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:

apparel sewing10

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

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 · refashion · sewing

Pant Set Refashion – Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals

Happy Friday everyone! I am still doing Me Made May (and totally forgot to post a second week roundup so I’ll do a two week roundup in a few days) and have my latest make to share today! I actually have two other makes that I need to blog about too so expect a few more posts in the next couple weeks.

As I mentioned before, one of the things I love most about Me Made May is seeing what people wear on a regular basis, not just pretty dresses for special occasions. It’s more about staple garments and there are quite a few new patterns that have caught my eye.

I’ve actually had my feelers out for an overall pattern for some time, but I’ve just been waiting around to take the plunge. I used to make fun of my mom for wearing overalls. And she used to dress me in them – which made me kind of hate them. But overalls have been updated and the new versions are so cute (and practical!) that I had to try out a pair.

The Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice have popped up in my Instagram feed more than once and I finally decided to take them on. I liked that they came in two versions, and the short-alls were perfect to make in the middle of a small heatwave. I didn’t want to buy any new fabric because I didn’t even know if I would like the look of overalls on me, and really didn’t want to waste nice, expensive fabric on something that wouldn’t fit properly. So I decided to make a wearable muslin.

Pantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish Stitched

I had this denim pants set from my grandma’s closet for years, sitting without a plan. I really didn’t know what to do with the set, but there was a lot of material to work with so I figured some idea would come to mind. There seemed to be plenty of material to work with for a muslin of dungarees and I set out tearing apart the pants. I actually didn’t think I would need to cut too much into the jacket, but to my surprise, I needed almost all of it!

Pantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish Stitched

This photo is one of the pant legs opened. I was able to get the two pant pieces on each leg, and one of the pocket pieces. There were a few smaller pieces to this pattern that were able to fit in random places. Nothing is properly on the grain, but they all fit!

As you can see, the jacket had these embroidered flowers on it, and I didn’t know if I should use them of not. I decided to play with the florals, since this was a muslin, why not, right? I had to cut the bodice pattern in half to place the florals properly, but was able to use all embroidered pieces in the final product!

Pantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish StitchedPantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish Stitched

Turia was a really great pattern to make, and I didn’t have any issues with construction. I think I have a slight issue with fit, and want to work on that for my next pair. I made View B in size 36. Of course, the hem was too long for my petite body and I had to hem them up an extra 2″ from what the pattern called for. My altered hem makes it a little difficult to walk normally, because it feels like the crotch bunches more than it should. There is a ton of space in the crotch, which you need to actually bend, but I think there is more than there should be, so my next version I’ll be taking this up a bit. I think I would also like the lower the bodice, as it will make the piece more modern and mature.

I should also note, I didn’t need to insert the two side zippers, as this denim had just enough stretch and the sides are low enough.

Pantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish StitchedPantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish Stitched

I know this pair is somewhat cutsey, and I don’t know how much wear I will get out of this version but they will be great for working in the garden. The pockets on these are fantastic!!

Pantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish StitchedPantsuit Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish Stitched

I love taking old pieces and creating something new with them. Refashioning doesn’t have to mean a quick cut and stitch, it can be making something completely different. I don’t always like using muslin to make a test garment because it might not be the right weight, but old garments are a great way to use fabric – and gives you the option to wear the piece after sewing!

handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing

Floral Dress to Top Refashion

Happy Earth Day! There are a lot of crazy things happening on this planet we call home, and whatever your views are, I think we can all agree that we need to treat the Earth with respect. There are a lot of ways to make our home a healthy and happy place to live, and while there are some extreme measures, there are smaller practices as well.

In the world of sewing, there are a few practices you can use in everyday life to reduce your footprint. One of my favorite practices is recycling fabrics! Most of the time I use recycled fabrics in my handbags, and have actually saved a bunch of materials from landfills, which is something I’m pretty proud of. But in terms of my wardrobe, I loooove refashioning!

I went through my wardrobe a few weeks ago and discarded a lot of pieces that will go to my local Salvation Army. There were a few pieces that I still loved, just didn’t wear. I had a moment of pause when it came to this dress I bought in college. I wore this dress all the time. It was my go-to item to feel fun and flirty but put together all at once. I still love the print, I just wasn’t feeling the dress length or ruffle on the garment. Nothing a sewing machine and pair of scissors couldn’t fix!

Floral Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

I took inspiration from this beautiful Alexis Top I found through pinterest. Since this dress started as a wrap dress, a few folds, buttons and a quick hem turned this into a top!

Floral Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedFloral Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedFloral Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

Floral Dress to Top Refashion - Trish Stitched

I made a little video showing my process, and you can see how easy this refashion was!

Refashioning is such a great way to “go green” within your own wardrobe. I usually refashion pieces I already own, but love the adventure of going to the thrift store and imagining ways to re-use others discarded items.

A few other tips to go green in your sewing space:

  • Remember to turn your machine off when not in use! I am so guilty of this, I’ll leave my machine on for hours, even if I’m not sewing. It just takes a second to flip the switch on & off, but can help save a bit of electricity. (This goes for your iron as well!)
  • Use reusable bags when fabric shopping (or shopping in general). I’ve obtained many JoAnn’s bags over the years, and they get recycled but take it a step further and leave a reusable bag in your car to take with you while shopping.
  • Tomato Sauce jars and other glass bottles can make great storage. I use old milk bottles, popcorn containers and other jars to hold my collection of buttons.
  • Have a lot of scraps? Save them! I have a bag of scraps going that will become stuffing for future projects. I also like to save the larger pieces to use for smaller projects.

Do you have any “green” tips for sewing? Share them in the comments!

Have a great weekend!

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

 

handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing

Handmade Christening Gown from Piece of Wedding Dress

This past weekend was my Sister’s Baby Shower! It was a lovely day and after months of planning and weeks of making, I was finally able to give my sister her handmade gift.

Handmade Christening Gown- Trish Stitched

This little piece has quite a story and a bit of a journey that I am so excited to share.

When my sister got married, she decided to get the train of her dress hemmed off because she was just a little short for all that fabric. She asked me if I wanted the extra material and of course I said yes. I didn’t know what to do with it, since not every project calls for bridal fabric, so it sat for years. When my sister said she would be having a little girl, I thought it would be super special to make a christening gown with the fabric.

It took weeks to get the courage to cut into the material. And then another week to to actually start sewing the dress. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous making a garment since I had such a limited amount of fabric to work with and it had to come out perfect.

I used the smaller sides (technically the center front) for the bodice pieces and the sleeves. The center back was used for the skirt.

Handmade Christening Gown- Trish Stitched

After some gown research, I went with Simplicity 2457 view A for the final piece. I didn’t want something extremely frilly or vintage looking because that isn’t my sister’s style. I loved the small details on this pattern and I was able to customize with just a little bit of lace to compliment the fabric itself.

Funny story about the lace! I forgot to bring a swatch of fabric with me when buying the lace trim so I had to go based off memory. In the store there was a stark white and then there was an off white, then it went into some yellowish tones. I went with the off white and bought about 6 yards total. I brought it home and put it up to the fabric and it looked just like the stark white! So instead of going back to the store, I tea dyed the lace! I thought black tea would make it too dark so I soaked the pieces in chamomile tea and after 10 minutes, it was perfect! The work we put into a garment…haha

Handmade Christening Gown- Trish StitchedHandmade Christening Gown- Trish StitchedHandmade Christening Gown- Trish Stitched

I wanted to keep the original hem so the bottom of my dress is different from the pattern but I did follow the pleats on the waist. I also had a set of vintage pink buttons in my stash and used them to close the back.

Handmade Christening Gown- Trish Stitched

I am so proud of this piece and it is special garment for her new baby to treasure.

Handmade Christening Gown- Trish Stitched

 I also made my own dress and my sister’s dress!

Handmade Christening Gown- Trish Stitched