Introducing the Willow Wrap Top & Dress

Love Notions Willow Top Review // pensebrox.com

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!

The Willow Top by Love Notions was just released, an attractive knit top with a wrap style front. Available with both a regular or asymmetrical hem with side ruching, the top has two neckline options and modesty panel that also functions well for nursing mothers. A dress version was also released as Willow Top’s sister pattern the Willow Dress.

Willow Wrap Dress & Top

It was a great experience testing Love Notion’s Willow Top. Tami was very interested in what the testers had to say. She was especially responsive to the feedback from nursing mothers such as myself. For example, creating a modesty panel that is not just an attractive neckline option but also an extra level of convenience for nursing mothers.

Since I sew mostly for my two young kids, with any adult pattern I make there is always an initial “I have to tape how many pieces together?!” but assembly is a clear and straightforward process that passes quickly. The top itself is so quick to cut and assemble, you could easily make several on a quiet afternoon or whip one up during nap time if you have young kids like me!

Love Notions Willow Top Review // pensebrox.com Love Notions Willow Top Review // pensebrox.com

I made View B (the regular hemline) with the modesty panel in a large with no adjustments to the length. With my high bust measuring 39″ the top fits great with enough room in all the right places. The two fabrics I used fell at opposite ends of the stretch guidelines with the green having more stretch and the purple close to the 50% stretch mark. Despite the difference in stretch, both versions of the top fit comfortably and did not hug those spots that I’d rather not draw attention to. *ahem*

Willow Wrap Dress & Top

Love Notionso is offering 15% off either the Willow Wrap Top or Willow Wrap Dress, just use the coupon code “willow“. Both patterns are available separately or bundled with a special 25% off no coupon code needed. I personally can’t wait to find a spare afternoon to not only make myself a few more Willow Wrap Tops but also give the Willow Wrap Dress a whirl!

Love Notions Willow Top Review // pensebrox.com

 

 

January CraftingCon: Doctor Who

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Today I throw my hat in the ring for the January CraftingCon Doctor Who edition. The outfit I put together for Seb is heavily influenced by none other than Captain Jack Harkness. Be sure to head over to my CraftingCon post to not only see my entry but to also check out the other Doctor Who themed submissions for the month of January!

WINNER!!

A big thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog during Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day event! I wish I had the time (and shipping fees!) to send each of you something.

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Random.org select #35 as the winner of my giveaway. Congratulations PT! I already got in contact with her and will be shipping the shade out soon.

Giveaway Day: WIN a scrap fabric shade!

One of my favorite things I made this year was the shade for Pen’s Nook. Pen’s Scrap Fabric Shade hits all the marks with me. Uses all those strips of scrap fabric that I can not seem to stop acquiring, fun and ecelectic looking, easily customizble, great idea for a gift and gives you the chance to repurpose something that might otherwise end up in the trash (ack!).

Scrap Fabric Shade : pensebrox.com

I made another this weekend just for Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day! One lucky reader will win the finished lampshade. I had so much fun browsing the various blogs hosting giveaways on the last round that I really wanted to contribute this time.

Scrap Fabric Shade : pensebrox.com

You can win the lovely scrap fabric shade pictured above lovingly handcrafted by yours truly. Many of the scraps used to create the shade come from vintage pieces. In a wide array of colors ranging from raspberry to teal, the shaggy cotton strips add an eclectic appeal to the otherwise classic bell shade shape. The shade measures approximately 4 x 11 x 8.5″ and has a slip UNO fitter which means that the shade sits on the socket and is held in place by the bulb.

To enter just leave a comment on this post. Tell me where you would use the shade in your home or describe what you are crafting this week. Just be sure that I can grab your email address off your profile or from the comment in order for me to contact you if you should win. Winner will have 72 hours to respond otherwise a new name will be drawn. One entry per individual.

Follows on Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin or other methods that you can find on the right side bar at the top of the page are very much appreciated by not required.

The lamp base used for the photos is just to show the shade in action and is not included in the giveaway. US and international visitors may enter. Winner is responsible for taxes, fees and adhering to the laws for their location.

Giveaway ends Friday 12/12 at 11:59PM PST. The winner will be drawn at random and notified by Sunday 12/14.

 

Can’t wait to win? Visit the tutorial and make one of your own!

Scrap Fabric Shade : pensebrox.com

 

Be sure to visit the linkup for Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day to check out more blogs hosting giveaways. Both handmade treasures and supplies are being offered. Wowie!

Four & Five

Four // www.pensebrox.com

December is now here but I wanted to take a moment to note that November marked Seb’s 4th birthday. I can’t believe that my baby is FOUR!

Four // www.pensebrox.com

This year marks the first year where he wanted to style his own version of  his birthday photo.

Five Months // www.pensebrox.com

Pen also hit 5 months in November. She will be half a year in December. Eep!

Stylish slippers for a stylish dude!

Stylish Slippers // www.pensebrox.com

It was thrilled to test for Filles à Maman using her new slipper pattern the Stylish Slipper. In sizes for the whole family this would make a great pattern to purchase to make for Christmas gifts since it is very quick to sew if you are familiar with knits. I used jersey knit up-cycled from a t-shirt for the main exterior body (the star print) and fleece scraps for the rest.

Stylish Slippers // www.pensebrox.com

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Stylish Slippers // www.pensebrox.com

Seb commented “If they are slippers then they must make things SLIPPERY” which add fuel to his monkey antics…

Stylish Slippers // www.pensebrox.com Stylish Slippers // www.pensebrox.com

He also put together his outfit for our photo shoot. A stylish dude in Stylish Slippers!

If I may further tempt you with purchasing the pattern, for just one week she is offering the pattern for only $5.95 on Craftsy!

Stylish Slippers // www.pensebrox.com

Happy Thanksgiving to visitors who also live in the US! We will be visiting family later in the day and I’m waiting for my individual crustless spinach quiche to bake.

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UPDATE: We have QUICHE!!

The Bear Necessities

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With cooler weather on the way my mind has switched to projects in order to keep the kids warm this season. While working on hats for Pen yesterday Seb became jealous that I was not working on a hat for him. I told him I’d make a special hat just for him once I completed his sister’s hats. This morning I whipped this little number up using two up-cycled shirts using the FREE Ribbed Beanie pattern from Delia Creates. I made the 4-10 year size because despite only turning 4 in just a few days, Seb has a large head. The hat fits him well with room to grow. Instead of adding the ribbed band, I extended that hat length 4″, serged the bottom edges of the top and lining layers together, then rolled up the excess to create a folded brim.

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Since Pen is only my second child, sibling jealousy is something of new territory for me. Most of the time Seb really is not particularly jealous but when it comes to me making something for Pen he always needs one made for him as well. Of course I’m always happy to oblige him. He was so happy about the hat the he did a “bear dance” for me.

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New to Knits Sewalong

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Jess at Gracious Threads recently released the Seena Dolman. Available in both womens and girls sizes it is a great beginner pattern for those just starting out sewing with knits. Following that theme she is currently hosting the New to Knits sewalong featuring her new pattern. Even though this is not my first knit project following along taught me a few new tricks and was a great opportunity to do a bit of sewing for myself.

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www.pensebrox.com

Jess’s directions were easy to follow and owning a serger made the project something I could easily knock out in under an hour while keeping an eye on a baby and a pre-schooler! Since knits don’t have fraying issues it would not be that much more difficult to whip one up on a regular sewing machine. I selected a lightweight thermal that I purchased on clearance last winter.

www.pensebrox.com

www.pensebrox.com

Originally I had plan on just making a top for myself. Sizing for the girls version started at 2T, much too big for my tiny Pen, but once I finished my top I loved the design so much that I felt inspired to super reduce the pattern to a size closer to 6-12 months. Pen currently wears a 3-6 so it fits a bit loose but I went for bigger because I have a feeling that another growth spurt is just around the corner.

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With the 2T being for a 21″ chest and my intention to make something for 17″ chest I calculated the 17 to be close to 81% of 21 and printed the girls pattern scaled to 81%. I cut the smallest size (2T) that I based my calculations on and compared the pattern to a 6-12 month size top for minor adjustments. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but I will add this disclaimer again: A child’s proportions change quite a bit at different development stages so doing a quick and dirty adjustment by printing a pattern scaled may not always make an appropriately sized garment. I would not worry so much about something simple like a knit shirt, especially if you compare the sizing to a pre-made garment, but changing a more complicated pattern may require more precise tweaking. The itty bitty version of the Seena Dolman took less than 1/2 yard and I whipped it up in less than 30 minutes!

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The Candy Witch

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I got the idea for Pen’s witch costume after spying a mini witch hat headband at a big box store. Not only did I think a witch hat would be enchanting (ha!) on my baby girl but the costume itself could be an excuse to indulge a bit with the million pieces of spooky themed fabric I have on my wishlist.

To make the dress I picked FooFoo Threads’ Huckleberry pattern. When I was searching for just the right pattern I came across quite a few adorable designs but most of the ones that caught my eye started at 2T. FooFoo Threads has quite the selection avaliable in smaller sizes and it took me awhile to make up my mind. Finally I settled on Huckleberry because I believed it would make the best use of the four fabrics I picked out, it looked realtively easy to make and could be layered since chances were Halloween would be a bit chilly.

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The fabrics used were all cotton in various “witchy” prints. Trick or Treat Orange Print by Doodlebug Designs for Riley Blake, Happy Howloween Spiders by Moda, Spooky Cat Eyes by unknown and a another unknown maker for the purple with a stars and moon print.

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I whipped up the witchy hat with black embossed felt, purple and orange tulle, black ribbon, a vintage gold button and finished it off with a spider “charm” that actually was once part of a pair of cheap earrings. The whole think was attached to a elastic headband.

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I was pleased with how easy the pattern came together. Instead of hemming according to the instructions I serged the exposed edges to save myself some time (I quickly sewed the dress on the eve of All Hallows Eve) and I like the finished results enough that even if I was not pressed for time it would have still been a good finishing choice.

Both the kids had a great Halloween and I hope yours was fun filled as well!

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Boo!

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Happy Halloween! I’m sure I mentioned this before but I’ll say it again… Oh boy do I love making costumes! Which is why I totally biased twoards Halloween being the greatest holiday ever.

This year marks the first year where Seb had some sort of opinion on what he wanted to be. Earlier in the year he was insisting he wanted to be Jake the Dog, spent three weeks in August convicned he needed to be Super Why and then he settled on a “spooky Halloween ghost”. While in theory it did not sound that complicated I had one heck of a time finding anything white for his costume. Finally I settled on several yards of a super cheap white fleece.

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At first I figured I’d make him something along the lines of a robe. I’m sure he would of been satsified with a square of matrerial to wear draped over his head, I was itiching to sew something and I figured in reality it would probably be best if his costume had things like sleeves (to hold a bucket for candy) and the ability to keep his face clear (for safety).

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I had an epiphiny while feeding Pen late at night that something based on a circle poncho would give a lot more swirly floaty ghosty goodness to his costume than a robe design would. Jess @ Me Sew Crazy had a great tutorial on how she made a circle poncho from cotton laminate using one of her daughter’s shirts as a template. Before using one of Seb’s long sleeve shirts as a guide I measured from his sholder to knee so I could add a few extra inches to the length. I figured a little longer than knee would give all sorts of billowy goodness without being a major tripping hazard. The sleeves were also flared out to more of a bell shape for more “OOOoooOOooo”.

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boo
 

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