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?

self-less sewing · sewing

Janome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap

Here it is guys, the last project I made with the Janome Skyline S9 Sewing/Embroidery Machine!

A while back, one of Drew’s friends asked me to make him a guitar strap, and while I am a very selfish seamstress, I thought, sure it can’t be that hard to make right? So I let it go for a few weeks because so many other projects were on my list, and then I realized I could do some really cool embroidery designs on the strap! I was actually really nervous to make this because I wasn’t sure how it would work with the hoops and designing a strap with just a 2″ width that would show any stitching. Since making a few pieces previously, I knew that most of the embroidery designs within the machine were large so I had to think a little more careful about this project.

Sometimes the answer to a problem hits you right in the face… Inside of the top cover of the machine is a reference chart for all the stitches that are built into the machine. Since I was constantly changing the thread colors while doing embroidery, this cover was always up, staring at me. That’s when I decided to do a bunch of the decorative stitches featured on this chart! My personal machine comes with just the basics, a few zig zag stitches, and since I don’t use the decorative stitches that often, I usually forget about them.

Janome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish Stitched

Janome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish StitchedJanome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish Stitched

I used the tutorial from One Shabby Chick with a few adjustments. I started the stitching on a large piece of fabric to test out colors and stitches, but liked what I was working on, so I kept going. I didn’t cut enough fabric originally so I had to patch things a little. I needed an extra 5″ to make the strap, and instead of patching more stitch designs, I thought this would be a good opportunity to add in some real embroidery.

Janome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish StitchedJanome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish Stitched

I used another Anna Maria Horner Design for the center of the strap. The design was still a little large so I was able to make it smaller on the machine before sewing. I have loved being able to alter designs in size and direction on the screen of the machine. It was so easy!

Janome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish Stitched

The strap pieces came from a lovely little shop on etsy, super quick shipping and great product- definitely recommend!

Janome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish StitchedJanome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish StitchedJanome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish StitchedJanome Skyline S9: Guitar Strap by Trish Stitched

Do you like my makeshift guitar? The other night I realized I needed something to show in photos and made a little cardboard guitar! It’s a little small but does the trick! =D

These projects are just the start of what you could do with this machine. Yes, I’m selling it big time because I believe in it and how useful it would be to have in your sewing room. I am completely amazed at its capabilities. If you are looking to get a new machine, or just want a fun addition to your collection, I highly suggest you check out the Janome Skyline S9. And just to clarify, I am not getting paid to write this, I was so fortunate to test this machine and every single word written about it has been my honest feedback.

After this post we will be back to regularly scheduled, un-embroidered projects! Thank you for reading all about my projects, and a super special thanks to the amazing team over at Janome for letting me test this awesome machine.

And a quick post to let you know (in case you didn’t see it on Instagram): This is my winter craft show lineup! December 3 & 4: Hoboken Holiday Craft Show and December 10: Brooklyn  Bust Craftacular! I will be there selling my bags, so if you are in the area, stop by & say hi and pick up some great handmade gifts for this holiday season!

Trish Stitched

 

handmade wardrobe · self-less sewing · sewing

Aztec Popover Poncho

A few weeks ago, the lovely blogger Jordan from Resliced By Jordan posted her version of April Rhodes Popover Poncho on Instagram. I fell in love, even though I had seen the pattern many times before. But this time, I wasn’t thinking about sewing it for myself, but rather for Drew’s sister Lauren.

I am always incredibly nervous to sew for others, I think I feel my sewing skills aren’t good enough when it comes to making a piece for another person. But as the Popover Poncho comes in sizes S/M, L and XL, I felt more comfortable sewing this pattern for someone other than me. I made a size L but used the hem from the XL pattern for added length.

Aztec Popover Poncho - Trish Stitched

A few interesting things happened when sewing this poncho. I had bought a beautiful fleece from fabric.com along with a coordinating solid for the cowl neck. I cut out my fabric and immediately got the sinking feeling in my stomach. While I was so concerned with getting the print to match up on the sides, I failed to have the print centered on the front! I decided to continue making it just in case it wasn’t as bad as I thought but when I was just about done, I couldn’t accept giving it as a gift. I showed my mom and my sister and they agreed that I could do better, but they were both also happy to take the failed piece, so it will still go to a good home. (I just have to do some hand stitching)

Aztec Popover Poncho - Trish Stitched

I needed the gift for this past weekend, and only had two days to buy fabric and make a new poncho. I headed over to my local JoAnn’s and picked up this beautiful Jacquard and matching grey sweatshirt knit. This pattern sews up pretty quick and I had no problem finishing in time. I love the final poncho!

Aztec Popover Poncho - Trish StitchedAztec Popover Poncho - Trish StitchedAztec Popover Poncho - Trish Stitched

When I gifted the poncho, Lauren had just gone to JoAnn’s to buy fabric for her Halloween costume and saw this print in the store. She said, this poncho is just about the same print as the one that she saw and she wanted to buy it because she loved it but didn’t know what to do with it. When I told her it was, in fact, the exact same fabric, she asked if I made the poncho. Isn’t it so funny how some things work out? I am so happy I went with the Jacquard and SO happy she loves it!

Aztec Popover Poncho - Trish Stitched

A few comments about the pattern, it comes together very quick but if you have a longer torso or would like the poncho to cover your behind, make it longer than your size calls for. You can always cut off length but it’s much harder to add-  this might mean needing to buy extra yardage! Other than that, it was extremely easy to follow. I do love April Rhodes, I even made a quilt from her tutorial and fabrics, and have the pattern for the staple dress (which I still have to make). If you are looking for a quick, fun, and useful apparel project, this is a great pattern.

And on another note, JoAnn’s has a whole collection of these Aztec Jacquards. There were a few prints I was torn between- and I’m pretty sure they are selling out fast. The online photos don’t do these prints justice so head over to JoAnn’s if you want something similar!