Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pattern review: Blank Slate Patterns Pristine Swing Dress

Back into the sewing over the long weekend and the opportunity to try a brand new pattern. The wonderful blogger Melissa from Melly Sews released a range of patterns last year under the name Blank Slate Patterns Click here to visit Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link). The name is as it suggests - a fantastic range of basic patterns that allow you to add your own twist to them.

Blank Slate Patterns Pristine Swing Dress

Excuse the jeans - it was really cold!

I have a confession. I have another one of these dresses all cut out, half sewn and sitting waiting to finish. I got completely frustrated when it wasn’t coming together. The sleeves didn’t fit so I just threw it in the corner. I had used cotton (which I checked with Melissa before purchasing if I could as the pattern calls for a knit or jersey fabric). So when I planned to make it this weekend, I thought I would try knit as it is slightly more forgiving.

But here is my confession. You know when you read the seam allowance … well it is one of those things I tend to think ‘meh close enough is good enough’. So perhaps my dresses and skirts are just a little, tiny, squidgy bit bigger as I tend to use the edge of my foot as a seam allowance for everything. This pattern states 1/2 inch (when you are bought up on metric that is hard to visualise). So out came my trusty measuring tape. Yep I was about an 1/8th inch less that I should have. So on each seam that is an extra 1/4 inch, add that to the next seam etc and soon you will find that your sleeves don’t fit! So lesson learnt (another!) and I will finish the other one just as soon as I unpick everything!

The back loop closure with little vintage button
There are quite a few pattern pieces for this dress but it came together quite well. I thrifted this knit a couple of weeks ago so wasn’t sure of the quality but after washing and sewing, I think it will be great. Miss 4 absolutely loves the dress! Yay win.

I wasn’t sure what needle to use – I was sewing knit and cotton together so stuck with a regular needle and stitch. It worked fine. I just switched to a ball point and a stretch stitch on the joins and seams that were both knit.

I learnt my iron was my best friend for really pressing the seams to ensure they sit properly (pattern details which direction the seams need to sit).

Mummy it is starting to rain
The pattern goes from 18 months through to 8 years and includes short and long sleeve lengths. I left the bottom without hemming as I wanted it to be a little longer on her. I think I really need to work out how to do a double needle stitch on my sewing machine as it would really ‘finish’ garments like these.

Will I make this again? - absolutely. I’m motivated to attempt my cotton version again soon (well as soon as I unpick it all!). Now I really want to try the Rose Tshirt for me which is what this pattern was based on!

Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – I’m not sure … maybe … watch this space!
Eeekkkk - let's go!!

Pattern: Blank Slate Patterns Pristine Swing Dress Click here to view more details (affiliate link)

Fabric: Thrifted purple jersey with white butterflies and basic quilting cotton from Spotlight
Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): 6 or 7 just due to the piecing and the back placket and button loop. It isn’t hard but certainly not a beginner pattern (for a confident beginner or intermediate as it says on the website)
Time: Two hours including cutting and finishing, could be quicker once you have made it once or twice

Featured on: Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better off thread (thanks Janice!) 

I'm linking up with:

Better Off Thread


  1. Great find on the purple fabric! I'm the same when it comes to seam allowances. Though I'm starting to really get my head around inches now after growing up on the metric system.

  2. It looks great! I'm SO lazy with seam allowances - as a quilter I do them all 1/4" And have run into similar problems!

  3. Another great blog :) I have shared on G+ and Twitter .

  4. i'm loving your reviews and looking forward to the rose t-shirt

  5. So cute! I am always in awe of people that can make clothes! It's lovely.

  6. It's really cute! And yes, all those 1/8" extras adds up over the entire dress. I've been there myself! I am totally checking out Blank Slate and I'm featuring this on Sew Cute Tuesday this week.

  7. I really enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep on writing such interesting posts.


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