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.


Reyna Lay ma me mi mo Beri Bee Designs From a Box

Friends Stitched Together Sew Not Perfect Climbing the Willow Sew Shelly Sew

The College Seamstress Rebel and Malice Sew Cool for the Tween Scene Gingerbear

PenSeb&Rox Just Add Fabric Call Ajaire Create3.5

Project Destash Milk Monster Momma Miss Castelinhos All Things Katy


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!

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.


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.


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;


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 //

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 // 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;


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!


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…


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 //

Perfect Petal Skirt by Little Lizard King

– 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!

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 //

Malibu Misses by MODkid

– 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.

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.



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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