Pen’s Fashion Roundup


One of things that I enjoy about the sewing blogger community is the cross pollination of ideas. I love good inspiration and following along with challenges such as CraftingCon or Top Stitchers you can find a wealth of inspiring projects. Even if I’m working with a specific challenge in mind, often I find my brain wandering off to similar prompts or inspirations. I have not been as active in the sewing community as I would of liked over the past few months but I still found time and inspiration to create some of my all time favorite looks for Pen!

Star Trek - Janice Rand inspired look for CraftingCon by PenSeb&Rox / rk-0834

Star Trek - Janice Rand inspired look for CraftingCon by PenSeb&Rox / rk-1078

Star Trek - Janice Rand inspired look for CraftingCon by PenSeb&Rox / rk-0826

My Star Trek look for the October Craftingcon was inspired by Janice Rand from the original series.  While not as known as Captain Kirk or Mister Spock, Janice had a distinct look of her own and a presence on screen that made the character a star. I modified Shwin Designs Glass Onion Top to have a gathered back created from a single piece of red jersey. The overall silhouette has a very futuristic modern vibe and I think that is something seen in the costume design in the original series. You can’t go wrong with a comfy jersey dress for a toddler! It was an adventure making the Starfleet badge from gold jersey, black felt, glitter glue, and hand stitching. My sewing machine wanted nothing more than to eat the little badge alive. I have no choice but the resort to hand sewing. The bouffant “wig” made from Lion Brand Hometown USA in “Los Angeles Tan” was created from a knitted base with strands woven to create the basket weave design. Originally I wanted the design portion to be knitted as well but when I did a test swatch, the chunky texture of the yarn made it hard to distinguish.

Road Warrior: CraftingCon Guest Post // pensebrox

Road Warrior: CraftingCon Guest Post // pensebrox

Road Warrior: CraftingCon Guest Post // pensebrox

When I hear “post-apocalyptic” I instantly think of the Mad Max film series. As I kid I loved  DIY nature of the costumes (Baddies with glue guns!!) and the fast homegrown vehicles. The most recent addition to the series, Fury Road, knocks my socks off! My love for the original films lead to another CraftingCon look for Pen. I used not one but THREE Jennuine Design patterns. With the world struggling to scavenge what it needs to get by, it only seemed fitting to upcycle as much as I could for the outfit. The scaled down Moto Jacket was created a plethora of my old threads. My faded black jeans, an old thrifted velvet and lace dress, and at-shirt were all used to craft the sassy jacket. I reused leftover velvet scraps to trim the raggedly ruffled LOL Swing Top and scraps of FOE for the stripes on the Dressage Leggings.

Peppa Pig Costume // rk-1289 rk-1302

Kid me would of probably argued that Kermit the Frog was my spirit animal and I think Pen carries on the tradition of finding a connection with an imaginary creature with her affinity for the cartoon character Peppa Pig. On a chilly New England Halloween the snuggly ensemble was just the thing she needed. Pink and red polar fleece was used to create the entire outfit. Originally I used the Bonny Leggings by Made for Mermaids for the bottoms but had issues keeping them tucked into the boots and re-made the bottoms using Abby’s Footed Tights by The Wolf and the Tree. The fleece tights worked out wonderfully with no need to keep tucking everything back into Pen’s rain boots. For the “dress” I used the Raglan Pocket Dress by Brindille & Twig using both red and pink fleece to create the look of Peppa’s sleeveless dress and pink arms. Lemon Squeezy Home’s FREE Faux Fur Hood pattern was perfect to use as the base for the “Peppa” hood.  The resulting outfit might not be high fashion for an adult but it being well coordinated makes it high fashion for a one year-old who thinks a single boot and  a dress-up breastplate as a handbag is the height of fashion!

Each month the Top Stitchers  competitors give it their all and I enjoy following each month. In just a day, the sew-a-long ends so be sure to link up an appropriate project if you have not already.

Sewing Staduim
P.S Here is a photo of Pen’s self-styled single boot and breastplate handbag look! 😉

Kitty Fun House: Seb makes bedding!

Kitty Fun House // rk-1456The whole gang headed to a few flea markets over the weekend. I came home with a new companion for a mere $4 and Seb got the dream home for his menagerie of stuffed feline friends for $10.

rk-1481He has spent several months begging me to “get some wood” and build a house for his cats. As much as I love DIY, I’m pretty accident prone (reckless?) when it comes to my adventures and the amount of sharp tools needed for woodworking has put me off wanting to give it a try myself. I like my fingers too much!

rk-1432Even though we ended up buying his kitty dream home (or “Kitty Fun House” as Seb calls it) he was enthusiastic over the prospect of making the furniture ourselves. I had a wood box (that I believe Melissa and Doug magnets came in originally) holding miscellaneous bits in my desk drawer that I thought would be perfect for a bed. The bits in the box really needed for me to sort it better anyways. Seb wanted to make the mattress and bedding himself with his “machine”.

rk-1438The “machine” (aka. the “Sew Cool” that I grabbed for less than $15 on Amazon and blogged before over here) is less a sewing machine and more a needle felting machine. It works great with the cheap-o felt you can buy at any craft store and has a plastic guard around the needles that prevents any little (or big) fingers from getting in the danger zone. That guard does make sliding thicker layers underneath a little tricky for younger kids such as Seb and I helped him get the layers started.


rk-1515It came out pretty cute, no? Next up Seb wants a TV for his cats. He told me that I should read up on wiring!rk1-1453


The big Halloween costume reveal!

Chocolate Chip Cookie & Peppa Pig Costume // Phew! I finished two costumes just in time for local Halloween fun at Seb’s school. There has been a lot going around our house lately so there were admittedly moments where I thought about skipping over handmade this year. Of course my love for the spirit of the holiday overrode any alternatives.

pensebroxoninstagramIf you follow me on Instagram you may be familiar with my original plan to dress Pen up as Olivia, the stylishly dressed porcine character from a popular book series. It has cooled off drastically over the past few weeks. I started to think all the effort to scale down the vintage sailor dress pattern and then sew the “easy” by 1950’s standards pattern would end up hidden underneath a coat for any Halloween related festivities.

peppapigThough Pen does seem to like the Olivia books she is head over heels for the tv series Peppa Pig.


Peppa Pig Costume // pensebrox.comPeppa Pig is definitely a warm and cozy costume when made with polar fleece! For the leggings and dress I went up on size for the width in order to insure extra room in case we needed layer more for outdoors. For the dress I choose to use the Raglan Pocket Dress by Brindille & Twig, leggings were the Bonny Leggings by Made For Mermaids, and the hood was the FREE Faux Fur Hood by Lemon Squeezy Home with self drafted Peppa shaped ears. Seriously, if you have not tried the Faux Fur Hood definitely give it a shot. I used it to make hoods for the kids last Christmas (see Seb’s / see Pen’s). The curly tail was made by sliding a doubled over pipe cleaner into a tube that I made from a scrap of fleece and then curling that by wrapping it around a pencil. I’ll probably add stirrups to the leggings before Halloween because I had issues with the fleece not wanting to stay tucked into Pen’s yellow rain boots.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Costume // pensebrox.comSeb requested to be made into a “chocolate chip cookie”. He even picked out the colors for the costume himself. I pretty much made up the cookie as I went along stitching the “chips” felt shapes onto the main fabric, stuffing the whole thing, and then tacking down portions to create the ridges for a more cookie like texture. I used nylon webbing to create shoulder straps and Velcro on the sides to keep the whole thing from flopping around. Since we already had enough coordinating elements for the rest of his outfit on hand, I did not bother to make anything else from scratch.

Chocolate Chip Cookie & Peppa Pig Costume // pensebrox.comChocolate Chip Cookie & Peppa Pig Costume // pensebrox.comChocolate Chip Cookie & Peppa Pig Costume //
My favorite thing about this time of year is seeing all the handmade costumes! I’m sure part of the reason why I stick with the handmade route is inspiration from my own mom making my costumes year after year during my childhood. Are you sewing anything special this season?

Star Trek – Janice Rand inspired look for CraftingCon

rk-teaser_640x640Today I have a Star Trek inspired look over at CraftingCon. Where no toddler has gone before…

Free Raglan Pattern Roundup @ The Pattern Exam


I have a roundup of FREE raglan sewing patterns for kids AND adults over at The Pattern Exam. Be sure to check it out!

Jennuine Design Pattern Tour: The Moto Jacket

Moto Jacket // pensebrox.comAwhile back I had the pleasure of testing yet another awesome Jennuine Design pattern, the Moto Jacket. Even though the jacket was designed with leather in mind all sorts of materials are well suited for the hip styling of the jacket. There is even an option to piece the back together which is fabulous for upcycling! With so much flexibility for material sourcing, I’ve so far made TWO Moto Jackets with two more in the works.

Moto Jacket // Moto Jacket // pensebrox.comFor my first version of the Moto Jacket I used a wonderful corduroy, from Mabel Madison, embellished with colorful flying saucers for the main body. The knit portions came from a sweater that I liberated from Mr. Rox’s side of the closet and I used a red cotton flannel for the lining. The sweater knit used for the collar, sleeves, and pocket welts adds a cozy vibe. There is even an option to do a quilted lining if you want to make the jacket even cozier!

Moto Jacket // pensebrox.comI’ve made the Dressage Leggings for Seb in the past and I’ve come across quite a few other examples of the pattern being great for girls and boys but the Moto Jacket is Jennuine Design’s first official unisex pattern. The tutorial has a full section to make a reversed front panel to get everything on the “boys” side and the rest of the tutorial has reminders of the orientation. Since we tested the Moto Jacket back in June it was great that the fit had some room to it in order for the jacket to fit come September. Jenn really has a knack for designing with kids in mind and she tests thoroughly for the best fit, so I was thrilled that I had another opportunity to sew one of her patterns for Seb. Of course I loved the pattern so much that I need I’d have to make one for Pen, even if it is SUMMER!

Road Warrior: CraftingCon Guest Post // pensebroxSince the Moto Jacket fits 2T to 12 years, I had to reduce the pattern down to a 12-18m myself to make the centerpiece for my recent Road Warrior inspired CraftingCon look. Since most of the materials I used for this version were upcycled I ran into issues with having enough velvet which lead to the collar being slightly smaller than in the original design.

Road Warrior: CraftingCon Guest Post // pensebroxFor this version I used lace and velvet salvaged from a dress I probably thrifted 20 years ago (gah!), an old pair of my jeans (easy since the back can be constructed from two pieces), and a purple knit shirt (doubled to give the sleeves a good weight). The tab to make “bow” cuffs is my addition but easy enough if you wish to add your own to a Moto Jacket. The rest of Pen’s outfit for the look is Jennuine Design as well. I suggest heading over to my original CraftingCon post if you wish to read all the details (and see more of Pen rocking the look).

Moto Jacket // pensebrox.comThe pattern may look intimidating but the tutorial is clear with details (such as how to shorten a zipper) and construction techniques that result in a finished jacket that any sewist will be proud of. I’d argue an advance beginner that too their time could totally tackle this.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the pattern tour. I’ve been loving the other versions of the Moto Jacket on the tour and don’t forget that Jenn is hosting a GIVEAWAY as part of the tour on her Jennuine Design blog. I’m drooling over the gift card for Livie & Luca!

Get the Moto Jacket pattern or any other Jennuine Design pattern for 25% off over the course of the tour.  Use the code “MotoTour” to receive the discount.


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CraftingCon Guest Post: Road Warrior

Road Warrior: CraftingCon Guest Post
Today I’m guest posting my “road warrior” look inspired by the original Mad Max movies over at CraftingCon. Be sure to check out my guest post not just to see wild child Pen in all her but the scaled down version of Jennuine Design’s Moto Jacket that I made for her!

Sewing Jennuine Design’s Ruffled Apron

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: pensebrox.comNot that long ago I signed up for a blogger tutorial swap. Stephanie of Swoodson Says started the swap and the aim is to find a tutorial on your randomly assigned blogger’s blog and create something with the tutorial.

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: pensebrox.comI was randomly assigned Jenn’s (of Jennuine Design) blog A Jennuine Life. It was a fun coincidence that it has been about a year since I was first introduced to Jenn and her designs via testing her LOL Swing Top with a newborn Pen. Amazing how much a difference a year makes in the life of a baby! #theygrowupfast

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: pensebrox.comJenn’s blog has many FREE tutorials including two styles of aprons that she created for her “Every Occasion Dress”. Most likely influenced by her older brother and his costumes, Pen has developed love for dressing up. It was about time I expanded Pen’s personal dress up collection and knowing how much she loves playing “restaurant” with her brother, I thought an apron would be a great starting piece. Originally I intended on making the banded apron but after selecting my fabric I thought the ruffled apron would be a better match.

The Verona Dress // pensebrox.comIt was not until I started assembling the ruffled apron that I realized the cherry print fabric was scraps from one of several Verona’s that I made, also designed by Jenn!

(Psst! I think the aprons mentioned in this post would look too cute paired with a Verona Dress!)

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron ::

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: pensebrox.comI pretty much followed the tutorial as written but instead of using buttons to connect the neck strap to the bib I just used two strips of fabric to create a tie. I think I’ll end up adding velcro to the strap for easy on/off and allow the apron to have my “room to grow”. The tutorial gives dimensions to create a 2T sized apron. The widest of my cherry fabric scraps was 1/2″ smaller than the biggest rectangle required but I think the resulting apron will work great for Pen now and a year from now.

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: pensebrox.comMaking the apron was easy but getting photos of a on-the-go one year-old was something else!

Jennuine Design's Ruffled Apron :: pensebrox.comI love Pen in her little ruffled apron and think the apron is great look for play or as an accessory! If you wish a plainer or unisex option take a look at the banded apron tutorial. Be sure to also check out Jenn’s swap post.

Wrapping up another Kids Clothes Week…

Bohemian Babydoll // pensebrox.comWhile I did devote an hour every day to kids sewing this round of Kids Clothes Week, part of my week I devoted to projects not specifically inspired by KCW but still involved sewing kids clothes. This included the new Moto Jacket by Jennuine Design and finishing up a pair of gingham shorts that was for my review of the Clemence Shorts for this month’s The Pattern Exam.

Bohemian Babydoll // pensebrox.comMost of the week I had a super cranky molar sprouting Pen on my hands which kept my progress on personal sewing projects to a minimum. I FINALLY got around to sewing up a Bohemian Babydoll. I’ve had the pattern taped since the last Kids Clothes Week! For my version I salvaged chambray from an old blouse for the bodice and I used part of a sheet for the skirt.

Clemence Shorts Hack // pensebrox.comI was going to sew Pen a few more Clemence Shorts in the near future anyways but after seeing the awesome “Marilyn” hack that Mel posted earlier in the week, I knew I’d have to make a few ruched versions as soon as possible! I cut fabric with intending on making four shorts using this hack. So far I have the purple pair pictured made and a teal pair that Pen wore out shopping yesterday. Both pairs I finished making I used a cotton poplin. The other two I cut are sitting on partially assembled on my sewing table. Why so many? For one thing Pen has a tendency to completely destroy her outfits with dirt, food, snot, and mysterious substances that I probably don’t really want to know what that stain really is. There is also enough “room to grow” with the 12 month size that I can see her wearing these through the fall over tights as shorts or underneath a dress as bloomers.

Clemence Shorts // pensebrox.comI also wanted to make several of the Clemence Shorts using the single scallop design from the recent expansion. For the pair pictured I upcycled from a pair of my jeans that were never particularly flattering on me. The way the shorts designed to be assembled, I think makes them perfect for upcycling. Right now the cut pieces for the other two I plan on making are under Seb’s artwork on my desk. Hopefully I’ll be able to uncover them once I finish sewing the ruched versions.

www.pensebrox.comLastly, I cut but did not even begin to sew two pairs of harem shorts for Seb. Unlike Pen’s wardrobe that is missing some basic components, Seb is pretty good on clothing which is why I prioritized sewing for her this round.

Bohemian Babydoll // pensebrox.comClemence Shorts // pensebrox.comOverall I’m glad I got some things actually sewn and I have plenty of projects prepped that will keep me busy for the next few weeks. What projects did you make this week?

Gracious Threads Baby Shower

Penelope //

Today I’m guesting over at Gracious Threads as part of Jess’s virtual baby shower! In my post I reminisce about some of the awesome free patterns I’ve sewn for Pen over the past year. I can’t believe she will be ONE tomorrow!

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