Well, I plowed through last night and finally finished J’s car shorts, which had been cut since sometime in April:
These actually went together relatively quickly, but I didn’t head down to my sewing room until 9:30 pm, so it was yet another late night — I think I finished up about 11:15. Still, not too bad, particularly when you take into account the fact that I reinforced most of the seams and flat-felled the back crotch, inseam and outseams!
The pattern is the Clean Slate Shorts from Blank Slate Patterns. This is such a great, versatile pants/shorts pattern. I hadn’t used it since I was a tester for the original Blank Slate Basics release last summer, so I had forgotten just how versatile the pattern is.
The beauty of this particular pants/shorts pattern is that it gives you all the options — the finished garment can be as basic or as souped up as you like. I had originally cut the fabric for these shorts to include all the bells and whistles — front pockets, welt pockets, full functioning zip fly, etc.
But, when it came time to sew them together, I ended up omitting all but the front pockets and just went with a basic faux fly. I really wanted to get them done in the 1-2 hours of sewing time that I had last night, and most of the additions that I had originally planned aren’t really necessary for a 4-year-old. J loves having front pockets, but never uses back pockets. And the functioning fly is really more of a hindrance at this age than anything else. I love that I am capable of doing one, but having to fasten and unfasten a button impedes his ability to effectively and quickly dress himself unassisted, so I decided to omit it.
The length is a bit long — more jammer style — but he tends to like that, as does Albert. And I think that the jammer length really goes well with the slightly funky fabric.
This is a really solid pattern. I will definitely have to come back to it when J starts outgrowing his pants this fall!
Fit: Really good. As always, I used J’s own waist measurement for the elastic rather than the recommended amount in the pattern since his waist is quite small. Currently, J’s waist measurement is 17″, so I generally cut my elastic to 17.5″ and overlap the ends by about 1/2″.
Fabric: Echino Mini Car fabric in Royal Blue. The pocket lining and waistband lining is a basic orange quilting cotton.
Modifications: My only modifications were on the seam finishes. I reinforced all the crotch seams and the inseam. I also flat-felled the back crotch seam, the inseam and the outseams. Options included were the front pockets and the faux fly. I originally had planned to include back welt pockets and a functioning zip fly, but at crunch time decided against them for reasons of practicality and sewing time.
Physical Pattern: PDF pattern, not particularly small but not overly large. This is kind of an “eh” area for me on this pattern. Would I prefer it in print? Heck yeah. Is the PDF overly burdensome? Not really.
- Really, really versatile. This single pattern can result in anything from the most basic pair of elastic-waist shorts to a full-length pair of pants with front pockets, back welt pockets, belt loops, and a functioning zip fly. It really would be the only pants pattern you’d need.
- Gender-neutral. Undoubtedly N will get a pair of two of these once she’s out of her super-picky wardrobe phase.
- Good, clear instructions. Confession: I’ve made enough pants with pockets and faux flies now that I didn’t even get the instructions out for this pair. But Melissa’s instructions are good, and walk you step-by-step through installing a zip fly which was AWESOME the first time I did it!
- The fit is always good with Blank Slate patterns. Melissa does a really nice job in the testing phase of making sure that all fit issues are worked out, so I’ve never had an issue with any of her patterns (and I’ve sewn a lot of them!).
- I really can’t think of any, and I tried really hard. I guess the front pockets could be deeper so that J’s cars won’t fall out of them when he takes them to school. I might just go ahead and make them deeper next time, now that I think of it!
Overall Grade: A+. I don’t like to give the “plus” grade that often, but this pattern really does deserve it. Like I said, it’s the only kids pants pattern you need, regardless of your child’s gender. It has all the options to make a quality pair of pants that look RTW and goes up to size 8. A steal at $7.95.
**Disclosure: This post contains Blank Slate Patterns affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if anyone buys patterns through these links. I received this pattern for free since I was a tester, but all opinions are 100% my own!