Stylish slippers for a stylish dude!

Stylish Slippers //

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 //


Stylish Slippers //

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

Stylish Slippers // Stylish Slippers //

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 //

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.



The Bear Necessities

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.

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. SONY DSC

New to Knits Sewalong

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.

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.

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.

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!

The Candy Witch

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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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).


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”.

Around the world blog hop

Laura of Porcupine Stew invited me to join the Around The World Blog Hop! If this is your first time seeing the hop the blogger invited answers a few questions about their work and invites a few blogger to post the same the following week. Laura’s post can be seen here.

1. What am I working on?
I’m trying to finish the dress for Pen’s costume in time for Halloween (see above photo). I ordered the fabric in early September with the intention of sewing it during the month of September but shipping kept getting delayed. Hilariously, I had to make a “temporary” costume for Pen to wear at an event two weeks ago (see cuteness below) and my only motivation to finish the dress I’m working on is the fact that I already spent the money for the fabric and I already cut the fabric!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I tend to let my use of scraps and salvaged material from clothing dictate the style of patterns I use.

Neon Lights Tee //

3. Why do I create what I do?
I like things to be useful which is why I’m drawn to creative pursuits that have a dual purpose. The finished project looks nice and you can wear/use it too!

Pen's Nook : Pen Seb Rox

I’m inviting for next week Starly @ Sew Starly. I met her, and other fabulous mommies, through an online due date club while pregnant with Seb. She has a super cute daughter just a few weeks older than Seb and I’m always in awe of what Starly makes. Be sure to check out her blog.

KCW: Wonderland

Penelope //

With a party to attend this upcoming weekend the current Kid’s Clothes Week theme of “storybook” inspired me to whip up a quick dress for Pen using a fabric I purchased way back when I was still pregnant with her. The dream-like forest critter print I though was perfect for the theme. Penelope and her wonderland!

Wonderland //

This was my second time working with the Create Kids Couture “Baby Tabitha” pattern. The combination of knit and woven fabrics makes it a breeze to whip up. With a bodice that does not need to be lined and using knit trim for the neckline and sleeves it feels like a much faster project without the dreaded hemming. A woven fabric for the skirt adds some body and I personally find gathering woven fabric much easier than knit – for whatever reason. The pattern only comes with a short or sleeveless option but it was not that hard to extend the sleeve length since we are at the start of several months of long sleeve weather. Since I up-cycled an old navy blue with white stripes maternity shirt for the knit portions I did not get to make as full of a ruffle as the pattern calls for but I think the moderate ruffle suits the dress.

Wonderland //

For Pen’s 4 month photo I created my first Tabitha. When salvaging the pre-existing hem, to save myself some time, from the shirt I was up-cycling for the knit portions I was inspired the use the “casing” created by the hem to gather the end of the 3/4 length sleeve. Again, I had to alter the pre-existing sleeve on the pattern but the only catch was trying to measure the arm of an extra squirmy baby!

My only other big plan for KCW is to finish Pen’s Halloween dress. Seb’s costume is already completed as well as the hat for Pen’s costume.

Wonderland //

Why hello there…

Bear Pen //

Long time no see! August was the start of a downward spiral. Each week someone new in the family was ill and then once again during the month of September. Various life duties started to pile up and I took something of a creative hiatus. Well now I’m back… miss me?

Three Months //

During my time away Pen turned 3 months and now she is just a few days away from 4 months. My first completed project in a long time is a special dress for her 4 month photos.

4 Month Dress //

This afternoon I also made some simple headbands with the Hello Kitty ribbon I found over the weekend.

Headbands //

Next I’ll be working on Halloween costumes. Seb has changed his mind multiple times over the past few months but now is stuck on being a “Spooky Halloween Ghost” – which means he wants to wear a white sheet. Yup.

Bears //

Despite all the recent chaos, I’m glad I remembered to get a photo of Pen (bottom) wearing Seb’s (top) bear hoodie. Seems silly but with both my babies growing up so fast I do like indulging in a bit of mommy sentimentalism on occasion.

Pen is two months and what I’m working on…

Two Months //

Pen has hit the two month mark and is already out growing a lot of her clothes! With cooler weather just around the corner I’m considering August to be the official kick-off month for fall sewing projects. I made quite the haul last summer in regards to finding 4T clothing at yard sales for Seb so most sewing for him will be for fun. Pen will be in need of some basic layering pieces and I’m using Seb’s 4th birthday as an excuse to make her a party dress. Most of all *I* am in need of some wardrobe updates and hope to make much of it myself. My plans so far…

With a deadline
- Halloween Costumes (mid-October)
– Party dress for Pen (early November)
– Knight Hoodie (early November)
– Seb’s birthday invites (early October)

Without a deadline
- Casual dresses for me
– Casual shirts for me
– Explorer hoodies for Seb (x 2)
– Leggings for Pen (x6)
– Tunics for Pen (x4)
– Coat for Pen

Besides sewing with fall on the mind, I’ve been working on a project for a mystery challenge which will be revealed later in the month!

One Month // www.pensebrox.comTwo Months //

July Roundup

July Collage //

It’s August already and the summer seems to be flying by. Caring for a newborn and a pre-schooler still occupies a lot of my time so July was more time spent planning and less time doing. Even with my hands full I did accomplish a few projects this month.

Saturday Skirt //

July was the month for pattern testing and blog tours. I had fun testing out Darcie’s first pattern release the “Saturday Skirt”. It was also my first post to this blog involving something I sewed for myself. While I did not mention it at the time, mentally it was a big deal for me to publicly post photos of myself with my post-baby bod. Especially since I’m not one of those women who slims down immediately. Heck, as the day of me righting this I’m still rocking an extra 40 pounds. I do have plans to start sewing more for myself in the near future and subsequently there will be more posts involving me.

LOL Swing Top //

With the help of Pen, I also tested the LOL Swing Top by Jennuine Design. The results are adorable and I’m sure will be a staple for years to come. Already have plans for new versions including one that will be the basis for a Halloween costume! For just a few more days you can get an extra 20% off the pattern if you use the code “LOLRelease“. The discount ends 8/7.

Adventure Tee & Explorer Hoodie //

The summer edition of Kids Clothes Week also happened in July. I used it as inspiration for my project for the Stitch Swap I participated in. The apple print knit fabric sent to me by Stephanie of Swoodson Says was perfect for creating both an Adventure Tee and Explorer Hoodie that I had purchased as part of the latest Pattern Anthology collection.

Shwin Helter Skelter Tee //

This time around KCW had the theme “kids art”. Knowing the theme, I knew I had to do something collaborative with Seb for at least one project. Using fabric pens he created an abstract city on white jersey and I turned his creation into two colorblock tees using Helter Skelter Tee pattern from Shwin Designs.

July Roundup //

My garden started producing in July but sadly the baby watermelon that I posted about was stolen by wildlife just a few days later. Pen also hit the big “one month” and it is hard to believe in just a few days she will already be TWO months old. Eep! At the start of August I have several projects at various stages right now and can’t wait to see what else the month brings.


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