handmade wardrobe

Lander Shorts & Ebony Tee with Measure Fabric

It has been a while since my last post, but I’m back today with a fun project I’ve been wanting to make! Today I’m sharing my third post with Measure Fabric and I’m so in love with this outfit!

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A few years ago I got rid of all my high school shorts that were just too short to wear, but have been very slow to replace them in my wardrobe. I’ve been getting picky about the pieces I bring in my closet, but shorts is an area I was getting desperate in. So when I spotted this light blue bull denim on Measure’s site, I knew it was time to dig into a new pair!

It took a few hours of research to decide on a pattern. I wanted a pair of shorts that focused on a button front, had belt loops and felt petite crotch friendly. I was deciding between a few options: Closet Case Jenny Shorts, Megan Nielsen Dawn Shorts and the Lander Shorts by True Bias. I went with Lander because I would have to do a lot of hacking to Jenny and Dawn looked like it had a longer crotch.

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I made a size 2 in Lander, with no adjustments! I’ve been playing around with the length on these, and while I love the regular length, I also love the shorts rolled up once more! However, while they look cute rolled up in the front, the back pocket hangs a little too low to look as cute in the back, so for my next pair, I’ll keep that in mind!

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This denim was a dream to sew. There is no stretch so it’s great for structured bottoms, it would look so beautiful in a summer skirt! While I am normally a dark denim girl, I love the addition of light denim.

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When it comes to denim, it is SO important to buy quality fabric, and I’ve learned my lesson on a few past projects. Both pairs of jeans I made were created with fabric that was on the cheaper side rather than the quality side. While my first pair is still holding up because I barely wear them, my second pair definitely went downhill after a short time because the quality wasn’t the best. If I had chosen to use better denim, I would still be able to wear them.

A little surprise I put into these shorts: a fabric napkin from my Grandma’s house became the pocket lining!

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For the second part of my outfit, I made another Ebony Tee from Closet Case Patterns! I love this pattern so much, I think this is my fifth version. I made View C, the raglan sleeve out of this gorgeous Rebecca Taylor floral knit. This pattern comes together so quickly – it was nice to stitch up to get back into sewing apparel after my short break.

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When it comes to knit fabric, I get very cautious. I’ve had some bad knits, some that are just so thin or don’t sew well. But this knit is fantastic! It is so soft, it feels like it’s been washed 100 times. It’s a lighter weight, making it great for a top, but not transparent so no need for lining or wearing a camisole underneath. My serger and sewing machine also loved it, so it was a very happy project!

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I am so excited about both of these makes and think they will be staples in my summer wardrobe!

Measure Fabric:

Denim

Floral

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#RefashionFriday · handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing · Tutorials

#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore Refashion

Happy Friday! I have a whole list of sewing projects to get to, and with Spring finally peaking out from the winter weather, I’m so motivated to tackle some new projects!

I picked this skirt up a few weeks ago, while filming my thrifting trip for my Simplicity takeover. I originally wasn’t going to buy it, but it looked like it would actually fit me ‘as is’ and that excited me. It was also this gorgeous golden color, and looked to be of really great quality.

I got the skirt home, tried it on, and had to suck it in for it to button! Thankfully it was a button close and I had plenty of room to move the buttons over for a more relaxing fit. The skirt looked very frumpy on me, as most maxi skirts do. Originally, I was considering making a knee length skirt and calling it a day, but about 5 minutes later, I had the idea to create a pinafore. Maybe it was because I kept seeing the #SewBibs challenge on instagram, but the thought of a pinafore just clicked! Since I wasn’t sure just how often I would wear a pinafore, I thought I would take this project a step further and make the bib removable.

#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched

Overall this project was a simple transformation, and I was able to use my Turia Dungaree pattern from Pauline Alice to help with the top.

#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched

I will have a video tutorial coming up, and will update the post once it’s completed! But for right now, I’ll break down some of the steps.

Update: Here’s the video!

First, chop the bottom off. Mark where you would like a hem to go – and add in some seam allowance. The more you cut off, the longer your bib can be. Since my skirt fell on my high waist, that meant my bib could be shorter, and I chopped about 9″ off the bottom.

#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched

My favorite trick with this refashion was using the original skirt hem in two different places! I used it as the finished top of my bib and I was able to use the rest in the straps. The original hem was pretty wide, so by adding some extra seam allowance, I was able to keep the original fold.

To make the top removable, I added buttonholes to the bottom of the bib and the ends of the straps. Buttons were sewn onto the skirt itself, so the pieces could easily be attached and removed.

#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched

During the making of this refashion, I was getting really annoyed. About halfway through, I looked at the piece and it reminded me of an apron. I stepped away for a bit, but even after returning, I couldn’t get the apron vibes out of my head. Before quitting for the night, I took out a pack of dungaree metal strap pieces and pinned them to the straps. Adding in the overall straps and separating the straps from the top made a huge difference and I no longer saw an apron!

That wasn’t part of the original plan, but it was definitely a detail I was happy to add.

#RefashionFriday Skirt to Pinafore - Trish Stitched

After the top was finished, I completed the project by hemming the skirt! I was so happy with how this refashion turned out, and it was made so much easier by using a pattern I already had! There are so many dungaree and pinafore patterns in the sewing world, here’s so inspo to make your own!

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo

and Tilly & the Buttons Mila 

Closet Case Patterns Jenny Overalls

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Seamwork Magazine Dani Pinafore

Dani Pinafore

Simplicity Knit Overalls (I have this pattern and can’t wait to make it!)

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McCall’s Overalls (this comes with pants and pinafore!)

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Inspired to make your own Bib pattern? Check out the #SewBibs competition over on instagram! I follow Meg from Cookin’ & Craftin’ on insta and she’s been sharing loads of inspiration. Here’s her blog post! The challenge is on until April 12th, so you still have time to work on your makes!

handmade wardrobe · Make Nine · sewing

Measure Fabric Lounge Wear Set

Hello, hello! I feel like I haven’t blogged in so long! I have an exciting project to share that I finished a few weeks ago. I feel like I have so much to share that I’ve been sharing over on Instagram but not here.

The first thing: I’m a Measure Maker! For the next few months, I will be sharing a project made with fabric from Measure: A Fabric Parlor. My first project with them is something on my Make Nine! I chose to work with this amazing White and Grey Abstract Double Knit Ponte. It has this beautiful feel, the white part is slightly risen and super soft. It’s very stretchy, but thick, as ponte typically is. What I really love, besides the unique print of this fabric, is that the wrong side is the perfect contrast and it helped me in making the details on my new lounge wear.

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I’ve been seeing these lounge wear sets just about everywhere I look lately. First I thought they were a trend with teens, but when Anthropologie came out with their sets, I knew I had to try it out. It felt like this project magically came together. I got the perfect fabric from Measure, and I had a lounge wear pattern on my Make Nine: the Hudson Pants. For this look, I made my first pair of Hudson Pants, and a hacked version of Seamwork Skipper.

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I can’t believe it took me this long to make Hudson. When they first came out, I was seeing them everywhere, and I thought they were cute, but not my style. After seeing the different variations over the years, they really grew on me and I needed to try them out.

I made all the pant details out of the “wrong side” of the fabric, the pant cuffs, the waistband and pocket edges. I really love how the look of it came out. These pants are so comfortable and they are perfect for an after workout look, or just a great pair to lounge around in.

Lounge Wear Set with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

The matching top is made from a very cropped Seamwork Skipper! I was actually hoping to make the hood, which is why I chose Skipper, but wound up not having enough fabric for it. I wanted to follow through and use the wrong side of the fabric for the details on the sweatshirt as well, so the cuffs, bottom band and neck band are all made from the wrong side.

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I loooove the set together. It is so comfortable and fun. I can wear the pieces separately or together, but I probably wouldn’t wear the sweatshirt without the pants unless I get some high waisted pants (which is another item on my make list!)

Details on my makes:

Hudson Pants: Size 0, View A, no changes

Seamwork Skipper: Size XS, Cropped.

Fabric: Abstract Grain Double Knit Ponte from Measure. 

I will definitely be making another pair of Hudson’s, I already have the fabric. I want to make another Skipper, hopefully one with a hood!

Second piece of news, that I totally forgot to post about last week: I did a Simplicity Instagram Takeover! Simplicity reached out to me a few months back about working together, and I took over their Instagram for the week talking about Refashioning!

I do have all the videos saved and I’m hoping to put them together so anyone can watch it whenever. I talked about my tips for refashioning. Where I get inspiration from, how I find pieces in thrift stores to refashion, etc. I also shared a new refashion! I’ll be doing a whole blog post about this hopefully soon, but here’s the final look!

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I’ve already received my second round of fabric from Measure, and have a project in mind so I’m excited to start working on that! Happy Spring!

handmade wardrobe · sewing

Mustard Ebony Tee

Do you ever get cravings? Usually the kind of cravings I get are food related and involve diet coke or french fries. But for the last few months I’ve had a craving to make an Ebony Tee by Closet Case Patterns. It’s a pretty peculiar craving for me, because usually I find a pattern I want to make and just make it. But I could not find the right fabric to make my Ebony. After multiple trips to JoAnn’s, and constantly looking in my own stash, I thought I would come across something that would fill my desire for a new Ebony. Thankfully, I finally came across a piece of fabric to fit the bill.

A few weeks ago, my mom and I went to TexWorld, which is a fabric show at the Javits Center in New York. I went to search for fabric for a new project, but it just so happened that my favorite fabric “store” had a booth with fabric for sale! I was able to pick up five different fabric cuts from Fab Scrap– one perfect for an ebony tee!

I’ve talked about Fab Scrap before, but for those who don’t know, Fab Scrap is a company that retrieves unwanted materials and fabric scraps from fashion companies who are looking for a more economical way to recycle them. They sell yardage and larger scraps to individuals like you and me, or to small companies who are looking to be more sustainable in their production! They have a warehouse in Brooklyn, where you can shop all their fabric, or volunteer to sort fabrics, and they do small pop-ups around the New York/New Jersey area. And… not saying it’s official but… they are looking into opening up an LA location! But in the meantime – you can shop online!

Anyway, back to Ebony. It’s the perfect pattern for me. I’ve actually made 4 versions now- two unblogged, and love this pattern more each time I make it. This is my third cropped Ebony. I usually add between 1.5″ – 2″ to the cropped version, to make it the perfect length.

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

The piece I got from Fab Scrap is similar in weight to a scuba knit, without the scuba texture. It has this beautiful floral burnout that was what really gave me all the “heart eyes” for this material.

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Since the fabric was reclaimed, it wasn’t a clean cut, so I had to do a little tweaking to fit the pattern pieces just right. I had to take out a little bit of the body from both the front and back, and 1/4″ from the 3/4″ sleeves. Since I cut a size larger than I typically cut in patterns, taking a little of the angle out of the sides didn’t change the shape much.

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

Specs for this top:

I made View A, Cropped, with 3/4″ sleeves and an added 1.5″ in length. I made size 4. The sleeves are a little tight because I couldn’t cut them on grain properly, so the stretch is going the wrong way, but it doesn’t bother me.

(You can get the pattern here)

Here’s my total haul from Fab Scrap – and a close up of this mustard!

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish StitchedMustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

This top is the epitome of my style- and a great basic to add to my wardrobe (yes, I consider it a basic because it is a solid color!). I love wearing skinny jeans and a flowy, or larger, top. I feel put together, and comfortable at the same time, and I am so happy to have another Ebony to add to my collection.

Have you had any pattern cravings? What have you been dying to make?

handmade wardrobe · Make Nine

Make Nine 2019

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I still have a few Christmas projects to share but in the spirit of the new year, I wanted to share some more of my sewing plans!

I’m not great with resolutions – but I do like the motivation of the new year, and imagine life with a fresh start come January.

For the past few years, I’ve seen the Make Nine movement online, but never thought I could commit to something like that because I get very easily sidetracked by new patterns and pretty fabrics. However, I’ve had some of the same patterns on my “make list” for years, and it’s about time I put a plan into action to make them happen.

For those that aren’t familiar, it’s a challenge started by Rochelle from Lucky Lucille who writes, “This is a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible, a tool you can use to evaluate your motivations and needs for working towards specific things as the year goes on. This is meant to be a challenge focused on learning more about yourself and your making habits while achieving goals. Work at your own pace and join in at any time. – That’s it!”

 

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So here’s my Make Nine! It is pretty general, and open to change, but I think that will help me keep focus on making what I really need.

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1. Bralettes and undergarments in general.

I find myself wearing more relaxed styles of bras, and love everything without underwires. I bought a simple bra a few months ago and it’s my absolute favorite! I’m on a mission to find the perfect pattern to recreate it so I can make a whole bunch!

(This one from Sophie Hines is adorable, and looks great for using up scraps!)

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2. Hudson Pants and Loungewear.

The hudson pants have been on my list for years. I have the fabric to make a pair, I just need to buy the pattern. Again, I’m hoping to make more than one, especially if the style suits me.

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3. Running Shorts.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair of running shorts, and was tempted to make my own pattern awhile back, but found the perfect shorts pattern in the Moxi Compression Shorts! Now I just have to find the perfect fabric and make a bunch!

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4. Formal Dress.

Drew and I have three weddings to attend this year, 4 weddings including our own. I won’t be making three separate dresses, but I would like to make a new one. I’ve always loved Colette Myrna, but still not convinced the silhouette would work for me on top. So this pattern is still TBD, but it’s on the list!

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5. Short Sleeve & Long Sleeve Tops.

I absolutely need basics. And for years I’ve wanted to invest time into making a set of basics but it can seem like really boring sewing. My goal with this is to make shirts from all reclaimed fabrics. I’m hoping to find the perfect jerseys from places like Fab Scrap, to keep my sewing more eco friendly.

(I already have the Lark Tee pattern, so this is on the list!)

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6. Ginger Jeans. 

I’ve made three pairs, but haven’t made a new pair in years. It’s time for more handmade jeans!

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7. My Wedding Dress.

This pattern is still totally up in the air. I love this Leanne Marshall dress, but I’m still undecided if this is the direction I want to go.

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8. Summer Casual Dress.

I had a favorite dress that I would wear constantly in the summer. It was light and airy but throw it on and it looked like I put effort into my outfit. I want a summer wardrobe filled with dresses like this, and Rumi by Christine Haynes is the perfect pattern.

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9. Swimsuit/Outerwear

This is a little bit of a free sew for me. Depending on timing, and what I can realistically accomplish, I either want to make a new swimsuit or a new coat. I’ve been wanting to make a swimsuit inspired by one my grandma had but lost the photo to find the perfect fabric. I also need a new coat, but I don’t have a specific pattern in mind. With all that’s going on this year, I’m not sure if I will have time to complete #9, but I’m putting it on the list just in case.

(Sophie Swimsuit pictured here)

Of course I will be doing more than just these projects, and I do have refashions to add into the mix, but it’s exciting to think what my wardrobe will look like a year from now!

Are you participating in Make Nine?

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.}

#RefashionFriday · handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing · Tutorials

#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!

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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!