refashion · self-less sewing · sewing

#RestyleExchange2017 – Refashioned Skirt to Top

Happy Monday! It was an incredibly long and frustrating week since my mom was admitted to the hospital last Monday night with stomach pains. She will be ok, and there is nothing life threatening going on but it still scary. All of this has caused me to be away from my sewing studio for the week and in need of a little pick me up- so I thought I would write a blog post!

A few months ago, Amy and Pilar blogged about a new refashioning project. I specifically remember seeing it and saying “oh, how cool would that be? Too bad I’m way too inexperienced sewing for other people”. Amy reached out on Instagram saying that I should join in, and then I said, “well, why not?”. So I was in. I actually really like the idea of it, and all in all, it tested my creativity but it also caused some major stress.

My partner (Elizabeth from @polished_kiwi) sent two items: a brown polka dot skirt and an orange dress bottom. If you received two pieces in the mail, the idea was to combine them – not make two separate things. Every single which way I tried to combine these two pieces it screamed Halloween and I didn’t know how to make it stop. My first idea was to make a wrap skirt. This way sizing wouldn’t be a total issue (since wrap skirts are fairly adjustable) and it could still be worn to work (which is something my partner was looking for). So I spend an entire day turning the orange fabric into a wrap skirt. And at the very end of the day – I was not happy. There isn’t even photo evidence because I was so unhappy.

It wasn’t shaping right, and I had an idea to do a front ruffle in the brown polka dot but every time I tried adding it in, it looked like an apron. So I banged my head a little bit and left my sewing studio. If this was a project for myself, I would have given up at that point. I was so overwhelmed by the thought of making something out of whatever fabric I had left and couldn’t think of anything new to do since the wrap skirt had already taken me a few weeks to come up with. So I did what any block – minded seamstress does and went on pinterest.

I looked up brown and orange outfits, just to get an idea of how to combine the two pieces. A top came up (that I can’t find now) and I fell so hard in love. I loved the idea of a top with pretty detail on the bottom. The fabric was way too lightweight to play around with embroidery (so using my embroidery features were out) – and I was running out of time and materials to mess up – so I thought about adding the polka dot skirt to give it some pizazz. Luckily one of the rules of the exchange was that you could use extra material that was already in your stash, and I pulled out a white knit lace that I bought last year.

I went through my pattern collection to see if there was a top pattern I already had that would work, but after not finding anything, I looked to Seamwork. Seamwork Greta was perfect! A little flowy so sizing didn’t have to be spot on, an even hem so I could add my extra fabric to it, and a cute little pocket!

Restyling Exchange 2017 - Trish Stitched

Restyling Exchange 2017 - Trish StitchedRestyling Exchange 2017 - Trish Stitched

I decided to make a scalloped hem because I thought it would look really cool with the lace being scalloped around the flower pattern from the white lace. I used the tutorial from Megan Neilsen (which is really great, btw) and even though they aren’t perfect, it wasn’t too bad for my first try with scallops!

Restyling Exchange 2017 - Trish StitchedRestyling Exchange 2017 - Trish Stitched

In total, this project took two full days (one of them being a complete waste) and a lot of head scratching, cursing, and fighting with the fabric and my sewing machine. Overall I’m pleased with the result and still surprised with myself that I could actually bring those two fabric choices together in a cute top that isn’t just for Halloween. I haven’t yet heard back from my swap partner, even though the package says “delivered”, and I haven’t yet received the project made for me (my partner is still working) so while I’m happy I participated, I wish there was a little more involvement with the other girls I worked with.

What I did enjoy about this project was seeing everyone else’s makes! It was fun to see partners share their work and what others made for them (even though it made me a little jealous that they had more fun than I did!) To see other makes, look up #restylingexchange2017 on Instagram!

Would I do this again? Ask me later, I need time to clear my mind from this round! I’m just so unfamiliar with sewing garments for other people that I put a lot of pressure on myself. The thing about blogging is, you never see the garment up close. You only see what’s in a photo and while I feel my makes are good and “professional looking”, giving a finished item to another seamstress to wear and critique is very scary. It’s also nerve wrecking to be sure you are making something the person will love and wear!

In other news, I have a couple projects coming up that I’m really excited about – which means I have a ton of work ahead of me! What are you working on?

3 thoughts on “#RestyleExchange2017 – Refashioned Skirt to Top

  1. That sounds so stressful! But the result looks so cute 🙂 I really liked this challenge and considered joining in, but I was too worried I’d come up with nothing decent and there probably wouldn’t be a partner for me in my country. So maybe next time when I feel more confident about sewing for other people.

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    1. Thank you Karin! Where are you from? The organizers did a great job at partnering “like-sized” sewists, so I’m happy I wasn’t thrown for too much of a loop with sizing! If there is another round, I encourage you to try! I know it might not seem like it from this post, but now that my nerves have calmed and it’s all over, I’m happy to have done it. I think (almost) everyone had a similar fear of sewing for someone else, so we were all in it together!

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      1. I’m from the Netherlands, which is a tiny country to begin with! Thanks for the encouragement, I did really like the idea so if there’s a next time I might give it a try 🙂

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