Thursday, September 18, 2014

Project Run and Play: Penny Rocks the Color Block

I am sliding this one in just under the wire, but I managed to finish my sew along entry for week 1 of Project Run and Play. The first theme for Season 10 was 80's cartoon inspired outfits and to say that is a wide field is to really understate the obvious. I was a child of the 80's and can remember watching those cartoons on Saturday mornings, though admittedly I watched a lot of old Looney Tunes as well. For this week's theme, I wanted to create an outfit for the Monkey Shine that was casual and could be worn on a day-to-day basis. I immediately thought of Penny from Inspector Gadget. Penny was smart and resourceful, using logic and futuristic technology to solve the cases that her bumbling uncle could not. She had only one outfit that I could recall but it included color blocking and some rad green pants - what's not to like there? Without further ado, I present my Penny inspired items!


(I apologize for the lighting. I literally took these pictures at 7:30pm so it was dark outside!)

The shirt is made from two old maternity tanks that I have been saving for a while. Matching Penny's shirt exactly seemed like it would veer into costume territory so instead I color-blocked the shirt by doing the front and sleeves in a solid color and using a coordinating stripe for the back. I started with Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee pattern in a 3T as my base and flared the side seams and created a slight high-low hem. The front, sleeves and neckline band are all from a lightweight red knit. The back was cut in two pieces on the bias to achieve the chevron pattern down the back. I won't lie - matching those tiny red stripes was a bitch and involved using almost every pin I own. I left the bottom unfinished (because it's a knit and I could) and finished the sleeves with bands. I also reused a pocket from the striped tank on the front of the shirt to unify the color blocking and because MS loves her some pockets. The 3T is a little big but will hopefully fit her through the winter and will look super cute with leggings.

Look at that stripe matching. LOOK AT IT!
Color blocking.
Party in the back.

The pants are also a modified Rae pattern - the Parsley Pants. I cut a size 3T for my tall but very slight 2-year-old so that I could achieve a baggier, skater-style pant. The pant legs were separated into a front piece and a back piece and I added traditional jean-style pockets instead of using the pouch pockets from the pattern, mostly because I just like that style better but also because after the pattern is modified I find them easier to construct and keep neat looking. They are made from a very old fine wale corduroy from my stash and are dark olive green in color, which I thought might coordinate with more stuff than the original bright green pants worn by Penny. In keeping with Penny's look, I added kneepads that are the same corduroy with the wrong side out. I used bright pink thread for the limited top-stitching (I may add more later) and lined the pockets with a small-print floral (also from my stash). The hem is really deep so that I have a chance of letting these out later. Finally, I chopped the waistband allowance off the top of the pattern and added a separate waistband, again because I just like the look.

With lint from the sewing table, because I take pride in my work.

I meant to hand her a book and a watch but I was really cutting it fine on time and she was almost at meltdown stage. She did very graciously allow me to do pigtails, though, so 1 point for me!

The Bribe.
Bribing her with gummy bunnies. -100000 mom points for me.

I will post more pictures of the individual items later, but hope you enjoy seeing an actual finished object (or 2!!!) for a change!

Be well,



  1. Looks cute and comfortable...And looking at those stripes! Pretty amazing:)

  2. I loved Penny as a kid! Great idea and fantastic stripe matching on the back!

  3. I always am so impressed with myself when my stripes match up--so here's an internet high-five for you! I love this outfit--comfy and retro :)