handmade wardrobe · I really was a fashion major. · refashion · sewing

Refashioners 2016 – Jeans to Bomber Jacket

Let me take you back to 7 years ago when I was just about to start my Sophomore Year of college. I was recently single (and lets be honest, heartbroken) and I was going back to school where I only knew a few people. Going through a small episode of depression, I decided that a little retail therapy was in order. So into Macy’s I went, not expecting much, when on the sale rack in the ‘Girls’ section was the most amazing faux brown leather bomber jacket. And to my surprise, they had one left in my size (girls 12-14). I snatched it before any 12 year old could come along and steal it away, tweens can be vicious you know!?

I put it on and immediately felt cool. That jacket was the most worn item in my wardrobe for the next couple years. I wore it on so many adventures and couldn’t imagine putting together an outfit without it. Recently, I went to put it on and noticed the fabric in the back started peeling away right under the collar so bad that I couldn’t fix it. And after ignoring the problem for another few wears, Drew made me get rid of it.

After this upset, I put “bomber jacket” on my sewing list with no immediate plans. I wanted to make a replacement but didn’t have the time and really wanted to take care with the project. Flash forward to the refashioners challenge and the thought of using this as a reason to make a bomber seemed perfect! It wouldn’t be made in a beautiful brown faux leather but I would take a denim version.

In my mind, I imagined a dark denim body with light denim sleeves. I was hoping to find  distressed denim for some cool detail and went into my local Salvation Army with a solid plan. All those thoughts went out the window when I saw the most amazing printed pants. Of course I gravitated to the prints, and my mind started racing all over again. I decided to go with the printed pairs and buy coordinating solids.

Refashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish Stitched

After some bomber jacket research, the Rigel Bomber had the best style I was looking for. It was also unlined, which made sewing this so much easier. The body was made from the rose floral pair and the sleeves were made from the awesome teal pair I found that almost perfectly matched. I also used the black pair to make the facing and the pockets. I had to buy the grey knit ribbing, which in reality I could have bought a t-shirt at Salvation Army, but didn’t want to use anything too outstretched.

Refashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish StitchedRefashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish StitchedRefashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish Stitched

This jacket was amazingly easy to sew, even with welt pockets. It took some time to plan out how to cut into the jeans and I couldn’t cut on the grain or anything but it all fit nicely and I didn’t even have that much left over! I also added elbow patches to give it an extra touch.

Refashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish Stitched

Refashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish StitchedRefashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish Stitched

I absolutely love the result and wore it almost every day on vacation! I honestly didn’t think I would join in the refashioners challenge. I wanted to make something wearable and didn’t know what to do with jeans without making it look like a garment made from jeans. But I really couldn’t be happier with how this jacket looks. Also, if you have some time to read over the crazy amount of inspiration on Portia’s Blog for refashioning jeans, it’s worth it.

Refashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish Stitched

While it doesn’t replace my favorite jacket of all time, it is a happy addition to my wardrobe. And now that I have the pattern down, if I find the perfect faux brown leather, this would be a great make! And just for fun, here’s 19 year old me in my bomber during a field trip to Boston.

Refashioners 2016: Jeans to Bomber Jacket by Trish Stitched

 

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handmade wardrobe · I really was a fashion major. · sewing

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit

It isn’t everyday I get to make a pretty dress. In fact, it’s fairly rare that I get to make anything fancy for my wardrobe. So whenever an event comes around, I love getting to challenge my sewing skills. A friend’s wedding was the perfect excuse to pull out the most beautiful print in my stash and make this gorgeous piece.

I had been seeing so many floral maxi dresses around Pinterest and I thought it would make a cute look for the wedding and a great use of the gorgeous print I picked up in the Bahamas. I spent a lot of time researching a pattern to try to get something close to what I wanted the dress to look like. This was a major task and honestly, a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  The major features I wanted were a crossed bodice, something like you would see in a wrap dress, but sewn closed, and a straight skirt with a front slit. I also wanted spaghetti straps. When I began looking, there were so many tops with the front style I wanted, but they all had sleeves. I already knew I would have to do alterations, and wanted to do as few as possible so changing the sleeve detail was out of the question.

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

I found McCalls 6961 in my search and it was like the heavens opened up. It had all I wanted in a top, I would just have to add my own skirt. Easy enough..right? I had to make a muslin version because I only had so much fabric, and could not leave anything to chance. After I made the top, it was obvious the back of the bodice would not work. The top came up way too high so I cut it about 3″ lower than the original design. I also decided that the back could use a fun little detail so adding a criss cross back was a spur of the moment decision but I love how it turned out.

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

I was having a serious brain block when thinking about drafting the skirt to add the front slit. I wanted it to sit in the front, but needed to have a clean edge on each side, so just cutting into the fabric was out. I found this tutorial for making the front slit. I didn’t make a gathered skirt like the tutorial, as I didn’t have enough fabric, but was able to divide my skirt into thirds and put in the front slit. Genius! Seriously, I was so blown away with the logic it was one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments.

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

I started with a simple A-line skirt but realized there just wasn’t enough room to walk so I drafted a skirt sloper with no darts and added fullness. This skirt gave me enough room in the bottom without adding any extra fabric to the waist area like a gathered skirt would do. There’s also a side zipper and the bodice is lined.

Floral Maxi Dress with Front Slit- Trish Stitched

This was the dress I pictured in my dreams. It came out so perfect. I am thrilled with the result and it fits like a glove! The wedding was beautiful, and while the only people I knew were my boyfriend and the groom, we had a great time.

We’ve been to five weddings in the past few years, three I’ve been in, and it’s still crazy to think that we are at the age where everyone is getting married. Drew and I have been together for almost 5 years, and I’ve definitely dropped the engagement hints. My ultimate sewing goal is to make my own wedding dress and I think I’m totally ready to make it- but we will just keep that between us haha (he doesn’t read my blog).

I also wanted to apologize to anyone who has commented on my blog the last few weeks! WordPress wasn’t allowing me to respond to comments in my usual way, but I think I’ve gotten a way around it. I read every comment, and very much appreciate those who leave one!

handmade wardrobe · I really was a fashion major. · sewing

Pineapples and Pom-Poms Dress

Happy Summer! I’ve been in full on handbag making mode for a craft show I have coming up but managed to squeeze this dress into some late night sewing sessions. After a lot of basics sewing, I was in the mood to make a cute summer dress and this is the result!

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

A few months ago I was browsing JoAnn’s fabric selection online and saw the most amazing pineapple print (currently on sale!)  I scooped up 2 yards of this beauty and kept it in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern. I chose Kenedy by Seamwork Magazine because of the surprise back and the relaxed fit. Since the beginning of Seamwork, I find that when the patterns are first released they don’t entice me to sew because I am not in the mindset to sew that specific pattern. But once the patterns sit for a few weeks, and I keep seeing different versions online, it’s like my mind suddenly becomes aware of how amazing the pattern is and how perfect it would be in my closet. It happened with my Cape and the Nantucket Shorts and I already have plans for Moji pants. I also made Oslo but have yet to blog about it. I know you are probably tired of hearing how amazing Seamwork is but I love having an entire pattern library at my fingertips. And I still branch out with other patterns, I have a Rebecca Taylor dress from Vogue on my list next!

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

Pineapples and Pom Poms Dress - Trish Stitched

This fabric was much more sheer than I expected so I bought a simple white cotton to use for lining. Then the most amazing piece of equipment came into my life. I got a serger! It’s a beautiful little Janome and I’ve been constantly using it. So I serged each white lining piece to each pineapple piece to make them basically one piece of fabric. This way I wouldn’t have to worry about building a totally separate lining and all the seams were serged inside!

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

I knew this dress needed a little something extra, I mean, if you are going to wear a pineapple dress it should be as cute and bold as possible right? So some hot pink bias binding and a little pom pom trim were added!

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

Kenedy went together like a dream. I cut the smallest size, 0, and it went together super fast. I love the shape of this dress and the surprise back. I can see this as a very flattering style for multiple body types. If I was in need of a quick dress for an event- I would turn to this pattern in a beautiful solid- it’s a great mix of modesty in the front and sexy in the back.

Pineapples and Pom Poms - Trish Stitched

As I mentioned earlier, I have a craft show next weekend! My sewing studio is a mess, fabric is all over the place and I’ve been prepping every second I get. This is my first juried show, which means my craft had to go through a panel of judges to say whether I was the right fit for the show and if my product was of good quality and I am, in fact the crafts-woman. But I got in! And now I will be selling at the Tinicum Arts Festival. It is supposed to be a wonderful show, over 300 vendors, so I’m hoping for a successful weekend.

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I’ve been working on updating my booth display and have some really cool features coming up that I’m excited to share. If you are in the area, come by and say hi! I’ve been making so many new pieces, most of which are one of a kind, so if there’s something in my shop you like, grab it before it goes!

Also…it’s taken me OVER A YEAR to figure out how to link my shop to my blog but there is now an adorable little button on this blog that says SHOP! It’ll take you right to my etsy store! YAY!

being ethical · I really was a fashion major.

Fashion Revolution and Supporting the Makers

This week is Fashion Revolution Week. Consumers all over the world are asking their favorite brands “who made my clothes”. If you are like me (and if you are reading this post, chances are you can relate) you know who made your clothes because you made at least a percentage of them.

“On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed
and over 2,500 were injured when the
Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka,
Bangladesh. We believe that’s too many
people to lose on one day.”

That complex housed 5 garment factories. This was the start of Fashion Revolution.

I firmly believe that makers should earn a livable wage. I firmly believe that every work environment should be happy and healthy. I firmly believe that every single person deserves a happy life, filled with opportunity, a safe home and food to eat.

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I “discovered” fashion when I was going into my sophomore year of high school. I started caring about the clothes I wore and how I looked to people. Before that, I would borrow my sisters clothing and thought Abercrombie was the only place to shop. And then I learned that I didn’t have to wear what the other kids were wearing. I could look however I wanted and feel comfortable in my skin. I saw clothes I wanted but couldn’t fit into them because of my small size. As soon as I fell in love with clothing, I hated it because my body wouldn’t fit. That’s when I discovered sewing and an entire world opened up to me. I learned just how difficult it was to make a garment- the time and patience it took to create a look- and how satisfying it was to have something fit so perfectly it makes your confidence soar. This world became a happy place for me.

I studied Fashion at Montclair State University, where every other girl in the program wanted to be a buyer. I felt very out of place because all I wanted to do was make. I then took on a double major in costume design because that was the only way I would learn more about construction. It was about that time I started to think about where my clothing was coming from. I didn’t have the skill or time to make all my clothing so I usually shopped at Target or Forever 21. Fast fashion became a huge learning point in school and my thinking changed drastically. I was learning about the conditions sweat shop workers were not only working in but how they were living. How multi billion dollar clothing companies wanted top dollar for their product but weren’t willing to pay their makers a decent wage. I learned that the designers I loved would rather ship production overseas and not think about who is making it just to add more money to their pockets.

I hated shopping. I hated walking into the mall and seeing the rows of clothing that was being put on super clearance to make way for next seasons looks. I started thinking how much a shirt cost to make if it was being sold for $5.

I started doing research on clothing companies that cared about how their product was being produced. Mata Traders came up in my search and I fell in love. My first job out of college was working for a Fair Trade company Mayamam Weavers, and I was fortunate enough to travel to Guatemala to meet the makers.  Around the time TOMS came out, more companies were emerging with the mindset of “ethical fashion” and Krochet Kids appeared with a great campaign to know your knitter. There are so many great brands and independent creators producing apparel and accessories with their makers in mind (& the environment!) and even the larger companies are taking notice. Modcloth is even carrying Mata now!

April 24th is Fashion Revolution Day. I urge you to go to their site and learn more about where your clothes are coming from. Look at the tag, ask questions. I admit I still shop fast fashion, and more often receive gifts from one of my favorite labels, American Rag (ironically made elsewhere). I still buy my undergarments, although I am planning to start making them- and shoes I do not plan on making anytime soon. I’m not perfect, and understand that this may sound hypocritical but I do believe my impact on the fashion world has gone down dramatically by making and refashioning. I now only purchase 3-5 tops, 2-3 bottoms, and roughly 3 pairs of shoes per year in brand new items. Most of the time, when I go shopping, it’s to buy fabric or go to the thrift store. It’s only been a few years since I started this journey so I’m still taking my baby steps. You can take a look at all my refashions here.

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I used to believe I didn’t have a voice. I was one person in the world and no one could hear me. But I have you, dear readers. And if I can inspire just one of you to question where your clothing came from and think about a more ethical form of consumption, my voice has been heard. I urge you to go to fashionrevolution.org and read about the movement that’s happening. And if you have a passion for the movement, share it with your followers and friends.

handmade wardrobe · I really was a fashion major. · sewing

Good Things Take Time, First Pair of Jeans & Giveaway Winner!

I have a magazine clipping hanging in front of my sewing machine and whenever I get frustrated with a project or aggravated with my sewing machine I look up and read, “Good Things Take Time”. It’s a beautiful ad by Levis  (how appropriate) and a simple reminder to take a step back and remember it’ll be worth it.  I read those words more than usual during this project, but I’m happy to announce, I made my first pair of jeans! And man, did these jeans take a lot of time. The pattern (Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files) was bought back before summer, fabric was purchased months ago, the fabric was even cut out over two months ago! I finally kicked my own butt to start and finish these in a 2 day sewing marathon.

I hit quite a few roadblocks with my jeans, the first being my topstitching thread. I bought topstitching needles but was still have issues getting clean lines. I even started using regular thread in my bobbin, which helped but the more layers I added, the more difficult it was. There are sections of the jeans where my topstitching could definitely use some help but I am pretty happy with the finished product.

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The second issue I had was with the back. The jeans fit great until I added the waistband. The last step I did on the first day of sewing was stitching the waistband on and topstitching it down. After that was done, I was so tired I had to quit for the day but I should have tried the jeans on with the waistband before all that work. I had a 2 1/2″ gap in the back. This is normal for me with jeans, and I usually conceal the problem with a belt. But I was so determined to not need a belt for these- especially since I’m customizing these to fit properly- so I looked up a tutorial (from The Sewing Rabbit) for how to solve my back problem without taking out all that topstitching. It took some time, and the lines aren’t as clean as they were but they fit great in the waist!

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There’s still something off with the back and I’m not super thrilled with the derriere but I always wear longer tops so I’m not too concerned. I am so happy to have one pair under my belt and can’t wait to make more! I want to make a skinny pair, and love the versions with ankle zippers. My eyes will be peeled for denim now!

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And now, for the part I’m sure most of you were waiting for, the winner of my giveaway! I so very much appreciate all your comments. I am so grateful for every view on my blog and every purchase in my shop, I love sharing my passion and you guys help make that all possible!

I used Random.org to generate the comment winner and at #6, it’s… Jordan Slice from http://reslicedbyjordan.com/ ! (Check your email, girl!)

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And because I really do love this ad,

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 Have a great weekend!

handmade wardrobe · I really was a fashion major. · sewing

Oh the Places You’ll Go, Map Dress

As a seamstress, one of the coolest parts about knowing how to sew is taking an image of inspiration and transforming it into something for my closet. I can build my perfect wardrobe in the perfect fit and have a ton of fun in the process.

This dress was over a year in the making. I saw this photo online, a close up of a dress and immediately wanted to make it. I started searching for map fabric and couldn’t find a decent print as many were super blue or it wasn’t a map print that was attractive. So I stopped searching. Every so often I would look up map fabric and still nothing caught my attention. BUT THEN….a project was posted on Kollabora and the maker posted the link to the most amazing map fabric EVER. Life was good and I ordered 2 yards. I had the pattern in mind for the past year, Simplicity’s 1873 by Cynthia Rowley. I’ve made this dress quite a few times and have now perfected the length and fit of it.

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

I had absolutely no intention of making this dress this year, until I found that fabric. I have a jacket, a shirt, my jeans AND my Halloween costume pushed back further on my sewing list because this needed to be made. Not even for a specific event – just because it’s a project that was on my mind for so long. Is that weird? Eh, I never said I was normal.

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

This pattern is one of my favorites. It’s a great style for my body shape and I love the variety of fabrics I can make it in. I’ve made this dress for a few occasions: New Years and Thanksgiving. The only change I made to this pattern besides my regular fit alterations was inserting a visible zipper. This pattern does call for an invisible zip but I thought the exposed metal would give the dress a little more rustic look. I do love the result.

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

Don’t mind the back, I was too excited to photograph the dress that I forgot to sew a hook and eye on.

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

So maybe I’ve inspired you to make your own awesome Map Dress- and if you want to, here’s the fabric! Wanna know the funniest part of this entire thing? The map print is from the same collection Drew’s watch lining fabric is from! But JoAnn’s didn’t have the entire collection in the store so I didn’t see it!

Oh the Places You'll Go: Map Dress- Trish Stitched

This dress makes me want to go all over the world. But before I do that, I have a lot more sewing to do. AND! I got a new machine! Drew and I celebrated our four year anniversary earlier in the month and he got me my dream machine. It’s the Janome HD 3000. I want to write a review for it after I’ve been sewing with it a little longer. So far it has been smooth sailing but I’m looking forward to putting it to the “layer test”. I’m making some bags this week and I’ll be able to see how it handles layers of vinyl, heavy interfacing and cotton.

Onto my studio!

handmade wardrobe · I really was a fashion major. · sewing

Polka Dots and Floral Vest

Happy first day of Fall! Summer will always be my favorite season but I do love the fashion that comes with fall. Of course I have a huge list of sewing projects for the new season that I probably won’t get through but I’ve already finished an apparel project!

There are some trends I like from afar, and the puffy vest was one of them. I like seeing them on other people but I couldn’t see myself wearing one. Yet again, pinterest sucked me in. You pretty much can’t sign into pinterest without seeing a fall outfit featuring a puffy vest. So I looked up some tutorials and came across this really cute one from Purl Bee. I loved the idea of a puffy vest in cotton (since most you see are made out of some synthetic) and by making my own, I could have a little fun with it! (Purl Bee actually has two different vest tutorials- here’s the other one which comes with closures and pockets)

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

The fabric is from Fabric.com, the main fabric is this beautiful polka-dotted chambray. It comes in a bunch of different colors, I was really considering the purple but I don’t have any Olive outerwear and thought my wardrobe could use it. I wanted a pop of fun for the lining and this stunning floral was perfect! (The whole collection of floral is really wonderful and I wanted all of it but controlled myself.)

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

I did have to make some adjustments to the pattern. I cut a Small, because the bust size made it seem like I needed to size up from the XS. I wound up cutting 2″ from each side and cut the neck down an inch. It is still a little high up but I don’t mind it.

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

I had to make bias for this project, and it just reminded me how much time it takes to make and hand finish! It does make for a beautiful looking inside though so I can’t complain too much.

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

I love this vest. The free pattern was a great base, and it can be as customizable as you want it to be! They also have a pretty draped vest that I’m keeping my eye on. This is the first apparel project for fall I had planned, but there is way more to come. My Ginger Jeans fabric has been purchased and washed. The pattern is printed and (almost) put together. I. WILL. MAKE. JEANS. It will happen this year. The more you say it the more it’ll happen, right?

I’ll leave you with this because it’s totally reversible too:

Polka Dots and Floral Vest- Trish Stitched

 Happy Fall!