Posts Tagged ‘Penelope’

Sewing: Penelope’s Blue Macaw Costume


Penelope has an incredible fascination with birds. Specifically Blue Macaws. I think it all stems from the movies Rio and Rio 2 (highly under-rated movies, in my opinion). She’s a wiz at drawing them, she loves reading about them, she’s just obsessed.



Yet for some reason it still surprised me when we walked down the aisles of JoAnn (about beginning of September, maybe August?) and she requested I make her a Blue Macaw costume for Halloween. I mean she was going all goo-goo ga-ga over the sparkly blue Elsa-dress-type fabric. I was expecting something Frozen to head our way. I’m not the biggest fan of that movie; perhaps it’s because so many people raved about the music like it was on-par with Lion King. Uhhh, really guys? Do you have ears? It’s definitely not at that level. It was just standard Disney fare in my opinion. I digress.




I secretly screamed for joy when she wanted to do something completely different than Elsa. So we scoured the aisles and found a sparkly blue spandex (remeniscent of the Mardi Gras parade scene) and this awesome textured chiffon that looks just like bird feathers. And then we found a matching headband with sequins. And matching feathers. And matching leggings.

All that I had to do (and I say “all” like it’s no small feat, but this part took me forever) was to make her a little birdie dress and a cape. It took me a while to come up with the concept. Just having raw fabric at my disposal, I wasn’t sure if I should go more sculptural or more themed. I went more practical with leggings and a dress just because I’m not going to go to such efforts to make her something that she’ll never wear again. The cape will be in the dress-ups forever. The dress may actually get some wear on special occasions. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure Penelope will think of something. She was excited to get a new dress.


I was planning on dressing Felix up as Fix-it-Felix, but he refused. I had a few hand-me-down costumes as well. Still no. Maybe next year. June wore cat ears. We may get more into it next year. But Pen had fun.

And this year was our second annual Pic-or-Treat! We set up the photo booth (this time with full-body format) and gave printed photos out to the trick-or-treaters. Some didn’t want their picture taken (totally understandable – let me go to this random stranger’s house and let them take pictures of minors! YAY! JK.), so we had candy for them. We loved it! I heard from several grateful parents who didn’t have a chance to get pictures of their kids. That made it all worth it.

Now on to Thanksgiving!

Sewing Style: Mini Me

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This girl may be the spitting image of Chris, but she’s mini me. Her love for crafting, art, music and fashion are definitely me. I love that. When it comes to school work, she’s also a mini-me: a free spirited day-dreamer.


I had just enough fabric left over from my color-blocked shift dress that I thought I would make her a matching skirt. Then she suddenly grew too tall for the black shirt you see above.


Instead of giving it away or saving it for June, I repurposed it as the top of her new color-blocked dress. Now we really can be twins! Also, I don’t have to keep nagging for her to pull up her skirt and down her shirt so that the two ends meet. The below-the-knee length on the dress will give her a lot of versatility. She’s growing like a weed.  melissaesplin-penelope-mommy-daughter-dress-3

As it stands, this is her go-to Sunday dress along with a sea-foam sequin number I bought for my sister’s wedding. Proud mama moment right there when I don’t have to nag her to wear the things I’ve made for her. It certainly makes me want to do more (and more to come, her halloween costume this year is epic).



This girl cracks me up. She styled herself, put on the lipstick and mascara herself and begged me for the photo shoot. She got a bit sheepish when her friends were near the playground, she didn’t want them to see her lipstick. It breaks my heart when I see the self-consciousness come to play. I hope she can hold off just a little longer before she cares what people think.

Outfit details:

  • headband: Target
  • top: H&M, repurposed
  • dress: fabric from Mood
  • shoes: c/o My Cents of Style (here)
  • Lipstick: ELF matte scarlet red

Sponsored: Penelope’s Summer Style

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This post is sponsored by Sven Clogs. Original hand-crafted clogs since 1974. Clogs made-to-order with premium styles and materials for Man, woman and child.

Connect with Svens Clogs on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

As evidenced by Penelope’s porcelain skin, she hasn’t been out as much this summer as she was last. I can’t believe it’s finally drawing to a close! Now I’m craving sewing time so I can make a couple of special clothes for the school year.

I don’t often make clothes for the kids because they grow out of them or destroy them so quickly, but this was a fun little number to whip up from extra fabric I had lying around after I made a dress (coming soon!). So yes! We’re totally matching. I have a few mother-daughter looks queued up.



I didn’t use a pattern, I grabbed some shorts and a shirt and started cutting. Next time I make her a romper, I have a few ideas to make it a little more balanced between top/bottom (the bottoms came out tighter and the top looser than expected).

In fact, I ended up cutting the bottoms too small entirely. I got clever and grabbed some white fabric with tiny red anchors on them and made stripes to add width to the bottoms. Hindsight, I should have added more. But she owns them.



Here’s what I did:

  • I traced a pair of shorts and sewed them up. Seeing that they were snug, I added the racing stripe by cutting down the sides and adding the strip.
  • I topstitched the strip to make it look more finished.
  • Next, I found a loose fitting shirt and cut out a pentagram shape. Leaving the top part a little longer so I could make a loop.
  • I cut the back taller than the front.
  • To assemble the top and bottom, I sewed up each of them separately, attached elastic to the shorts, then put right sides together and added the top (two rows of stitching at the waistline).
  • I hemmed the shorts, the arms and the neckline. I cut a tube of extra fabric and threaded it around the loops at the top and tied it in a bow.
  • Fini!

Penelope knows how to tie bows, so getting in and out of the romper isn’t a big deal for her. It would be a little more complicated for a younger child.



Sometimes I wonder how she got so old and grown up, then I get her a My Little Pony and I realize she’s still in the throws of her childhood. I sigh in relief.

She’ll be starting second grade any day now. Am I the only one that loves back-to-school season? I love getting supplies, I love the new clothes, organizing everything and a fresh start with new teachers, new classmates and new things to learn.

Outfit details: 


FREEBIE: Penelope’s Tea Party


At the beginning of the summer, I scored a precious set of cups and dishes perfect for a tea party. I told Penelope she needed to gather her friends for a tea party at some point and use them. She squealed.


It wasn’t until a few days later that she came up to me asking to get everything out for the tea party. After explaining to her that she needed to give her friends some kind of advanced warning if she wanted them to show up, her finger in the air as she enthusiastically said, “I need you to make me invitations!”

Well OKAY, my dear! The cutest little art director hovered over my shoulder to make sure all the details were correct. She needed gold bits on the invitations (see the little foil dots in the above pic?). And she needed them sealed with glitter washi tape to deliver to her friends.


I was thrilled to have a little peace and quiet while she walked the neighborhood, dropping them in the neighbor’s mail boxes. Since it was a Monday and she was inviting her friends to a party on Tuesday, I made sure to text each mom to double-check invitations were received. All but 2 girls showed up. We had a full house of giggly girls with their pinkies high as they sipped “tea”.

I served honey chocolate toasts, mint oreos (at Penelope’s request) and raspberry lemonade. They thought it was the best tea ever.


(taken from an entirely different party, but I love this pic of her)

Penelope was the most gracious host exclaiming, “Welcome!! I’m so glad you could make it!” while I sat there, hands over my mouth, trying not to squeal and giggle at the same time. She is incredibly more socially astute at her age than I was in college. The girl knows how to throw a party.

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Calligraphy: Micro Letters From the Tooth Fairy

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Penelope started losing her teeth recently. The first tooth she lost caught us off-guard and unprepared. So we totally botched that one. And THEN the ‘Tooth Fairy’ totally fell asleep when the second one fell out. She didn’t have a chance to visit or anything. Penelope was crushed.


Chris was thinking quickly on his feet and said that the Tooth Fairy must have been busy. So the next night I wanted to make up for it.

UNFORTUNATELY, this happened:


I lost my tooth in the drain.


It was like we were doomed! Thankfully Chris saved the day and was able to retrieve the tooth in the trap underneath the sink. So I made sure to write her a letter explaining what happened.


Dear Penelope, 

I’m sorry to hear that your tooth went down the drain! I bet that you felt sad. Luckily, I’m small enough I was able to find it! Thank you! Be sure to tell your mom and dad to clean down there. It’s stinky. 

You have some great teeth! Keep brushing and flossing. 

Love, The Tooth Fairy

She was thrilled. Over the moon, in fact! She sent a second letter to the tooth fairy and made her a little house.


I liked the little card. It was funny. I wanted to give you something. (She attached a $2 bill to the note)

So of course, the Tooth Fairy slept over when it was a little too windy one night.


Dear Penelope, 

Thank you for making me such a beautiful home to visit! It was too windy last night for me to make it home safely, so I slept over. 

I hear you have a couple of loose teeth! I’m excited to see those when they come out. 

You are a very sweet and caring [girl]. Thanks for looking out for this old fairy. 

Love, The Tooth Fairy

She loves her relationship with the tooth fairy! I wanted to make sure that she kept this documentation so I got matching Amac boxes. One for her notes and one for the teeth that the Tooth Fairy collects. It’s been fun. Now I’m anxiously awaiting her next loose tooth to fall out!

Done with an Esterbrook 355 and a sumi/walnut ink mix on blank Rhodia paper.

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