Kids Clothes Week: Neon Lights Tee

Neon Lights Tee //

Today marks the start of Kids Clothes Week! I figured I’d be lucky to squeak out a single project from conception to completion this week so I’m taking every opportunity for a little bit of spare time I can get. Even though it’d be nice to get a head start on fall sewing, the “Kids Art” theme really inspired me to focus on collaborating with Seb.

Neon Lights Tee //

For our first project, I stretched a piece of 100% cotton jersey over Seb’s table and let him go to town with neon fabric markers I had recently purchased. He literally went to “town” because when the fabric was finished I was told that he made a city for his cars.

Neon Lights Tee // Neon Lights Tee // Neon Lights Tee //

The diagonal color block on the Helter Skelter Tee by Shwin Designs seemed like the perfect compliment for our custom fabric. Despite it being my first time working with the pattern, it came together quickly. On the blue tee I did royally bungle the neckline. PSA: If you are going to whip your head around to tell a 3 year-old to stop trying to sit on top of the ac window unit while serging, you should not keep on serging at full speed. To quickly fix the “oops” I went around a second time making the neck binding narrower and the neckline  slightly bigger.

Neon Lights Tee // Neon Lights Tee //

Neon Lights Tee //

While the fabric markers are not my preferred medium when decoration textiles they are something I’d use again if working with a young child. Just be warned that the markers we used (Graffiti) were not exactly up to aggressive amounts of pressure and Seb knock a few of the tips off. They still worked but without the fine line.

Neon Lights Tee // Neon Lights Tee //


The Olive Green Thumb: You say tomato…

Tomato //


Sugar Baby  //


Since the birth of Pen my garden has been pretty much left to its own devices. This included not tilling my two raised beds until well into June. I was pleasantly surprised by this stealth Sugar Baby watermelon plant (second photo) that popped up on its own. It even has a tiny watermelon! Last year I planted a few watermelon seeds that never came to fruition. My other bed also features a mystery plant that cropped up on its own. My vote is cucumber but we will see.

Most of my 12 tomato plants are doing well and some are even sporting fruit (first photo). This weekend I hope to get out in the garden and give everything a bit of tlc.

One month already and future projects…

One Month // www.pensebrox.comSummer seems to be flying by and would you believe that as of today Penelope is already ONE MONTH OLD? Gah! Already a good sport, she has been helping me test two super awesome patterns for designers that I’m a huge fan of. Both projects will be revealed later in the month! Once Pen is beyond the itty-bitty stage I’ll miss making clothes from little more than scraps. Also coming up is the results of an exciting exchange I took part in. Who knows if I will get anywhere participating in the upcoming summer Kids Clothes Week but I’d like to at least give it a shot. Especially since the theme (kids art) has so much potential!

Saturday Skirt for Women

Saturday Skirt //


This past week I had the joy of testing Darcie’s (Mimi’s Mom) first pattern. The “Saturday Skirt for Women” would be a great basic to have in any wardrobe and comes complete with a large side pocket! I’m always amazed when I come across ladies daywear that does NOT have a pocket. I tried make the skirt using a single fabric for the body and my brain became obsessed with doing a horizontal color block so I gave that a shot as well.

Saturday Skirt //


The color blocking also helped ease my frustration over the fact that I only bought 1 yard of the nifty wood print fabric that store was now sold out of. At the time I just grabbed a bit not knowing what I would do with it. It was a big “doh!” when I realized that I wanted to use the fabric for ME and I tend to need more than 1 yard to make something for myself.

Saturday Skirt //


Saturday Skirt //


Right now you can grab the pattern for $5 if you purchase by Friday. Fear not though if you missed the sale, the regular price of $8 is still a steal for a pattern that I’m sure would become a staple!

June Roundup

Penelope // Pen Seb Rox

The big news of June: Pen made her grand entrance into the world! Now I have a model for all my baby girl creations. While she has become a foil to my productivity, her cuteness makes it hard for me to care too much.

Winner! // Pen Seb Rox
June was also a “lucky” month for me. I received three prizes from giveaways graciously hosted by Gracious Threads, PiePie Designs and Porcupine Stew!

June Roundup // Pen Seb Rox

What else was I up to during June?

Changing pad and sheets created from thrifted sheets
Thrifted vintage Duplo
Sleep shorts for Seb
Thoughts on buying knit clothing for up-cycling
Crafted a Princess Bubblegum inspired “costume” for Pen

Thrift Score: Duplo!

Thrift Score: Duplo! / www.pensebrox.comConfession time! Despite intending to post frequently about my non-crafty thrift store scores this is a subject I’ve neglected up until now. Probably due to the fact that most often a thrifted item will either go immediately into use and I promptly forget about its “newness” or it gets added to my never ending and often neglected “to do” list.

Want another confession? Ever since I was pregnant with Seb I’ve been grabbing most of the second hand Duplo I’ve come across. I say “most” because once or twice I’ve come across flea market dealers that want top dollar for half complete sets. While Duplo is not all that common to find on my adventures I have collected enough to fill several 10 gal tubs.

Thrift Score: Duplo! /

The two small Lego Duplo containers I discovered at a thrift store this past weekend were sealed shut with vast amounts of packing tape (to keep people from making a mess of things). With the price at only $5 and gauging by weight that each of the two containers had to be pretty full of blocks I decided that I’d surprise myself with the contents rather than insisting that an employee open the containers for me.

The first box contained blocks, wheel bases and a few train pieces. Seb is a vehicle building fiend so we can never have enough of those. Expecting much of the same I was pleasantly surprised by the number of figures and farm animals in the second box. While I was pouring the contents into the soapy bath I made in the sink oh was I tickled pink to also see…

Thrift Score: Duplo! /


Furniture pieces were actually on my “things I’ll buy on Ebay one day” mental list. I have fond memories of playing with some of the furniture pieces and wanted them to enhance our house building adventures. Yes, I do mean “our” since the collection has always been 50% about Seb and 50% me still loving to build block-y creations.

I specifically remember the living room furniture, bed with the cat graphic and television. Ahhh memories!

Thrift Score: Duplo! /

The toilet piece is hilariously detailed with a seat that flips up. At least my inner child finds it hilarious…

Thrift Score: Duplo! /

Eventually Seb will upgrade to full blown Lego (something I’ve had less luck acquiring second hand) but I’m sure Pen will grow to appreciate our Duplo collection!

Spoilers if you’ve yet to see the Lego Movie but after all this Duplo talk I had to post a clip of my favorite scene from it.

It’s Adventure Time!

Princess Bubblegum // www.pensebrox.comI’m finding it hard to believe that Pen is already over one week old! Still needing newborn pics I was inspired to throw together Pen’s first cosplay outfit Friday morning while I had a few minutes of peace. Seb was off shopping with Daddy and Pen was snoozing away. We are all Adventure Time fans in this household so it seemed only natural to dress Pen up like Princess Bubblegum.

Princess Bubblegum // www.pensebrox.comThe crown was crafted from a double layer of gold felt sandwiching Heatbond Lite and blue felt for the “jewel”. I drafted a template for the crown shape using a picture of PB as a guide. For sizing I consulted the same chart that I used for the baby headbands and decided on 10″ width for the band of the crown itself and 4 1/4″ elastic in the back. A total of 1/2″ (1/4″ for each side) of the elastic is tucked between the felt layers and stitched into place. The ends of the felt crown narrowed to 1/2″ so 1/2″ wide elastic fit perfectly. For the wrap, I dyed a 46″x46″ cut portion of a oatmeal colored jersey sheet with 1/2 a bottle of Rit in “fuschia”. All items I just so happened to have around the house. Yay!

Princess Bubblegum // Princess Bubblegum //

Another thank you & future project planning!

Fabric from Purple Seamstress : Pen Seb RoxJune must be my month! Jess over at Gracious Threads is hosting a series titled “Embellish is for BOYS“. Each week the series focuses on a new technique that can be used to add a bit oomph to clothing for boys. Of course the same techniques can be used for girls as well! Besides a tutorial, a stream of talented guest bloggers showcase what they created using the technique. The theme is accompanied by a linkup of projects using the featured technique and one winner from each linkup is selected for a prize. I was lucky enough to win during the applique week and got one yard of fabric from Purple Seamstress. I picked a cute knit featuring hearts and crossbones. Thank you to both Jess of Gracious Threads for creating the series and Melinda of Purple Seamstress for offering the prize! The series is still going on so be sure to check out this week’s theme.



kid's clothes week

With another Kids Clothes Week around the corner in July I’ve started to think about future sewing projects. With a new baby obviously I’m not going to have as much time to devote to sewing as during the previous KCW but at the very least I’d like to use that challenge as inspiration to at least try to get myself started with fall clothing.

Mix 'n Match Wrap Tops & Diaper Covers : pensebrox

Mix ‘n match wrap tops & diaper covers :  Part of Pen’s summer wardrobe

Seb will be need in some casual shirts and lounge pants. I’d also like to carry on the flexible basics theme that I started with Pen’s summer clothes and make her a mix of pinafore type dresses that could be layered over a long sleeve onesie and sew a variety of leggings.

The theme this time around is “Kid Art” so I’m thinking it will be fun to involve Seb in making customized fabric. It will be a great way to spend some special time together and there are so many ways to decorate fabric it will be hard to choose one method. We might have to try several ways!

Summer Sleep Shorts

Summer sleep shorts : Pen Seb Rox

Ever since Seb’s first summer his warm weather sleepwear has consisted of a t-shirt and a diaper. We don’t have central air and even with our few window a/c units the house stays warm so I always felt like specific pjs for the summer was totally unnecessary. This year Seb, now 3 1/2, was outraged when I suggested no pjs the first warm night of the season. He ended up in a t-shirt and the one pair of knit shorts still holding up from last year. The second night I thought he might be over the initial “shock” of the idea but nope. On the third night while Seb was on some rambling tangent regarding the necessity for pjs Mister S suggested that we buy him some suitable bottoms on the weekend. The next morning I decided to balk at the idea of BUYING shorts and I also balked at my original afternoon plan to re-organize my sewing area. Instead I made Seb sleep shorts.

Summer Sleep Shorts : Pen Seb RoxFor the pattern I used KID Shorts by Made. Last year I had used Dana’s KID Shorts tutorial based off of her free 2T/3T Basic Pants pattern to make Seb’s space “pants”. More shorts and less pants because that was all of the space fabric that I had.

SONY DSCKnowing how much I enjoyed working with Dana’s free pattern last year, the look of the shorts style on Seb and the inevitability of eventually needing the pattern in a wide array of sizes, I purchased the full KID Shorts pattern earlier in the year.

Using ribbon to tag the back : Pen Seb Rox

Since I envisioned something with a boxer-like fit for the sleep shorts I cut the pattern shorter than directed for the boys length. The shorts are cut with slightly more room in the back than in the front so in order to save myself many nights pondering what is what I added a little tab when I sewed the casing shut.

With the exception of the automobile print all fabric I thrifted on a trip to Oregon last summer. It felt good to do a bit of stash clearing especially since my original plan was straightening up my sewing area downstairs. I’m happy I got to make the shorts but fingers crossed that I get a bit more cleaning done before Pen makes her debut!

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