Snail Sketchbook Shirt Take 2

oliver snails (1 of 7)I’m back with another Lotus Pond shirt for you today. Previous one blogged here. This time it’s the multicolored snails (still available here). Funny story- I had a yard of each of the snail fabrics and asked the boys which one they wanted for their shirts. Eliot immediately grabbed the yellow snails and Oliver grabbed this version. Whew! No fighting for once. So nice when it works out that way- it doesn’t always in case you wondered. ;)

oliver snails (7 of 7)I wanted the boys’ shirts to be a little different from each other, so for Oliver’s version, I accented the snails with this artisan cotton in green-blue from imagine gnats store (it’s similar in weight to shot cotton or chambray). I used the accent fabric on the button band, the collar, and the yoke. This artisan cotton is the perfect contrast to the snails as it has both blue and green threads in it.

oliver snails (6 of 7)Oliver is wearing a size 4 of the sketchbook shirt and has plenty of room in the waist for his skinny little body. I think if I made him a long-sleeve version, I would slim the sides down a bit for a more slim-cut version, but I like this boxier look for a short-sleeve shirt. oliver snails (5 of 7)We were struggling with our photo shoot so I had idea to give him one of our old cameras we have and he had so much fun “taking pictures” of everything. Which led to an interesting discussion of film versus digital cameras as he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see his pictures on my laptop. oliver snails (2 of 7)FYI his shorts are the sunny day shorts I blogged here. These are his favorite shorts to wear since he found out they match with everything! The drawstring got lost along the way because he kept playing with it and pulled it out so that part is a bit of wasted effort. Such is life, I guess.oliver snails (3 of 7)And now I’ve got to move on to another sewing project that’s easier on the eyes. I’ve about gone cross-eyed taking and editing pictures of these snails! At this point, my eyes are so fuzzy I can’t tell which pictures are in focus and which ones aren’t so I’ll apologize for any weirdness you see. I’m moving on to some selfish sewing now and will have something pretty fun to share with you on Friday- if I can finish up the sewing for it that is!! oliver snails (4 of 7)

Lotus Pond Sketchbook Shirt

eliot snails (1 of 6)I’ve got one last Kid’s Clothes Week make to share with you- bringing my total makes this week to 4 pairs of shorts, 1 tank top, and 1 button down shirt. I had one more button down shirt that I was hoping to get to this week, but that was pretty ambitious so I’m not bummed to have skipped it for now . I’m just happy with how much sewing I was able to squeeze in this week!

eliot snails (5 of 6)This is an Oliver+S Sketchbook shirt (guess I was on a roll with that pattern) in a size 2T for Eliot. Timing wise this worked out well for me because I made Oliver a sketchbook shirt in 2T last spring for Vintage May (blogged here) and so all the pattern pieces were traced out already. Woot! This shirt is about as complicated as the shorts are easy so it was a huge bonus to have the pieces traced- about 7 or 8 of them in total, I think.

eliot snails (4 of 6)I’m not normally a short sleeve button down person but I think it’s pretty cute on little boys. Plus I’m so not motivated to do all the sleeve placket/cuff work of a long sleeve for a shirt that will be grown out of within a year’s time! I’m not a completely crazy sewing mom. lol. Even with the short sleeves, I had a time of it with those sleeves! I don’t normally struggle with sleeve easing, but I ended up with quite a few puckers this time. In the efforts of not being a perfectionist and also not having any more time to mess with it, I left most of them alone and hope no one will be looking closely enough at his shirt to notice them.

eliot snails (3 of 6)Snail fabric is from Rae’s Lotus Pond line for Cloud9. (not sure where I bought this but I found some at I’ve been saving this fabric for this very shirt ever since I saw Jessica’s version…a long time ago! Side note- we miss your blog and Film Petit very much, Jess (not that she’s reading this but I think Kristin is so I’m speaking to you too ;) )!!

eliot snails (2 of 6)I was just going to make the shirt straight snails, but as I was cutting it out I had the idea to add some chambray for a bit of contrast. The chambray used is double cloth and quite a nice weight (cannot for the life of me find a link to the exact fabric-sorry)! I wavered back and forth on exactly what pieces to make contrasting and ended up going with the collar, yoke and pockets in the chambray. I posted a picture of my progress on Instagram and was blown away by how much love this little shirt got. Thanks to all my IG friends for bolstering my confidence because I had a moment of self doubt as to whether the final project was actually any good or not. Love my supportive IG community!!

eliot snails (6 of 6)The 2t size ended up fitting Eliot fairly generously- leaving plenty of room to grow, but I’m happy with that because now it will hopefully last him a while before he grows out of it. Two year olds are a bit of a booger to photograph- hence the animal cracker bribes you see in this pictures. Whatever works, amiright? Anything is better than crying pictures. And that wraps up my summer 2015 kid’s clothes week! I didn’t stick too closely to the travel theme but I kinda feel each of my items could loosely work in that framework…I mean, snails are always traveling around to get places, right? ;)

kid's clothes week

kcw summer 2015: superhero shorts

superhero shorts (8 of 6)I’m back with another pair of sketchbook shorts to share with you. I know, I’m totally a broken record sometimes, but when you find a good pattern, you gotta squeeze the life out of it. I have been seeing superhero shorts around the internets for the last few weeks (check out these from Jane and then Tara’s got a great pair unblogged but you can find them on her instagram- @girllikethesea) and just knew the boys would love a pair for themselves. I took them to our local Joann and let them pick out the fabric they wanted and then I got to work. superhero shorts (6 of 6)
I used the same mods as the last version- blogged here. To recap: Oliver’s wearing a 3T and Eliot a 2T- with about an inch cut off his length.
superhero shorts (5 of 6)When I finished the shorts, Oliver decided he HAD to have a matching shirt. I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant until I realized he wanted something similar to the superhero pajamas I made him a while back. Because I’m a super nice mom ;) , I decided to humor his request. We decided upon a white tank with a superhero pocket- he was very specific about the need for the pocket. The white (PDF to be specific) is more Kaufman laguna jersey. It’s the only color I have left actually so I’ve got to stock up on some more! I had this red ribbing that coordinated nicely with the superhero fabric so I used that to bind the arm and neck holes. I used the Titchy Threads Twisted Tank again for the tank top. Can’t say enough good things about how awesome that tank pattern is. Very highly recommend it. And I still have yet to try the twisted version but it’s on my to-do list!
superhero shorts (9 of 6)Eliot did not get a tank because I ran out of time…and that’s totally unfair, I know, but being the less verbal child does have its drawbacks… His tee is an old up-cycle I made for Oliver way back during a long time ago Kid’s Clothes Week.
My next KCW project is not shorts- imagine that ;) but the week’s end is coming so quickly I’m afraid I won’t get to it! I’m going to start plugging away at it during nap time today though so we will see how much I can get done!
superhero shorts (10 of 6)Oh and I totally forgot about Rachael’s Shorts on the Line sew along going on, but head on over to Kollabora to view all the awesome shorts being made and link up your own if you have some. Quite serendipitous that I just happened to be in a shorts mood during all that! Don’t forget the Kid’s Clothes Week project pool either!

kcw summer 2015: sketchbook shorts

anchor shorts (10 of 6)A quick little photoshoot today to show you my first kid’s clothes week makes- two pairs of sketchbook shorts. I’ve had this oliver+s pattern for several years and I’ve made the shirt a few times (blogged here) but I never really gave the shorts a second glance until I saw these two versions from gail and tara…I mean, how could I not try this out after this cuteness?? Another item worth mentioning is that the more I sew, the more I enjoy using oliver+s patterns. They are just such an enjoyable experience all the way around- so well written and you end up with such a professional-looking garment. These shorts in particular are such a quick and easy sew that I highly recommend them.

anchor shorts (9 of 6)I picked up this chambray anchor fabric at five-eighths seams back in January when I tagged along on my husband’s business trip to Charleston…sigh… I could use another one of those business trips now! Anywho I’ve been saving this for the right project and these shorts were definitely the right choice.anchor shorts (5 of 6)

One comment I would have on this pattern is it seems to run pretty long. Which is kind of funny because I thought the shirt version ran a little short. Oliver is pretty tall but skinny so I made him the 3T even though he’s typically a 4- and even then I deepened the hem a bit to have them hit where I wanted them to. Eliot is wearing a 2T and I cut about an inch off the bottom of his and also sewed a deep hem. Eliot wears cloth diapers so I sometimes have problems with shorts being too tight in the bum area but these turned out pretty good for him. Not a ton of extra room but they aren’t too small either.

anchor shorts (6 of 6) Oh and in case you were wondering there’s some Dr. Seuss fabric hiding in those pocket linings- this little trick is making all my recent handmades get worn a ton! And Eliot has been asking for some “grinch pockets” so I’m happy he got himself some finally. :)anchor shorts (8 of 6)I’ve got the sewing bug for this Kid’s Clothes Week so I’m excited to see what I can pull off- fingers crossed for happy naps and quiet times this week!kid's clothes week

Imagine Gnats Sewing: Summer Shorts and Tanks

I’m over on the Imagine Gnats blog today sharing my favorite summer outfit for the boys. I knew that I wouldn’t have a ton of time to complete this project after we got back from our trip, so I actually sewed this up before we left…That’s over a month early on a project!! For procrastinator me, that’s like crazy-talk. Here’s a sneak peek of Eliot’s outfit, but you’ll have to go to Rachael’s blog to see the pics I got of the boys together in their somewhat matching outfits (yes, I’m that mom :) )Summer Shorts and Tanks (3 of 8)

Anyway, it’s been so hard to sit on it for a month and not share it with you, but today is the day! Head on over here to see all the pictures and read about all the details of the outfits. Hope you love it as much as the boys and I do!

A Tank Top for a Two-Year-Old

Well we are back from our epic adventure (check out #CrooksEuropeanHoliday on IG) and just in time for Eliot to turn two. We were all having a bit of a rough re-entry this week between some digestion issues and general travel fatigue and I felt bad that Eliot’s birthday was going to pass without much notice. Thankfully, I got some energy back just in time to make him his birthday tee!

two twisted tank (3 of 7)

I used the Titchy Threads Twisted Tank pattern (except in the non-twisted version) in a size 2T for this tank. The fabric is some Girl Charlee knit that I’ve had in my stash for a while. It’s super thin and not the best quality but it works for an easy summer tank top. I free-handed the TWO onto the tank with some fabric paint. At first, I felt bad that it wasn’t a more imaginative stencil but now that it’s done, I think it’s pretty cute.

two twisted tank (6 of 7)

I’ve made some other tanks for the boys where I just hacked an exciting t-shirt pattern and I have to say this is so much easier! It’s so nice to have all the arm and neck hole pieces sized for you and not have to do any math or finagling about how much neck to scoop out. I only made the non-twisted version of the tank this time but I’m looking forward to trying the twisted version sometime soon.  two twisted tank (7 of 7)

I made the shirt during Eliot’s nap time and when he woke up, he kept saying “my shirt, Ah-ver (Oliver), my shirt.” Poor kid isn’t used to being the recipient of the handmades. Curse of the second child. Anyway, he was so happy to have his own shirt and had to try it on right away.

two twisted tank (5 of 7)two twisted tank (2 of 7)

We had a very laid back birthday today but it was full of all the things that a two-year-old could want- touch a truck at the downtown market, a visit to the train set at the toy store, ice cream at chick-fil-a…and his own bicycle! So excited to try out a balance bike and see if it lives up to its hype.

two twisted tank (1 of 7)Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy. Can’t believe you’re two already. The past two years with you have been so much fun and I’m so excited to see what this year holds!

Packing for Europe…capsule wardrobes for the whole family

Wanna know what I’ve been doing all week? Prepping and planning for a 3.5 week trip to Europe!! Woot! We jet out tonight and are so very excited. The main purpose is to visit some of my husband’s family but we are also doing a little family vacation in the process…We are going to visit England, Wales, Luxembourg, Germany, France, and maybe Switzerland and Belgium. It is sure to be crazy times with 2 small boys and my husband working along the way, but we love adventure and can’t wait to embark on this one.

As we are traveling with small boys and their respective car seats, we are trying to be as minimalistic as possible on the packing front. I posted the above picture on Instagram and Facebook last week and got some comments and questions on our packing methods so I thought I’d write up a quick blog post with all the details. I know, this has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, but hey it’s my blog, right? :) And actually I use this as a journal of sorts so if I write it all down here, I can remember it for next time. So I may just be talking to myself here, but I’m cool with that. Nothing out of the ordinary for me. ;)

luggage (4 of 5)First off, after much research, I decided upon this bag (no affiliate links here, just lots of amazon linkage since I’m a prime addict). It was a good price, had great reviews, and can be worn as a backpack but opens up like a suitcase- perfect for keeping things organized while traveling! I also bought a set of medium packing cubes and assorted slim packing cubes. My first experience with packing cubes and I’m loving the organization they provide.

Since I think my wardrobe is the main interest, here’s the bullet list of my bag and its contents. Again, please feel free to not read this! The key to my travel capsule wardrobe is: 4-5 tops + 2-3 bottoms + 1 sweater- all mix and matchable among each other so quite a few different outfits can be made from a few articles of clothing. And different layers of clothing to account for all possible temps!

luggage (2 of 5)Medium Packing cube (for me) (13.75×9.75″) shown above: hand for perspective

  • Shower flip flops
  • Pj pants, running leggings and running tee
  • Dress (my easter washi)
  • Scarf, grey cardigan
  • 4 tank tops (for layering)
  • Short sleeved dressy sweatshirt, casual short sleeve tee
  • 2 button down shirts (brown archer and white gap one)
  • Mint ginger jeans

luggage (1 of 5)Slim cube (medium size 10x5x2.75″): seen below as the long skinny one

  • undergarments (1 bra, sports bra, 5 undies)
  • bathing suit (just in case), 1 pair shorts
  • socks (4 pair)

Medium Packing cube (for Eliot)

  • Tees (2 short sleeve, 1 long)
  • Bottoms (2 jeans, 1 shorts, 1 bathing suit)
  • 1 sweater, 1 button down shirt
  • 1 pair pjs
  • 5 pair socks, 1 pair shoes


  • Sperrys, 2 pairs jeans, small travel fan
  • Orla Kiely Makeup bag- (contains non-liquid makeup and feminine products)
  • Small packing cube (6.5×5)- toiletries: toothbrushes x4, qtips, razors, powder laundry soap (we will do laundry every 3-4 days), deodorant x2
  • Top pocket contains my small zippered jewelry pouch
  • Inside zip top contains raincoats x3 ( for me and the boys) and gold sandals

luggage (3 of 5)

I am also bringing a regular size backpack as my personal item (shown below) and that bag has:

  • our liquid toiletries in 1 quart bag, essential oils roller balls in another, and 1 final quart bag of ez squeeze applesauce for snacking.
  • 2 small medicine bottles with adult/child ibuprofen, vitamins and supplements
  • small first aid kit
  • ipad, phone, headphones and chargers
  • Several quart bags of trip snacks: trail mix, granola bars, pull n peel licorice (my personal travel snack :) )
  • Umbrella, a few small children’s books, and my water bottle

luggage (5 of 5)

Oliver’s backpack (an 18L from REI-shown at top) has 2 small metal lunch boxes (shown below)- used as toy boxes for the boys, more snack baggies, water bottle x2, pjs x2 for the plane, child’s headphones x2, stuffed dog x2, and a few diapers and wipes for Eliot.

 My husband’s backpack (Kelty Redwing 50L) has everything else:

  • Oliver’s packing cube: exactly the same size and contents as Eliot’s.
  • His clothes (2 ss tees, 2 ls tees, jeans, shorts, button down, raincoat, sweatshirt)
  • Slim Packing cube (long 14×5)- for his boxers and socks
  • umbrella, hair dryer, chargers and European adaptors, small travel fan, mesh bags for laundry, Ergo, Flip Flops, enough diapers and wipes for a few days (vacuum packed)

And if you made it that far, you deserve a medal! Hope that info helps any of you contemplating a trip with kids. In case you weren’t counting that brings our luggage count to 3 carry-on backpacks and 1 small backpack as personal item….no checked bags except for the car seats! Oh and an umbrella stroller we will check at the gate.

I have been heavily influenced by Tsh at the Art of Simple and The Art of Simple Travel, Un-Fancy, the Budget-minded traveler podcast, and Entre Family Travels. They all have great posts on capsule wardrobes and minimalist packing that I have found very helpful throughout my planning. Wish us luck and find me on IG for updates along the way! (@oliversfancy).