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 // pensebrox.com

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!

Mystery Challenge: Piet Mondrian

Mystery Challenge // Piet MondrainFor this round of the Mystery Challenge Nienke of Pienkel gave me the task of creating something inspired by the painter Piet Mondrian. If you can not recall any Mondrian paintings off the top of your head let me jog your memory.

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Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930 (from Wikipedia)

Even if you are still not familiar with the artist’s paintings I’m sure you’ve seen something influenced by his work. For example, the Mondrian inspired Yves Saint Laurent dresses are the first thing I think of when I hear “mod” and “shift dress” in the same sentence.

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Mondrian dresses by Yves Saint Laurent shown with a Mondrian painting in 1966. (from Wikipedia)

My own Mondrian inspired project was something of an exercise in frustration. After prepping for one idea I discovered late in the game that the pattern I planned on using was too small for Seb’s giant noggin. At least I found this out before cutting the pattern pieces! I did not feel like I had time to make a muslin to test sizing up the pattern so Sunday afternoon I came up with plan “B”. Seb is my little artist and I thought it would be great to make something to contain his art supplies that at any given time can usually be found, along with one of his projects, covering half the kitchen table.
Mystery Challenge // Piet MondrainMystery Challenge // Piet MondrainFor the bag pattern I used The Art Caddy by Ginger Cake. With the way the information was presented in the tutorial and pattern, I have to admit that I felt like in the same amount of time it took me to cut and sew the bag I could of figured something out on my own. I’m definitely happy with the way the bag turned out which is why I’m not completely regretting the pattern purchase but this is a good example of me needing more confidence in my own abilities.
Mystery Challenge // Piet Mondrain
Besides using Mondrian’s well known colors for the main pieces of the bag, I also pieced together the topmost pocket on each side and top stitched with black thread. I used cotton broadcloth for the exterior, a dark gray chambray I had on hand for the lining, and black webbing for the straps. Knowing Seb would try to cram all sorts of things into the bag I wanted to use something less rigid than the interfacing that the pattern called for but would still help the bag keep a decent shape. I had a a piece of stiff felt leftover from Pen’s witch hat and that was exactly what I needed.
Mystery Challenge // Piet Mondrain
Mystery Challenge // Piet Mondrain
I was a wee bit sad when Seb fell in love with his new “rainbow” bag since I grew to love the bag so much that I would of been happy to give it a home with my own supplies. Of course even with my jealousy I have to say that the bag is PERFECT for the little artist on the go…
Mystery Challenge // Piet Mondrain
Mystery Challenge // Piet Mondrain
Mystery Challenge // Piet MondrainMystery Challenge // Piet MondrainDespite my project issues I feel liked I lucked out being given something as awesome as Piet Mondrian as my challenge prompt. I hope you enjoyed my project and be sure to check out the other participants on the Mystery Challenge tour!

 

5/26 Create 3.5George Sand

 

Mystery Challenge // Piet Mondrain

One Thimble 7: Prince Hoodie

One Thimble 7 // Prince Hoodie // pensebrox.comLast week I posted about the Jukebox Tempo dress that I made as part of the One Thimble 7 blog tour. The Jukebox Tempo is just one of 10 awesome patterns available in One Thimble 7. Another pattern available in the current issue is the Prince Hoodie by Tigerlily Patterns.

Prince-Hoodie-Stand-Alone-Cover-e1431490104625A great addition to your little guy’s wardrobe, the Prince Hoodie does a great job treading the line between something that invokes a dress up feeling but is still great for everyday wear.

One Thimble 7 // Prince Hoodie // pensebrox.comI’m a big fan of “fun” boys sewing patterns and this pattern is definitely fun. When coming up with the fabric combination that I would use I had the idea of using earthy colors to invoke more of a dashing young rogue that you later find out is the PRINCE! For our Prince Hoodie I used a green fleece for the main body, rust colored cotton for the trim, and worn brass buttons.

One Thimble 7 // Prince Hoodie // pensebrox.comOne Thimble 7 // Prince Hoodie // pensebrox.comThe tutorial walks you through the process of making the Prince Hoodie with clear directions and photos. I found sewing the hoodie to be quick and took little more than a (very interrupted) afternoon for me to complete.

One Thimble 7 // Prince Hoodie // pensebrox.comThe Prince Hoodie would be a great base for all sorts of princely outfits. Your little guy can be Prince Charming or a rogue prince like Seb. I even think the pattern would be great for a pirate or space captain themed hoodies! The Prince Hoodie is just one of 1 0 patterns in the current issue of One Thimble. Be sure to check out the other patterns available in issue 7. There is even a Princess Hoodie!

Are you looking forward to seeing more of the range of patterns from One Thimble’s Issue 7? Follow the blog tour using the links below;

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One Thimble 7: Jukebox Tempo

One Thimble 7 // Jukebox Dress // pensebrox.comI jumped at the chance to sew up one of the dresses from the Jukebox Duet by FLOSStyle as part of the One Thimble 7 Blog Tour. Each issue of One Thimble is packed with amazing patterns from some of your favorite designers and sewing related articles. You might even discover a few new designers. I’m always drooling over the patterns included in each issue and One Thimble 7 is no exception!

11102615_833294043416704_8921509345960054788_nThe Jukebox Duet includes both the Tempo (a woven dress with contrast shoulders button tab cuffed sleeves) and the Rhythm (a cowl necked knit dress). With warm weather finally here I thought the Tempo would be perfect for a spring dress.

One Thimble 7 // Jukebox Dress // pensebrox.comFLOSStyle has put together a clear illustrated tutorial  that makes sewing the Tempo very straightforward. Details like the back button placket, cuffed sleeves with a tab, bias hem, and contrast shoulders are little details that really make the dress something else. With the thorough tutorial even beginners should be able to complete the pattern without much trouble. Heck, I made this dress and pretty much re-made it again…

Real life sewing confession: With this dress 90% done I realized that I completely failed with my shoulder fabric choice. The dress is so quick to come together I was tempted to just make a second version but since I was using a vintage fabric that I had in a limited amount I could not leave it with a less-than-perfect fabric pairing. I ended up disassembling the dress back to the start, salvaged the vintage paisley fabric lining and skirt, added new shoulders, and re-assembled it creating version 2.

One Thimble 7 // Jukebox Dress // pensebrox.comSpeaking of fabric choices, the pink striped cotton and vintage green paisleys with orange and pink floral print is something I thrifted many months ago. I knew they would be perfect together when I thrifted them, they look fantastic made into a Tempo. It must have been temporary insanity that made me want to use a chambray instead of the pink stripe! The pattern suggests buttons or snaps for the tabs and back placket. I used snaps for ease of dressing my wiggly Pen.

One Thimble 7 // Jukebox Dress // pensebrox.com

One Thimble 7 // Jukebox Dress // pensebrox.comThere is something both modern and classic about the styling of the Tempo. The contrast shoulders and cuffed tab features of the design make it the  perfect pallet for pattern mixing. I can’t stop coming up with new combinations from my stash in my head. I’m sure I’ll be making more Tempos soon. The Tempo can easily be made with a wide range of fabrics suiting each season – a medium weight cotton like I did for the mid-seasons, soft light gauze for hot months, and a baby cord would be perfect for cooler months. Nothing about the design hindered Pen from exploring the world like a curious few-days-shy-of-11 months-old. The fewer spills and tumbles makes for a happy mom and baby!One Thimble 7 // Jukebox Dress // pensebrox.com With girls to teen sizes ranging from 1 to 16 and the seasonal versatility of both versions of the dress, I really think FLOSStyle has made the Jukebox Duet  a must-have staple for anybody sewing for a girl. This pattern is just one of 10 available in issue 7 of One Thimble which releases Friday May 15th! I also had the pleasure of sewing another pattern from the issue and will be posting about that project in a few days.

Are you looking forward to seeing more of the range of patterns from One Thimble’s Issue 7? Follow the blog tour using the links below;

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Women’s Bundle Up

I’m very excited to be part of the Bundle Up Blog Tour and also to show you two knit projects I’ve recently completed for myself. While not coordinating pieces, both the Perfect Petal Skirt by Little Lizard King and Malibu Misses by MODkid both have the potential to be easy wear knit pieces great for dressing up or down. With the right knit weights I think they can be flattering for a multitude of shapes and sizes as well. Including my slightly squishy size 16-ish post-baby mom bod!

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Women's Bundle Up // pensebrox.comFull disclosure: Mr. Rox made me pick this pattern. That is not to say I do not like the design. I think the Perfect Petal by Little Lizard King is AMAZING looking but the practical side of me wondered on what occasion in my hum-drum life would I wear such a snazzy looking skirt? The answer is…

Everywhere!

Women's Bundle Up // Little Lizard King - Petal Perfect // pensebrox.comAbove is my picnic with the kids chic look. I spent the day grocery shopping, running around a park, picnicking with the kids, playing in the yard, and a hundred other things. Never once did I regret my fashion choice. The Perfect Petal was… perfectly comfortable.

Yes, that was a bit lame but seriously, the skirt in the right knit fabric is amazingly comfortable while still looking snazzy.

Women's Bundle Up // pensebrox.com

Perfect Petal Skirt by Little Lizard King

Details:
– Sizes 0-20 (Hip 34″-50″)
– Instructions include advice for cutting a taller waistband
– Designed for knit fabrics
– Has easy to follow tutorial with clear photos

Sewing: I followed the tutorial exactly. Sewing was very straight forward and probably the fastest thing I’ve ever made for myself. Really!

Fit:
I cut a 16 for both waist and hip. The tutorial advises sizing down when between sizes and I probably could have gotten away with cutting a 14 for the waist. I did not because had concerns of oddly distorted cats so I was conservative when judging what size to cut. Even if the waistband could have been smaller it still fits fine with no back gaping. Since I still have some of my post-baby pooch I found the higher waistband recommend in the tutorial to be a great asset to the overall fit. The skirt is designed to be fitted and with my hips being 45″ like what was listed for the size 16 I thought the fit was perfect. Fitted but with enough breathing room to feel comfortable.

Women's Bundle Up // pensebrox.comI’m so in love with the Verhees knit “Cat & Mouse” I purchased from Mabel Madison. I even have a goal where I want to make something with every color the print comes in. The print is fun and I think how well it works with the design of the Perfect Petal shows how versatile the skirt is. I can totally see myself whipping up a few plaid versions in the fall and I’m sure that be just one of many other version I will make!

Women's Bundle Up // pensebrox.comI’ve been long fantasizing about sewing my own simple knit summer tank dresses. The sort that are easy to throw on but you still look pulled together. Ready to wear versions of my fantasy have failed me miserably over the years and I figured that sewing it myself may be my only hope. My dreams have come true with the Malibu Misses by MODkid.

The crossover back is really the stand out feature in my opinion but the pattern also comes with a full back opinion. With instructions for both a short and maxi lengths, this is a very versatile tank dress. Its a-line shape gives a flattering shape to the skirt and a classic edge to the dress.

Women's Bundle Up // pensebrox.com

Malibu Misses by MODkid

Details:
– Sizes XS-XXL (Bust 30″-42″, Hip 32″-44″)
– Plain or Cross back options, Maxi or Mini length
– Cutting guidelines for each length according to Petite, Average, and Tall heights
– Designed for knit fabrics
– Comes with illustrated tutorial and clear instructions

Sewing: I had trouble coming up with a suitable knit to use as contrast binding for the dress so I ended up resorting to using navy bias tape. The medium weight knit I used worked well with the bias tape but I could see it being too heavy for a lighter weight knit. The time consuming part was adding the trim. Not exactly difficult but carefully pinning takes time. Outside of that part, I consider the dress to be a quick sew.

Fit:
I took the shoulders in slightly to get the cross back to lay flat on my body and the bodice was taken in about 1″. As a very general rule of thumb I’ve found that I often need to go by my high bust rather than full bust when choosing bodice size. Since I have not had any previous experience with fitting anything like the cross back on the Malibu I just stuck with a straight XXL. I have a 45″ hip which is a smidgen over the 43″-44″ listed for the XXL but did not make any changes to the skirt. Elastic is added to the waist to bring it in a little and cut according to waist size but I’m still sporting something of a postpartum belly so I did not need any drastic waist adjustments.

Women's Bundle Up // pensebrox.comI’ve been hoarding this boat print knit in my stash for a long time and I’m glad I finally found the perfect summer dress project for it. I’ll definitely be wearing this dress frequently over the summer. With some many knit fabric choices, I can see the Malibu Misses by MODkid as the being perfect for everything from a sexy date night look to a swimsuit coverup.

 

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Both the Petal Perfect Skirt and Malibu Misses, and many other fantastic patterns, are available exclusively in the Women’s Bundle UP May 1-8. Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour to see everything that the Bundle Up sale has to offer.

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Time to Travel Blog Tour

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comOnce upon a time there is a little boy who dreamed of seeing the world.
Thanks to the Time to Travel ebook, and help from his mom, he became well equipped for his adventures.

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SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSeb seems to have enough money for a ticket in his Ready, Set, Go! Wallet

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSeb has his Swansea Bag packed. Here we go!

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comTime to Travel is the first ebook from Sewing With Boys. It comes packed with patterns, tips for traveling with your little one, and printable activities for your little guy (or gal).  All four of the patterns included in the ebook are great for families on the go. I made the Read, Set, Go! Wallet and the Swansea Bag (more on that later). The book also includes patterns for the Adventure Belt (a cool utility belt) and Just Like Pappa Briefcase (kid-size briefcase to hold art supplies and more).

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSWB Tour // pensebrox.comSWB Tour // pensebrox.comSpecial Time to Travel currency and travel documents is one of the many fun printable PDF activities included. After cutting out the printed pieces I sandwiched them between clear contact paper for extra durability. The contact paper also kept a degree of flexibility which allowed the pieces to the perfect accessory for the Ready, Set, Go! Wallet or even the Just Like Pappa Briefcase.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comThe Pirate Map printable in Time to Travel is a great example of how flexible the included activities can be not just for play but your little helper can assist with the creation of the activity! Smaller kids might enjoy coloring in the printed map and older kids might want to help assemble or even create the map entirely on their own.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSWB Tour // pensebrox.comSeb has been fascinated with owning a “machine” of his own and when I came across the “Sew Cool” machine as a Warehouse Deal on Amazon for under $15 I knew I had to grab it for him. The machine does not sew but rather uses (completely shielded) needles to felt two pieces of felt together. Not quite like mommy’s machine but Seb still has a few years before he is ready to use a real machine on his own. Sew Cool came with special projects and the company sells refill kits but it works great with plain ‘ole craft felt. I knew the Pirate Map from Time to Travel would be perfect felt project for Seb to “sew”.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comI printed a copy of the map included in Time to Travel to cut out to be used as a template for the felt pieces. Since the felt I used was a bit smaller than the template I printed out I had to fudge the overall map design a bit but it still looks awesome. Seb also insisted I make bananas for the trees because “pirates need food”. Before handing the pieces over to Seb for assembly I traced each piece with a marker to help guide him. Making the project almost like a puzzle! Letting your little one assemble the map would be a great project for all skills levels since it could be simply glued, felted like Seb did, or sewn.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comThe projects I made were just a few of the activities packed into the Time to Travel ebook. Seb and I had great fun reading through the ebook and selecting activities to make. Time to Travel also includes FOUR sewing patterns designed especially for a little guy (or gal) in your life. I made both the Ready, Set, Go! Wallet and Swansea Bag  for Seb.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSWB Tour // pensebrox.comReady, Set, Go! Wallet: I’m something of an accessory-a-phobic when it comes to sewing projects. I’ve held off from making wallets in the past because the idea of assembling all those little pockets intimidates me. When selecting which projects I’d make for the tour, Seb insisted that I make him the wallet. Oh no! I was amazed how easily the Ready, Set, Go! Wallet came together.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comThe instructions were well illustrated and each step was crystal clear. Very little material is needed for the project so I used a variety of scraps I had floating around including upcycling a pair of gray chinos. The design has just the right amount of pockets including a spot for loose change. With such a great pattern and tutorial, I felt a bit silly feeling intimated over the prospects of making a wallet. I think I may be making one of these for myself in the future!

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSwansea Bag: The Swansea Bag is the perfect all-purpose bag for your little guy (or gal). Two lengths are included on the pattern pieces so one could even be made for an adult or teen in your life! One piece of fabric is used for the main body of the bag but Seb requested that I use a race car fabric that was several inches shy of what was required for the kids length. Since the bottom of bags often gets the most wear I used denim for the bottom and the bottom panel added to the race car fabric to get the right length. I used the same denim for the large pocket option and left off the flap since I thought Seb would prefer the pocket without one.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comA certain big orange box hardware store had this orange webbing that I fell in love with but sadly the width that it came in looked wimpy on the bag. I had the bright idea to attach it to the wider black webbing I had also purchased at the same store to create something of a racing stripe on the strap.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comWhile the Swansea Bag is not lined, it is assembled with french seams making the interior nice and tidy looking. Included with the pattern is options for either a casing or grommet closure. Instructions were easy to follow making the entire project a breeze. I’m such a fan of the finished bag and so is Seb! With creative fabric choices this no-fuss bag can fit a wide range of preferences and can be whipped up in no time at all. I think I need to make one for each member of our family for camping.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comSewing with Boys Time to Travel ebook is packed with all sorts of goodies. I’m blown away by all four of the great patterns included. The travel themed activities and information for kids is a fun bonus and is great for those with younger kids but if you are sewing for yourself or tweens I still think the purchase price is more than worth it for the Ready, Set, Go! Wallet and Swansea Bag patterns alone.

SWB Tour // pensebrox.comThank you for reading my review of the Time to Travel ebook and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of this tour. Be sure to stop by all the other blogs on the tour and enter to win not only your own copy of Time to Travel but prizes also included fabric and gift certificates. Woot!

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Giveaway:
Grand prize: $50 gift certificate to FabricWorm and a copy of Time to Travel*
2nd: 1 yard of fabric from Mabel Madison and a copy of Time to Travel*
3rd: a copy of Time to Travel*

*If you buy the eBook and win the giveaway, we will either refund your money, or send the copy on to a friend of your choice.
But that’s not all! If you buy the eBook during the tour, you’ll be automatically entered to win a $30 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour schedule: April 20: Rachel at Once Upon A Sewing Machine || Michelle at Falafel and the Bee April 21: Becca at Free Notion || Heather at All Things Katy! April 22: Chelsea at GYCT Designs || Ula at Lulu & Celeste April 23: Stephanie at Swoodson Says || Sherri at Thread Riding Hood April 24: Meriel at Create3.5 || Sara at Made by Sara April 27: Melissa at Oh Sew Boy! || Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts April 28: Teri at Climbing the Willow || Ajaire at Call Ajaire April 29: Jessica at The Berry Bunch || Dana at Sew Thrifty April 30: Stacey at From-a-Box || Maegen at Mae & K May 1: Kelly at Handmade Boy || Roxanne at Pen, Seb & Rox

Bow Back Beauty Blog Hop (and giveaway!)

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comThe Bow Back Beauty by Little Kiwis Closet is not just a bow back top pattern but comes with a wide array of options to create anything from a top to a dress and even a onesie! With a wide range of sizes, from newborn to 12 years, this can be a pattern staple for many years to come.

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comLoaded with options including a plain back, bow back, different skirt types, sleeve lengths, and a snap crotch onesie, it seems like the Little Kiwis Closet has thought of everything for the Bow Back Beauty. I have to say that I LOVE the bow back. Too stinking cute!

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comWith all the choices I had one heck of a time narrowing down which ones I would use for my version of the Bow Back Beauty. I ended up picking the onesie with lettuce hemmed dress length skirt, cuffed short sleeves, and of course the bow back! Going by the size chart I picked 6-12 months size and found no surprises with the sizing. For fabric I picked “French Flowers” a Verhees euro knit that I purchased from Mabel Madison. I thought the cheerful floral print was perfect match for the pattern and season. The rest of the detail fabrics were scraps from my stash.

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comSewing the dress was straight forward and despite all the options I picked it really was not that much more difficult that sewing a t-shirt! Instructions were clear and loaded with photos.

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comThe pattern is also perfect for getting creative and mixing fabrics. If you are anything like me and have more random scraps than you know what to do with then this is a huge plus!

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comSometimes dresses can be something of a pain for a mobile baby but with comfortable knit fabric and the onesie design, Pen was able to move around with ease during and after our shoot. I can see Pen wearing these all summer long! With the long sleeve option I can see her wearing variations all year-round as well.

Bow Back Beauty // pensebrox.comBow Back Beauty is available from Little Kiwis Closet on Craftsy. Be sure to check out the other blogs on the hop and enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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