Clean Slate Shorts with sewVery – Blank Slate Sewing Team

Hey y’all – today I’m excited to have Veronica showing off her Clean Slate Shorts for our Blank Slate Patterns Sewing Team Friday. Enjoy!

Hi, there! This is Veronica from sewVery, and if you are already familiar with my blog, then you know I love to sew fun, stylish clothes for my daughter, Ella. Well, here’s the thing. She just started kindergarten last week, and Ella’s school requires her to wear boring standard school attire! Ack! Now she’ll only have weekends to wear the bright, printed fabrics that I typically use to make her sundresses, skirts, or tops.

What’s a sewing-loving mom to do then? You guessed it! I’ll just have to make most of her standard school attire myself and add a few interesting details that will make her solid colored clothing stand out in the crowd.

The first thing Ella needed in her school wardrobe were some basic khaki and black shorts, and the Blank Slate Clean Slate Pants Pattern fit the bill perfectly!

The Clean Slate Pants Pattern is incredibly versatile. The pattern includes lengths to make pants, capris, or shorts, and it’s a unisex design that fits both boys and girls equally well. The Clean Slate Pants Pattern fits sizes 18 months to 8 years and comes equipped with multiple optional features like

  • zip fly
  • welt pockets
  • front rounded pockets
  • and either a full elastic waistband or back elastic waist
I love a good pattern with options, and this one most definitely fits the bill!
After reviewing the pattern sizing chart and comparing it to my daughter’s own actual measurements, I chose to sew her up two pair of Clean Slate Shorts in size 6. For each pair of shorts, I used slightly less than a yard of twill fabric, 3/4″ elastic, a button, and a 4″ zipper.
With so many options to choose from, I decided to go all out and give all but one a try.
First, I went with a functioning zip fly on both pairs. This is only the second and third time I’ve sewn in a zip fly, but using the pattern instructions and the new zip fly video tutorial Melissa recently published made the installation a breeze!


Since my zippers were only 4″ long, they were the perfect length and didn’t require any trimming; however, the instructions clearly show how to shorten a longer zipper. I also opted to use Wonder Tape in lieu of pins when securing the zipper to the fly. Wonder Tape keeps the zipper flat and prevents any shifting of the fabric or zipper when sewing. I’m super pleased with the results and won’t ever shy away from installing a zip fly again!
My kid loves clothes with pockets, so I definitely added the front rounded pockets to her shorts.
For the back pockets though, I saw my chance to make this the stand-out-in-the-crowd feature for my girly girl! If you’ve seen the Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up Pattern then you may recognize these bow pockets as the same ones used on that shirt. That’s another terrific pattern full of options that I sewed recently, and it made perfect sense to use the smallest size bow pocket from the shirt pattern as the back pocket on my daughter’s new shorts!
Not only does the back bow pocket give the Clean Slate Shorts a feminine touch, but it’s a unifying feature that ties the outfit together! Plus, I think the bow pockets are a lot easier and faster to sew than welt pockets!
One bit of advice though when cutting out the back shorts pieces. Be sure to somehow mark which end is the top of the shorts on the wrong side of the fabric. The back rise seam and the inseam curves are almost identical and can easily be confused. Don’t ask me how I know! (Ha – Melissa here – and when Veronica emailed me trying to figure out why her inseams didn’t match, I had just done the exact.same.thing to a pair of these I was making! So take her word for it – if you’re unpinning the pattern piece before sewing, mark the top of the shorts). 
Finally, my Clean Slate Shorts both have back elasticized waistbands. To me, the elastic length measurements included in patterns are hardly ever a perfect fit for my child, plus I’ve noticed that the amount of stretch varies from elastic brand and type of elastic and fabric used. I learned a long time ago to always cut my elastic a little longer than specified and then thread it through the casing, secure one end, and then have my child try on the item to adjust the elastic length for a perfect fit.
Another little thing I did differently from what the pattern instructed was to fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the front waistband (the part without elastic) on the khaki pair. I didn’t use interfacing on the black pair, and I noticed the front waistband folding over after Ella wore the shorts for a while. The black and khaki fabrics were identical except for color, and the addition of the interfacing to the khaki pair provided the structure needed to prevent the front waistband from folding over.
Ella and I are both totally pleased with the slim fit and ease of construction of the Clean Slate Shorts, and without a doubt I’ll be sewing capris and pants length pieces for Ella’s standard school attire wardrobe later this fall and winter!


Now if I could just convince Melissa to add some larger sizes to the Clean Slate Pants Pattern so I could sew my son a few pairs!
Until next time–have fun sewing!
~ Veronica
Veronica of sewVery

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  1. says

    Your shorts look fantastic, very professional, yes I’m with you on Melissa sizing up I’d LOVE the beachy boat neck up to a size 14, her patterns are so well sized, easy to sew and look great but my kids are growing

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