handmade wardrobe · inspiration · sewing

Black Tie Wedding Guest Dress

Today I wanted to share a dress I made (and wore) back in November, that I didn’t get around to blogging about!

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Drew and I were invited to two black tie weddings last year (both co-workers of his), and it was the first time I’ve been invited to such formal events. The first wedding in July resulted in my refashioned bridesmaids dress, and I originally wanted to make a black tie dress from scratch for the November wedding.

I had planned on making this Leanne Marshall pattern, and came across a really beautiful sequined vest I thrifted to use as the bodice, but all plans went out the window when I found an even better bodice option.

I found this amazing piece at a local Goodwill and couldn’t let it go. It’s 100% silk, beaded in India and a size small (perfect fit) for $5.99. At the time I had no idea what to do with it but this is one of those extremely rare thrift finds that you just have to buy (or is that just my logic?).

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I decided it was destined to become part of my dress for the November black tie wedding. The only problem was I didn’t want to cut into the embroidered bodice, and didn’t want to attach it to a dress I could only wear once. After mulling ideas around for while, the lightbulb went off (gotta love when that happens) and I had a plan!

By making a base bodice and an over-skirt, I would be able to tuck the embroidered top in and have it look like one full piece. Seamwork Ariane felt perfect for under the embroidery because wearing a bodysuit meant I didn’t have to worry about a tank top riding up all night and the pattern was already in my library. (For size reference, I’m just under 4’10” and made an XS and did not shorten the pattern)

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For the skirt, I drafted my own pattern. It is a simple A-line skirt with a gathered chiffon overlay. It’s a very basic skirt, but I really wanted the top to be the show-stopper. I loved the idea of a chiffon overlay, and went with a satin for the skirt. I do wish I went with a lighter fabric for the skirt because walking around and dancing felt heavy after awhile, but it still worked out.

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I am very happy I decided to make separates, and am so thrilled I didn’t need to cut the embroidered top to make this dress work!

Drew and I had a great time at the wedding, and they even had a mariachi band and donkey during cocktail hour! I had to beg Drew to take a picture with the donkey, and now he’s the one who loves the picture and shows everyone!

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Fabric Details:

Bodysuit: Techno Scuba Knit, Black (fabric.com)

Skirt: Telio Adore Duchess Satin, Black (fabric.com)

Skirt Overlay: Telio Zoe Chiffon Solid, Black (fabric.com)

 

I have two weddings to attend this year and am already planning my makes. They aren’t black tie, so my attire can be a little more relaxed. Here’s this year’s inspiration!

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I am obsessed with Colette’s latest pattern, Myrna (middle photo). Maybe it’s the fabric that drew me in, but I love the bust details and the short sleeves, and think this would be a great pattern for a summer wedding.  I’ve also been loving cap sleeves lately, and I’ve been craving to make a dress with an interesting back.

(Top left is from Modcloth, top right from Rent the Runway, the other two no longer have working links)

In reality, I have so many handmade dresses in my closet that I really don’t need to make any new ones. But it’s always a good idea to stretch your dress sewing skills every once in a while, right?!

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#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#RefashionFriday Blouse to Peplum

Hello, hello, welcome back to #RefashionFriday! This was supposed to go live last week but the silly flu took me out last Wednesday! I was knocked out cold for 5 days, and I couldn’t move from bed. My body ached,  I had a terrible cough, hot and cold flashes and the worst, constant headache. It was awful and I don’t wish it on anyone, so get your flu shot, and if you feel the slightest bit of a cold coming on, stay home! I’m feeling so much better and I’m excited to share some amazing things today!

Around the Web: 

Follow: My latest Instagram obsession is @fab_scrap. They are a non-profit in NYC who take fabric scraps from fashion companies and sell them to YOU. They used to only have store hours, BUT they just opened up their online store last week! And now everyone can shop their stash! Shop Online HERE!

Read: Melly Sews shared an amazing article from Slate.com about how depression era women used to sew with feed/flour sacks! This was definitely a repurposing mission I could get behind! Read it HERE.

Read the Comments: I saw this story on facebook a few days ago, about a woman who wanted to get carpet swatches to make a cat scratcher. She ordered way more than she could ever need, since they came free from amazon, and while I don’t recommend it because there are so many swatches thrown away everyday, the great thing from this were all the tips in the comments! If you ever come across carpet swatches, you can donate them to your local animal shelter, or elementary school! Kids can use the large pieces to sit on during reading time, and use the smaller swatches in art projects! I’m always on the look out for swatches for my recycled bags, and now I know what to do with carpet swatches that are too thick for me to use! Thanks to all those commenters for the tips! Read her story HERE.

Refashion

Today’s refashion is definitely not a new idea in the refashioning world, but I had never tried it for myself! One of the most popular over-sized top refashions is turning the piece into a peplum. But why is this idea overflowing online? ‘Cause it’s really easy!

I found this blouse at my local Salvation Army, and thought the print was…interesting. No, it isn’t necessarily mind-blowing, but the color combo was cool and with the large stains on the front and all tags ripped out, I knew it was never destined to go into someone else’s cart.

Today’s refashioning tip: don’t let the unknown scare you! If you see an interesting piece in the thrift store but there’s a MAJOR issue with it, don’t let it prevent you from turning it into something awesome! The same goes for pieces in your own wardrobe, if you stopped wearing something because of a stain – or it no longer fits, chopping it up can be the answer!

#RefashionFriday Blouse to Peplum Refashion - Trish Stitched

The very first thing I did to this blouse was rip out those shoulder pads! Next I took off the collar and sewed the collar seam shut. I also removed the sleeves and marked where the peplum should go. I set this peplum around the natural waist, but other popular options include hip, and even higher for an empire waist look.

DSC_0150-003#RefashionFriday Blouse to Peplum Refashion - Trish Stitched

#RefashionFriday Blouse to Peplum Refashion - Trish Stitched

I kept the top buttons but cut off the lower two, and set them aside. This blouse was a little too long for my frame so I knew length would have to come from somewhere. One of my favorite parts of refashioning is saving original hems! It makes the project a little easier, and saves time. I removed 2″ from the top of the lower portion, and set that aside.

I took my blouse in 2″ on each side, so the peplum would be able to gather, and added the bottom portion back on.

The sleeves were also too large so I took them in a bit.  I removed about an inch from the top of the arm cycle to refit the shoulder. I definitely wanted sleeves on this blouse, but was looking for a more relaxed look. I took the extra fabric that I cut from my peplum earlier and made sleeve tabs. I rolled the sleeves four times and sewed the button with the sleeve tab to the sleeve! I cheated here a little for ease. I didn’t make a button hole, because I know I would never take the sleeve down. When you make your own clothes, you can totally bend the rules!

#RefashionFriday Blouse to Peplum Refashion - Trish Stitched

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#RefashionFriday Blouse to Peplum Refashion - Trish Stitched

I love the new, modern look and most of the stains are cut out! There’s still one on the front that I’m going to try a new stain remover on, but if it doesn’t come out it’s ok because the peplum gathering doesn’t make it as obvious.

{A tip for sewing peplums: if you don’t have a full button down or zippered front or back, make sure you can fit your peplum over your head and chest. Originally I brought my sides in a little too much, and it didn’t leave enough of a give for the peplum to come over my chest, but lesson learned! This shouldn’t be a problem with knit fabrics, but anything without stretch will have some issues.}

Inspiration: 

My favorite recent find was this blouse, and has me wanting to run out and find all the striped blouses to cut up and sew together! (From Anthropologie)

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This is a cute idea for a very oversized blouse, or man’s shirt – turn it into a dress! (Original link no longer exists)

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And here’s a great example of mixing materials – turn that old basic white blouse into a showstopper. (From lillienoradrygoods on etsy)

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That’s all I have for today! I’ve been going through my refashion pile and have come across several pieces to refashion for summer and it makes me want to speed up time for the warm weather!

Have you done a recent refashion? Send photos and details to trish@trishstitched.com to be featured! And follow along my refashioning finds through Pinterest!

Have a great weekend!

 

handmade wardrobe · sewing

Printed Hemlock Tee

Back in November, Drew and I went to California for his friend’s wedding. We bought one way tickets months before, but none back as we figured we would use this time for a vacation. We had no plans, no hotels, no plane home but we were up for an adventure.

We decided to do a small tour of California, starting where the wedding was in Santa Barbara and working our way towards LA, to LAX. At each stop, I had to look up fabric stores. That’s a given, right? Our second stop was in the beautiful town of Ojai where I found this amazing fabric store Cattywampus. I love finding smaller shops because they usually have fabrics you can’t find anywhere else, and they sell curated goods that are usually online only.

Cattywampus has a beautiful location and really fabulous finds. I’ve secretly always wanted a boutique, and over time have wanted a fabric/craft store that held classes (I even found the perfect location that was for sale a few years ago) and this shop is everything I would want.

Their fabric selection isn’t very large, which means they really care about each bolt that’s on the shelf. I had a hard time deciding what to get and walked away with two cuts. (I blame my carry-on suitcase and knowing we would be fabric shopping in LA). One is an adorable hedgehog print that I’m saving for a fun bag lining; the second was this stunning lightweight cotton. I was really drawn to the print and was told it was hand-printed in India- which just made me love it more.

Printed Hemlock Tee - Trish Stitched

I knew I wanted to make a top out of this print. Something simple, to let the print really shine. I had a few options in mind, including a Lou Box Top and Mandy Boat Tee. Ultimately I chose a new pattern: The Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. This is a free pattern that I’ve wanted to try for a while, and thought it would be a nice look for this fabric. (Just sign up for Grainline Studio’s Email List for the free pattern!)

Printed Hemlock Tee - Trish StitchedPrinted Hemlock Tee - Trish Stitched

The Hemlock Tee is one size, so I did some major alterations to make it fit petite. I didn’t like the neckline, as it was way too wide for my frame. I cut out 1/2″ from the CF on the pattern, meaning 1″ was taken out from the center in total. I probably could have done an extra 1/2″, but didn’t want to cut too far in. I also shortened the pattern 4″, and hemmed an extra 1″, since the pattern is very long. The last alteration was while sewing the sleeves. I only cut 4″ of the sleeve pattern, hemmed the raw edge and folded in until the bodice seam. I saw a few hemlock tee’s with the folded sleeve and loved the look so I had to try it out for myself!

Printed Hemlock Tee - Trish StitchedPrinted Hemlock Tee - Trish Stitched

Printed Hemlock Tee - Trish Stitched

After wearing my Hemlock and taking photos, I can definitely take it in a little bit. I can just hear my mom saying “this does nothing for you!” haha! But I absolutely love the boxy look. My daily uniform is slowly becoming skinny jeans, booties and boxy tops. As soon as I put this top on, I wanted to make a pair of black skinny jeans and a cute cardigan to finish off the look. There’s nothing quite like a motivating make!

My final thoughts on the Hemlock Tee: for a free pattern it’s a great base. I do love the look, and how many hacks there are in the sewing world for this pattern, but for petite figures, this was not a cut & sew. I am however, excited to have another pattern that is great for both knits and wovens and encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already!

handmade wardrobe · Janome Sewing · sewing

2017 Rewind & Goals for the New Year

Happy 2018! This year felt like it went by crazy fast but as I look back on the projects I made, I’m surprised how many came from 2017! Here are my favorite projects from the past year!

I made two pairs of jeans this year, and both are on constant rotation in my wardrobe.

Floral Tamarack Jacket and Petite Ginger Jeans - Trish StitchedCargo Ginger Jeans - Trish StitchedCargo Ginger Jeans - Trish Stitched

My workout wardrobe got a huge boost!

Purple Floral Workout Gear - Trish StitchedMe Made May 2017: Week 2 & 3- Trish Stitched

And dresses had their moment as well!

Mauve Embroidered Dress - Trish StitchedDSC_0039-011

Trish Stitched

Of course refashions were among the favorites.

Pant Set Refashion - Turia Dungarees with Embroidered Florals - Trish StitchedRefashion Your Summer Wardrobe - Dress to Top Refashion - Trish StitchedBridesmaid Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#Refashioners2017 Suit Me: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched

And prints had their shining moments:

Flower Power Watson Bra - Trish StitchedCactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

I also did some really fun projects for Janome.com!

Janome Skyline S9 Embroidered Top - Trish StitchedJanome Skyline S9: Embroidered Shoes and Cactus Lou Box Top HackJanome Skyline S9: Embroidered Shoes and Cactus Lou Box Top Hack4th of July Clutch & Wristlet Tutorial - Janome - Trish Stitched

Every time a “New Year” comes around, it’s usually a time of reflection and I’ve certainly been reflecting on my sewing journey.

I’m in “refocus” mode and want to start blogging more and interacting more with the sewing community. I’ve had a lot of thoughts over the past year about sharing projects just to share, and sharing to inspire- and working towards finding a balance of making for fun & creating a wearable wardrobe.

I also tend to keep to myself in the sewing world, I will “like” and make comments online but in terms of having online sewing buddies, I’m not one to reach out. I think it’s the introvert in me – and that is something I would like to work on more this year.

For 2018, jeans are still on my radar. I’m excited to make more pairs and finally get rid of my RTW jeans. I can’t wait to make a few Blackwood Cardigans and Kalle Shirt Dresses. I am also really excited to do more refashions and I have a whole pile of clothes waiting to be transformed! I’ve also pre-ordered Melissa Fehr’s new active wear book that’s being released in March!

And in other news, I’m hoping to release some patterns of my own in the new year! After making my latest handbag, I decided I want to share my patterns with the world – not just my finished bags. I don’t have too much of a timeline on this, but it’s all in the works! Here’s my latest bag:

Trish StitchedTrish StitchedTrish Stitched

I have so many projects for 2018, what are you planning on making?

 

handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing

#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion

Happy Halloween! Life has been so crazy the past few weeks and I fell like I’ve fallen behind on everything! But I finished my suit refashion just in time for today’s deadline!

If you aren’t familiar with the challenge, Refashioners is a online challenge to refashion and win a prize! Last year the theme was jeans – and I made one of my favorite refashions- my denim bomber jacket. This year’s theme was “suits you”, taking an old suit and transforming it into something new.

I love seeing everyone’s creations, and while I’m pretty sure I will never win a refashioning challenge, it is so much fun to participate!

This year I had a plan even before the official rules came out. I felt so on top of my game, life was good. I bought two women’s suits, one pink skirt suit and a blue dress suit, and wanted to make coveralls. With the hopeful impending move, I had dreams of painting rooms and doing a ton of work to a house and thought a pair of coveralls would be the perfect wardrobe addition.

#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched

Well, here we are at the end of October and still no house. We lost another dream home last week, so house hunting has been a really tough journey, not just time consuming, but so emotionally stressful. Because of everything that has been going on, I didn’t get to my refashion, and last week I knew I was cutting it close. I had no desire to make coveralls, and needed a new idea- stat.

Pinterest to the rescue! I found this great coat on pinterest and my mind was made up. I had to have something similar and I could transform my suit into this coat!

This refashion was actually very simple, but took way longer than expected. I cut the suit jacket in half, and attached the bottom half of the skirt to the jacket. This way I was able to keep the original hem.

For the hood, I was able to use more of the skirt, and used the original skirt lining for the hood facing. I used the hood pattern from the Kelly Anorak. To attach, I just removed the jacket collar and sewed the hood into the opening.

#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched

I ironed out the suit lapels and turned them in. I originally wanted to add a zipper, but the ones I had were closed ended – which I discovered after sewing two different zippers in. So no closures here! But I like the open feel anyway.

I removed the sleeves to resize and change the cuff. I cut off about 2.5″ from the sleeve and made a new cuff with elastic. The sleeves are full length but I love them rolled up! The last step was to add slouchy pockets to the front. I used this awesome diagram from Madalynne, and took the fabric from the original jacket bottom.

#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish StitchedDSC_0345#Refashioners2017 Suits You: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched

There’s nothing left but some scraps, buttons, skirt zipper and two massive shoulder pads that were removed almost immediately. I was hoping to add more detail and hardware like the original, but I ran out of time and supplies and really enjoy the cleaner finished look.

#Refashioners2017 Suit Me: Suit to Coat Refashion - Trish Stitched

Overall, I love my new piece. And I really love having a new piece that’s wearable. And, if you don’t follow me on Instagram (@trishstitched) you may notice my hair is a little different…11″ chopped off!

sewing

Cactus Print Gina Shorts

Hello, hello! Are you still reading? I know it’s been awhile. Well over two months in fact. I swear there’s a reason, there’s actually quite a few. Many I can’t mention now because they are “works in progress” but some I can share. (Feel free to skip my reasons and scroll down to my shorts!)

Summer is always a crazy time for me, with work and just wanting to be outside, summer is my favorite season. But working on a farm, summer is so busy- growing and picking and selling…it all leads up to fall, the busiest time of year. But this year something happened, we changed the farm schedule to be “by appointment only”, in short terms I lost my job. But I didn’t really “lose” it, as I was working for my parents to help them and to have a flexible schedule. For me, the farm was never supposed to be a full time thing, but with my grandparent’s death and my mom needing to be away from the farm to deal with the estate, over the years I’ve taken on a lot of responsibility. But we are now at a point where my help isn’t needed, and I get to focus on my sewing. This is a very recent change, just the past few weeks – so this isn’t quite the excuse for lack of posting but I’m getting there.

Another reason this summer has been insane is because Drew and I are house hunting! We’ve lived in Hoboken for 4.5 years, and I am so done with this city. We’ve been searching for months, and lost our dream house to a much higher bidder, so the hunt has been rough. We are continuing to look, and I spend hours online looking and our weekends have been filled with open houses; it’s been a learning process, and I am very ready to find a home. But that still isn’t the main reason you haven’t heard from me in awhile…

The real reason for not posting is because I’ve been in a burnout phase. There has been so much going on that my body is tired, my mind is tired, and my creativity felt dried up. I’ve been avoiding sewing projects, saying “no” to people because I felt like I would just mess the project up, and my health has not been the best. I’m not sick, but I just haven’t been taking care of myself. I’m tired all the time, eat poorly, drink way too much caffeine, and have stopped running. Guys, it SUCKS to be in burnout. I’ve tried to make a few things, but it’s been so hard to get my sewing mojo back. These shorts should have been done weeks ago – in reality I could have made them months ago if I had the motivation.

I’m slowly getting back to feeling like myself, and I am definitely not all the way there yet, but my mind has been buzzing with ideas and if I don’t start sewing, I’m going to explode.

Cactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

These shorts have quite a story of their own. Months ago liz.crafty on Instagram posted a photo of her Selene Skirt in this amazing cactus print. I immediately had a vision of cactus print shorts and had to have the fabric. I was desperately searching for it for weeks and found it internationally! I was so close to checking out until the shipping costs rolled in. I was having a hard time justifying spending the money on the fabric alone, I just couldn’t spend on shipping. Slightly devastated, I sat back and continued to dream about my perfect shorts.

Some time later, I saw an Instagram post from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics and they had the fabric in stock! I hopped online to see if the green was still available and bought a yard and a half right on the spot. The fabric is so dreamy, yes more expensive than I usually sew with, but this was a special project. (Stonemountain is currently sold out, and I’m not sure where they are now selling this fabric but if you are looking it is called: Kokka Cactus Dobby – Green)

Cactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

Next step was to find the perfect shorts pattern. There are a lot of shorts patterns on the market, but so many of them are high-waisted! Those aren’t my favorite style so I’ve been extremely careful in my pattern search. Then came the Gina Shorts from SBCC Patterns.

Cactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

The Gina Shorts are specifically made for petite bodies, have a cute cuff detail and great pockets. They looked perfect! I made a wearable muslin in a size 2, and they were a little large. I dove right into my cactus fabric, cutting a size 0 and hoped they would fit. And they fit like a dream! I have my perfect summer shorts!

Cactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish StitchedCactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

My thoughts on the pattern: While I loved making this pattern, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to someone who has never sewn pants before. The instructions are very straight-forward, so there is no hand holding when getting to steps like flys or buttonholes. (I always turn to my Ginger Jeans e-book for these steps). For me, the instructions were great since I’ve made several pants before, and the shorts became a pretty easy sewing project, but for someone just starting out, I would have references handy.

Cactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

The pattern fit is perfection. I am 4’9″, very petite, and everything sits where it should on a petite body. I can’t speak for taller seamstresses out there, but for us short girls, these shorts are AMAAAAZING! My waistband sits on my waist, I have no gap in the back and they are the perfect length- not too long to be “mom shorts” but no where near booty shorts that I usually have to buy in ready-to-wear. I did size down based on my measurements, but I would recommend making a muslin.

Cactus Print Gina Shorts- Trish Stitched

What I also love about finally sewing my own shorts is how much easier fabric shopping will be. Whenever I go to buy fabric for a new pair of pants, I can add on another yard and have plenty for a pair of shorts! I won’t be needing more pairs this year, but with fall starting to come through very slowly (it’s still 70s and 80s in Jersey) I’ve gotten a few wears out of these in just the past week!

I hope I haven’t run people away with my long-winded post, sometimes it’s very therapeutic to share what’s going on behind the blog. I do have a few big projects coming up and I hope you’ll look forward to my life changes along with me!

handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing

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!