On-Our-Shelves Sunday

Firstly: Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

I hope you have something planned with those you love.

Speaking of love, this week, there is a new book that I am reading!

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Deep Blue

*affiliate link*

by Jennifer Donnelly

Stacy of Stylin’ Stacy told me that her daughter is currently hooked (puns intended) on this new series: Waterfire. I had to check it out for myself. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how I love to read Juvenile Fantasy fiction. This is the first book, and now I’M hooked! It’s about Mermaids and it is full of adventure. How could I not love it?

I am almost done with this one (a record for me), and have to wait until our library gets a copy of the second book. Gah. 

What are YOU reading this week?

Chalk on the Wild side review with Valentine Chalk printable PDF

I was given Chalk on the Wild Side to review (*affiliate link*), so the first thing I did was hand it over to my youngest! I knew she would be the perfect judge of what this book had to offer.  I told her to look in it to see if there was anything she wanted to make.

Chalk on the Wild Side Review with free printable PDF

Um, yes. EVERYTHING.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

We settled on a few projects to start with. The first we made was the multi-colored chalk. It turned out to be perfect to use for Falafel’s classroom valentines! I came up with a free PDF printable for those of you who want to do the same.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The chalk was super easy to whip up, and the only thing we didn’t already have in the house was plaster of paris.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

We packaged them individually in these tiny cello bags, and stapled the tent card on the top.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The directions in the book are very clear with great photos. Our 10 year old had no problem following them. We did it together, but let her lead. That makes all the difference, sometimes.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

There are more than 25 different projects to make and multiple recipes to follow. My child was ecstatic reading the possibilities.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Her classroom doesn’t allow sweets to be passed out with the Valentines, so this is a perfect alternative!

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The next project we tried out was the chalk dough.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

This one was also right up my girl’s alley. She LOVES getting her hands into it!  Messy?? Then YES.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

She got to make this one all by herself, and she was beyond thrilled.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

Even though it was not warm out, she played outside with this stuff for a good long time. It is crumbly, but if you press it together, it sticks.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

The projects in here are not just for Summertime! There are some indoor chalk projects, bathtub chalk, as well as some that you can even use in the snow.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

This book is definitely one that we will keep as a boredom buster and a reference. A great addition to our crafty library.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

*Even though I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are mine, mine, mine.

The Cosplay Challenge

Over at Project Run and Play, the next challenge is “Cosplay” where you need to “create an outfit inspired by the cosplay craze” but not a costume.

Now this is right up my alley! If you have been reading for a while, you know how much I love creating these kinds of outfits like Doctor Who, and Star Wars, and even Black Widow (although that was a costume) and more Doctor Who and Merida (which is a costume too). Come to think of it, I love making costumes, just as much.

When I read what this theme was, I drew a blank!  My well was dry. I think, because I have done quite a few of these already, I was creativly tapped out. So I went to my child who I sewing for and asked her what she would like. Her answer actually surprised me!

Belle cosplay-inspired dress

My Falafel requested, very specifically, Belle’s peasant outfit from Beauty and the Beast! When I saw what the contestants made, I actually was shocked to find that Sewing Mama RaeAnna sewed up a Belle-inspired outfit too! Hers is the fancier ballroom yellow gown, but really what are the odds we both would choose the same movie from 1991?!

Belle cosplay-inspired dress

I used the same pattern as I used for the Jane Austen inspired Regency dress, and made the same alteration to the pattern by adding  ribbon instead of elastic through the waist casing. This time, though I made it with long sleeves and a shorter length.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast cosplay-inspired dress

I also added a panel of white to the skirt portion of the dress to mimic Belle’s apron, and box pleated the whole thing.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast cosplay-inspired dress

I have to admit that I love how Belle is a character that loves books AND she falls in love with the Beast even though he is not a pretty package. She sees past all that. Strong, smart, girl of substance. AND she’s French. I can see why Falafel chose her.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast cosplay-inspired dress

Remember the bag of sheets I was talking about?

Belle from Beauty and the Beast cosplay-inspired dress

Well, I used more of them for this outfit! The sleeves are from that same white sheet, and the blue is a very worn flannel. Perfect for my comfort-loving girl.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast cosplay-inspired dress

This is the first peasant dress I have ever made for her, and she loves it!

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I love repurposing those sheets!

Are YOU sewing along too?

Novelista Pattern Hack: Upcycled bed sheets into retro dress

bed sheet upcycled into this retro styled dress

A friend of mine, whose 100 year old Grandmother just recently passed, gave me a whole trash bag full of her old sheets, knowing that I would do something with them. And of course I did!

bed sheet upcycled into this retro styled dress

I started with the tried and true Novelista pattern *affiliate link* (like I have used here) and went with 3/4 length sleeves. I cut it off a little above the waist, and added a horizontal-stripe band for visual interest. And for the circle skirt portion of the dress, I used By Hand London’s circle skirt calulator. It worked perfectly!

  bed sheet upcycled into this retro styled dress

 I had some piping that someone had given me, from their couch. I thought it was chunky enough to make an impact. And instead of buttons, I used snaps!

bed sheet upcycled into this retro styled dress

She is wearing her trusty crinoline (LOVE this thing) to give it that extra pouf!

bed sheet upcycled into this retro styled dress

I will be entering this is a Trashion Show in April! This is one out of THREE outfits I am making for this show. I think I have officially lost my marbles.

bed sheet upcycled into this retro styled dress

BTW, when did my little girl start looking all grown up? Cheese Louise.

What have YOU upcycled today?

LOVE my sewing Space

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Over at Simple Simon and Company, they are hosting a fabulous link party for you to show where you sew. SO, I thought I would join in and give you all a peek at what my sewing space looks like.

LOVE my sewing space

I carved out a little corner for myself in the livingroom, which also houses our piano, the computer, our TV, and the kids’ art supplies. It is where we spend lots of time (a little less than we spend in the kitchen), so it was the perfect place for me to set up my creative space. I can still be a part of daily life, while taking care of things I need to.

LOVE my sewing space

My two machines live here. This one is the Contessa, who is the Pfaff machine I won in the Sew Mam Sew softie contest.

LOVE my sewing space

And this one is my old workhorse 21 year old Singer named Rosie (like Rosie the riveter).

LOVE my sewing space

I have surrounded myself with my kids’ colorful art.

LOVE my sewing space

And Archer the Fox always keeps me company as a reminder of what I can do when I try. He is the whole reason I have the Contessa and I am thankful every day that I took that chance.

LOVE my sewing space

I have all my tools handy. My ironing board gets stowed away on a hook in the laundry room and can be pulled out whenever I need it. I’d say my pincushion and scissors get used the most, so I just keep those out on top of the table. Everyone knows not to touch my fabric scissors by now!

LOVE my sewing space

My husband and I built this desk especially for my sewing space (you can read about it here).

LOVE my sewing space

I wanted a little shelf for things I use the most, so we built it right into the table. I also stained a wooden yard stick, and tacked it to the table front for easy measuring!

LOVE my sewing space

I found those metal mesh baskets at Walmart for $2 each. They fit perfectly!

LOVE my sewing space

We added a lighting strip under the bottom shelf because that track lighting above is just awful.

LOVE my sewing space

The baskets hold pens, pencils, markers, staplers, tape, paint, stamps, thread, yarn, and a variety of other creative supplies. My curved ruler is hanging on the wall, and the others are tucked in the desk that the Contessa sits upon.

Painted rock pattern weight

My Falafel made me a pattern weight out of a giant rock. It stays by my side until I need it.

LOVE my sewing space

My fabric, patterns, ribbon, and elastic is stored in a closet to the right of this photo (which I haven’t taken any photos of).

And that is it! It is not as ideal as a whole room to myself, but really I think we would all wind up in there anyway, so I might as well be out with my people. Afterall, that is the best place to be.

Where do YOU sew?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

On our shelves this week, is one suggested by one of my lovely readers, Kristi:

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Wild

by Emily Hughes

This is another book by Emily Hughes, and it is just as charming as the first one we read. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love the simple, yet sweet story about not being able to tame someone who is blissfully wild.

Thanks for the suggestion, friend!

What are YOU reading today?

Jane Austen Inspired Regency Style Dress

Jane Austen inspired Regency Style Dress

A friend asked if I would make her daughter a Regency Style dress for a jane Austen fancy dress party. Of course!

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I started by using Sis Boom’s Molly Peasant pattern. This was the first time I have ever used it. Actually, I have never made this style of dress before either! It was pleasantly painless. I would totally make another. I raised the waistline about an inch so that it had more of an Empire waist. Instead of inserting elastic, though, I made a buttonhole on the outer bodice and threaded a ribbon through.

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I used an old sheet which was nice and soft. I lined the bodice since the fabric was a tad bit sheer.

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This was a fun project! It was great to try something I had never done before, while making this young lady so happy. I think she looks spectactular!

Bringing Home the Novelista

Today I am bring home my tutorial, for you, on how to line the fabulous Novelista, in fleece. I have to say this is one of my most worn shirts. It is super cozy warm and I never want to take it off. If you choose to make one, you now have fair warning!

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece. So cozy and warm!

First, grab a copy of the Novelista. Go ahead, *whistles* I’ll wait.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Since I have lined the entire shirt, including sleeves, you need the same amount of fabric for the lining as the outer fabric. I used flannel for the outside, and fleece for the liner. It makes for one cozy shirt, let me tell you.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

BTW: my youngest took these photos, and the majority of them came out like this one above. It looks like I may fall of the earth at any moment.

OK. Now to adjust the cut list.

The pieces that were affected were these:

yoke: 1 outer, 1 fleece

collar band: 1 outer, 1 fleece

front: 2 outer, 2 fleece

sleeves: 2 outer, 2 fleece (I waited to cut the outer and lining placket line together- see below)

side front: 2 outer, 2 fleece

side back: 2 outer, 2 fleece

back: 1 outer, 1 fleece

cut out all other pattern pieces as directed.

Just a little heads up- I will refer, in my instructions, to WS (wrong sides) and RS (right sides), often. A lot of this shirt is sewn with the outer and lining WS together, as if they were one piece of fabric. You’ll catch on.

Now I am going to take you through my changes, step by step.

Follow step 1 as written. When you get to Step 2, make sure you place the liner on the outer WS together.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

This is what step 2 should look like. Do Step 3.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

In Step 4, I also chose to add a little strip of bias tape to the front placket, to break up that plaid. Totally optional.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

In Step 5, I sewed the outer front and outer side front together. Make sure the lining piece is out of the way.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Then did the same for the lining front and lining side front. Repeat for the other side of the shirt. When you are done, it will look like this.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Take a moment to admire your expert pattern matching.

I chose not to sewn on a pocket. If you do, just follow the directions as written.

…………………………

Next up is the Shirttail Back.

Step 1, I made sure to only make the pleat on the outer fabric. The lining is already bulky enough, so I trimmed it to be the same size as the newly pleated back piece. Make sure you have WS together when you do this.

Step 2: I did not photograph any of this, but repeat how you did the front pieces, only this time with the back. Sew outer back to outer side backs, and lining back to lining side backs.

……………………….

Yoke

Treat your back pieces as one (lay lining on outer WS together) and follow steps 1 through 4 as written.

………………………..

Long Sleeves

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Step 1: Lay both lining and outer sleeves WS together, and cut along the placket line.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

I chose to use bias tape for my sleeve placket, but if you are making yours, follow step 2 as written.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

After Steps 3, 4 and 5, you should have this.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

I also chose to skip steps 6-10, because my sleeves are a little too bulky to roll up. If you choose to, follow as written. Do not move on to Step 11!

I had to put mine together a little differently at this point. You are going to be sewing your sleeves up before inserting into the shirt. So take the outer and fold RS together, and fold the lining RS together and pin in place. Sew each side.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Now comes the fun part. Turn the lining right side out, and pull the outer sleeve through it. Then turn the whole thing right side out.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

You should have something that resembles a very neatly lined sleeve! Repeat for other sleeve. Then put them aside.

Pick up your shirt body. We need to sew up those sides.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Turn your shirt with the lining facing out.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Fold back the lining sides, and grab the outer fabric sides (should be RS together).

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

I like to pin (or clip) together. Then sew. Repeat for other side.

To sew the lining sides together, you will have to do some fabric gymnastics like you did in the yokes steps (see yoke section in pattern). Make sure the lining sides are RS together and pin, then sew (be sure that the outer shirt is out of the way when sewing).

Now it is time to insert the sleeves into the shirt.

I basted the sleeve holes as well as basted the armholes on the shirt, just to keep everything in place.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Insert the sleeves into the shirt RS together. Be sure to line up the side seam lines. Sew around the perimeter. I used my pinking shears to finish the seam. Use whatever method works for you. These are the only exposed or raw seams in the whole shirt! Repeat for other sleeve.

Follow the directions for sewing on the collar and the cuffs, as written.

To hem the bottom, I had to get creative, so it wouldn’t be too bulky.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Fold the outer fabric in and the lining fabric in. Take it slow and do a little at a time. I clipped in place.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Top stitch (sew on all those buttons and buttonholes) and you are done!

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Just a little note: I reduced my seam allowances (SA) by half so I would have a little more wiggle room, and to allow for the bulk, but this was totally unnecessary! When I make my next one, I will just follow the regular SA for a more fitted shirt.

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

Tutorial on how to line the Novelista shirt in fleece by Falafel and the Bee

As with all of Blank Slate Patterns, this one helps you produce such a high quality product.

I cannot wait to make more!

Color Me Zip Pouch

Color Me Fabric Zip Pouch

I really know how to stretch a yard of fabric, don’t I? This is Color Me Fabric designed by Hayely for Michael Miller fabrics. I made the heart bag here, and the triangle pocket tote here. And today I am sharing the zip pouch I made!

Color Me Fabric Zip Pouch

For this project, I decided to actually fill in some of the design by painting with acrylics. I threw it in the dryer to heat set it. Then I used some fabric markers and colored in the rest. I love the dreamy watercolor effect it has.

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I stayed with mostly blues and used touches of pinks and purples. It makes me smile.

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I left the other side blank… for now. I am teaching an Adult Coloring class this weekend, though, and I plan on taking that time to fill it in.

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I am happy to have something so pretty to carry my markers in!

Do you color??

Project Run and Play Season 11: Nothing but Knit

The new season of Project Run and Play has begun!! The first challenge for the sew-a-long is called “Nothing but Knit“. I LOVE sewing with knits! There. I said it.

Funny thing is, that is the fabric I learned on. I started sewing up baby hats when my oldest (who is 16) was born. I was drawn to how very forgiving the fabric is, and how soft. Whenever someone tells me they are afraid of sewing with knits, I recommend just jumping in. Seriously. Play around with them and get to know your knits. Using the correct ball point needle in your machine and sewing with a zig zag stitch helps tremendously.

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For my entry, I started with Sew Straight and Gather’s Uptown/Downtown dress pattern (like I made here and here), and made a few changes.

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First, I raised up the neckline. I also widened then gathered the tops of the sleeves to make them poof just a little.

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Speaking of the sleeves, I did a lettuce edge hem on the sleeves, as well as the bottom of the dress.

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I also added a belt. I interfaced and sewed up a rectangular piece of mustard knit, and made a fun knot to tie it on. She can also wear it without!

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The fabric is Charlie Harper (for Birch Fabrics Organic) Feathers Mineral and is lovely. The mustard color knit is something I had in my stash, and I have no idea where I got it!

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          We had some fun with feathers.

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          She got to hold her sister’s fiddle for these photos, and she couldn’t be happier. She took it very seriously, though.

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           Now my girl has a fantastic grown-up (but not too grown-up) princess(y) type dress, fit for a 10 year old.