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.



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!

DIY Tile Coasters

DIY tile coaster tutorial

I have been bitten by the tile coaster making bug! The other day I asked in my local Buy Nothing Project group if anyone had any tiles sitting around, unwanted. Within a few minutes someone had an entire box of tiles for me to play with.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

These are so easy to make, and really so much fun.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

You need white glue and water, tiles, pages of a book to tear up, a thin permanent marker, watercolors, and clear varnish, (optional: felt circle furniture protector thingies).

DIY tile coaster tutorial

First, tear up pages of a book (I keep one especially for this in my crafting supplies) and decoupage them on (with the white glue/water mixture) the tiles. If you need to see details of how to make your own decoupage medium, check out this post here.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

After they dry, take your permanent marker and draw something. Anything you want!

DIY tile coaster tutorial

After that, take some watercolor paints and give them some color.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

After the paint is dry, coat with clear varnish and let dry. Add felt circles to the backs to protect your furniture.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

Falafel saw me having so much fun with these and she wanted to do some, herself.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

I love hers so much.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

This project is really open to your interpretation. You can be as creative as you want!

DIY tile coaster tutorial

In the box of tiles were little ones that were begging to become magnets.

DIY tile coaster tutorial

I just decoupaged some pictures from the book, sealed them with varnish, then used my super strong E6000 glue (in a well ventilated area) to stick on circle magnets.

DIY tile coaster tutorial


DIY tile coaster tutorial

This guy cracks me up.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and as always, I would love to see yours if you give this a try!

Doll spa robe

Our niece has made her first Christmas gift request of her sewing Auntie. Robes for her dolls!


 She has many different sized dolls, so I was cheering when I found this awesome FREE pattern (over at It’s always Autumn) for a stuffed animal robe. Very simple pattern that is easily altered to fit any length I need.


In fact, I sewed up a test robe for Falafel’s AG 18 inch doll.


Cause really, what doll wouldn’t enjoy a spa treatment after a long day of playing?!


What is on your holiday sewing list?

Thanksgiving Crafting

This post was written for a few Thanksgivings ago, but these crafts are so much fun, I am sharing them again with you for this year!

Thanksgiving crafts for kids

I have a few crafts to keep the kids busy at your next Thanksgiving gathering. I wanted to keep it contained and interesting, with things they could do on their own without any messy components like glue or scissors.

I prepared all of the pieces for each craft ahead of time, so on the day of, I could just place them out on a paper-covered table, and let the kids go at them!

There were three different projects they could choose from.


Materials to create with: poster board bands, feathers, markers.

To prepare this craft, I cut strips of poster board that were 23 inches long. On one end, I notched it to look like a dull arrow. On the other end, I used an exacto blade to cut 5 vertical slits about an inch apart. In the middle, I used the blade again to cut sets of 2 horizontal lines (one on top of the other- about 3 inches apart). This way, it eliminates the need to be taped closed, or even the use of glue for feathers. Everything inserts! Easy peasy.

Beaded necklaces.

Materials to create: pre-cut string, beads, gluten-free macaroni

We have serious gluten allergies here, so we used a GF noodle, but this also works well with wheat pasta. I pre-cut lengths of stretchy string, and knotted a bead on one end to get them started.

Cuffed bracelets.

Materials to create: halved toilet paper tubes, double sided tape, felt pieces, feathers, markers.

All I had to do for this one, was cut the toilet paper tubes in half, then slit them open vertically. They amazingly stay on all sized wrists and are pretty stylish looking.

I chose to honor Native Americans and the gracious sharing of that very first Thanksgiving meal with strangers to the land.

Even though we used non-traditional materials, I think it is important to show our children how many cultures make up this wonderful country of ours, and how we all meld together as Humans, even symbolically. There is a common good that I want my girls to know. Truly to be thankful for all that they have, and more importantly, have to give.

“I’m thankful for my home my friends my food and all the guests at this table”.

These crafts not only opened up conversations, they kept the kids busy while the grown-ups chatted and had a grand ol’ time as well.

What eventually happened was the grown-ups migrated to the kids’ table and started to craft too.

I call that a successful activity…for all ages.

What do you do to keep the kids busy before the food comes out?


Astrid’s Shield plus a FREE PDF for you!

As promised, here is the shield we made for the Astrid costume.


This took all three of us to make. My husband cut a piece of foam core into a circle, then Falafel painted it red and found that Ball jar lid for the center. When it was dry, I painted the details on and glued the lid on. We then took two brads and stuck them through the front to hold on a piece of webbing for the handle (on the back).


It was fairly easy to do, and it makes her happy. Since there is a “no weapons at school” policy (even fake ones), she cannot carry her battle axe, but she can carry this!


Also, as a treat for you, my husband made PDF files of the pattern pieces to construct the shoulder armor. Just click on the links to print them out. Assemble them in order. Once you have all the pieces lined up, connect them at the ends with whatever you want (we used brads).


PDF file A

PDF file B

Oh! AND be sure to check your inboxes. It is Friday Newsletter time!

Juice Pouch Wallet Tutorial for SWB


Today I am bringing home a tutorial I did for SWB for their Camp Sewing with Boys series. Even though I don’t have boys to craft with, I made a tutorial anyone can do- regardless of their gender! First, you are going to need to collect a few things for this project:

Duct Tape Juice Pouch Wallets


You will need:

  • 2 empty juice pouches
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • velcro (not pictured above)

Start by cutting across the top of each juice pouch (where the straw goes), wash, and allow to dry.

Now it is time to cut the duct tape into strips.


You will need 4 shorter strips (the length of the shortest sides of the pouch- approx. 4″each) and 2 longer strips (the length of the longest sides-approx. 6″each). I cut them to size and then halved them by making a small slit, and ripping the tape. It ripped in a straight line every time.


Lay the tape on the table, sticky side up, and place the pouch edge on top of it.


Now fold up the tape. Repeat for the bottom of pouch. You will want to leave one pouch top not taped.


They should look like this. Now, trim off the excess tape.


Take the pouch with the two ends taped, and fold like this:


You will want the side that faces the correct way to be slightly lower than the other side.


Take the other pouch and insert it like the photo above, with the untaped side inside.


At the crease, place your last 4″ piece of tape to keep the two pouches together.


This is how it should look on the other side.


Fold up the upside down end, and tape the long sides now, so it forms a pouch.


Make sure to trim the excess tape.


If you have velcro dots, make sure to follow the instructions on the package. Take both dots and place them together (sticky sides facing out) and stick them on the flap. Then press down so they also stick to the body of the wallet.


Our dots needed to set for 24 hours closed and untouched.


After that, you are done. You can use your wallet!

*My tip on collecting juice pouches when your family doesn’t drink them: ASK EVERYONE! Camps, schools, family members, friends. It is amazing how many we collected after we started asking around. People actually saved them. We ended up with about 200!

Simple recycled Back- to-School Pencil cup

Back-to-School time is approaching!! I repeat: BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME IS APPROACHING!!

We are trying to squeeze a little more Summer out of this year, at the same time, trying to prepare for the kids going back to school. Shoe shopping, and supply lists, and brand new lunch bags.

As always, I like to do at least one quick project to get the school year off on the right foot.

We had this empty square Vegan Butter container that I just rinsed out the night before that looked perfect for me to use. I quickly gathered up some materials we have on hand, and got to work making a very quick, very large pencil/pen/marker container for Falafel’s desk.


Gather Supplies


Mix water and glue in a small container. It should be slightly thinner than yogurt. Then paint it all over the container you want to cover.


I used strips of fabric to cover mine. Strips of paper also work well (magazine pages, book pages, colored paper, scrap book paper, etc). Just paint the glue mixture all over the scraps and smooth them out as you go.


Allow to dry. Insert favorite school supplies!




*Tip: If you are going to try this, and your fabric or paper is lighter weight, you may want to paint the container white first.

What are you making to help your kids go back to school?

Juice pouch tote tutorial

I am back to sewing with juice pouches. Ha!  I guess I am becoming predictable. You know you can either find me talking about that camisole pattern or juice pouches, lately.

I did get a request for a tutorial from a reader asking how to make the Juice pouch totes. I needed to sew up a few more, so I figured I would photograph as I went.

Let’s gather some materials to make a Juice Pouch Tote!


To make one of the bags you see in the photo above you will need:


23 empty, clean juice pouches.

{Read here for some helpful tips on working with this funky material}

You will also need a heavy duty sewing machine needle, a sewing machine, thread, sewing scissors, AND scissors that are NOT your sewing scissors (for trimming the juice pouches), 1 package of extra wide double folded binding, strap material (I used 2 pieces cut to 39″ each of cotton webbing), and clips (such as clover clips)


Because we collected these from a variety of sources, there are all different designs on our pouches. I think that makes it even more fun. So if you have choices, too, lay out a row of four in the order you like.


Take just two, overlap one edge on top of the other, and sew with a zig zag stitch, securing them together. I always lay the one on the left on top of the on on the right, but this is entirely up to you.


It should look like this when you are done.


Continue on until all four are sewn in a line. Then repeat with another line of 4.


Now that you have two rows of four, trim each row so that they are nice and neat, and you will sew them together with a zig zag stitch. I sew the one on the top, on top of the one on the bottom. Does that make sense? Maybe you can say “she sells sea shells by the seashore” 10 times fast. You know, just for fun.


Anyhow, repeat the above steps until you have two panels of 8.


Now grab that binding and cut a piece that will fit across the top of one of them. Clip the binding, sandwiching the top edge.


Sew it on (I used a straight stitch, but you could do any that you would like). Repeat for other panel.


Take one strap and clip on to one panel. I started at the bottom on one vertical seam and looped up and around (making sure not to twist) and down to the bottom of the other vertical seam.


Sew down the entire length of the strap on each side of the strap. I even continued my stitches on the loop of the handle. Repeat for other panel. Then place both panels aside.


Grab 7 more pouches to make the sides and bottom. Place them one on top of the other, but this time, vertically.


You will sew 5 of them going in one direction, and then flip the last two upside down and sew them on.


You will have a long line of pouches now.


Cut a small piece of bias tape for each end. Clip on, then sew in place. Trim the excess off the ends.


Grab one of your panels, and face it down. Lay the long strip on top facing up (so that wrong sides are together). Clip it along one side to start.


When you get to the bottom, curve it around and clip in place. Do this all around until you reach the other side on top. Sew it down with a zip zag stitch. Start again at the top and go the length of the side. When you get to the bottom corner, stop and clip your thread. Pivot the bag so you can sew across the bottom.

This part is a bit tricky. You will need to fold and hold it down in place to make this easier (the old fold n’ hold, eh?). Then sew to next corner, and repeat. juicetute20m

Yay! You have one side sewn on. Repeat process for the other panel. juicetute21m

You will have to learn what way to fold your bag so it is not so cumbersome and awkward going through your machine. Go slowly and stop when you need to. juicetute22m

It should look like this. Put it aside and grab the remaining piece of binding. Cut it in half. juicetute23m

Open up one side of one of the pieces. juicetute24m

Fold edge over. juicetute25m

Fold the ends back and now it looks neater. You will use this to wrap around the raw edges you just created. Start at the top.


Clip in place. When you get to the bottom corner, turn it, and it will form a little mitered corner. Keep clipping around. juicetute27m

Sew with a straight stitch around the bag. Stop at the corners, and pivot (like you did in the previous steps). When you get to the top,  before you sew all the way, tuck in the end of the bias tape to make it neater on this side. Sew it down. Repeat for the other side of the bag. juicetutebag2m

You are done!! Get more juice pouches and repeat:) juicetuetebags3m

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please let me know if you make one using it. I would love to see your juice pouch creations, too. And as always, let me know if you have any questions!