pattern. The biggest was in the sleeves. I made the shirt with short sleeves, and the short sleeves as drafted were ridiculously long for a 3T shirt, so I shortened them quite a bit. But I think that was a common critique at the pattern testing phase, so I expect that has been fixed in the final pattern.

I followed the pattern instructions for the placket, but this honestly is not my preferred way to do this style of placket. Melly has a great tutorial for a henley placket that, to me, is much easier and has a better result. Though this opinion is likely influenced by the fact that I was using a fabric with a one-directional pattern, so by following the included instructions for the placket, I ended up with half of my placket upside down (I just made that the inside placket).

I also had a b*#&$ of a time sewing the buttonholes, though I doubt that had anything to do with the pattern. The bottom button actually has no buttonhole. I gave up and just sewed the placket shut where the buttonhole should have been. The top one isn’t pretty, but it mostly works 🙂

The problem I ran into was that, because of all the layered fabric to form a placket, the fabric at the top and bottom was too thick to move smoothly under my buttonhole foot. It kept jamming up in the feed dogs and resulted in a big mess of knots. I think it might help to sew the buttonholes sideways instead of up and down. I might try that next time and see if I have better luck. Or snaps. Love me some snaps!

Still, I really like the pattern and will probably make more. I have some nice, striped cotton poplin in my stash that would make a nice long-sleeved shirt for J for the colder weather. I think playing with the direction of the stripes would be fun on this pattern too.

Creative Counselor: Prepster Pulloverr
Loving his animal shirt! He was Diego this day, so we spent the afternoon saving imaginary baby animals.

Pattern: Prepster Pullover by Blank Slate Patterns

Size: 3T.  Fit my 50% 3-year-old perfectly.

Fabric: Polyester from Joann’s red tag clearance shelf

Physical Pattern: The pattern comes in sizes 18m to 8, so there’s a great range. It’s a PDF, which is not my favorite, but seems to be a pretty common format for independent children’s patterns.  Melissa has just recently started selling paper copies of her patterns, though.  Maybe this one will be next!


  • Dressier look for boys, but still easy construction.
  • Mandarin-style collar make the shirt a bit dressier without the fuss of a full collar.
  • Only half placket for ease of construction.
  • Long and short sleeve options.
  • Great basic pattern for building a handmade boy wardrove.


  • Placket construction is not suitable for one-directional fabric.
  • Buttonholes — the thick fabric at the top and bottom of the placket make the buttonholes a royal pain in the rear!

Overall Grade: B+. A great pattern for a slightly dressier boys look — though as you can tell, it’s great for everyday rowdiness too!

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