#RefashionFriday · Tutorials

#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top

Happy Friday! And happy first #RefashionFriday of 2020! I had a different refashion planned for Valentines Day (a cozy pair of pajamas), but earlier this week I realized I didn’t have anything fun to wear for Valentine’s Day dinner with Drew. I took a look in my donation pile and spotted this cute pink dress. This dress was originally my sister’s, and she passed it along to me. I wore it twice before I decided it just wasn’t for me. I really loved the fabric but the dress was too short for me and it would ride up a bit when wearing. It’s been sitting in my closet a few years and recently moved onto the donation pile.

I see dresses like these all the time when I’m thrifting; cute, short dresses from stores like Forever 21 or H&M. A sad reality for a majority of these dresses is that the end of the line comes quickly because of the brand and the quality. So I thought I would give this dress another chance in my own closet!

#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top- Trish Stitched

I am very much a jeans and cute top kind of girl. It’s taken me YEARS to build my jean collection. A few years ago, I was focused on making my own jeans, and while that is still a goal, I just don’t have the time and energy to invest in that project right now. But instead of mall shopping, I started buying second hand jeans. I’m not sure why it took me so long to start thrifting jeans – I think it was mostly because I didn’t know my size and I don’t like to try things on in the store. But I went to Plato’s Closet and bought 3 pairs. And then went back and found 3 more! I’m figuring out my favorite styles, washes, brands and honing in on size.

But the part of my wardrobe still lacking is tops. I have all these amazing jeans but wear the same tops over and over. Not that there is anything wrong with outfit repeating, but it is still nice to have a new look every so often! Looking at this dress again, the first thought to come to mind was a peplum. I LOVE peplums. And I don’t have enough of them (although there is definitely more than one peplum project on my blog!)

#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top- Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top- Trish Stitched

To do this refashion, I separated the skirt from the bodice and cut the bottom half of the skirt off. I undid the skirt side seam and sewed the “bottom half” of the skirt into the side seam of the top half. Next I gathered the entire skirt and re-attached it to the bodice. A quick hem and you are all set!

#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top- Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top- Trish Stitched

This was a super simple refashion and can be completed in just a few hours! The best part of this refashion, it’s zero waste! Literally not one scrap of unused fabric came out of this project! There are so many options with this kind of refashion, and I plan on doing another when I find a cute dress!

#RefashionFriday Dress to Peplum Top- Trish Stitched

If you want to do this refashion I do have a few tips:

-Watch what print you use. Since you have to add in more fabric to gather, your peplum will have additional seam lines. If you have a garment with a specific print, or stripe, the seam lines will become more obvious. It isn’t a deal breaker, but just something to be aware of.

– The dress I used is stretchy, and has a side zipper that I kept on the piece. If your dress doesn’t have a zipper, you will need to add in elastic to get the dress over your bust.

-If you have a longer dress, you can make the peplum longer and incorporate something like a high-low hemline! That was my original plan but my dress wasn’t quite long enough. This also doesn’t have to be done with a form fitting dress, it would look cute in a boxy cut! But this will be completed faster with a dress that fits well.

This was such a quick fix to this dress, I should have done it years ago! I also put together a short video tutorial on my IGTV! Happy Valentine’s Day!

sewing

My Wedding Dress!

I can’t believe it has already been 4 months since Drew and I got married! Our wedding day was perfect – as was our wedding reception two weeks later. A little background, Drew and I wanted a more intimate ceremony and we said our vows on the rim of the Grand Canyon! Before Drew and I met, I had wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and when we were planning our first big vacation together, I suggested this as one of our destinations. When we first saw the Grand Canyon, I fell in love. Pictures just don’t do it justice and it is such an incredible location. We spent a day exploring, hiking and taking in all the beauty that surrounded us and it quickly became my favorite place.

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

I have always wanted a small wedding. I would have happily been married at the courthouse, but after visiting Arizona, I knew that’s where I wanted to get married. I brought the idea up to Drew before we were engaged and he was more than happy to accommodate my request (good guy right there!). But Drew wanted to have a larger celebration so we also planned a reception back in New Jersey with extended family and friends.

My Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

Since I taught myself to sew, my dream has been to make my wedding dress- and I was going to make it happen! I wanted something easy enough to walk in at the Canyon, but needed something elegant enough for our reception venue. I started researching gowns and fell hard in love with this silhouette. This was exactly what I wanted and spent weeks searching for patterns to help make this dress a reality. Then I took a pretty long break from wedding dress planning. I thought I had it all figured out. Silhouette was down- patterns found, no fabric but that wouldn’t be too hard. I didn’t need to think about the dress for a few months!

Then June came around and I wanted to start fabric hunting. I knew I didn’t want to upcycle a wedding dress, and my dream was to find reclaimed fabric. Fab Scrap totally came through and I scored three yards of this gorgeous floral mesh. I really wanted beaded fabric, but it is pricey and heavy. This material gave a similar feel of the adornment of beaded fabric, but without the weight and price tag. But I only had three yards to work with. Not one piece extra – and no way to get more. I also picked up a few yards of silk as the underlining for the mesh at Fab Scrap.

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

Now with the extra motivational kick of having my fabric, I started on my first toile. First round went well, the top needed a few major modifications but pinning it in place on my body looked cute! Then I made another toile and it was miserable. I did the changes I had to make and they did not look good. Panic mode set in. I realized that the bodice silhouette was not meant for me. And I started scrolling through Pinterest non-stop to find something else I loved. A lot of the dresses I started pinning had this gorgeous slim and more modest bodice silhouette, and I loved the vintage vibe it was giving off. (inspiration here and here)

So back to pattern shopping I went! Thankfully it was easy to find a pattern for this, and I got back to work. I loved the skirt in the inspiration photo and built a similar pattern. After a toile of the bodice, I knew I was back on the right track and felt confident in the top. The skirt needed some tweaking. I made roughly three toiles of my dream skirt and perfected the fit. And then I realized that the florals on my fabric were not symmetrical- so I couldn’t properly fit my dream skirt onto the fabric. (I tried for hours to make it work- just it just didn’t). There was NO WAY I was going to get new fabric. SO it was back to the drawing board for my skirt.

My Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

The only way I would fit my entire dress in the material would be to make a trumpet style skirt with a seam line above the knees. I had no idea if this style would work on me, but gave it a shot with two more toiles. I needed a little less flare than the pattern was giving me to fit the pattern on my fabric, so I had to tweak the bottom circle skirt multiple times. In total, I made about 10 skirts before feeling comfortable cutting into my real fabric.

To make the final dress, I wanted to make a test dress using fabrics close to what I would be working with. I bought a floral mesh from JoAnns that didn’t break the bank and created my final toile. When I was finished, I went to look in my mirror and started tearing up. It was perfect. The fit, the style, it was everything and more than I could hope for.

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

Then it was time for the difficult part: cutting out the real fabric. It took two days to cut out my fabric. I would cut one piece, freak out a little, do some more measuring, take a break, and cut another piece. If at any point I got too nervous, I stepped away. There was no room to make a mistake. Here’s the fabric with my pattern pieces on top. The spaces without pattern pieces was where I could fit back pieces. 

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

The last piece I had to cut was the back bodice, and I knew I needed to piece material together, but I needed to figure out where. I was able to make the seam line right where the sweetheart bodice ended in the back, so the seam line wouldn’t be as noticeable.

And here’s what I had leftover!

The dress was coming together beautifully. I had bought some material at Joann’s to make a test lining, and it fit so well I decided to keep that as my final lining (To go under the mesh and silk underlining). Everything was coming together, although time was getting short. I took my time with every aspect of the dress. The zipper gave me some trouble, as it was bubbling a bit. I took out the stitches and hand stitched the zipper in, and it helped with the back bubble. (Here it is before the fix)

The hardest part of sewing my dress was the hem. I had done a lot of research on horse hair braid and knew I wanted to use that to give my dress more flare. The issue with the horse hair braid was that it requires a very small hem, which scared me to death. I had to cut the bottom of the dress almost exactly where I needed it to fall. I had my mom pin the hem for me, but it didn’t come out even, so I had to pin it myself. Thankfully I had a dress form, so I put the height of the form to the height of my body. It took so many hours to get the hem right. It was literally perfect. I did let the dress “rest” before hemming, but it still grew just a little bit by the time I was wearing it for our reception. I finished my dress the night before we left for Arizona, although I had to do a little bit of hand stitching while we were there.

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

I am so in love with my dress, and am so SO happy I decided to make it. I am a true procrastinator, but every single step I took was the step I needed to take to end up with this beautiful result. I am so proud of this dress.

Pattern info: The bodice is McCall’s 6838, and the skirt is a modified McCall’s 7569. The skirt was a mix of pattern pieces from both of these patterns, I took the pencil skirt from 7569, and mixed both bottoms/tails to get the final skirt. I tried to remove as many seam lines from the skirt to keep it sleek.

(The following four photos are from our New Jersey reception with photographer Jenna Wilde Photography)

My Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish StitchedMy Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

Extra Info: I wanted a little more bling and added a belt from David’s Bridal. The belt actually cost more than my fabric! I also wore a pin on my lining that was my Grandma’s. My “something blue” was floral hanger straps I sewed into the dress. My shoes were from DSW, rose gold to match my ring. Yes, I wore heels at the Grand Canyon, I didn’t want to be so short next to my 6’ tall husband!

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

And one of my favorite parts, feeding each other cheesecake at the Grand Canyon!

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

Everything was perfect, I’m so happy to finally be married to my best friend!

My Wedding Dress - Trish Stitched

Grand Canyon Photos from Jane in the Woods Photography.

Uncategorized

My Future With Refashioning

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for the past 5 months, and every time I write something out, I am overcome with fear. Fear that people won’t like me, fear that people won’t “get” me. It’s a similar fear I had when I first started posting my sewing projects over 13 years ago. And then I was greeted with a rush of encouragement and love on what I made, even if it was a simple dress. And that’s what I love so deeply about the sewing community. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been sewing for a day or most of your life, you will find someone like you- someone who gets you and wants to love what you make. But here I am, back at the fear again, feeling like I will be met with a different result.

For the past few months I’ve been in a pretty dark place. As you can see, I haven’t posted much and I haven’t done much sewing at all. Because I don’t want people to misinterpret my intentions in the upcycling world.

There has been a lot of talk over the past months within the sewing and refashioning community about people buying the wrong size clothes in thrift stores to refashion. I’ve seen a lot of judgement, a lot of hate, and a lot of education.

The first thing we do when we are criticized is we defend ourselves. I do not intentionally buy larger clothes to refashion. I’m 4’9″, and even clothing in and around my size look large (long) on me because I’m short. But this isn’t an excuse for how people see things online. I understand the criticism, and want to strive to be a better role model.

I can’t take back certain pieces I’ve refashioned from the past, but I can continue to do better.

I will be deleting what I can of those posts. Not just for my own well-being, but so no one will be inspired by those makes. I apologize to anyone I’ve upset by those posts, and appreciate those who are kind in their education about the topic.

And now, I will be getting back to creating. Because I need to for my own mental health. And going forward, I am keeping in line with the intentions that I’ve been setting out for myself over the past years. I want to use pieces from my family. I took clothes from my grandma after she passed, and have quite a few from my mom when she cleaned out her own closet. My grandmas clothing is filled with the smell of 50+ years of smoking. Unsuitable for donating, but to me they are still special. I also want to use pieces that have problems (holes, stains, etc) and need love, or those that are on their way to the landfill. There are so many old, worn out clothes that are tossed every day. I will be extremely mindful of size when thrifting pieces to refashion, as well as true vintage pieces that should be put into the right hands for repair.

Thankfully now there are resources like Fab Scrap, and other shops all across the world and online for sustainable sewing. And I’ve been shopping reclaimed textiles much more recently to make projects that require more materials. Refashioning isn’t, and shouldn’t be, going away. I am so happy to be part of a community that wants to say goodbye to textile waste & slow down fast fashion. It’s been my fight for years, and will continue to be.

I cannot tell anyone how to shop, but I can (and will) encourage a better philosophy when refashioning.

One more note that I have to mention. We are a world full of many different opinions. There are so many times in a single day when we can disagree with someone. You may not agree with what I’m saying, or what others have to say on this subject, but please be kind. There is no need for harsh language or eye rolling emojis when disagreeing with people. Sometimes the best results come from people who speak thoughtfully on their position, without shaming and name calling. I want our world to be better, and I strive to make myself a better person every day.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I hope you will join me on my journey to a more sustainable future.

And with that, I want to share some facts!

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For more information and resources please check out the following sites:

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/

https://www.smartasn.org/

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/explore/fashion-and-the-circular-economy

https://globalfashionagenda.com/

If you have some more time, you can watch a few documentaries :

Unravel: The Final Resting Place of Your Cast-off Clothes (short documentary)

The True Cost

Janome Sewing · Tutorials

Embroidered Wedding Jacket – Made with Janome!

Happy New Year! I’m popping in with a quick little post today sharing one of my favorite projects from last year: my wedding jacket!

A few months before the wedding, I was searching on pinterest and came across some beautiful painted wedding jackets. I absolutely love the idea, but I am not a painter. So I turned to my embroidery machine! For this quick upcycle I used a jacket from my own closet, a beautiful file from Urban Threads and the most amazing sewing machine, the Janome Memory Craft 15000!

This is an easy project and with different embroidery files, can be made for so many occasions! Weddings, graduations, birthdays, or just to create a one of a kind piece to treasure!

You can get the tutorial here!

Embroidered Wedding Jacket - Janome - Trish StitchedEmbroidered Wedding Jacket - Janome - Trish StitchedEmbroidered Wedding Jacket - Janome - Trish Stitched

Photos taken by our incredible photographer Jane in the Woods. 

#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Actually, I can believe it- things have been a little hectic. Since my last blog post in August, I finished making my wedding dress, got married on the rim of the Grand Canyon and spent two weeks exploring National Parks with my new husband. Of course, there was a lot more that happened in the past few months, but those are some of the more notable moments!

I will definitely share my wedding dress/the process of making it when I get back some more photos! (But I will leave a few down below if you haven’t seen any on instagram)

While making my wedding dress, I had a lot of refashioning ideas, but didn’t have time to make any of them because my dress took way longer than expected. After my dress, and all the wedding planning, I didn’t feel like being creative at all! The past couple weeks I have been re-organizing life, sewing through a little bit of my stash (projects that have been on my list all year!) and designing new bags for my shop.

For a few months now I’ve been eyeing “tier dresses”, dresses with 2-3 gathered layers, and have been falling in love with the style. I was doing some pattern research and came across the Myosotis Dress and really fell in love! But before spending money on another pattern, I wanted to test how the dress style would look on me. Enter this sweet denim dress I picked up earlier in the year.

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

This denim dress was very well loved – the denim has been washed a number of times and it has several stains, but I really loved the bodice detail and the velvet collar. It was a size small, so I didn’t have to do much fitting to it, but I was able to use the skirt for the look I wanted. I went off this photo for inspiration.

First step was to re-size the bodice a bit on each side. I also removed the skirt from the bodice and took out the pleats in the original skirt. The first tier of the skirt came out to be 10.5″ long. I gathered the skirt and reattached the first tier.

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

To make the second tier a little bit of a quicker process, I measured from the bottom up to keep the original hem. I had to add about 7” to both side seams of the second tier to add more material to gather. There are additional seam lines on the sides, but I don’t mind. The second tier measures in at 9″.

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

I also re-sized the sleeve slightly and took out a few inches on the shoulder. After that, I re-attached the ties to the side seams and my refashion was complete!

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

I really love the style on me, I just have to be sure to watch the length. Going too long with this style dress can make me look frumpy, so a style right above the knee works well! I also need to watch the amount of gathering in each tier. I’ve had this issue before- adding too much gathering makes me look childish, so for me, it’s all about moderation with gathering!

This refashion came together quickly and would be easy to do with so many dresses! I could also see this as a cute upcycle for kids!

 

Looking for a little more inspiration? Here are some awesome tier dresses:

Have a Seamwork Account? This Amber Dress is so cute – I love the multi colored layers, another option for upcycling!

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This tutorial from peek-a-boo pages can be easily adapted for an upcycle project!

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Sara from The Sara Project also created a tier dress tutorial with trim!

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Happy Friday!

And here are some photos of our wedding and honeymoon! I will blog more about all of this soon!

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#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#RefashionFriday Romper to Dress!

It’s been two and a half months since my last refashion and in that time I’ve had three failed refashions. It has not been an easy time for me to be honest, because these projects really took a toll on my confidence. The projects didn’t work out because either the style didn’t work for my body or I didn’t plan the refashion well enough and didn’t realize how something would fall after a piece was removed.

It’s such a creativity killer to have a failed project. And it makes it harder to go into a new project because I don’t want to keep failing. I went into this refashion with little confidence, and little knowledge of how it would turn out.

In its time, this romper was probably really cute. It was a whole outfit of shorts, top and jacket put together in one piece! But time (and weather) did not treat it well. The shoulders had sun damage and the side had a few holes in it. But I loved the details like the fabric covered buttons and the mix of striped and solid fabric – and that bias trim was perfection!

#RefashionFriday Romper to Dress Refashion- Trish Stitched

I’ve had this piece in my closet for months because I really wanted to do something special with it. I had gone through several rounds of ideas with this piece, but ultimately cut into it with a general idea and no real plan. I figured it would either work or not but I had to try. A lot of my ideas would only work with more fabric, so I became a little limited. The one idea that remained consistent was turning the shorts into a skirt so that was my first step!

I really wanted to play with the jacket collar, and was hoping to keep the bias shown, but since it was attached to the “wrong side”, turning it out showed the facing. I tried to think of ways to hide the facing but nothing looked clean, so I scraped the idea and decided to turn the collar into the neckline. The only way to make this work would be to have the top curve of the collar turn into the shoulder seam.

Since I was moving the neckline, I had to re-cut the bodice front and back, which I was not expecting to do. I am not a pattern drafter, and don’t like going off my own patterns so this step made me SO nervous. I drafted a simple bodice front and back with a new curved shoulder. I mimicked the curve on the back so that I was able to remove the shoulder sun damage. I did this step fairly early on, and had to go back in a few times to re-size it.

#RefashionFriday Romper to Dress Refashion- Trish Stitched

After stitching the bodice together, I had to re-attach the zipper, and gather the skirt. After reattaching the skirt, I wanted to finish the piece off with a belt! The belt is attached to the side seam of the dress. It loops around the back once, then the front and finally ties in the back. I had just enough fabric from the bottom of the “jacket” to make the belt – and kept the original ties!

#RefashionFriday Romper to Dress Refashion- Trish Stitched

This refashion was a huge experiment. I had no idea if it would work but I think the end result is cute! While I love how the idea turned out, I have to admit, it is no where near perfect. This is a piece that looks great when you first put it on, but over time and with movement, things shift and don’t look quite right. You can tell from the photos that the belt scrunches the front and it doesn’t lay nicely. If I adjust and stand perfectly still, it looks great, but that isn’t wearable. There are a few other issues with this dress, the armholes got cut a little strange and the back feels too high up, but I really wanted to share this piece.

#RefashionFriday Romper to Dress Refashion- Trish Stitched

There are so many times in refashioning where ideas and projects don’t work out. It’s unfortunate when you put so much time and energy into a project but it doesn’t come out how you want it to. When that happens I think “the point of refashioning was to save the garment, and now that it failed you just wasted more fabric”. But I’m not chalking this up to a failed garment. I’m putting this project aside and thinking, let’s try that again! Just because this one didn’t come out perfectly doesn’t mean the next one wont.

Refashioning isn’t perfect. It’s far from it! There are so many things that could (and do!) go wrong. But one of the reasons I love refashioning so much is because it challenges my mind and tests my skills. I love looking at a garment and thinking, what else could this become?

So while I won’t be wearing this garment out on the town, I’m happy that I keep taking chances with refashioning. I think it’s an important lesson about sewing in general- you always have something to learn.

handmade wardrobe · Make Nine · sewing

Summer Floral Rumi Tank Dress

It has been some time since I’ve shared a finished project! And it certainly has been awhile since I finished something. I’ve actually been doing a lot of sewing, but a lot of projects  haven’t worked out. Since I’ve had a few fails, I needed something easy, quick and “fail proof”.

If there’s one thing I’ve been wanting in my wardrobe for years it’s been simple “throw on and go” dresses in summer. I thought I found it a few years ago in the Ebony Dress from Closet Case Patterns – and while I love this pattern, it isn’t as perfect as a dress for me (the top fits well but the dress is a little too flowy). I’ve had my eye on the Rumi Tank Dress from Christine Haynes for a year! I actually found it while searching for a replacement for my favorite summer dress that got a huge stain on. This pattern features a fitted tent silhouette, with a racer back and a separate hem band.

I took a trip to the new Fab Scrap store in Manhattan last month with the intention of finding fabric to make the Rumi Tank Dress and scored this awesome bright pink floral print! Typically pink is not my color – but it’s been growing on me over the years. I snagged two yards of it and went to work on my Rumi.

Summer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish Stitched

Rumi sizing made me a little nervous. I’m used to sewing a bigger size in commercial sewing patterns (I can range between a 6-8) but in indie patterns I usually cut a 0 or 2. I cut a size 6 in Rumi. Mostly because my fabric didn’t have as much stretch, but any smaller and the top would have been fairly tight. The only adjustment I made was in the dress length. To make it a little more petite friendly, I cut 2″ off the dress, but left the hem band the same length. This made it perfectly above the knee!

Summer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish StitchedSummer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish StitchedSummer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish Stitched

Construction of this dress is quick – the longest step was attaching the neck and arm bindings! At first I thought the neckline would come too low, but it’s actually flattering where it falls. If you do want a higher neckline, that isn’t a hard adjustment to make.

Summer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish StitchedSummer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish Stitched

This fabric is beautiful. I don’t have an exact content, but it’s similar to a stretch cotton, with a little more weight. I had enough fabric for the hem but it would have more seam lines. I had some fabric from my Fab Scrap Yard Pack I bought awhile back, and it perfectly matched the dress!

I really love this pattern, and am excited to make more versions. I love that I can throw on a sports bra, sandals and this dress and look put together. I’m also looking forward to making some tank versions. Now that I know it’s a good fit, it’ll be easy to make a few for casual wear and a few for running! And I’m pretty happy to cross another make off my Make Nine List!

Summer Floral Rumi Tank Dress - Trish Stitched

Shop Fab Scrap HERE

Shop Rumi Tank HERE