handmade wardrobe · sewing · sewing activewear

Pine Crest Fabrics: Floral Workout Gear!

Happy Friday! Long time, no blog, I know! It’s been crazy the past few weeks – so much sewing but not a lot of sharing! I had a craft show a few weeks ago that had me in a sewing frenzy! To top that off, two of my machines were down and I had to get them serviced. But lucky for me, the sewing repair store had my dream machine on sale and I got my first “industrial” machine! It is the Janome 1600P, Janome’s version of an industrial machine, and I LOVE it. I was sewing on it 9 hours straight for three days and it was pure bliss. Eventually I’ll get around to writing a full review, because it’s a sewing machine not a lot of people know about!

I got my machines back last week (Janome HD3000 and Janome Serger) and I was able to work on this new active wear project I’m super excited to share! A few weeks ago, Pine Crest Fabrics reached out to me about trying some of their fabrics, and of course, I was intrigued. I wasn’t familiar with Pine Crest but now I’m so happy I know about them!

Pine Crest is a wholesale fabric company specializing in active wear fabrics! They offer many different types of fabrics including performance, costume, gymnastics, dance, and even medical fabric! They offer features like compression fabrics, mesh and moisture wicking – so they are pretty well rounded in the athletic fabric department. Their biggest seller, Olympus (75% Poly and 25% Spandex) was the fabric I was asked to test.

Pine Crest told me to pick a print out of their digital print library, which currently houses 7,720 different prints, and I was basically a kid in a candy store! I looked at every single print because I wanted to choose the right one. I had a list of about 10 and eventually narrowed it down to the most amazing floral print. (Yes, I skipped over the cacti prints because I really need to limit the cacti in my wardrobe) Pine Crest graciously sent me a few yards of the floral and a few yards of their solid Olympus in matching copper.

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish StitchedPine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

First things first, this fabric is stunning. The dark floral has a white backing so I was a little nervous about stretching and revealing the white underneath, but the fabric is such a wonderful weight that I had no problems! One of my biggest concerns about activewear fabric is that many tend to be too thin, and when shopping online, that’s a huge issue you can face, especially when you are sewing bottoms. Thankfully, I now know the brand to look for because this fabric is going to be my go-to legging fabric.

I can always use another pair of leggings, and there was a new sports bra on the market I wanted to try out. So for this set, I turned to Simplicity 8632. (May also appear as D0949) I love high waisted leggings, and I really liked the idea of a longer-line sports bra. With high waisted leggings, I don’t feel super exposed, and I feel like I can really bend and stretch without the fear of the back creeping down.

DSC_1032Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

This fabric is a dream to sew with. I’ve done a fair amount of active wear sewing, and while I’m not an expert, I immediately know when a fabric will work for me – and this fabric WORKED. It feels substantial without being too thick, and sewed beautifully. There was a section on the sports bra I had to unpick, and I was nervous with what that might do to the material but no problems here! And the print is stunning. I definitely made the right choice! While some printed fabrics can get blurry if done improperly, this print shows all the details including the lines on the flowers and leaves. And on a quick note- Pine Crest’s site shows you how the print will look on garments so if you are concerned with the size of the repeat, just click a few photos and see how it’ll look on a dress or bathing suit. Test it out here!

Now for the pattern details:

Sports Bra: I made a size small, and could have sized down to an XS. (I had to take the sides in a little). This is a low impact sports bra. It does not come with instructions on adding cups, but I’m sure it’s possible. This bra would be great for yoga, cycling, core workouts, but anything where you are jumping or running is probably better suited with more support. Even though the back has a really cute design, it’s better left at home on a long run. Another alteration I made was omitting the bra back closure and I just sewed the ends together. I would definitely make this bra again!

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

Leggings: Again, I made a size Small, and while I thought they fit well, after walking around a bit, I noticed something interesting…they had a lot of extra material in the knee area. Now, I do like my leggings tight, and prefer unsaggy back knees (is there an actual term for this part of the body?), so I had to go in and pin the knees in tighter. It was a simple alteration, but a strange one I’ve never encountered. I’m not sure if it was due to being petite, but you can actually see the back leg sagging on the pattern envelope so perhaps this was how they were drafted. Another note, I took about 1″ off the waistband because with my shorter torso, they were a little too high. If I make them again, I’ll probably take it off the top of the legs instead of the waistband. I also shortened these roughly 8″ to capri length because I have about 4 pairs of full length leggings and need capri length in my wardrobe! I could have sized down on these as well, but I’m a crazy person and like things suuuuper tight- they are perfectly fine the way they are!

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

Now onto my top. While the envelope made it look super cute, I was not a happy camper while making this. I know that is not what you want to hear when talking about pretty fabrics and new patterns but I need to share my honest opinion. Simplicity 8704 was not my friend. I received a few yards of the solid Olympus fabric in Copper – and it is a lighter weight than the printed material. I actually really like the contrast because you can do a lot with both and I wanted to test this fabric on a top. This fabric is a great weight for a long sleeve top or base layer because it will keep you just warm enough while you are working up a sweat.

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

I decided to make View C because it was simple, and I really didn’t want a cell phone pocket. This top started out normal, and having just made a simplicity pattern in the bra and leggings, I thought I knew what to expect. I have never worked with a pattern that made me feel so stupid. I’m a pretty confident seamstress, and have made a lot of patterns over the 12 years I’ve been sewing. The directions and photos were awful. The front pocket was a mess and I had to re-do it about 4 times. To be honest, if I didn’t already cut my gorgeous fabric, I would have thrown this project in the trash. I suffered through and got the pocket straightened out and thought I was home free. Next headache was the zipper and after needing to re-do that 3 times, I was just about done altogether.

Laying flat on my sewing table, the top was cute and looked wearable, but physically wearing it, the zipper looked all sorts of messed up, I was cringing. Being given this fabric, I wanted to make something spectacular! Especially since the fabric is so beautiful, I wanted to do it justice. But this top crushed my poor little sewing soul. I was left with two options – try to salvage it and turn it into something wearable or cut out the crop top from Simplicity D0949 and start all over.

So my refashioning brain got to work and I cut out a new front to salvage the top. I completely omitted the pocket and zipper and just made a turtleneck pullover top (the key to making this work with the neck was to use a serger so the seams can stretch!)

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish StitchedPine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

So the top is technically saved. And it’s ok, and I will totally wear it because the fabric is beautiful and having another top is great – but I will never make this pattern again. As a seamstress you never want to produce anything bad. It’s in our blood to make pretty, wearable garments where people can’t tell you made it. But more than that, when you work on a project for another company, you want everything to come out picture perfect. But if I lied and said this was the way I wanted the top to be, then I wouldn’t feel happy with myself, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you about the really great thing to come out of this.

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish StitchedPine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

For as many seams as I ripped out and re-sewed with this fabric, it looked as if I never sewed a stitch in the first place. And I ripped out a lot of seams. This fabric held up so well, I’m shocked. Sometimes with knits you can get a few holes or the fabric gets snagged when you fight your machine but I had no problems with the material. That’s the sign of a good fabric.

Now I know you are probably reading this and asking yourself, why is this girl telling me about wholesale fabrics? Because that was one of the first concerns I had about Pine Crest – where am I supposed to buy it if I fall in love?! Well, well, well – you can buy it at fabric.com – this exact print! Fabric.com does not have the solid copper, but they do offer many other color options!

Shop this floral print here:


Shop all of Pine Crest on fabric.com here:


Now, for all my sustainable lovers out there – which come on, should be EVERYONE – I was doing a little digging and came across Pine Crest’s commitment to the environment. While they do a lot of recycling within their own offices (and you can read all about their personal practices here) they also stock Repreve which is fabric made from recycled water bottles!  In their own words, “Repreve® is one of the most certified, earth-friendly fibers available in the world. High-quality, recycled Polyester yarns are made from 100% recycled materials, including post-consumer plastic bottles, pre-consumer industrial waste or a hybrid blend of both.”

Now I wasn’t able to find an online retailer selling Repreve by the yard (although this etsy shop has fabric made from water bottles), but my contact at Pine Crest let me know that they are working with fabric.com to get recycled fabrics at the retail level! How cool is that?! No word on timeline but we are becoming a little closer to getting more sustainable fabrics! If you have a local business who you think should check out Repreve – direct them here!

Pine Crest Fabric: Floral Workout Gear - Trish Stitched

Thanks so much for reading! If you try either of the patterns mentioned above, let me know! And if you make something with Pine Crest, I would love to see!

{Please note: this post may contain affiliate links. While I was given fabric to review by Pine Crest Fabrics, all opinions are my own.}

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refashion · sewing · Tutorials · handmade wardrobe · #RefashionFriday

#Refashion Friday Denim Dress Refashion

It’s the last Friday of August! Where has the summer gone?! I am always a couple steps behind when it comes to sewing for the appropriate season, so here we are again, with a garment perfect for summer. First things first, the Before & After!

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

I spotted this dress at the thrift store two weeks before I actually bought it. I passed on it the first time around because I didn’t see the potential. After I passed it by, I started seeing denim dresses everywhere and I really wanted one! Once I saw it on the rack again, I picked it up even though I didn’t have a pattern in mind.

It sat in my pile for a few weeks while deciding what to do with it. Because it was much larger than my actual size, I had a lot of material to work with and didn’t want to waste it on the wrong pattern. This piece could be something cute, but in order to stay in my wardrobe, it had to be wearable.

I started my research on denim dresses and noticed that the 2018 summer silhouettes showed a lot of dresses with the front button placket. For refashioning this dress in a similar style, my first thought was the Fiona Sundress by Closet Case Patterns. With the two different length options and different back options, this allowed a lot of design freedom to fit in with what I could make with my current dress.

I shared my thoughts on this dress on Instagram, and another seamstress suggested the Jessica Dress rather than the Fiona Sundress. I wasn’t familiar with the Jessica Dress, but after looking it up – it was a no brainer. It was so perfect for this dress.

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

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The Jessica Dress is a FREE dress pattern from Mimi G. If you aren’t familiar with Mimi G, she is basically the queen of the sewing community. She has a pattern line with Simplicity, an online sewing academy, a HUGE online following, a digital sewing magazine and she just recently started a podcast! Man, I don’t know how she does it all, but I am totally in awe! I’ve loved Mimi G for some time, and her style is fantastic (and if you have a creative business, or want to start one, her podcast is AMAZING!). I remember liking this dress when it first came out, but I didn’t take note of the pattern because I don’t normally wear dresses. But as soon as I saw looked at the pattern again, I quickly downloaded the pattern, and got to cutting!

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

For today’s refashioning tip I wanted to share exactly how I used the pattern to work with the existing dress. Most of the time, when I use a sewing pattern it becomes all about pattern placement on the original garment, and I’m not concerned with keeping the silhouette or details of the original garment. This dress was different, and I wanted to be able to use as much of the dress without cutting.

First step was to seam rip the skirt, while leaving the buttons in tack. Since this was one of the main areas I wanted to keep, it was important to leave as much of the area untouched as I could.

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

Next was to cut the bodice. I removed the breast pockets, but since the denim had faded around the original stitching lines, I knew I would have to add them back on.

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

Since the button placket already had the seam allowance in the center front, I didn’t need to include the allowance in the CF pattern piece (in the photo the seam allowance is folded in). I wasn’t paying attention to where the buttons would line up on my final dress, and the top one was a little too low for the sweetheart style (but more on that later).

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Because of the sweetheart neckline, the front bodice was cut into parts. The bodice side front kept its seam allowances and was able to fit on the rest of the denim dress bodice (and used just a little of the sleeve). I did this cutting method to both sides. I then reattached the pocket following the original stitching lines.

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

I had a lot more freedom to cut in the back of the dress, and fit the center back and side back pieces on the back of the dress. I was also able to fit the back facing pieces.

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

I followed the instructions for sewing the bodice together, just omitting the sections about the button placket. Next up was hemming the skirt, and gathering and reattaching it to fit! I didn’t need to cut any of the skirt since the pattern called for a gather skirt, it was already on the dress, I just had to gather it more than the original dress had been gathered.

Originally, I chopped 10″ off the hem, and it left me with a beautiful length. I tried the dress on with wedges, and the length was super sophisticated for my figure, but realistically, I knew I would mostly be wearing this dress with flats. The longer length in flats made me look short and stubby, which isn’t ideal. Hemming it an extra 2″ made it the perfect length for both!

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The tricky part for me was with the top button. I needed another button to close the top, but didn’t have proper spacing to make a button look good. Since this dress required a facing, I used it to add a hidden buttonhole. While it’s serving its use as a buttonhole, it is also hidden from the outside of the garment, so it looks like a much cleaner finish!

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

I really love using the existing details in a garment, especially when they are details that can save a lot of time! Making all the buttonholes and sewing them on would have added a lot of time to the project, but being able to keep the originals were a huge help!

#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion#RefashionFriday Denim Dress Refashion

I had a lot of fun sewing this piece, and it definitely tested my creativity. I’m excited to look for more dresses with front buttons and use this technique again!

A few notes on the pattern: I made a size XS, and it fits beautifully. The pattern was drafted great, and for a free pattern, the amount of detail in the instructions are amazing. What I do wish is that there were a few more details lined out for placements. There were no buttonhole placement markings and no pocket markings on the pattern pieces, which I look forward to when sewing other patterns. (I personally omitted the front skirt pockets because I thought they would overwhelm my body. ) But that’s my only issue! And since I didn’t need those bits of information, I really didn’t have an issue when making!

I would most definitely make this pattern again. I love the fit, and I love the end result!

Here’s some denim inspiration! This type of dress has a lot of options – even while keeping the buttons! One of my favorites is a collarless denim jacket – with the extra hem from a dress, you would have plenty of fabric to make long sleeves!

Links (clockwise): Denim Jacket, Denim Dress 1, Denim Dress 2, Denim Skirt, Denim Dress 3 (original link didn’t work (damn fashion website slide shows!) but search for denim dress on pinterest and you’ll find it!)

Have a great weekend!

Home Sweet Home · inspiration

New Sewing Studio!

The past few weeks have been super busy around our home! We’ve had a few inspection/ maintenance work appointments, our new couches will be here soon, and the floor in my studio was just finished!

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When we were house hunting, my main priority was finding a home with a dedicated sewing space ( I know, I know, priorities! haha). We saw a lot of houses that offered an extra room, but to be honest, the idea of having my sewing studio in a “spare bedroom” was less than desirable. I really wanted an attic space, where I could go upstairs and shut out the rest of the house and just work. Being away from the rest of the house would allow me to not look out the door and see the cleaning I had to do, or remind me to do all the laundry.

Working from home (as I talked about before) can be really daunting and overwhelming. I wanted a place I could completely transform, and an attic fit the bill. We were extremely fortunate to win the house we did, but I felt even luckier because the attic was already finished!

When we moved in, the attic was split into two, a wall down the middle, with a spare bedroom on one side and a small office space on the other. The very first thing I wanted to do was tear down the wall. And the second thing was rip up the hideous carpet.

Drew didn’t want to tear down the wall. He was super against it and was afraid we would lose value in the house. We “compromised” by agreeing to cut an arch in the wall, so the small closet would remain. THANKFULLY, the contractor was on my side about tearing it down completely, and Drew finally came to his senses.

During the home inspection, we saw that there was decent flooring under the carpet, so we thought it would be a quick staining and finishing and we would be good to go! Well, we now know why the previous owners put down carpet. The floor was painted different colors.

After realizing this project was going to need a lot more time and money than initially planned, I started getting really frustrated that my space just wasn’t ready. We decided to paint the floor, and set out researching how to DIY it, since it seemed quick and inexpensive.

After a lot of hemming and hawing, and researching paint and not finding the right color, Drew and I decided to get the floor refinished- this way we would be keeping the original floor, and it would add value back to the house.

However, the floor had a lot of problems. Not only was the paint an issue, but there were many holes and a whole section with patches of different wood. The quote we got to refinish was high, and it was suggested we get prefabricated flooring to cover it up, since there was no guarantee the paint would be able to be sanded off. We decided to do the prefab floor and went with oak flooring in an espresso stain.

And last week, my floor was finally finished and I could start moving upstairs! Here’s Before, During and After!

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I’ve been looking up studio inspiration on pinterest for months before we found a house – and after we were in contract on this house, I went all out with research, so I wanted to share some of my studio inspiration!  A lot of my current furniture won’t fit, so there isn’t too much I can bring upstairs yet. I’m planning on an Ikea trip in the next few weeks (and hopefully a stop at the Container Store!) so I’m making my shopping list now!

Here’s a few more views of my space!

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Since it’s an attic, the walls are slanted, and there’s a lot of unusable space with low ceilings, so my research is a little specific, but there’s still a lot of inspiration for any sewing space! It’s also a good thing I’m short because I can still make use of the smaller spots!

First things first. I have never had a work table, and my ironing board has always worked overtime as my general work space and ironing station. For the first time ever, I want a dedicated desk where I can pin and plan and make piles that would usually be on my ironing surface!

This is technically a kitchen island, but it’s the perfect height for a shorty like me, more affordable than traditional craft tables, and is big enough for projects without overwhelming the space!  I’ve been learning to think outside the box for researching craft room ideas and looking at kitchen islands opened up another world of options! I also wanted room for stools to sit when they aren’t in use, and this will allow me to store them underneath.

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I don’t have a traditional closet, so no room to hang anything on doors, and no hidden shelving, but this shelving from Ikea is ideal for the space! I have a few hidden storage doors where I plan on holding a lot of my fabric, but these shelves can hold trinkets, and my pretty, displayable fabrics!

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I also like the idea of floating shelves, for buttons, hardware and baskets filled with all those little sewing notions we can’t live without. The wall space I have isn’t very high, but I’ll still have room for 3-4 shelves. These from etsy would go with my space beautifully.

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I am able to use my current sewing desks, but I need a space for shipping. I mostly use poly mailers and tissue paper, so flat storage is important. I’m looking at these set-ups for inspo:

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I love all the pegboard looks, but I don’t have too much wall space for them! Something longer and shorter would fit on my wall. I love the idea of scissors and marking tools in easy to reach places!

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Half of the room doesn’t have much usable space, with the low ceiling, but there is a little bit of room for a reading nook! I can’t fit a full size chair, but some floor poufs and pillows would still make a cozy space. I need this corner to have easy to move pieces so I can still get in and out of the small door in the wall.

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I’m also trying to control my color palette. I have a lot of white, brown and black pieces, but the big pop of color that keeps coming up is green. I’ve been trying to keep those colors in mind when shopping for things like rugs, pillows for my nook and fabric baskets for my accessories. I really want to maintain a “clean look” but still leave my space open for my love of color, so it’s just another aspect to keep in mind. Ultimately, I don’t want it to look like a jumble of mismatched pieces, which is my normal look!

Planning is definitely more specific for my space, but I love being able to take inspiration and make it smaller! Any tips for perfecting my sewing room?

#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#Refashion Friday – Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

A few years ago I did this refashion, and since then, it has become one of my most popular pins on pinterest! I’ve always vowed I was going to make another pair, because I had another blouse, and every time that little notification popped up that my pin was re-pinned, it became a reminder that I have to make another pair. So this Refashion Friday, I’m sharing my other pair – and tips to make your own using a shorts pattern!

The original pair was actually my wearable muslin, because I was saving this shirt from my Grandma’s closet for “the final pair”- so now I have two awesome pairs to wear! I always felt like I would get more wear out of this pair because they are more of a neutral for me (I know, floral print as a neutral?? Floral print IS a neutral!)

#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

Since I started refashioning, I’ve learned that pieces don’t have to look anywhere near what they looked like before. There are a few ways to refashion. You can use the existing garment to alter the piece, or use a sewing pattern to transform the garment into a whole new piece. There are times when I question if using a sewing pattern is actually “refashioning”, since you are basically just using the fabric, but then I think, “oh hey, I just saved a yard of new fabric from being used” and get over my hesitation pretty quick.

Using a pattern can be a lot more work, and take longer than a simple cutting and stitching, but I think it opens up a whole new world of looking at a garment! Especially if you’ve made the pattern before, you can gauge how much fabric is needed – and plan better around existing pieces.

What I enjoy about Seamwork Nantucket is that there are only three pattern pieces. The less pieces, the easier to use smaller amounts of fabric- right?! What I learned from my first pair of Nantucket Shorts was that the back piece had to be cut in two to be able to get the pattern to fit on the garment. No pattern matching here, and if you have a print that you don’t need to match, who cares right? Of course these would look better if the pattern matched up, but it doesn’t deter from the wear of the final product.

I meant to take an actual picture, but just took a video instead. You can see on the front of the blouse, I lined up half of the back piece under the sleeve, and below was the shorts front. I mirrored this on each blouse front to get my “Cut 2”.  The back of the blouse became the second half of the shorts back and the waistband.

When you need to cut a pattern piece in two (or three’s!) don’t forget to add a little extra for seam allowance!

#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

Changes I made to the pattern:

Last time I made this pattern, I said they were too big, and next time I should size down. While I kept the same size this time around (size 0), I figured out a better way to prevent these from feeling too big. I made the waist elasticized instead of drawstring. While I like the look of the grommets in the waistband, I don’t like constantly tying and adjusting the drawstring. It’s kind of a pain since it goes in and out throughout the entire waistband.  (I also sewed buttonholes rather than insert grommets)

#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

I’ve seen a few versions of drawstring pants altered into elasticized waists, and wanted to try it out. I attached the ends of the elastic right before the center front grommet holes. I kept a faux drawstring front because I still like the look, but now I can leave it tied all the time! I’m sure there is a cleaner way to go around this, and I probably should have attached the elastic to the inside of the waistband, but you live and learn. (So if you plan on doing this alteration- learn from me! =p)

The last change I made was adding an extra half inch to the length of the shorts. My original pair was not too short, I’m just getting older and deciding to make my shorts a little bit longer.

#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

These are so easy to wear, and super comfortable. The fabric is 100% polyester, which I would expect out of these fun blouses, but the material works so well for shorts. I’ve been wearing them since I finished them, and will be wearing them the rest of the summer! They are a good lounge short, and will make for a great bathing suit cover up, if I ever get my butt back to the beach… Maybe I should just plan a trip to Hawaii as an excuse to wear these everyday!

Also, look at the fabric I have left! This will go in my scrap bag, which will be recycled into insulation!

#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

Finding a shirt to use:

I am normally an XS to S in blouses, depending on the brand, and I used my Grandma’s size Petite M blouse for this refashion. It was a more fitted blouse, so if you are on the search for what top to use, go with something bigger, to get that fabric amount you need. Another option is to use two smaller tops!

#Refashion Friday - Refashioned Nantucket Shorts Take Two!

Ready to tackle your own pair?

Inspiration:

I think every single thrift store has those tacky Hawaiian shirts that wives made their husbands get rid of. What better way to give them a new life than turning them into cute shorts! Modernize that dad style! (Shorts from Urban Outfitters.)

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If your style is a little more subtle, and some prints may be a little too “out there” for you to wear in daily life, make a new pair of PJ shorts! (Pj’s from Loft) {Bonus points to refashion a dress into a top and shorts pj set!}

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Or take a solid blouse and turn it into a chic pair of shorts! (Shorts from Roolee)

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For more inspiration, you can search pinterest for “tulip shorts”. This is the style of shorts with the overlapping seams in front. You can use any shorts pattern- but the simpler the style- the easier it’s going to be! Now go raid your local thrift shop for all the blouses/button ups!

Have a great weekend!

handmade wardrobe · sewing

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress

Hello, hello! I usually write blog posts during the day or in the early morning, but this night seems like the perfect time. I’m watching the ONLY craft show I know of, Making It, on NBC. Have you seen it? We are on week 2, so not deep into the show just yet, but it’s cute. I do wish there was a seamstress to represent the sewing community, but the makers on there are all very talented. And I am a huge fan of Parks and Rec, so seeing Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman together again is a dream come true! (Now if only Andy and April would make a surprise appearance!)

I finally took detailed photos of the dress I wore to my cousins wedding and am very excited to share!

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

I didn’t intend on making a dress. After my weight struggles, I was feeling so discouraged, I just wanted to buy a dress, but once I started feeling more myself, I wanted to show off my hard work. (I was also really scared that the dresses in my wardrobe wouldn’t fit so making a dress that fit my current measurements felt safer).

I wanted a dress to accentuate my top half, something a bit low cut and flirty, because that isn’t my typical style. I had a really difficult time finding a pattern to go with the look I wanted. The skirt portion wasn’t as important to me, but I really wanted a bodice with boning, spaghetti straps and low V neck. This style is becoming very popular in the “wedding guest dress” world and I wanted a fashionable piece rather than a timeless piece. I was also looking for a pattern that included a full lining with clean finishes. There are so few occasions that I make pretty formal dresses, that every chance to test my skills, I want to take.

I always want to make indie patterns first. They normally fit better, and have detailed sew-a-longs with the pattern in case you run into any problems. The issue with a lot of indie brands is that they don’t dive far into the special occasion dresses. Sure there are a few full length options, and some fun flirty dresses, but I couldn’t find a pattern with the structure I wanted. Needing to turn to the “big 4” of sewing patterns, my first thought was Vogue. But they didn’t have anything I was looking for! (Man, some of these patterns are really bad!!) But I finally found the perfect pattern in McCalls 7720.

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

Once the pattern was selected, I ran to Joann’s to find fabric. I knew I needed to start this dress fast, and didn’t have time to wait for shipping, so I headed to my local Joann’s where I found the perfect print. This rose print brocade was not on the “recommended fabrics” list, but I knew the pattern would be able to support the structure of the fabric.

With my measurements, I made a size 10. Normally in McCalls, I’m a size 8, but sizing up a bit was a chance I needed to take, as it’s easier to make something smaller than making something bigger! I also made a muslin of the top, because I wanted to be sure those measurements were accurate. My muslin fit well, as I was mostly concerned with the size around my torso, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fit in it once the zipper was in. Once I determined the fit was comfortable, I moved onto my fabric. The bodice came together very quickly. Even with the addition of boning, and a fully lined top, I was surprised it was a decently quick/easy sew.

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

One of my alterations to this dress was with the straps. I never understand using ribbon for straps. I get that it makes life easier, since you don’t have to turn a skinny tube inside-out, but to me, real straps give the dress a more professional feel. If you look at the actual pattern, I made the straps much shorter, meaning they don’t technically sit where the pattern calls them to sit. This was a personal preference, and in reality, I could have sized down on the bodice, but I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut.

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

My original plan was to shorten the skirt to right above the knee, to keep with my flirty vibe, but after making the skirt that came with the pattern, it was a no brainer to keep it. I just had to cut a good chunk off the bottom to align better with my height. I cut off about 3.5″. I also thought the bodice would look too “long”, but once it was pinned in place, it hit appropriately and I kept the length.

The skirt pleats were…interesting. I had to read the directions over several times because the lines just weren’t making sense. These pleats are huge. Like, really big. It makes for a VERY full skirt, and by making it in a brocade, it was super roomy. I did love that the pattern called for sewing a hem band, rather than just turning up 5/8″.

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

After completing the dress, and trying it on, I noticed there was a little gaping in the bodice, as my bust didn’t fill the bodice as it was supposed to. This alteration didn’t appear in my muslin, partially because I didn’t add the lining. I don’t think my bust measurement decreased that much within the 2 weeks I was making this dress, but that was one of the first sections of my body to go back to normal when I changed my diet plan, so the fit could be a mixture of things.

I, of course, didn’t want to take the entire dress apart to fit this issue, and I considered just leaving it, but as the point of my new dress was to show off my hard work, I couldn’t let it go. Since my dress form isn’t super true to size anymore either, I turned the dress inside out, zipped it up (which is not easy, thanks Drew), and pinned darts in place on my own body to keep it from gaping. (You can also see a little bit of pulling on the dress above the dart, which I’m not very pleased with, but my dart alteration happened the day of the wedding and I didn’t have that much time to fix it. Thankfully when I’m wearing it, it looks much better. If I remember to do so, I will go in and let the dart out on this side a bit more.)

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

This alteration wasn’t the cleanest finish, and you can certainly see where the dress was fixed, but the fit is much better this way.

I tend to stay away from alterations in finished garments, as that is an area that is super scary for me to wrap my head around. I don’t mind doing them for myself, but whenever someone asks me to fix something for more than just a simple stitch, I turn them down. I hope to get better over time, and learn the “cause and effect” of fit issues.

I LOVE the clean interior on this dress. I didn’t do any fancy seams, just finished with some serging, but you can only see them when you lift the lining. The skirt also has a very faint high-low look, which I love.

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

All in all, if I were to make this dress again, I would size down. I would also take the time to make a better muslin. I’m getting better at making a practice version, but sill need to take it further. (I’m still learning guys!) The finished dress is pretty and comfortable, and was a very easy sew, which all make me really happy with the outcome! Obviously the dress isn’t perfect, but I’m still proud of it.

The wedding itself was nice, and I’m happy the rain held off on the outdoor ceremony until we went inside! Since my grandparent’s passed, we haven’t been that close with my mom’s side of the family, so it was a little awkward, but I’m happy that my parent’s, sister and Drew make family events fun.

I was only able to get a few photos wearing the dress, but it held up well on the dance floor! We have another wedding to attend in October, and since that is Halloween month, I think having this dress to wear will make the month go smoother.

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

Drew and I have been to A LOT of weddings in the past few years, and it’s been a fun adventure. We pretty much know what we would and wouldn’t want for our “big day”, even though we aren’t engaged hah! But lets be honest here, I’ve been planning for a long time – even though I keep it in my head. I have to say, the older I get, the simpler I want my wedding to be and elopement is looking like a really great option (although that would never fly with my guy!) There are a few things I know for sure, the man I want to marry and that I want to make my wedding dress. Having practice formal dresses get me a step closer to creating my perfect dress!

Dress Details:

Pattern: McCall’s 7720

Size Cut: 10

Alterations Made: Fabric Straps, Added bust darts, Hemmed 3.5″

Fabric: Pink Roses on Black Brocade – Joann Fabrics

Coming Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish StitchedComing Up Roses Wedding Guest Dress - Trish Stitched

sewing

Visiting FabScrap!

Over the weekend, Drew and I took a little adventure to Brooklyn! Drew actually had the “day off” (well he was able to work from his phone instead of the office) and we wanted to plan a day out. I had been meaning to go to FabScrap since I read about them, and it seemed like the perfect day for a visit!

I’ve mentioned FabScrap here on the blog before, and I’m excited to share my experience and my fabric haul!

Fab Scrap

If you aren’t familiar with FabScrap, let me fill you in. FabScrap is an awesome organization that takes donations from fashion studios all over and sorts through the scraps to sell or recycle! Before FabScrap, these companies didn’t know what to do with their extra fabrics, and a lot of scraps ended up in landfills. It’s a sad reality that so much waste goes into the earth, but FabScrap is helping to get us one step closer to waste free fashion!

FabScrap has an online store, and they offer scrap packs (I bought a “warm pack” previously) but I wanted to check them out in person – and shop the collection! They are located in the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and after 10 minutes of getting lost and driving through the parking lot back and forth, we found the entrance and followed the directions to their unit.

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First things first, this building is SO COOL. With the old tracks and atrium, it’s a beautiful site, and feels like a great place for FabScrap. Drew and I walked in and came face to face with a room of garbage bags. Literally piled to the ceiling, were bags and bags of fabric! There were also a whole bunch of tables set up and some volunteers sorting through fabric. I asked about shopping and was led to a smaller room with rolls and shelves filled with fabric. I was in heaven.

Fab Scrap

I didn’t go in with a plan of attack, I was just going to look and hopefully find some pieces to buy – but I wasn’t in search of anything in particular.

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I found three pieces of home décor fabric from Kaufmann Fabrics that HAD to come home with me. These pieces are perfect for new backpacks! I didn’t think I would find any home dec fabric – but I was super surprised and happy to get these beauties!

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I also spotted this gauze-y roll that I fell in love with and had to take some home. It’s a collection of Palm Springs/California landmarks and it’s so cute! You can’t go wrong with fabric that has cacti AND dinosaurs on it!

Fab ScrapFab ScrapFab Scrap

I’m not sure what to do with this yet, I bought two of the four yards there. I don’t think I’ve ever sewn with gauze, but I’m thinking a fun summer top – what would you make?

If you can go shop in person, they are open Monday-Saturday and the prices are crazy reasonable! Fabric is priced at $5/pound ($3/pound for students), and leather and fur is priced as tagged.  My entire haul was $45 for about 9.5 yards of fabric. To buy that in store would be well over that.

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If you can’t make it to FabScrap, they are more than happy to ship fabric, and I think they will be adding more yardage online! And if you are a fan on leather- they have a TON!

There are so many beautiful fabrics saved by FabScrap, I would have no problem staying and digging all day. But we had more plans for the day that included a trip to Package Free Shop!

This is another place I’ve been wanting to go to, and it was really cool to see all the products I’ve been reading about online. I bought a few produce bags (I know, I know, I’ve been meaning to make them but haven’t gotten around to it) and was looking into cutlery sets, but don’t need to purchase them just yet.

Drew and I also had dinner at Faun! Drew’s cousin is the chef, and I may be biased, but the food is so delicious – I fully admit to cheating on my diet for dinner! If you are ever in the area – or need an excuse to go – definitely eat at Faun!

#RefashionFriday · Janome Sewing · refashion · Tutorials

Jeans to Shorts Refashion With Janome!

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who read, commented, liked, etc. my last post. That was a huge step for me to get out and I appreciate all the love. I had a great birthday, and so far a good couple days being 28! I went thrifting the other day and found a few new pieces to get my scissors on! Last night Drew and I went to my cousins wedding (yes, I made my dress!) and we are taking today off for a little adventure!

Today I have a new refashion to share with you that I worked on for Janome! As most of you guys know, I have a loaner embroidery machine from Janome (Skyline S9) and LOVE it. No, I’m completely obsessed, and I am so happy the embroidery trend is still going strong in the apparel world.

I’ve taken my love of refashioning and added a little embroidery to my latest project for Janome (and this project is where I was able to get a little more denim for my Seamwork Audrey Jacket!)

Jeans to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched for Janome

Head over to the Janome Blog to get the written instructions for this Jeans to Shorts refashion, and check out my video on YouTube! Yes, I have a YouTube channel, and I am happy to admit the quality from my first video to my second is much better – I finally took the 2 minutes to figure out how to work the video function on my digital camera!

Jeans to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched for Janome

So please subscribe, like, comment, all that good stuff, over on YouTube! I’ll be working on more videos in the future, they are so much fun!