Stitch Swap: Apple tee and hoodie!

Adventure Tee & Explorer Hoodie //

Boy was I trilled when I saw the red (and green) apple knit that Stephanie of Swoodson Says sent as part of the Stitch Swap in which Bloggers exchanged one yard of fabric and the challenge was to create something using the yard you received. While we are still in the throes of summer the apple print just screamed themes like “harvest” and “back to school” to me so I was inspired to pair it with a plaid print that nods to colder times that I’m sure will be here before I know it!

Adventure Tee & Explorer Hoodie //

Besides making the awesome Adventure Tee from the recent Pattern Anthology collection, I had plenty of leftovers to also create a coordinating Explorer Hoodie also from the same collection. Both patterns are quick sews (made them both with two of my hours during Kids Clothes Week) and has plenty of options to customize.

Adventure Tee // Explorer Hoodie //

Thank you so much Stephanie for sending such an inspiring fabric to work with! Today is the last day of the Stitch Swap tour so be sure to check out all the fantastic creations made by the other bloggers on the tour. I sent fabric to Emily of Tangible Pursuits who is also posting today and I can not wait to see what she makes!

Monday July 21st
Stephanie — Swoodson Says
Jamie – Salutations Louisville
Ashley — Sewing Sober
Kathy — Handmade Dress Haven

Tuesday July 22nd
Tasha — Friends Stitched Together
Janelle — Emmaline Bags
Kim — Sew & Tell with Mama Eggo
April– Open Sky Creations

Wednesday July 23rd
Amy– Friends Stitched Together
Danica — The Sewing Sparrow
Bethany — Two Novembers
Jessica — The Berry Bunch

Thursday July 24th
Chrissy — Muse of the Morning
Fenna — Fabulous Home Sewn
Melissa — Rebel and Malice
Irene — Sugaridoo

Friday July 25th
Jess — Gracious Threads
Emily – Tangible Pursuits
Roxanne — Pensebrox
Megan — Upcycling? Refashion That Idea.

Adventure Tee & Explorer Hoodie //



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!