KCW: Sew all the things!

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.comWhen it comes to something like me participating in Kids Clothes Week you might say “Roxanne! You already sew for your kids all the time!” but I like using the week to focus and prioritize my sewing projects. I really appreciate opportunities like sewing prompts, challenges, and testing because on my own I tend to be very “Ooh! Shiny and NEW!”, then I ignore whatever I had been working on. I often have trouble motivating myself to stick with a project without some sort of deadline looming and sewing community events gives me that grounding.

SONY DSC SONY DSCPattern Revolution has recently been running a series called “Top Stitchers” where a blogger goes head to head against a member of Pattern Revolution in a sewing challenge. I have loved following the series and all the prompts! Needless to say I was especially keen on the Upcyclists challenge. With the theme of “March Madness” the competitors were challenged to create a child’s spring time outfit incorporating upcycled athletic wear. Seeing that challenge was my big “Hey! I could do that!” moment of the series. Then I realized that we don’t wear much athletic wear and I wondered if I could find something suitable for the challenge in the bins of clothing waiting to be re-made up in the attic.

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.comThe big athletic piece I found is a pair of orange ripstop capris that during a purge I decided that the rise was always a bit low for my taste but I loved the orange color so they went into the upcycle bin rather than the donation pile. Sure ripstop capris might not be the first thing you may think of when you hear “athletic” but if I’m being athletic outside of the house that is exactly what I wear. I selected a few other bits to upcycle along side the capris because I wanted to do something a but more than just downsizing the capris and selected pieces based on how comfortable the materials would be to wear outdoors during an athletic activity. I love the breathability of cotton so it dominated how I selected coordinating pieces.

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.comFor my pattern choices I was inspired in part by a contest that UpCraft Club is running where you sew up one of the children’s patterns sold in the shop with the inspiration of “High Fructose”. All the snazzy orange hues and the pinks/yellows on the sheet made me think citrus. Kudos to whoever selects the patterns for the shop because I just so happen to own quite a few of them and it took me a while to prioritize sewing to one or two patterns rather than the “SEW THEM ALL” part of my brain was chanting.

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.comI have been itching to sew up the Clemence Shorts by Filles à Maman and made the choice based on the variety of coordinating bits I had to upcycle. I thought the overall design would be perfect for utilizing several “fabrics”.

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.comI loved the resulting blend of the orange utilitarian ripstop with the softness of the floral printed cotton sheet and blue menswear print. Poor Pen has been sprouting teeth so a lot of this outfit was sewn very slowly with a snoozing baby in my lap and the scallops are not what they could have been with two hands available and no baby in my lap, but I think the shorts still turned out great nonetheless.

SONY DSCAlso wanting to make a coordinating top, I selected Charlie Dress by Mingo & Grace. Not wanting to compete with the scallops on Clemence and wanting to make the dress more of a top length, I left off the bottom ruffle which turns Charlie into the perfect a-line top. Since the fabric was slightly see through I fully lined the top and left off the bias trim to keep all the attention on both the orange gingham and the silhouette of the top.

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.comPen is a bit smaller than the 12 month size for both the patterns. I reduced the elastic on the shorts by 1″ and added a 1″ hem on the top to make both pieces a bit smaller but still allowing plenty of room for Pen to grow.

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.com

Snazzy in citrus // pensebrox.com
and of course Miss Pen keeps growing…

KCW Day One: Sophisticated Cat Romper (and bonnet!)

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.com

My first finished project for Kids Clothes Week is completed! With warmer weather here, at least on SOME days, I’ve been planning Pen’s summer wardrobe. Since babies + rompers = win, there will definitely be plenty of rompers. Including this one that I hacked together from two Shwin patterns.

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.com Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.comFor the bodice I used Shwin’s FREE A Summer Tunic pattern. The pattern comes in one size, 12-18 months, but should be easy enough to scale for other sizes. Even though Pen is still in the 6-12 month range I printed the pattern at full size since I’d like the romper to still fit once it is officially summer. I added elastic in casings to the straps and shorted the back elastic slightly in order to make the romper a little more fitted on Pen.

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.comFor the romper portion I used the bloomers pattern from Shwin’s Baby Basics collection. I used the pattern because I already owned it and had the bloomers cut for another project but if you are looking to double the FREE there is a tutorial on drafting the bottom of a bubble romper at Shwin & Shwin. Instead of following the casing instructions in from the tutorial for the tunic I doubled the casing piece, added the elastic, and attached the completed bodice to the bloomers. Next time I think I’ll add 1/2″ to the bodice length for wiggle room because sewing without catching the 3/4″ elastic was tricky. Edit: After watching Pen play in the romper all morning I think I’d also add 2-3″ to the length of the bloomers in order to give more length for growing. My kids tends to get longer not wider. 😉

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.comFor the fabric I used the leftovers from the Boppy cover I made when I was still pregnant with Pen last spring. One of my favorite Disney moves is The Aristocats so I was instantly enamored with the “London Cats Three ‘o Clock Tea” print when I originally saw it. Besides the KCW theme this season being “wild things” the current CraftingCon theme is Disney and as a result I’ve both had animals AND Disney on my mind all month long. Of course if Pen gets a special cat themed summer romper that only fitting accessory would be a classy cat eared bonnet to protect her little head from the sun’s rays.

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.comFor the summer bonnet I used a FREE pattern from The Purl Bee. I cut the biggest size because I wanted it to fit Pen’s head all summer. The ears are just triangle inserted at the stage where you assemble the exterior, lining, and brim together.

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.com      Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.com  Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.com

Sophisticated Cat Romper // pensebrox.com

The Verona Dress Blog Tour

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Verona Dress Blog Tour! I’m a definitely a big fan of all of Jennuine Design’s patterns but I really think that the Verona Dress has become my favorite. Yes, I now have a favorite! Which may be why I’m currently on my third with plans for many more…

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

There are so many details to love about this pattern. The layered skirt and notched collar makes the dress perfect for a special occasion. The elastic back makes it comfortable for everyday!

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.comThe Verona Dress // pensebrox.comThe pattern comes with multiple sleeve options and the single loop button closure on the smaller sizes (for big baby heads) which means no fussy zippers or button holes to deal with. March was the cootie month in our house yet I’ve managed to whip up THREE beautiful dresses between the nose wiping. I definitely have to credit both the fabulous design (much easier than it looks) and Jennifer’s well written tutorial which really helps speed things a long.

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

I came across this adorable chick print on Japanese double gauze and knew it would have to be used for Pen’s Easter dress!

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

Of course, what Easter outfit would be complete without coordinating hat and shoes?

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

Considering how enamored I am with this dress pattern and that it ranges from newborn through 12 years, I can see MANY more of these being made for Pen in the future!


Be sure to check out the other fabulous dresses made by my fellow testers. If you have not already abandoned my post to purchased the Verona Dress, then let me entice your further with the fact that is is on sale until the end of the week.

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.com

The LADIES Pixie Hood Coat by Big Little

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

Last week I posted Seb’s spiffy new coat imbued with awesome magic powers. I have to admit that I was a wee bit jealous after I made Seb’s coat that I did not have one of my own so oh boy did I jump at the chance to test the ladies pattern! Now it is my turn to show off my new and possibly magical coat…

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

The Pixie Hood Coat for LADIES by Big Little is very similar to its kids counterpart in both style and ease of sewing. Made in wool it would be fantastic as a winter coat and I think it would make one heck of a rain coat in a lighter material. I’ve even been thinking about altering the pattern a bit and making a cropped version!

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

For my own version I used the same wool as with Seb’s coat but instead used a cotton wood grain print for the lining, contrasting pixie hood, and pockets. The ladies version comes in sizes 6-18 . Making the Pixie Hood Coat really is no more difficult than sewing the kids version, and that is very straightforward, so I highly recommend making one for yourself and your little one!

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

 The Pixie Hood Coat in LADIES and CHILD sizes are both available now at Big Little’s shop.

The Pixie Hood Coat by Big Little

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

Big Little recently updated their “Pixie Hood Coat” pattern. I was thrilled to be selected as one of the testers for the update but Seb was even more thrilled to be the recipient of what he considers to be his “magic coat” that gives him magic wizard powers.

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

The unisex coat with an adorable pixie inspired hood ranges in sizes 1-14 years and is a great project even for a beginner. Big Little also offers a free download for a bonus classic style hood giving the pattern two style options. Sewing the coat was straight forward with very clear instructions and pattern. A wide range of materials can be used including upcycled materials such as from blankets or adult wool overcoats. I used a red wool that I got on clearance well over a year ago.

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

While shopping for the fabric for Pen’s Halloween costume I grabbed the a Michael Miller “Apothescary” print featuring spooky things in jars for no reason other than the fact that I knew one day I would find THE project for it. I thought the fabric was the perfect thing to add to this fun “magic” coat.

Pixie Hood Coat // pensebrox.com

For one week only the pattern is on sale so be sure to grab your copy. There is also a sister pattern for a collared pea coat also currently on sale. Next week the ladies version will be celebrated with a sale. It might be warming up in the Northern Hemisphere but I bet the patterns will be a great base for a rain or lighter spring coat. With so many options I’m sure I’ll be making this pattern again soon!


Batseb // pensebrox.comToday was “Superhero Day” at Seb’s pre-school. Last year I made him a smashing “Super Seb” cape and shirt. This year he requested that I make him into Batman.

Batseb // pensebrox.comSeb is on the fence about wearing masks so I made him a bat beanie using Delia Creates FREE Ribbed Beanie pattern and cut a set of 4 triangles for the bat “ears”.

Batseb // pensebrox.com

Batseb // pensebrox.comFor the cape I again used Thread Riding Hood’s FREE Super Hero Cape pattern. This time I modified the cape slightly by leaving out the rounded corner and using a small bowl to create the scalloped edge. I traced the bat symbol onto a piece of yellow felt, attached to the cape using Heat Bond Lite, and top stitched for extra security. I did not line the cape since the piece of sweatshirt fleece I used already had quite a bit of weight to it and I wanted the cape to be swish-y.

Batseb // pensebrox.com


Batseb // pensebrox.comI’ve been fighting some sort of sinus plague so it was handy and convenient that I already had a spiffy Batman shirt that I thrifted for a quarter last year stashed away in the bin for Seb’s summer clothes. Making the cape and hat took very little time and made for one very happy 4 year-old!

Mystery Challenge: Paper Airplanes!

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comWelcome to my stop on the Mystery Challenge blog tour! The name of the game is for another blogger to give you a theme and you create a crafty project using that theme. There was a slight hiccup with the system that matched bloggers leaving me without a partner and the group ended up voting for my theme. The group decided on paper airplanes for my challenge! Up until last Saturday I had been working on a completely different project using the theme. Once inspiration struck, I could not help but to change my plans.

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comDuring the holidays my Dad paid us an extended visit and after his departure Seb declared the unfinished spare room that my Dad stayed in as his own. We planned on making the room into a space for the kids later in the year but Seb’s sudden decision left me unprepared. The bedding was whatever I could find and with the upgrade from a toddler to a twin bed I also could not use our collection of toddler size kid sheets.

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comWanting to add some fun to the room, making Seb paper airplane themed bedding seemed like the perfect idea! Sunday morning I was giddy when I discovered that I had everything I would need already in my stash. Mr. Rox I’m sure was also ecstatic about not having to go on a fabric store shopping spree.

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comFor the fitted sheet and pillow case I used a cotton jersey from Girl Charlee. I had previously order quite a few yards of the “slightly flawed” thinking I’d use it for muslins since it was a steal at $1.50/yard. I used two tutorials for reference when making the basic pillow case and fitted sheet.

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comI used a piece a striped french terry that I thrifted some time ago for about $2 and backed it with a piece of navy sweatshirt fleece that I grabbed from a remnant bin for under $2 to make the blanket. Since both pieces of fabric were large (around 50″ x 60″) but not quite big enough to make a twin comforter. I first thought about adding a large border but after designing the paper airplane graphic I decided making the blanket without borders would suit the project more. Seb also tends to drag his blankets around the house to use in multiple locations and I think the slightly smaller blanket would be more manageable.

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.com

T-shirt scraps where used for both the paper airplane and cloud appliques. I fused the graphics to the fabric using Heat Bond Lite and top stitched for extra durability.  I create my own templates for the appliques and you are welcome to use them for your own home projects. I printed the planes at 75% for the pillows and 100% for the blanket.

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.com Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.com(right click the image and select “save LINK as” or click to be taken to the pdf file)

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.com

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comNeedless to say Seb loves his new bedding and I have to admit that I’m a wee bit jealous of it! The shapes and colors are such fun and will be perfect to pair with a solid fleece blanket to finish things off. I’m amazed that the project cost only around $10!

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.comSweet dreams!

I had so much fun with my challenge theme and I hope you will check out the other blogs on the Mystery Challenge tour. All the projects have been fantastic!

Mystery Challenge

Round up with all the bloggers.

2/22: Amy – Friends Stitched Together – Arabian Nights

2/23: Alicia – Felt with Love Designs – Monochrome

2/24: Melissa – Rebel & Malice – Rockabilly

2/25: Jessica – The Berry Bunch – Black&White

2/26: Amanda – Mandy K Designs – Audrey Hepburn

2/27: Tasha – Friends Stitched Together – The Great Barrier Reef

2/28: Maartje – Huisje Boompje Boefjes – Broadway

3/1: Jonie – Knot Sew Normal – French Revolution

Danica – The Sewing Sparrow – Nature

3/2: Sara – Made by Sara – Under the Big Top

3/3: Fenna – FABulous Home Sewn – Jane Austen

3/4: Ula – Lulu & Celeste – Woodstock ’69

3/5: Maegen – Mae & K – 1970’s Cartoons

Starly – Sew Starly – Mythical Creatures

3/6: Tisha – Milileke – WWII/1940’s

Roxanne – Pen Seb Rox – Paper Airplanes

3/7: Meriel – create3.5 – Nursery Rhymes

3/8: Barbara – Country Bella – Steampunk

Paper Airplane Bedding // pensebrox.com

Princess Rosalina

Princess Rosalina // pensebrox.com

Since I’ve been a Mario fan for what feels like a billion years, I could not resist participating in the sew-a-long for February’s CraftingCon theme. You would think with me being a Mario fan since way back that Peach would be my favorite Princess but my heart belongs to Rosalina.

Princess Rosalina // pensebrox.com

I created the Princess Rosalina inspired hoodie using the Hazelwood Tunic & Hoodie by Love Notions as a base. Since the the pattern starts at 12 months I had to reduce the pattern a bit so it was not too big on on Pen.

Princess Rosalina // pensebrox.com

The jewels on the crown and star broach I both stitched and glued in place. Those suckers are not going anywhere! I also drafted my own template for both the crown and star broach.

Princess Rosalina // pensebrox.com

For the Luma I made a template based on an image found via Google.

Princess Rosalina // pensebrox.com

I love this project so much I see a whole bunch of geek themed hoodies for Pen in the future. Now I just need to decided which theme to do next!

BOYS can wear PINK too!

Boys can wear pink too!

Kelly of Handmade Boy had the great idea to host a month-long blog series all about boys wearing pink and today is my turn!


What can I say about pink? Well, I was the girl who would put on her best dress to roll around in a muddy hole because I was Indiana Jones – in a pretty dress.  If I had been born couple decades later I probably would have been Indiana Jones – in a tutu. I did not wear that dress because it was the best choice to wear while searching for ancient artifacts, I wore it because to my young mind it was the most exciting choice.

I hope to instill in Seb the fact that clothes can be fun and exciting. Something I think that has been lost when it comes to males and fashion, in some places. Pink is just one of many colors that he could use in his wardrobe to his heart’s content.

Boys can wear pink too! Boys can wear pink too!  Seb is a big fan of accessories and picked out much of what we used for the photo shoot. In the first photo he wears his zebra print glasses that he proudly got as a reward for being good at the dentist, a cat hat I grabbed second hand with Seb in mind because he loves house cats and a scarf made a pink buffalo plaid that he hand picked from my fabric stash. The second photo he wears the blue and pink glasses he picked out at the store last weekend, white knit beanie that belongs to me but Seb is known to “borrow” and I used the Recces Raglan by See Kate Sew as the pattern for his pink and gray shirt.

Boys can wear pink too! Boys can wear pink too!

For the jacket I (slightly) used a blend of polar fleece, sweat shirt fleece and knit jersey to make a modified version of the Samson Sweater by Love Notions. The “View C” is in a winner in my book. It has the comfort of a sweatshirt but cardigan style front makes the jacket look a bit more stylish than your ordinary hoodie.

(The above link is an affiliate link but I really love the look of the jacket so much I would have picked it for the outfit anyways)

Boys can wear pink too! Boys can wear pink too!

I say “modified” because the jacket is fully reversible! Seb picked the multi-colored bird print knit from Girl Charlee to be used in this project.

Boys can wear pink too! Boys can wear pink too!

Boys can wear pink, don’t you think?

It was so much fun working with Seb to come up with pieces for this series! You can find a complete list of series participants over at Handmade Boy. I love everything I’ve been seeing and I highly recommend checking out the other posts.

Mabel Madison has a great selection of fabrics for BOYS (and everybody else) and is generously offering 15% off with the code PINKBOYS until 2/28.  Mabel Madison is just one of many fabulous sponsors for the Boys Can Wear Pink giveaway. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below the enter.


One winner will receive:

One yard of Stenzo Pit Stop Poplin in pink from Mabel Madison
$25 gift certificate, plus a surprise fat quarter from Phat Quarter Shop
One yard of solid cotton/lycra & one yard of coordinating fabric from Purple Seamstress
One pattern of choice from Paisley Roots
$20 store credit from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop
One pattern of choice from Patterns for Pirates
One pattern of choice from Mouse House Creations
Bottoms Up Pants Pattern from If Only They Would Nap
One Pattern of choice from Titchy Threads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Boys can wear pink too!

Haven Acres Mini Collection Tour

Have Acres for BOYS

Welcome to my stop on the Haven Acres Mini Collection Pattern Tester Tour! Last week I posted my final tester outfit and now you get to see a twist on the Dressage Leggings and Sweet Pea Cap (affiliate links). While photographing my final tester photos, Seb started questioning me why he did not have pants like his sister. Inspiration hit and I decided to make my stop about making a Haven Acres look for Seb!

Have Acres for BOYS

Have Acres for BOYS

Have Acres for BOYS

The Sweet Pea Cap works great as a boys hat. I made no modifications to the hat design other than leaving off the ears. I used the same jersey material that I used on the leggings and used a sweatshirt fleece for the brim and lining. I thought the stiffer fleece would help the hat maintain its shape while still having more “give” than it would if it had been made with woven fabric. My son loves the hat but insisted that I had it all wrong when I placed it on his with the brim facing forward, the hat must be worn sideways according to him.

Have Acres for BOYS

For the Dressage Leggings, I did choose to do a few modifications. I normally sew a 4T for Seb and make waistband adjustments for his tiny waist. Wanting a slightly looser look to the leg I printed 4T, 5 and 6. After comparing the pattern pieces to an existing pair of pants I decided to cut 4T for the length and waist band but cut according to the size 6 lines for the rest .

Have Acres for BOYS

Have Acres for BOYS

I also added cuffs using black knit ribbing. Before cutting out my fabric I folded back the leg pieces 3″ to shorten the hem. I skipped the hemming step on the tutorial and once I had the pants assembled minus the legs being hemmed I measured the opening lying flat. Based on the 4″ opening I cut four rectangles of black knit ribbing measuring 3 1/2″ x 6.25″. The width is slightly smaller than the opening (also accounting for seam allowance) to give the cuff a nice fitted look and the length is the amount I subtracted from the leg pieces x2 (since I fold the piece over) plus seam allowance. I sewed the long sides of two of the rectangles, folded the piece in half with the serged (or sewn) edges on the inside and then attached the cuff over the right side of the pant leg with raw edges in the same direction. Repeat with the other cuff.

Have Acres for BOYS

Seb likes a wider waistband so I used 2″ elastic and cut the knit waist band 4 1/2″.

Have Acres for BOYS

Even though the Haven Acres Mini Collection is advertised as a patterns for girls, I think both the Sweet Pea Cap and Dressage Leggings make for great casual pieces for the boy in your life.

The Haven Acres Mini Collection (affiliate link) is still on sale until tomorrow (2/15) don’t miss the chance to get the pieces for 20% off no coupon code needed and even if you missed the sale I think the patterns are definitely still worth grabbing!

Have Acres for BOYS

“I’m a snake now. I’m done taking pictures.”

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my twist on the Haven Acres Collection. Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour.


This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase using the link. Of course opinions of the pattern are my own and rest assured that if I was not 100% happy with the pattern there would be no affiliate link or glowing review. Thank you for your understanding!

Psst! Hey you! Not only is today my stop on tour and Valentine’s Day BUT it is also the one year blogiversary of Pen, Seb & Rox. I’m so excited about completing my first year blogging that I’m hosting a giveaway (with awesome fabric from Mabel Madison) over on this post.

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