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.

knitfeather15m

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.

          Potty Mouth Wake Up Call

          So I have something to admit to you.

          I have a swear word problem.

          I curse like a drunken sailor. Sometimes, a few have slipped out in front of my children. Not proud moments, but I am keeping it real.

          Last year, I chaperoned my youngest daughter on a field trip to the big city. Outside the museum we were visiting, a man was pushing his cart and ranting, loudly. He shouted obscenities and cursed at all the school children. We just stood there. The museum wasn’t open, yet.

          Later, when we got home, my Falafel was recounting the day’s excitement for my husband, and she said “Then this man was shouting really loudly at us. He said the “F” word. You know, like Mom does“.

          YIKES, PEOPLE!

          If I know one thing for certain, it is that I do not want my kids comparing me to a man that has lost his wits and swears at children.

          So I have been trying my best to curb that urge to blurt out expletives, since then. I have since replaced them with the word “Farts!” or “POO!”.

          Baby steps, you know.

          So if you ever hear me say either one of those words out of context, know that it could be worse. knitfeather10m

          Anyhow, I am wondering about your language habits. Anyone ever swear in front of their kids?

          On-Our-Shelves Sunday

          This week, we have yet another beautifully illustrated picture book on our shelves, because I love them:

          The Little Gardener

          The Little Gardener

          *affiliate link*

          By Emily Hughes

          It is ALL about the illiustrations. The story is sweet and simple, but those pictures are what got me. My kids are well beyond reading picture books, but when I am at the library and see a beautiful book, I cannot help myself for picking it up and checking it out. Simple as that.

          How about you? Do you choose books because they are pretty? What beautiful  book have you read?

          Gluten (and egg) Free Apple Oatmeal Coffee cake

          Yesterday, I went to the dentist to get a cavity filled. I haven’t had one filled in many many years, and had forgotten what it is like to be numb. After I got home, it took 4 hours for the numbing to wear off! While I was waiting, I whipped up my new favorite Gluten Free cake recipe.

          Gluten Free Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake

          I found this recipe over at Yammie’s Gluten Freedom, and made some changes to it to fit our dietary needs.

          Gluten Free Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake

          This is the recipe I used:

          1/3 cups white sugar

          1/3 cup brown sugar
          egg replacer for 1 egg
          1/2 cup vegetable oil
          1/3 cup rice milk
          1 teaspoon vanilla
          2 cups GF quick cooking oats

          1 teaspoon baking powder
          1/2 teaspoon salt

          1 teaspoon cinnamon
          1/3 cup goat yogurt

          2 apples

          Topping:

          1/2 cup GF rolled oats

          1/2 cup white sugar

          1/4 cup brown sugar

          1 tablespoon corn starch

          1 teaspoon cinnamon

          1/4 teaspoon salt

          1 teaspoon baking powder

          3 tablespoons butter

          I did not use the glaze because I thought it was sweet enough without it, and really my love of all things sweet has landed me with this cavity in the first place.

          Gluten Free Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake

          You can check out their recipe, if you can have cow’s milk and eggs.

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          Oh my goodness it is so good. This is the second one I have made with this recipe, and they both were eaten almost immediately. I held this one piece back so that I could document it for you all to see that it actually existed.

          Gluten Free Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake

          It is not the prettiest cake I have ever made, but it certainly is one of the tastiest!

          What have YOU made today?