refashion · sewing · handmade wardrobe

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion

We are in the thick of wedding season right now, and Drew and I attended our second wedding this past weekend. When the invitation arrived, it called for black tie attire and my first thought was “oh crap, what do I wear?”. My second thought was “oh yes, what do I get to make?!”

The first step was to research what black tie actually meant, and I stopped at Rent the Runway for some inspiration. There was nothing I fell in love with but I did get a better sense of what was appropriate. Generally full length dresses but not ball gowns. This wedding was also when I would be meeting Drew’s boss and co-workers, so anything revealing was out of the question.

Of course, time went on and I still didn’t start making anything. The Spring/Summer is a really busy time at work so it just wasn’t in the cards to make a full handmade dress. I rummaged through my closet just for materials I could re-use, and instead came across the bridesmaids dress I wore for my cousins wedding.

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

This was not my favorite dress. It was short, and the color wasn’t meant for someone pale, but the top had some beautiful detail. I thought it would be a great base to start with, and all I needed to do was add a new skirt!

I started looking for fabric online, with the idea of a print in mind (since that’s my style) and needed something to match the “champagne” color. I wasn’t finding exactly what I needed so I went shopping in my own stash! I came across a print that was left over from this dress, and everything fell into place.

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

This refashion was so simple – and it resulted in something so different from the original piece! I took a maxi skirt sloper I made for my black maxi to make the skirt- just a basic sloper with darts removed.

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish StitchedBridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

I was able to leave the zipper in place and sew the skirt right to the zipper, making this dress – FREE! I also wore the same shoes that I wore as a bridesmaid!

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

The wedding was stunning. It was a very intimate ceremony and reception – we were part of the 75 invited guests. It was a fun night of dancing, with the Empire State Building so close by.

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish StitchedBridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

I do have one more formal wedding coming up in November, another of Drew’s co-workers. I’m really hoping I have time to make the Leanne Marshall pattern I picked up, but fall is another busy time at work, so I will have to get started soon!

Have a great weekend!

refashion · Tutorials

Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe – Dress to Top Refashion

Hello, hello! Earlier this month I received an email from Heather, who writes the blog Feathers Flight, about doing a Refashioning Blog Tour! If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know I love refashioning, so I was in! Heather & Kali (from Kali Nicole Creative) are hosting “Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe” and a giveaway!

The idea is to transform current pieces in your wardrobe to make them summer ready! We all have those pieces in our closets that we love, but don’t really wear – and this is a great idea to take some of those pieces and transform them into something for summer!

I am trying to weed out my wardrobe and after Me Made May, did a huge clothing binge. I decided to get rid of some of the dresses I used to wear years ago, but didn’t get much use out of lately. There were a few in particular I decided to keep because I love the prints, and wasn’t ready to see them go. I decided the best way to keep them in my closet, and get to wear them again, was with a super simple refashion!

Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

I bought this dress years ago at Target, and wore it a lot when working retail, but haven’t had a chance to wear it in years.  My closet is overstocked with dresses, but I needed some “going out” tops for fun summer nights. Turning a dress into a top is so easy, it’s really just a quick hem job- but I’ve listed a few tips to make the sewing easier!

First thing’s first. Put your dress on! I like to imagine the outfits that I would put together with my new top; is it something I will wear more with shorts, jeans or tuck into a skirt? For this particular dress, I would most likely wear with jeans, so I didn’t want to make it too short. Put on a bottom that will work with the refashioned piece and in front of a full length mirror, fold the hem up to where you would like the new piece to lay.

Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

After finding a good hem, pin in place while still on your body. This will be “final hem”, not where we are actually making the cut. Take the dress off and measure how much of the hem you pinned up. Since I get nervous about making something too short, I usually add an extra two inches to the pinned hem. You can always cut more off, but adding more to the hem is difficult!

Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedRefashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedRefashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

I prefer to do 1″ hems, with the raw edge folded up 1/2″ and then folded again to enclose the raw edge. If your dress has a lining, you will want to use the same measurements for the outer layer to hem the lining.

Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedRefashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

Give your new top a quick press and you are ready to show off your refashion!

Refashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedRefashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedRefashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

I’ve done a few dress to top refashions, so this idea is really full of possibilities!

Dress to Top Refashion:

Floral Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

Dress to Cardi Refashion:

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Thanks for stopping by my blog! Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway over at Feather’s Flight and Kali Nicole Creative!

handmade wardrobe · sewing

Sew Together For Summer – Simplicity 8084 Silk Shirt Dress

Over the past year I’ve acquired three silky prints in my fabric collection – and I had images of all three of them becoming dresses. I’ve actually been wanting to make a shirt dress with one or more of them, but other, more pressing projects always got in the way. When the Instagram challenge #sewtogetherforsummer came up on my feed, I thought it was just the excuse I needed to finally make my dream shirt dress!

This challenge was introduced a few months ago, and I said to myself “I have so much time…I’ll wait to start”. Why. Why do I always say that?? Please tell me I’m not the only one to procrastinate! I actually did shirt dress research way back when the challenge started so I had my pattern ready to go, but didn’t decide on a fabric choice until yesterday morning!

Since I knew I wanted to sew with one of my silky fabrics, my pattern options became limited since a wide range of patterns were more suitable for chambrays or cottons. After looking over a ton of shirt dress patterns, I came across Mimi G’s Simplicity 8084 and loved the cleanliness of the pattern. The buttons were covered up with a placket as to not disturb the look of the fabric, and it had sleeves, which is something I was looking for!

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This was my first time sewing with a Mimi G pattern, and I enjoyed it! I will say, when the pattern said there was a youtube sew-a-long, I was expecting a little more than a 30 minute video. It did help me with my problem areas (sewing on the plackets and collar) but I think I’m used to the super detailed sew-a-longs from indie patterns, so I expected more.  This was just a small observation I had, definitely not a deal breaker if you are thinking about making this pattern! I’m happy the video was even offered!

In general, the instructions were good, again there were some parts I think could have had more detail but construction was pretty painless! The dress took a full day to construct, it actually took a few hours just to cut my fabric as I was being super careful to get the print even.

Sew Together For Summer - Simplicity 8084 Silk Shirt Dress - Trish StitchedSew Together For Summer - Simplicity 8084 Silk Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

There is one thing I need to point out for my petite friends. When I was tracing the pattern, I knew I would have to shorten the dress a bit. When I know I need to do this, I pay close attention to the “shorten here” lines, because I know I will use them. This pattern is so petite friendly!! There are actual lines that say fold here for petite! I didn’t specifically measure how much I was taking out, but I think it was about an inch – which was just enough! I figured I would take the hem up a little if needed, but I didn’t even need to do that! (For taller seamstresses, you may want to consider lengthening the pattern). I don’t remember the last time I sewed a Big 4 pattern without making some sort of fit alteration that wasn’t included in the pattern. So huge props to Mimi G & team Simplicity for the fit on this one!

For reference, I’m 4′ 9″ ish and cut a size 10.

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The only thing I didn’t do was make the drawstring out of my fabric. I have SO MUCH of this twill tape that I like to use it every time I need a drawstring. It’s much faster, and I like the contrast it offers.

I’ve mentioned before I don’t really wear dresses, but this has such a casual yet put together feel that it isn’t just a summer dress I’ll only wear once a year. I needed a go-to dress that I could just grab out of my closet if needed and this is it!

I picked up the fabric from Pendleton Woolen Mills in Oregon – it was on sale for $5/ yard. Guys, it’s SILK! For $5/yd! If I sewed with silk more often, I would have bought so much more but I contained myself! I’ve started buying fabric in place of objects as souvenirs when on vacation – so I’ll consider this my Oregon trip dress!

Sew Together For Summer - Simplicity 8084 Silk Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

I also have to re-press the placket down, I see it’s peaking open in my photos! I finished this dress last night and made Drew wake up early to photograph my dress for the challenge deadline (today!). He’s a good sport.

Looking for some shirt dress inspiration? Check out the hashtag #sewtogetherforsummer on Instagram!

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?

handmade wardrobe · Janome Sewing · sewing

Mauve Embroidered Dress

Drew and I have three weddings to attend this year, the first (this past weekend) being his childhood friend where he was a groomsman, and the next two are for his work friends. When we got the invitation for the first wedding, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to make a new dress since I didn’t have a fun flowy dress that felt beach wedding appropriate. I had an inspiration photo from a piece I saw on Instagram and loved the feel and shape of this and set out to find something similar in a pattern. I also loved the embroidery and was excited to use my Janome Skyline S9.

For this dress, I was debating between two different patterns: the Acton Dress and Vogue 9252. Since I knew I wanted to do embroidery, I needed a bodice who’s lines would work with the designs I wanted to add. The Acton Dress lines looked tough to add embroidery and didn’t have the skirt I was looking for, so that’s where Vogue 9252 came in. The top had the same feel, but the skirt was flowy and fun. I actually noticed Vogue 9252 from Hannah over at Palindrome Dry Goods, who’s version is so pretty!

Mauve Embroidered Dress - Trish Stitched

This dress was “very easy” just as the pattern states. I was a little nervous since my last vogue make was very labor intensive and I was hoping that “easy” meant easy! I made a size 12 with a B Cup, which is definitely larger than I thought I would need to make but sizing was fairly accurate. I had to bring it in on the sides by 1.5″ each, so if I made a size 10, it probably would have been just right. I also shortened each bodice piece by 1″ to sit more at my waist. This dress is longer on my petite body than it should be but I actually love how long it came out in back. Something to keep in mind if you are making it, the hem will be higher on someone taller than 5′!

Mauve Embroidered Dress - Trish StitchedMauve Embroidered Dress - Trish StitchedMauve Embroidered Dress - Trish Stitched

Fabric came from Fabric.com, it’s a really stunning Mauve Rayon that was super easy to sew with and took embroidery very well. It has wonderful drape and I only needed to add lining to the bodice. What sold me on this fabric was the color. Just between purple and pink, it was different, and not a color I had in my wardrobe. (Click the link below to see the fabric!)


 

For the embroidery, I was pretty set on having designs on the top neck and the bodice edge, and was interested in something in the center, but it was hard to find exactly what I was looking for. I stumbled upon the Art Deco designs from Embroidery Library and fell in love! I used Art Deco Floral Border for the bottom bodice and Art Deco Floral Corner for the neck. After sewing the two pieces, I thought adding something in the middle might be too much, so I kept it simple.

Mauve Embroidered Dress - Trish StitchedMauve Embroidered Dress - Trish StitchedMauve Embroidered Dress - Trish Stitched

There were a few things I wish I thought about when making this dress. I totally forgot to add the pockets. I made the skirt, and then remembered the pockets. Since I serged all the seams, instead of ripping them apart, I just left the pockets out. Which isn’t a big deal, but I would have loved to have them. I also wish I thought more about finishing the seams in the skirt. Since this is a high-low hem, you can see the interior of the skirt. It isn’t a deal breaker, but the dress would look more professional with cleaner seams than serged edges. But, every project has it’s lessons and I’m still super happy with the finished dress.

The wedding was at a Yacht Club in Stone Harbor, NJ. It was a beautiful day; warm but windy! The bride looked stunning, and Drew and I had a great time celebrating with the couple. This dress on the dance floor was so perfect. The skirt was flowy and made it breezy when dancing and I loved having straps so I wasn’t pulling the dress up all night long.

Mauve Embroidered Dress - Trish Stitched

The next wedding is Fourth of July weekend- I’m still debating making a dress for this one. It’s black tie and I definitely don’t have anything formal enough, but don’t know if I have time to make a new piece. I was planning on wearing my Black Floral dress, but it isn’t quite dressy enough. I know I have to decide pretty soon…any suggestions?

handmade wardrobe · Me Made May

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts

Thirty- One days of wearing handmade. At the beginning of the month, the idea of Me Made May is super fun and doable. You have these grand plans in your mind to wear a great outfit everyday and take an awesome photo – and after like, three days, you are so over it. I am always excited for Me Made May because the past few years it’s really shown me where I’m lacking in my wardrobe, and this year was more eye-opening.

I really love how my Instagram feed changes over the month of May, and I find a bunch of new people to follow through the hashtag #mmmay17. It’s also awesome to see what patterns other sewists love to make, and I put a few patterns on my mental sewing list. The Ogden Cami was definitely added to that list as well as the Blackwood Cardigan.

Below is a round up of almost all my looks from Me Made May 2017:

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Week 4:

Day 22: Tribal Print Oslo (Repeat)

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 23: Floral Sports Bra (unblogged)

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 24: Kimono

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Day 25: Ginger Cargo Jeans

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 26: Refashioned Trench

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Day 27: Mandy Boat Tee

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 28: Black & White Sloan Leggings (unblogged)

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 29: Floral Shorts

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 30: Embroidered Astoria

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

Day 31: Floral Refashioned Romper

Me Made May Week 4 & Thoughts - Trish Stitched

This year, it became really obvious to me what doesn’t get worn in my wardrobe. Like, glaringly obvious. I don’t wear most of the clothing in my wardrobe. I LOVE everything in my closet, but things just doesn’t get worn and I’m trying to figure out how to solve this problem.

I’ve done a lot of cleaning out, and have gotten rid of so much over the years, even handmade pieces but my closet is still over-flowing with clothes that have no use to me. I hate saying, “oh, I’ll just get rid of it”, because the truth is I still need some spring dresses and formal pieces, even though I don’t wear them every week.

Since starting to sew, any time an occasion came about, I would make something new. It was a chance to make a new pattern, buy new fabric, and of course, write a new blog post and take pretty pictures! But because I don’t wear these special pieces that often, they get made and worn once and then sit in my closet!

I think the next step in my handmade wardrobe is being really honest with myself about what needs to go. I’ve been dabbling with the idea of the Wardrobe Architect for years, and have mentioned doing it before here, but have not taken the time to participate. I’m also interested in “The Curated Closet“, but have some major reservations about it.

I will not turn my wardrobe into a monotone look. I love color and I love prints and that isn’t going to change. But I want to take away certain lessons from both of these projects: I want to define my style and shapes, and I want to weed out the pieces that I can do without (like a ton of dresses).

This past weekend, I did another closet binge and have created three categories for items I’m discarding.

  1. Donate: there are many pieces in my closet that are old, but still very usable. I do not throw away garments, but prefer to donate in the local bins. To be honest, this isn’t the ideal situation because I know a lot of these clothes still don’t go to proper homes, but it’s a chance for the pieces to live a new life.

2. Sell: I do have some pieces from designer labels, very low price designers but they are good enough quality that they can be sold online. My sister and I recently sent in our first bag to ThreadUp and we were very happy with the result. If you aren’t in a rush to get your money, and have good quality clothing, this is a great option. I don’t have the time to set up apparel on a site like Poshmark or ebay, so being able to send my clothes to someone else to sell is helpful. Even if I don’t get as much money as selling myself, that isn’t really the goal.

3. Refashion: There are a few pieces I love and don’t want to let go of, but they have potential to become something else more wearable.

This is all just a start to something bigger for my wardrobe. While I am trying to get rid of clothes, I am also trying to be very conscious about my sewing moving forward. I have a bunch of projects I’m currently working on and already bought fabric for, so to be sure they don’t become a one-time wear, I am taking extra time with them to make sure they are good quality and fit. I’ve even been taking the time to make muslin’s! (which is something I NEVER do!).

Have you done the Wardrobe Architect or read The Curated Closet? I would love to hear opinions!