Love Notions Celebration – Samson Sweater Collar Hack

Love Notion's Samnson Sweater Collar Hack @
Hello there! I’m so happy to be part of the Love Notion Celebration Tour. I’ve had a couple of projects kicking around in the back of my mind for fall and this tour was a great opportunity to give a Samson Sweater hack a try. I’ve made the jacket view for Seb before and I thought with a few adjustments I thought the pattern would work for Mr. Rox. Yes, you heard right!
Love Notions so far (hint! hint!) has only made patterns for kids and women. Months (and months and months ago) I came across a post in the Love Notions Pattern Support group where the sewist had a tall and skinny teenage son that fit the higher end of the kids sizing with length added. That peaked my curiosity if the same thing would work for Mr. Rox. Who is also both tall and skinny. Lo and behold he was  close enough to the 14 in width that I filed the idea in my brain away for another day.
Recently, Mr. Rox requested that I make him some cardigans. I thought before rushing out to buy a new pattern I should try making the Samson Sweater for him, with a few changes.
The resulting cardigan is super cozy in two shades of French terry . It is also has been a hit with Mr. Rox. Which makes me feel good since this is the first sewing project I’ve ever completed with him in mind.
Besides adding to the pattern length, I “hacked” a pretty slick (if I do say so myself) looking collar  on the Samson Sweater.
There are all sorts of resources in book form and on the internet on how to draft a shawl collar. I’ll give you the run-down on how I did the collar hack for myself but I also really recommend seeking out other resources to supplement my instructions. I’m not going heavy into math or technical details. Call my instructions “quick and dirty”.

Love Notion's Samnson Sweater Collar Hack @ pensebrox.comThe hack also works great for the pattern in general and not just for a kids-sweater-for-a-skinny-adult-male project, so use it on sweaters for all ages! 😉

Love Notion's Samnson Sweater Collar Hack @

How to create the collar piece.


A. Trace the front piece of the Samson Sweater MINUS the seam allowance (3/8″ / 1 cm)
 B. Mark your “button line”. This will be where the top button will sit and can vary according to how much of an opening you want in the front when all buttons are buttoned. Higher up is less and lower is more. Not only did a place a dot representing my button line at the height I wanted it but also distanced from the edge of the front piece according to then placket width (minus seam allowance).


You can use the dimensions of the cut chart (minus seam allowance) to create a narrow placket like on the jacket view of the Samson Sweater or you can create a wider placket like I did. Just remember that if you do make your placket wider, then some width will need to be taken away from the front piece otherwise the front will become wider.


C. Draw a line down from B and over to connect the line to the front piece.
 D. Draw a line up from B, slightly angled before the neckline, past the shoulder. How far the line goes beyond the shoulder is half the width of the back neckline. If you are measuring the “cut on the fold” back piece for the Samson Sweater, then you use that number since it is already “halved” for you.
 E. Draw a line along the edge of your original front piece from the bottom and stop parallel to your button line.
 F. Starting at the end point of E draw a curved line up and beyond the shoulder edge using the same measurement as D for a guide. How much or big of a curve is really up to you.
 G. Draw a slight curve, following the angle of the shoulder line, connecting D and F together.

 H. Trace off the placket and add back seam allowance. You may want to add extra length to the bottom of the placket (the same as the height of the bottom band) to finish off the bottom of the cardigan. Like in the jacket view of the Samson Sweater.

Love Notion's Samnson Sweater Collar Hack @

Altering your front piece.

As you may have noticed, line D of the collar creates some sort of odd nubby bit (love my technical description?) on the front pattern piece. You’ll want to re-draw that section slightly removing the nub and creating a line similar to line D of the collar.


Sewing the collar.

Note: Since I was creating a cardigan, I did not use lining as per the jacket view of the Samson Sweater. My assembly instructions are for an unlined sweater.

  1. You’ll want to cut 4 total of the collar piece with 2 of the pieces cut mirrored. You may also want to add interfacing at this point to the button placket part of the collar.
  2.  To help line things up when you are adding the collar to the cardigan make a mark on the cut pieces where your button line dot is.
  3.  When assembling the collar you will sew the top line G first with right sides facing. Press seams.
  4. Then you will place your 2 collars on top of each other right sides facing and sew along the exterior edges (F and E). Press seams.
  5. Attach the collar to the cardigan much like how the binding is added to the jacket in the Samson Sweater instructions. You’ll want to match up the back seam of the collar with the back center and the button line markings on the collar and the front pieces.

Hopefully you have an idea on how to hack a collar onto your Samson Sweater. Now that I have a pattern that I love for Mr. Rox, you will be seeing more of these on my blog and Instagram soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Love Notions put together a really great group of bloggers for the tour. I highly recommend stopping by each tour stop. Also, be sure not to forget the guest bloggers participating each day on the Love Notions Blog. So much awesome has been created! 

More about the Autumn Explorer look design for Project Run & Play.


It is Week 2 of Project Run & Play. This time the challenge is “I’m an Autumn”. I’m so excited to be bringing you my second look as a compeitor. I thank you for your kind words and votes during the first challenge. Your votes are a big part of this compeition and helps myself (or another participating designer) make it to the next round! You can vote for your favorite autumn themed look over at the PR&P blog until Thursday 9/22 at 8pm MT.


Seb looks mostly like Mr. Rox but with my hair color, blue eyes, and skin tone. I prefer autumn colors for myself which made me think the inspiration color palette would be a great match for him. It would be also a good match for the Victorian explorer meets a lumberjack at L.L. Bean look I was going for!


When selecting fabrics for Seb I often look for ones that would look good on me. Sometimes I go for more juvenile prints, since he is a kid after all, and sometimes I use a more mature fabric with a more youthful looking silhouette.


A good example is this modified Shwin Design’s Magil & Lil romper. The gorgeous tweed-like french terry is a beautiful fabric, if not a little mature. It works great though turned into a romper!



As mentioned in my PR&P post, the reverse of the romper features exposed stitching in a variegated thread on a brown french terry. This gave me the trouble of not being able to decide which side of the romper I like more!



Autumn is definitely flannel season to me. Which is why I had to work it somehow into the outfit. I thought a messenger style bag would be a great fit for the fabric and the outfit. A place for treasures found on nature walks!



Not that you can see much of the self-drafted Henley under the romper but it is a pretty cute shirt in its own right. The Henley is also finished off with vintage buttons from the stash that has been passed through my family for generations.


With all the autumn inspired textures going on in the right of the outfit, I kept the hat pretty simple and just drafted a simple beanie shape with a rolled brim. Taking advantage of the double sided french terry.



I’m currently working hard on the costume for Week 3. I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to compete with it in the next round. Either way, I can not wait to show you! You can vote your favorite autumn inspired look at the PR&P blog until Thursday 9/22 at 8pm MT. You can also read more about my look on the same post!

The Tale of 4 Project Mishaps


I think just about every sewing project has least a frustration or two. We are only human and I must not be the only one without a magical woodland creature army? Right?

The older I get, the more I believe my life is one giant misadventure. As frustrating as setbacks are, it is all about the journey. I get frustrated but I have to look at the humor of it all. In the name of keeping things real, I’ll tell you about a few of the hiccups while sewing my Pokémon inspired outfit for week 1 of Project Run and Play. You can vote for your favorite look until 8pm MT Thursday 9/15. This is an elimination style challenge so every vote counts!


1. The pants that never were.

See that really sweet navy star print denim? Those were going to be THE pants before Seb got wind of my plans and was adamant that no Trainer would EVER wear pants made of that denim. I said that the star print was pretty cool and he schooled me with a giant list of characters that he KNEW would never wear pants made from that fabric. Ever.

In his opinion the gray pinstripe denim, I grabbed just because in the same fabric order, was definitely fabric they would wear. I do really like how the pants ended up turning out but I also miss the potential of the navy star print denim.


2. I have kids.

If you have them too (or just know some), then I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this one. Kids take you on all sorts of detours.


3. My coverstitch devoured not one, but TWO shirt sleeves.

I have a pretty  volatile relationship with my Brother Pacesetter 2340CV. Before I bought it, I read that it could be finicky and I’m willing to give it credit that it could just be me being a bit too heavy-handed. Sometimes though, I’m pretty convinced that I’m doing EXACTLY what I’m supposed to  and the machine is just broken.

Or possessed…

4. and then this happened…

I’m pretty excited about the outfit I’m creating for next week and hopefully I’ll make it to the second round so that one can compete as well. You can vote for your favorite look over at the Project Run and Play blog. I have to say that the competition is pretty stiff. So many great outfits!



All about the Pokemon Trainer Jacket designed for Project Run & Play!


Week 1 of Project Run & Play is a go! I’m very happy to say that I am one of the contests in this round. I have not seen the other looks yet as of writing this post but I’m sure socks will definitely be knocked off.  You can vote for your favorite Pokémon inspired look until Thursday 9/15 at 8pm MT. My entry for Week 1 includes the self-drafted jacket I’ll be talking about it in this post!


Like I said in my Week 1 entry description, the PenSebRox household is 100% Pokémon enthusiasts and I thought creating a Trainer inspired look would suit Seb perfectly. Through playing the games and watching the anime, I’ve gotten the impression that besides the general athletic and street style influence to the clothing, (major) Trainers often have a defining element in their look.


That element often features a stylized Pokéball. I shredded my brain trying to come up with an idea for Seb’s key piece and then it hit me early one Saturday morning while waiting for my coffee to brew. YES! The idea came pre-coffee! Shocking, I know.


That (pretty bad) sketch you see above is the rough design for Seb’s Trainer jacket that I drew while waiting for my coffee.


Besides the defining element of the stylized Pokéball, I also wanted that the jacket would have all the features of comfortable, yet stylish, athletic tinged street wear. Raglan sleeves for movement, a funnel neck to keep out the chill, pockets, and made from sport fabrics such as scuba and closed sports mesh. I’ll now talk about a bit about my experiences self-drafting the jacket. If you are curious about the rest of the outfit, you can read my entry post over here.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might of saw the post I made when I started this project. Step 1 was to temporarily expand my sewing area before doing any drafting.


With my idea on paper, I started with a basic bodice sloper. Since I needed to change the sleeve structure to raglan and add other needed jacket features, I heavily referenced the books above when creating my pattern pieces.


I don’t own fancy cad software so I did my drafting by hand. My “good” pieces I laminated which kept them from getting destroyed during multiple tracings. It also allowed me to make notes/adjustments on the pattern that could be easily wiped away. This worked great for testing minor changes but any major changes I felt better starting fresh. It wasted a bit of laminate but at least I did not risk Pen, the cat, or me, destroying my work.


Of course being able to make adjustments easily to the basic pieces was a big deal. As you can see from my first muslin, the arm scythe was much too low. I wanted freedom of movement, not a dolman!


Seb was a trooper about the multiple fittings except for when he thought I was wasting his time making him wear the same muslin. According to him it was a “trick” but I had just used a similar color scheme for this version. Whoops.


Of course with 5 year-olds being well… 5… I learned my lesson and made sure subsequent muslins where different looking.


I also took close to a billion (really!) fit pictures so I would not have to harass Seb too much for help.


After all the time I spent creating the jacket design, it felt really good when it started to look like my vision! It also made me increasingly paranoid that I’d royally mess something up. Lucky for me, all the adventures with the seam ripper were tedious but minor.




Thank you so much for taking time to read about my adventures creating Seb’s Trainer jacket. You can check out more of the outfit over at the official Project Run & Play contestant post. You can help out myself or another competitor by voting for your favorite Pokémon inspired look until Thursday 9/15 at 8pm MT.



Tomorrow I’ll be back with a post about some of my sewing mishaps while creating this project. “Tricking” Seb was not my only one!

Sewing for boys! (plus a plea for votes)


Woohoo! I’m in the running for one of SIX competition spots for the upcoming season of Project Run and Play. I will be the first to say that there are some really fabulous ladies trying for a spot and I’ll be one lucky girl if I somehow made the final cut. Voting ends Thursday!



Creating the Link inspired look for CraftingCon was a ton of fun and I’ll continue to look for “excuses” to get my geek sewing on. Being a Project Run and Play competitor would such an excuse! 😉

Starman // All That Glitters - Project Run and Play //

Signature Style //

Though I’ve never officially been a part of Project Run and Play, you are encouraged to sew along, I’ve created looks inspired by competition prompts. Boy sewing was the perfect medium for the “All that glitters” and “Signature Style” themes.

Huginn and Muninn inspired costumes //

Even if I don’t make the final cut, I do hope to see some awesome BOY sewing projects. Sewing for boys rocks!


Don’t forget to vote: Voting ends this Thursday.

Desert Island Sew Tour: Glass Onion Top by the Thousands


Hello and welcome to my stop on the Desert Island Sew blog tour. Just imagine you are stuck on a desert island with only one sewing pattern, what would that pattern be?

Mabel Madison Mondays // Glass Onion Top // April Showers //

Is it any surprise to you that if I could only pick one pattern to sew on a desert island, I’d pick the Glass Onion Top by Shwin Designs? I’ve sewn many and will continue to use the pattern as a staple in Pen’s wardrobe.

Anytime At All Tee // Glass Onion // Kids Clothes Week //

The pattern is pretty versatile. Heck, it is so versatile that I’ve yet to sew a version without some sort of mod. The penguin version had a full back, long sleeves, and was made with knit fabric.

Star Trek - Janice Rand inspired look for CraftingCon by PenSeb&Rox / rk-0903

I also did a similar modification when making the Star Trek inspired uniform dress to complete the Janice Rand inspired outfit.

Mabel Madison Mondays // Glass Onion Top // April Showers //

I even wrote a bit about my experiences modifying the back while using woven fabric for a simple pull-over dress.

The pull-over version worked well enough that it has become a warm weather staple to use up all the amazing woven prints I’ve come across. I always have trouble using up my wovens!

Even without finding myself stranded on a desert island with ONE sewing pattern, I’m sure the Glass Onion Top will continue to be an often used pattern by me.


Sew 20 Desert Island Sew Tour

7/18/16 to 7/22/16


Use #desertislandsew on social media to play along!

7/18 Sew 20 Tour Launch | Very Blissful | Lulu & Celeste | The Wholesome Mama

7/19 House of Estrela | FABulous Home Sewn | create3.5

7/20 Beri Bee Designs | mahlicadesigns

7/21 Rebel & Malice | Sew Starly | The Berry Bunch | Sewing By Ti

7/22 Candice Ayala | PenSeb&Rox | Mae & K | Sew 20 Social Media Round-up

7/25 Sew 20 Tour Wrap-up

Link’s Skateboard Tutorial

Link's Skateboard //

Today I reveal my contestant look for July’s CraftingCon theme, The Legend of Zelda, over at the official CraftingCon blog. The project is something I’ve been planning for months and I’m super excited about the end results. Be sure to check out the post after reading a bit more about my adventures with making the custom painted skateboard.



The whole outfit idea came together when I had the passing thought that if Link existed in 2016, his shield would totally double as a skateboard. Of course that meant I just had to custom paint a skateboard to complete the look.


Three things came into play when I selected a skateboard to use for this project:
1.  Size: I wanted a “mini cruiser” because I thought anything bigger than that would become unwieldy for my 5 year-old to handle.
2. Material: The board needed to be made from wood in order to make it easy to re-paint. Yes, you can paint on plastic but a lot of the pre-made plastic boards had molded elements that would of been pretty hard to cover if not impossible.
3. Cost/Time: Before purchasing a completed board, I did look into buying a blank deck and other components. Once I calculated shipping into the equation it all became very pricey or would of taken too long to get to my doorstep.
In short: Having the best board for practical use was not a priority since nobody in the house currently skates thus I went for something cheap that I could easily work with.

The Ridge Maple Mini Retro Cruiser (affiliate link) pretty much was the perfect fit for what I wanted and was under $30 on Amazon.


How did I customize the skateboard?

Materials Required

Wood skateboard deck
Sandpaper (fine and coarse)
Acrylic Paint (1)
Acrylic Varnish (1)
Wood Stain (2)
Paint brushes of varying sizes
Foam Roller
Stiff Nylon Paint Brush
Trays/Cups for holding paint
Soft rags/paper towels
Rubbing Alcohol
Acetone (3)
Cotton Balls (3)
Hex Keys/Pliers (4)
Large Fan (5)

(1) About the paint: You don’t want to mix paint types unless you are purposely trying to get crazy things to happen. I stuck with water based paints/stains which meant a varnish for water based paints was required to seal the project.

(2) I use a water based wood stain for the “dirt” details on the board, you could also used thinned paint for a similar effect.


(3)  Acetone soaked cotton balls removed the silkscreen lettering on the wheels lickety-split. You don’t need this if your wheels are already plain or you want to keep the existing graphics.

(4) If you need to dissemble your skateboard then those tools are a must.

(5) Having a large fan was a big help in not only making sure dust/back-spray went away from the work area but it also helped circulate the air speeding up the drying time of each step. Optional yes but I really recommend it.


Step 1: Remove wheels and any other hardware elements from deck.



Step 2: Using coarse sandpaper, I sanded off the original finish. I made sure to get all sections of the deck because even a little bit of the clear finish left behind could effect the final paint job.



Step 3: After sanding is complete, I cleaned the dusty residue off the deck with rubbing alcohol and a soft rag. There is no need to soak the whole thing, a little bit goes a long way.



Step 4: Once the deck is dry, I added the base paint layer. I used a foam roller brush and it took two coats for even coverage. Make sure the paint is 100% dry before adding a second coat. I did this step on a hot day with moderate humidity and it took 2 hours to dry before I could add the second coat.



Step 5: I used a scrap of contact paper and traced the design from an image I found via a Google search in order to make a stencil.



Step 6: Now here is the tricky part. Depending on the colors, amount of paint coats needed, and types of paints used, dabbing the paint directly onto the stencil might make a huge mess of things. I ended up having to trace the basic design onto the deck and then carefully filled everything in by hand using a small paint brush. The base blue was so dark it took quite a few coats before I was happy with the coverage.  I made sure that each layer was 100% dry between each coat.



Step 7: Now is the step where I sanded off parts of the beautiful paint job that I spent 3 days on (ha!).  I used a combination of fine sandpaper and a very fine buffing block to distress the painted finish. I focused on the edges and center of the deck, imaging it would be the areas to receive the most damage if used as a shield. This part is very artsy-fartsy and take your time with it. Just remember if you decide you went overboard in an area, you could always do a touch up in the section with paint.



Step 8:  After wiping the sanding dust off the board using a soft cloth, I applied a layer of water based wood stain. You can use thinned down paint as well. The purpose of this layer was to add depth and dirty look to the deck as if it had been used for awhile. When I applied the stain I left some areas streakier than others.



Step 9: I wiped off the excess stain after 30 minutes and ended up doing a second coat to add more to certain areas. How long you leave the stain/paint on really depends on the weather and what suits your eye. Less is more and you can always keep adding coats until you are satisfied.



Step 10: After the stain layer is 100% dry, for the final layer of distressing, I used silver paint and a stiff nylon paint brush to add “scratches” all over the deck. In order to keep things from looking splotchy, I used a paper towel to remove excess paint from the brush only leaving a hint of paint behind. If you accidentally put too much paint in an area you can either try to distribute it was a CLEAN DRY brush or GENTLY DAB the excess paint away using a rag with a bit of rubbing alcohol. You don’t want to soak, rub, or linger too much in the area or you’ll start making a mess since while the other paint layers are dry, they paint is probably not fully cured yet.



Step 11:  For all the dust/stinky parts of this project I moved everything out to the well-ventilated back porch.  Ventilation is especially important at this stage while using a spray varnish. Once I was satisfied with my paint job I sprayed the deck with multiple (thin) coats of a clear acrylic varnish. I gave each layer a chance to dry between coats and before the final coat, I lightly buffed the board using the very fine sanding block.
It was humid the day I did this step and it pretty much took me all day since the dry time was extended due the excess moisture in the air. Having a large fan blowing in the work area was definitely a help and probably prevented this step from bleeding into the next day.



Step 12: There is a big difference between paint DRYING and paint CURING. Once the paint/varnish feels dry to the touch you can’t easily smear it but it does not mean that the paint is at maximum hardness. It can take WEEKS before it reaches that stage. While it had been about 48 hours between the final varnish coat and me needing the skateboard for photos, it was definitely not long enough for the finish to be up to full durability. During photos the board got dinged up in a few places that would of probably been prevented if the paint had been completely cured. Nothing I can’t buff out and do a touch up on but just take it as a warning that this is the sort of project that you need to plan ahead for.



I have to confess that the skateboard is my favorite part of this look but the other pieces are pretty awesome as well. You should definitely stop by my CraftingCon contestant post to learn more about the entire look.

Sew Americana Picnic Blanket (with tutorial!)


Hello and thank you for stopping by my post for the Sew Americana Blog Tour. I used a combination of an old table cloth and leftover denim to create a picnic blanket for the kids. If you are interested in creating one of your own be sure to check out the tutorial included in this post.



I’m sure I’m not the only person who associates the summer and 4th of July with picnics, so what better way to showcase Americana than with a picnic blanket?



The top fabric for my picnic blanket actually comes from a table cloth that I thrifted years ago. I used it for play picnics with Seb when he was younger until the hem started to come undone and fray. It sat in my “I should fix this bin” for years before I had the idea to upcycle it into this Americana inspired picnic blanket.



Not only does the denim add blue to the red and white but it also weighs down the lighter top fabric keeping the blanket from sailing away with a breeze. This is one of the reasons why I think the table cloth ended up sitting neglected for so long, it might of looked cute but it was a pretty bad “picnic blanket” for outdoor use.

I think the basic idea for this project would make for a great thrown blanket if you swap out the heavy denim for something soft like 100% cotton french terry. Mmm cozy!


The frayed rag edges not only adds a decorative folk-art touch but also makes the project a quick one with no seams to press neatly.  Not counting the time being tossed around the washing machine, I completed this picnic blanket in under 90 minutes WITH my two year-old “helping” on every step.

Since both materials I used were “used” I had already pre-washed the fabric but both materials still had plenty of fraying life left in them.



Picnic Blanket Tutorial

Materials Required:
Mid or lightweight 100% cotton fabric for the top
Heavyweight 100% cotton fabric for the bottom*
Coordinating Thread
Fabric scraps for embellishments
Basic sewing notions such as scissors, needles, and pins
Water soluble marker
Basting spray (optional but handy)
Retanyne and color catcher sheets (a must have if you are working with fabrics that bleed)

*The same technique as described in the tutorial could be used for a throw blanket. I recommended a 100% cotton french terry or jersey to use as the backing if you wish to make a cozy blanket.


Step 1: Lay your chosen fabrics wrong sides together on top of each other. Use basting spray, pins, or a combination of the two to hold the fabric together for stitching.



Step 2: Stitch around the perimeter of the fabric sandwich 2″ from the edge.

Optional but useful for keeping the two layers together neatly: Stitch several lines between the perimeter you just stitched. This creates a quilt-like grid. Very similar to what is done in my doll quilt tutorial.



Step 3: Remove a square from each corner being careful not to clip through the stitching.



Step 4: Create the fringe but cutting in 1″ increments along the edge being careful not to cut through the stitching.



Step 5: Trace stars onto the wrong side of your chosen embellishment fabric. I free handed my stars for a folksy vibe but you can print out a template from the computer.



Step 6: Cut out the stars and place theme into position on the blanket. I used basting spray to keep them in place.



Step 7: Stitch the stars in place leaving a slight seam for the purpose of fraying.



Step 8: Dark denim is known to bleed which is why I used a dye fixative a several color catchers during the washing step. This is a really good idea if you are using any fabric that might bleed. If you skip this step, do so at your own peril.



Step 9: Wash and dry your sewn blanket. My version went around twice in the washer, along with some towels, and once in the dryer.



Step 10: Enjoy your Sew Americana Picnic Blanket.




I’m really glad the table cloth found a new life as a fancy picnic blanket for the kids to enjoy. If you make one of your own I hope you will enjoy it as much as we will ours.




The kids also thinks the picnic blanket doubles as a pretty awesome toy!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my stop on the Sew Americana Blog Tour. If you have any “Americana” themed creations be sure to add them to the tour link-up.


Take a look at the AMAZING lineup for the Sew Americana tour!

Monday, June 27 
Wild & Wanderful | Sew and Tell Project | Call Ajaire
Paisley Roots | Wally and Grace

Tuesday, June 28
Sew Thrifty | Coles Corner and Creations | Rebel & Malice

Friends Stitched Together | The Wholesome Mama

Wednesday, June 29
Sewing by Ti | EYMM | HattieLu Handmade
Daydream Believers | PenSebRox | Handmade Boy

Thursday, June 30
Beatnik Kids | Phat Quarters | Sew Starly | Sew Sophie Lynn
The Kisses Co. | Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday, July 1
Very Blissful | That’s Sew Kari | Sew Happily Ever After | Pear Berry Lane

Mae and K
 | Musings of a Seamstress | Sew and Tell Project

As a special bonus for our readers, use the code ‘ SEWAMERICANA ‘ and enjoy a 20% discount at  You’ll find a ton of maker-inspired goodies!
(All created by your tour guide, Katy, from Wild & Wanderful.)


Real Life, Real Sewing Blog Tour


In my world there are three sewing truths…

  1. At any given time there is at least one UFO floating around my sewing space (aka. The Faceless Room) and the longer it stays a UFO, the harder it is for me to finish it.
  2. I could probably figure out a mathematical formula to predict my project errors. It would involve the mood of the kids, how much I slept the night before, how much I slept all week, the amount of coffee/wine I’ve drank, and the speed I need to complete the project. Speed kills… sewing projects…
  3. I get the warm and fuzzies when I catch myself wondering when I BOUGHT something and it turns out that I MADE it!

Organizing this tour gave me an opportunity to reflect on my past few years of sewing projects. It is amazing how much love things I sew can get. I almost feel like I have a super power!

1. What do you look for when choosing a sewing project? I do enjoy sewing “interesting” projects more but simple patterns tend to work better if I expect them to be worn everyday.


Happy birthday Miss P! #twoyearsold #realliferealsewing #cake #felicitydress #bellasunshinedesigns #sewing

A photo posted by Roxanne Kennedy (@pensebrox) on

2.  Is there anything you would like to (or wish you could) do differently when selecting projects? Total whining over here but I wish I lived in a place with warmer weather year round. I try to sew things that will be flexible for various seasons until the kids outgrows the item. This leads me to avoiding certain design details since I feel like the effort is wasted when it will covered up 80% of its life.  Which means I’m drawn to simple designs like the Felicity pictured above and the modified London Dress below.


 3. What is your most used/worn sewing project? This either could be of all time or currently. I have to confess that despite sewing a whole wardrobe worth of dresses for Pen recently, she pretty much lives in the modded back London Dress. I really love what I’ve sewn for Pen recently but the mystery fabric I upcycled for this dress does not wrinkle much.  That means I don’t have to take it quickly out of the drier or iron it when I forget to remove it quickly from the drier. Not needing to iron the dress definitely gives it an edge in my book!



4. Do you have a project that you thought would be used/worn frequently but just did not end up working out? I LOVED (loved, loved, loved) the Captain Jack Harkness inspired blazer I made Seb for Craftingcon but it was too light for the middle of winter (when I made it), then too heavy for warmer summer weather. He wore it a couple of times during the spring but he out grew it by the time fall rolled around. I don’t regret the project by any means but it is a good lesson in gauging how much wear an item will get vs effort spent on it.


5. What is your favorite tip or quote that applies to sewing for real life? “Measure twice, cut once.” is my default crafty mantra. That I should listen to more often…


Speaking of “room to grow”.  There is about 9 months between the two shots of Pen in the Hazelbee Baby knit dress. I quickly whipped up the dress the night before a trip to the zoo, that ended up never happening because somebody (too busy looking for their cellphone) hit us, destroying out car.  As much as I try to avoid thinking about the car accident in general, the idea that I added +10 armor to the dress when I made it does bring a smile to my face.

That is it folks! Thank you for stopping by. Don’t forget to head over to to check out more examples of Real life, Real sewing. I’m also posting daily examples over on Instagram. There is also a giveaway!


Do you have any examples of Real Life, Real Sewing to show off? You can play along by using the #realliferealsewing on social media.

6/20 | Sew 20 Tour Kick-off  | The Wholesome Mama | Wild & Wanderful  | Randoms by Rydz

6/21 | Daydream Believers | Sugarplum Cuties | Friends Stitched Together | The Inspired Wren | PenSeb&Rox

6/22 | Sewstarly | Very Blissful | House of Estrela | The Berry Bunch | Musings of a Seamstress

6/23 |  mahlicadesigns | sewingbyti | Candice Ayala | Call AjaireSunflower Seams

6/24 | Beri Bee Designs | Lulu & Celeste | FABulous Home Sewn | Mae & K | Sew 20 Social Media Round-up

6/25 | Sew 20 Tour Wrap-up

Real life, Real sewing Tour Kick-off


I’m kicking off my first blog tour as host over at sew20.comReal life, Real sewing is all about sewing in the real world. Everything from projects getting much deserved love in daily life to mishaps and failures. The idea for the tour originated from me noticing how seamlessly handmade clothing had started to integrate itself into my life.

Not only is the tour filled with an amazing selection of bloggers participating, I’m also sponsoring TWO $25 gift card giveaways. So be sure to check out the daily tour posts over at

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Getting my craft on.