Boy sewing, Pattern Review

Dapper little dude

Goodness, how am I just now getting around to blogging the suit I made for J back in April?!? Time flies when you’re overwhelmed, I guess.

Anyhoo, J was the ring bearer in Leslie and Bob’s wedding and walked his little sister down the aisle.  Naturally, he had to have a proper suit for the occasion!

Basic Blazer and Clean Slate Pants suit and review by Katie @ Creative Counselor
My dapper little guy.

He did an awesome job and took his responsibilities very seriously.  I was so proud of him that day.  They started out walking down a few uneven stone steps, and J caught his foot on one of the rocks and ended up completely wiping out.  Poor kid fell flat on his face!  With everyone watching no less.  But he picked himself up, brushed himself off, found the ring case (which thankfully didn’t contain the actual rings) and kept right on going like nothing happened.  His reaction was so mature — I was very proud of him at that moment.

But back to his suit!

Basic Blazer and Clean Slate Pants suit and review by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Ready to walk down the aisle.

For his ring bearer suit (which he’ll probably wear for Uncle John’s wedding in September also), I used two classic Blank Slate patterns — the Basic Blazer and the Clean Slate Pants (my review here).  Both patterns were part of Melissa’s original Blank Slate Basics release when she first launched the pattern line, and they remain some of my favorites.

I went pretty basic and classic for this suit.  The fabric is a charcoal gray polyester gabardine suiting from Michael Levine.  It was kind of a pain in the rear to work with.  It frayed like the dickens, didn’t press well, and I had to use a press cloth so that the heat and steam from the iron didn’t make it all shiny.  But it looks nice, and I wasn’t going to spend a ton of money on fabric for a 5-year-old’s suit since he’ll wear it twice and then outgrow it.  So, it worked.

I lined the blazer with Star Wars fabric, and I forgot to get a shot of the insides!  Oh well, I’ll try to update later with that photo.  One thing I have learned — if you want to get a little boy to wear dress clothes, use fun fabrics for linings.  They’re way more interested in wearing it if they can pull open their jacket and show off some Star Wars ships!

I’ve made the Clean Slate Pants several times before, and you can read my full review here.  I think it’s a great pattern and is basically a TNT for me.  This was my first time making the Basic Blazer, and I was quite impressed with the pattern.  It’s fully lined, has proper lapels with a two-part sleeve and everything.  It really makes a professional-looking little blazer!  I omitted the front welt pockets since I was a tad short on time and I knew they’d never get used anyway.

These two patterns paired well to make the perfect little ring bearer suit.  My little guy looked just as mature as he acted that day!

Basic Blazer and Clean Slate Pants suit and review by Katie @ Creative Counselor
With the whole wedding party.

Pattern: Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns. ($7.95).

Size: 5

Fit: Perfect.  The fit of this blazer was right on.  It was perfect through the shoulders and fit him nicely in the arms as well.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Fabric: Charcoal gray polyester gabardine suiting.  I wouldn’t recommend this fabric, but it was super cheap (on clearance) and it did the trick and looked nice.  It was a real pain to work with, though.

Modifications: None.  I eliminated the front welt pockets to save time, but otherwise made no pattern modifications.  The blazer is lined with Star Wars fabric, which J loved!

Pattern Format: I have this pattern as a PDF, but it is now available as a paper pattern through McCall’s — BSF731.  Blank Slate PDFs tend to be on the longer side for kid patterns, but I didn’t think this one was overly burdensome.

Pros:

  • Really classic style.  A basic blazer will never, never go out of style, so this is a pattern I will be able to use until my boys grow out of it and then keep it around for grandkids someday.
  • Great sizing.  Melissa really does a good job of getting her sizing right on her boy patterns.
  • Great instructions.  This was the second blazer I’ve ever made (I was a tester for Melissa’s Berkshire Blazer as well), and it was my first time making the traditional blazer lapels.  The instructions walked me through it and made it really easy.
  • This blazer uses all the traditional sewing techniques and pieces, so it looks really professional.

Cons:

  • My collar and lapels didn’t turn out exactly perfect.  The collar piece ended up just a tad too long for the nice, traditional pointy collar and lapels.  It still looks fine, but I know it’s not exactly right.  I was using the final pattern, not a tester version, and everyone else’s has turned out ok, so my fabric might just have stretched a bit with handling.
  • Those two-piece sleeves are kind of a bear to sew.  But they do make a really nice finished product.

Overall Grade: A. This makes for a great, classic blazer and it a pattern that I can use for years.  It is definitely worth $7.95.  In fact, all of the Blank Slate Basics* patterns are undoubtedly worth it — they are all classic, staple pieces.

*The original Blank Slate Basics contained the Blank Tank, the Vintage V-Neck, the Clean Slate Pants, the Basic Blazer, and the Prepster Pullover.

**Disclosure: I received this pattern for free since I was a tester for the Blank Slate Basics collection, but all opinions are 100% my own!

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