Updating the Blank Canvas Tee so I Can “Make This Look”

I’m looking ahead on the Sew Weekly to the “Make This Look” challenge.  I like this sailor-styled knit top from Plasticland and also think it will be a great “hack” for the Blank Canvas Tee.

It’s great to have a basic pattern that I like and fits me so I can chop it up and make fun tops like this.  I’m using a light-medium weight rayon knit with a dash of lycra.  The white satin elastic should work well for the trim- it has some give but not much, and is very firm.  I found it in the lingerie section, I think it will work.  I’ll show you how to change your own favorite tee pattern to make this tee as I work on it myself.

I released the Blank Canvas pattern over Christmas and the response has been helpful and encouraging.  It’s one thing to have piles of ideas, it’s a horse of another color entirely to execute those ideas.   I’ve already learned more than I thought possible about making patterns for download.

One consistent alteration among the testers for the 35II size is the shoulders, and I added a little more ease through the bust.  I re-drafted and scanned the 35 and the 40 to reflect these alterations, so the pattern should require less alteration when downloaded.  The new copies are available in the side bar and the How To Sew The Blank Canvas Tee page.

In response to observations, I decided to nix the “V” and “II” types.  It’s unnecessarily complicated for a top like this.  The biggest difference between V and II lay primarily in the side seam shaping, which is highly variable anyway. Instead, I’m offering straight 35 and 40 sizes.  The copies are neater too, since I know better what I am doing.  Eventually I’d like to learn to draft on the computer- but for now I will draw and scan.

I plan to clean up and simplify the 45’s-55’s, and add a 30 over the next few weeks.  I’m more confident with the larger sizes because I had more opportunity to test them before uploading, so I’m happy for the current patterns to stay for a little while longer.  I’ll let you know when I update them.

A big thank you to everyone who has sewn one and sent me a photo.  Thank you, thank you!!  If you’d like, please post a link to your finished tee on the Blank Canvas Tee page, or please send me a photo I can add to the gallery.  The new pattern isn’t drastically different, it’s just an improvement based on feedback and improved scanning skills.

And now the most pressing question of all:

I have a black pencil skirt and a length of plaid-y black and white poly chiffon that’s dying to become a skirt like this one.  Too much?  What about as a fun, silly casual skirt?  I do love whimsical casual wear.   I could see myself wearing it with the sailor top, or with quieter, more grown-up basics for a touch of fun.  What do you think?

Edit: Dianne reminded me of a conversation we had the other day about Japanese culture.  She lived there during her schoolgirl days and told me about Japanese school uniform, or fuku:

I find them really delightful, my final sailor top and skirt will have a definite flavor of fuku.


  1. I love the sailor top and I love the skirt and think they could look pretty nifty worn together.

    I also owe you photos of the seven Blank Canvas Tees I made between Christmas eve and NYE. I’m a big fan of the pattern and am in danger of making more still. Thanks for designing it and making it available for download.

  2. I like what you have in mind for your version of Sailor fuku – it’s not the typical image that comes to mind which is great. I’m a fan of the skirt too – I can see you having fun in this. It could look fabulous with red shoes too.

    • You’re right! I somehow failed to make the connection, but you’re so right! I think I’ll go add that to the post right now.

  3. Possibility of skirt/top combo is scarily similar to the blue ruffle top and blue wrapover skirt with cream buttons I have been working on lately, go for it!!! X

  4. Love the first shirt! Want it! The skirt is a bit bold for my personality. I might wear it for a dressy occasion if the ruffle was the same material and color as the body of the skirt. But I don’t wear skirts often. The sailor suit is to young for me but you are young enough to pull it off.

    • The first shirt isn’t the kind of thing I own, but that’s only because I never made it… If I saw it in a store, I’d think long and hard about buying it…

      I think the skirt might be fun… I have the perfect materials for it… I don’t wear the old skirt anymore, it’s past it’s “smart” days and who can wear a pencil skirt for casual? No me… So if it comes out hideous, there’s no harm or foul.. ;)

  5. That skirt would certainly turn heads especially if the flounce went any higher up! ha ha. I was thinking about it being a bathing suit cover-up made in thinner fabric and maybe a little longer to wear while wandering back to the tiki bar for more drinks with little umbrellas….

  6. Love the skirt! Do make it! I’m interested to see what you do with the sailor top, because it’s a bit off at the moment (don’t know how to explain it, but it’s not right!).

    How do you look ahead for challenges at the Sew Weekly? I can’t see anything beyond the buttons challenge? (which I am so making little button-front sailor shorts for – it will go perfectly with your shirt!)

    • Well… I think I’m just going to slavishly copy it rather than translate it. It’s easier to show how to slavishly copy, translating is more of an art.

      Button front sailor shorts, eh? Adorable!

  7. Sailor Moon makes much more sense now.

    I think that would be a really fun skirt if you feel comfortable in it. Not everyone has the… personality shall we say, to be comfortable in something that dramatic.

    • I could go all tasteful and modernize it. Or I could glory in its tackiness and fun while embroidering it with a white whale, then wear it to mother’s group where the uniform is 3/4 pants and a tunic… ;)

  8. Pingback: Piracy and Pirate Skirt Re-Fashion « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  9. Pingback: How Can We Fit Some Pants? (A Call for Testers Giveaway) « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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