handbags · Janome Sewing · Tutorials

DIY Crossbody Bag Tutorial with Janome!

I am so incredibly excited to share this post! I’ve been working on this tutorial for a while and am so happy to finally share it! I absolutely love making bags, and know that bag making can be pretty intimidating, so I wanted to create an in-depth tutorial for one of my favorite style bags to make!

This tutorial is for a small lined crossbody bag with a push lock (or tongue lock) close, with a flat bottom, adjustable strap and exterior zipper! This bag is similar in style to the bags I designed for my etsy shop, but much quicker and easier to make! I’ve created a PDF tutorial filled with photos and instructions, and there’s a video tutorial on YouTube!

One of the things I love most about this pattern is that it is totally customizable! Don’t want an exterior pocket? No need to include it, or use the instructions to make an interior pocket! Want to make the straps removable? Stitch the strap ends to swivel hooks! You can curve the front flap into a half circle shape, and if you want, make the bag bigger or smaller by adjusting the measurements provided! This is a great bag to introduce you to bag making, or to get some more experience with bag hardware and zippers! (If you are looking for online spots for materials, I shop most hardware at Purse Supplies R Us on Etsy, zippers come from ZipIt, and Push Locks from Pacific Trimming!) The exterior fabric used in this bag is a large upholstery fabric swatch from my collection, and the lining and pockets are cotton.

I hope you love this bag! If you make it, let me know! I would love to see your version! Any questions, I am here to answer!

Get the PDF here!

Follow along in video format here!

Find other amazing sewing project on the Janome Blog!

refashion · sewing · Tutorials

Simple Skirt Alteration: Front Button Up Skirt Refashion

I can’t believe we are already halfway through June! I’ve been working on several projects, but some haven’t been going according to plan and I needed a simple project to cleanse my sewing palette.

I found this skirt on Poshmark two or three weeks ago. I was just buying a top but before checking out from the closet, I saw this skirt and fell in love! It’s by Emily & Fin and the listing said it was from Modcloth, but I also found it sold through Anthropologie. It has a really cute California inspired print with images of the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, Wine Country, and cacti and palm trees. Best of all- it has pockets! After getting the skirt and trying it on, I realized I wasn’t a huge fan of how it laid on my lower half. It felt a little blah. I really loved the print and colors and wanted to make this work for my wardrobe.

I was imagining putting a slit in the side or the front when I thought about adding an entire button front. This would allow me to add some detail and let me have a leg opening!

The original plan was to cut right down the center front of the skirt, but this skirt already had a seam, it was just in the back! Want to do a similar alteration? I’ve documented the steps below!

This alteration will work well with skirts that are gathered or has pleats, and works best with a back (or front) zipper. This skirt had pleats so I was able to remove two to give me more material. You can certainly add extra material to make a button front as well. Another tip for wanting to DIY this look, you may need extra material for your waistband. My skirt was originally meant to sit down towards the hips, but I fit it to my natural waist and was able to tighten it just a little bit.

Step one is to remove the back zipper, and seam rip the back seam.

Step two is to remove a pleat on each side, or remove gathering. This step definitely depends on the style of your skirt. If you have gathering, you may want to consider removing the waistband and redistributing all gathering, but this is totally optional!

Step three, open the stitching on your waistband. Re-stitch waistband ends with right sides together to create clean ends. The bottom of the waistband remains open to re-insert the skirt.

Step four, mark where the skirt lines up with the edge of the waistband and measure. This will be the fold point for the button front. My fold measured 1.5″. I marked this measurement on both sides of the skirt opening, and folded them in. Interface this folded section with lightweight fusible interfacing. I folded in the serged edge of each side, folded again to finish the button front and top stitch closed.

Step 5, baste mark the top of each button front where the original skirt stitching was. This line becomes where the waistband gets re-attached. Fit new skirt in-between wrong sides of waistband and stitch shut. I stitched all the way around my waistband but you can handstitched shut if you don’t want stitching to show.

Step 6, mark buttonholes and stitch. My buttonholes are 2.25″ apart. I only had 5 matching buttons on hand, so I only made 5 buttonholes but it works perfectly! It’s the perfect amount to get a great opening.

And that’s it! This was a pretty quick alteration – I feel weird calling it a refashion because the garment wasn’t really re-vamped.

This was a pretty quick project, although made a little longer when photographing and recording, but it’s a nice project to take on! I made a little behind the scenes video which you can find on my Pinterest!

You can also see my new haircut and glasses (1st photo)! I cut 10″ off two weeks ago and it feels great! I also finally updated my frames! I’ve had the same glasses frames for about 10 years and never felt the need to get new frames until this year when I got a new prescription. (I mostly wear contacts so glasses don’t often make an appearance.)

refashion · Tutorials

Nightgown to Pajama Set Refashion with 2nd Ave Thrift Store

I posted this upcycle a few week ago on Instagram but wanted to share the behind the scenes details here on the blog!

It had been well over a year since I had been “in person” thrifting, so when 2nd Ave Thrift Store reached out about collaborating on a project, I was all for it! This was my first time shopping in a 2nd Ave Store, but certainly won’t be my last. I was really impressed with the selection, and was so amazed by the size of the store!

The first section I looked through was the dresses. There were some really great pieces – quite a few options still new with tags but I like to refashion pieces that are a bit more worn and well- loved. I turned around and was facing the pajama section when this adorable nightgown caught my eye. The dress was made from this comfy, cozy, cotton fabric that’s been washed quite a bit, and has such a pretty print.

There was a project I had planned in my head months prior but wasn’t able to find the right piece, but thought this nightgown would be a great option for my idea. I wanted to make a lounge set of matching top and shorts. I did have a moment before cutting where I thought about making a complete romper, but really wanted two seperate pieces that would be able to look like a romper when put together.

My plan was to cut out the shorts first, then that would determine the length of the top. The first step was to un-do the hem of the nightgown, which I was going to use for length on the shorts. When I undid the hem, the fabric was not very forgiving, and instead, I cut off the hem underneath the stitching holes to use that material for the drawstring waist.

There are a few ways to make the bottoms. You can use a pattern or trace a pair of shorts you already own (like I did with this refashion). I used the free Peppermint Spring Shorts pattern, but I squared off the bottom hem and made the rise higher because I wanted higher waisted shorts. The sides of the pattern lined up perfectly with the sides of my nightgown, which made this project easier.

After cutting the shorts, I was left with an angled top. I wanted to utilize as much of the fabric as I could so I cut the hem of the shirt into a curve.

I was originally going to fold the top of the shorts down a few inches and insert elastic, but I didn’t want to lose the height. I used the leftover fabric from the center of the nightgown to add an additional 2 1/2″ band to the waist. I did wind up cutting (and then immediately restitching) the original waistband height on the shorts. Doing this gave me the seam detail I wanted, and it made it easier to stitch in the ditch when closing the waistband.

My waistband has a piece of 2″ wide elastic, and two extra stitching lines to secure the elastic and for design. There’s an excellent tutorial on Melly Sews if you are looking to get a similar result.

It’s a bit hard to see in the before photo, but the sleeves were wider than I wanted, and the neckline was a bit low. I wanted to fix these fit issues for a more comfortable feel. To do this, I removed the sleeves, stitched the shoulder seams a few inches down, and the underarm seam to match. I brought in about 1/2″ from the shirt side seam for a cleaner fit as well, before re-attaching the sleeve.

After this alteration, I hemmed the shirt and the shorts to finish. I love this set! I love the fabric, and the print, and absolutely love that I can mix and match the pieces with different tops and bottoms in my wardrobe. And together they create an amazing faux romper!

It was wonderful to be out thrifting again! I missed the adventure of picking out pieces in person, and one of my favorite discoveries is that 2nd Ave also has a great linen section! There are about four rows of tablecloths, fabrics, sheets and bedding. Most thrift stores I’ve been to don’t have a large linen section, usually some bed sheets and maybe a few pillows, but I don’t often find a large selection of textiles in stores. This was an awesome find and I can’t wait to go back and look through those racks again! There are several 2nd Ave Stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia – check out all the locations here!

I also found an amazing piece to wear as is! It’s a vintage petite Liz Sport romper that came with a matching belt! I have to hem the shorts a little bit but I love this piece!

etsy · handbags · handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing · Tutorials

Jeans to Pinafore Refashion

Hello, hello! In the past few months my apparel sewing has slowed down quite a bit and my bag making as been taking over! I’ve been working hard to add new bags to my Etsy shop, and finally designed and created my dream bag! (I’ll share more at the end of this post!)

But as the title says, my main reason for blogging today is to share my latest refashion! This piece has been several months in the making. I started dreaming about this project back in December! I wanted to share a little of my thought process, because it really was an idea that bounced around a bit before landing! One of the most common questions I get asked is where my ideas come from, so here’s how this one formed!

I had a pair of corduroy pants in my refashion pile, that I was stuck on what to do with. I started looking online for corduroy dresses, or jackets to gather some inspiration. I came across this adorable pinafore from Show Me Your Mumu, and started going down the pinafore rabbit hole!

I do quite a bit of fabric Tetris in my mind when figuring out if I can realistically make a refashion work. I knew if the pants were long enough, and I was able to cut them off with enough fabric to spare, this project would work.

I sat with the idea for a bit (some other projects got in the way of starting) and before I knew it the weather was warming up. I wasn’t motivated to sew with corduroy anymore, but the idea was still taking over in my mind. I started searching on ThredUP to find a replacement garment to bring the idea to life. Thankfully the perfect pair popped up in my search and the project was back on!

I started searching for a pattern for the bodice. (This is something that can be self drafted!) I came across the Amber Pinafore Dress from Named Clothing. I’ve had great luck with Named Patterns in the past so I knew it would be reliable for me. I tested the bodice with cotton fabric before cutting so I could work out any fit issues beforehand.

Now onto the tutorial! Sorry for the photo quality, I realized I was taking more video than photos for this project so some of these are from screenshots.

First, with the jeans on, mark knee length. This was my starting point to cut because I didn’t want to make my skirt too short. (I cut off an additional 2” once I had a better idea of length.)

Seam rip open each cut pant leg, leaving one side seam intact. Undo hem as well.

Cut bodice out of each pant leg. (For a better fit, the top of my bodice lined with the jean hem, and the bottom of the bodice lined up with my original pant cut line.) I traced my bodice piece onto each leg, making sure to match where the Jean seam line was for a consistent look. (Tip: mark on your pattern piece where seams need to hit!) Try to keep the bodice towards the ends of the leg to be sure you get the most use out of your fabric.

Once your bodice is cut, you can see how much fabric you have left to work with.

Next step is to turn the remaining jeans into the skirt. Going back to the top portion of your jeans, seam rip the inner legs.

On the front of the jeans, seam rip the fly section a few inches up, until the jeans can lay flat, and you can see the triangle start to form on the bottom. Don’t seam rip too far up, and don’t hit the fly zipper. This part of the project you may have to play around with a bit to get the right fit. Pin the triangle in place before adding any fabric, and try the skirt on to test the opening width.

Thankfully my front triangle didn’t need much fabric, so only a small portion of my fabric went into this section.

Continue this process for the skirt back as well. Seam rip the center back seam a few inches, and lay back flat. You may have to seam rip more on the back than the front. My opening was wider in the back, and I didn’t have enough material from one pant leg to properly fit. I stitched my remaining fabric together for a bigger insert. You can see I placed my new seam in the center of my insert, which takes extra time to pin and stitch properly, but creates a more finished look. I also folded the pant leg triangle sides in more to create a flatter piece.

The back was a bit harder for me to fit. I recommend pinning in place, then trying the skirt on to be sure it lays nicely.

After the inserts are finished, the rest of the material is for the straps! Now, on my pants, since I cut off an extra 2” from my original pants, I was able to use most of that for my straps. (You may not have that material to work with, but you can always make the back straps out of a coordinating fabric if you don’t have enough!) I had to add some length from my remaining fabric to extend the straps, as you can see with my seam lines.

My entire bodice is lined with cotton muslin. For reference, my straps were cut 2” wide and stitched with a 3/8” seam allowance.

Try your skirt on and pin bodice in place. I started by pinning the front, making sure to get my bodice pieces close to each other. Once front is pinned, pin back straps, making sure straps are comfortably tight. These will be pinned on an angle. Remove pinafore and double check the back straps to make sure their distance is even. If your jeans have belt loops, the back loop is a great center point to measure from. I hand stitched my bodice down, but you can certainly sew by machine.

To finish the skirt, I evened out my hem, serged the edge and hand stitched up 3/8”. I didn’t want to make my skirt any shorter, but this part is all personal preference!

What made this project work: mid-rise jeans. With the type of bodice I added, the waist of my jeans needed to come up, so starting with mid rise jeans meant they didn’t have to come up that much higher. This is something to consider if you want to make this style pinafore yourself, mid rise or high rise jeans would work best. If you have a pair of low rise jeans, you may have to re-fit the waist altogether and may not have enough material for the entire bodice (or you may have to build a different bodice. Search for “overall dresses” for another idea!)

Another tip, if you want more material to work with, use boot cut or flare jeans! My original jeans were technically a “crop pant” but because of my height, they were normal length skinny jean on me.

Want to go a step further? Add a little extra length to the bodice front and strap ends, and make the entire top removable with buttons! I did this for my skirt to overall pinafore refashion a few years back. It’s a great way to get more wear out of the garment! (Post here!)

And a quick note: here are the new bags I’ve been working on! These little crossbody bags have been in the works for years and I’m so incredibly excited with how they turned out! The exteriors are made from reclaimed and secondhand fabrics! Shop Crossbody’s on my Etsy!

Janome Sewing · Tutorials

DIY Embroidered Crop Pullover with Janome

Today I’m sharing a fun tutorial to upcycle an old pullover! One way or another, I wind up with a bunch of them in my wardrobe. This teal one came from my mom! She had worn it over the years and was ready to let it go, but before it ended up in the donation pile I took it to upcycle! This is a really fun refashion, and may take some time at the embroidery machine, but the end result is a really great piece (that I’ve already worn many times!)

Stitched on the most amazing Janome Machine : Horizon Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000

Watch the full video tutorial here!

Here are the steps!

  • Take a pullover sweatshirt and find a good crop length. You can fold the hem under and test length in front of a mirror. Cut length off (I cut 7” off mine)
  • Mark center point on new bottom of pullover and line up embroidery hoop. Add stabilizer (I started with tear away but went to cut away mesh, which I preferred for this project) Leave a small space between the start of embroidery and hem of pullover (I left 3/8” blank on hem bottom). Embroider!
  • To add continual embroidery, measure the length of the embroidered design – this design measures 9 ½”. From the center point of your original design (4 ¾” is my center point), measure out the total length (9 ½”) to get the center point of your next design. This point will be the new center point in your hoop. If your garment has a flair, you may need to add ½” spacing (¼” on each side). Use your hoop template and the Trace Without Stitching key on Embroidery Machine to check your design.
  • I found it helpful to embroider on one side of the original embroidery first, then the other, so that my final embroidery would be done on the center back of the pullover. Continue with this all the way around the pullover.
  • If your design leaves a little extra space on the pullover, but not enough for a complete design, use your hoop template as a guide to fit the rest of a design. My design has two colors, so I needed to skip a few floral pieces. On your machine, use the Jump Key (Calculator) to skip patterns you don’t need and jump to the design you want. It is also helpful to have the Cross Key (+ button) on to see where the design is currently stitching.
  • Trim away stabilizer, give your pullover a quick press and wear!

Other project details:

Hoop: GR

Embroidery Design Used: Lovely Blooms by Urban Threads

inspiration · Janome Sewing · refashion · sewing · Tutorials

I’m Teaching at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful (and safe) holiday season! I have a bit of a different post to share today but something I am really excited about!

I will be teaching at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo!

The expo is February 24th -28th 2021 and I am teaching two classes:

My Upcycled Wedding Jacket with Embroidery

One Needle Class: 1124 Upcycling with Embroidery
FRIDAY, 4:00 - 4:45 PM (PST)
SUNDAY, 12:00 - 12:45 PM (PST)
Give old clothes a new look with machine embroidery! This class is centered around inspiration and
learning techniques for adding machine embroidery to apparel.

Double sided zip pouch made with fabric swatches!

3133 Upcycle Swatch Book Fabrics into a Zipper Pouch
THURSDAY, 5:00 - 7:30 PM (PST)
SATURDAY, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM (PST)
Swatch books are filled with beautiful fabrics that can be turned into something useful! Turn two coordinating fabric swatches into a small zipper pouch. You’ll learn how to make a lined, flat bottom bag with a zipper close.
$5 project kit.

This year’s expo is virtual, so you can access the expo from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone! Purchased classes will also be recorded and available for a limited time after the live class.

Both classes I will be teaching are focused around sustainability and using your sewing skills to encourage upcycling!

My first class, Upcycling with Embroidery, is a lecture style class where I will be sharing projects, ideas and tips to add machine embroidery to old clothes. This class is open to all skill levels, and I welcome anyone to attend even if you don’t currently own an embroidery machine! One Needle Classes are $6, and 45 minutes long.

My second class is a project class, meaning you will need a sewing machine (preferably with a zipper foot) and iron/ironing board to do the project. Three Needle classes are $30 and there is a kit that will need to be purchased for this class, which is $5 and includes fabric and zipper for your project. This is a great class for beginner sewists who are looking to make a project with a zipper! I will be sending kits with fabric swatches, so you can see exactly what I use to make the bags that are in my etsy shop! Three needle classes are 2.5 hours long.

Registration opens tomorrow, January 12th! And please note, registration for classes with project kits will close February 2, 2021 to allow time for shipping, which includes my swatch book class.

If the expo is something you’ve been thinking about attending, or are already set to register, I hope you consider one or both of my classes! I would love to see you there!

Click here for the full 2021 Sewing and Stitchery Expo Catalog

Janome Sewing · sewing · Tutorials

DIY Embroidered Flare Jeans

Jeans are my favorite wardrobe staple. I wear jeans almost every day, and just about all them are skinny jeans. But it has been a great year to try different styles, like all the wide leg cropped pieces I’ve been making (here and here), and I have a whole box of secondhand jeans from ThredUp to create with!

ThredUp sent me a denim rescue box for another project, but since the box is 50 lbs of denim, I have a lot of jeans to work with! Rescue boxes are filled with unaccepted items for resale and unsold jeans from the site. In my box, there are a lot of jeans in great condition that are not my size and I plan on donating them. Since it is a rescue box, quite a few of the pairs are stretched out, or stained; completely unwearable in their current condition. I went through the box and there were a few pairs in my size, two that look and feel great! One is a pair of black skinny jeans, which I’ve been wanting for a while, and the other was this pair of Levis, which fit great except for the length! I was going to do a simple hem, but I thought this would be a fun moment to try something new.

Flare jeans came to mind and I started going down a little rabbit hole on pinterest. DIY flare jeans have been a popular tutorial for years with some of the most popular projects including adding a patterned fabric flare, or lace insert. While they look great, that isn’t the style I wanted for these jeans. I wanted a pair that looked a little more intentional, and I started seeing flare jeans made with denim inserts and embroidery, and really loved the idea. There are some beautiful pairs on Free People and Modcloth (sold out)!

I started looking at different embroidery designs and went through a few options. I wanted to do something like the inspiration pieces, with a full embroidered insert but couldn’t find the right florals, and decided to do something a little simpler.

I found a piece of denim remnant in my stash (from my very first pair of jeans!) that was a really close shade to my jeans. I also loved that this denim remnant had the raw edge, and while it doesn’t perfectly match the raw edge of my jeans, it still meshes well with the jeans.

Want to DIY your own pair? Here’s a quick step by step:

Mark the exterior jean side seam right under the knee. Seam rip the exterior seam up to this point, and reinforce the seam at the top so it doesn’t continue to unravel. I wanted my jeans to hit the floor when wearing heeled boots so I also let the hem down on my jeans (this is optional).

Cut a piece of fabric large enough for your embroidery hoop and trace the triangle for your insert before stitching. If you don’t want to add embroidery, you can cut inserts straight from your fabric. My insert measured 10.5″ x 18.5″ (the length of my insert + a little extra seam allowance)

Add your embroidery! Cut the insert out, and trim away interfacing. Pin inserts wrong sides together to jean openings. I pinned onto the original jean seam. At the insert tops, stitch up to the reinforced seam. If you are leaving your edges raw, you are done!

I want to get the edges a little rougher, so I’m excited to let them fray over time.

I really loved the fit of the jeans, and now love the added length so I can look a little taller than 4’10”! (Jeans photographed with one of my recent refashions!)

Embroidery design is Gilded Floral 23 from Embroidery Online!

refashion · sewing · Tutorials

Shower Curtain Lounge Pants – Free Pattern From Trevor Loves Mommy!

Melissa is a talented blogger over at Trevor Loves Mommy, you may know some of her awesome refashions (like this top and this dress), and she recently came out with a pajama pants pattern – that’s free! (Sign up for her email list and the PDF will be sent to your inbox!) I absolutely love free patterns and love telling people about really great ones. I’m so excited to share this pattern with you!

For some reason, pajama pants are not a popular project in my sewing, which is weird because I actually need more pairs. I have one pair of flannel pants and one pair of cotton pants. Both pairs were gifted to me from my mom and I wear one or the other at least twice a week. Elastic waist pants are comfortable to wear, and so simple to make!

I’ve been getting really inspired by border prints lately and working border prints into apparel. There was one piece of material in my home that had a beautiful border print that I thought would shine on these pants; our basement shower curtain! We don’t use the basement bathroom much and I really bought this shower curtain with the intention to one day use it for a sewing project. It lasted two years before I took it down! The shower curtain came from World Market, and is a cotton/poly mix.

To use the border print, I wanted to be sure I didn’t have to hem the pants after cutting, so I made a toile first. This pattern comes in sizes XS-2XL and the pattern suggestion is to cut out your RTW pattern for pajamas (XS for me), but the pattern also includes sizing – and finished inseam! The inseam measurement helped me with cutting down the pattern for my short legs! On the pant “shorten or lengthen” line I removed 3” to start. After finishing my toile, I also removed 3” from the bottom hemline of the pattern. This way, I was able to keep the original hem on my shower curtain.

The only other change I made to the pattern was my elastic waistband. The pattern shows a single elastic waist, but I wanted a little more detail to mimic some of the RTW lounge pants I’ve been seeing. This is a really easy change; here’s a short tutorial! (Please note, I did not have to add any length to the waist, and elastic I used was 1/2″.)

Right after cutting the pants pattern out, serge or zig zag the raw edge of the waist. From the top of the waistband measure and mark 2.5” down.

Iron the serged edge down, and iron down on the 2.5” mark. Sew the pants together as instructed.

Once pants are stitched, turn the waistband down and stitch as follows: Leave a 3” gap on the back and first stitch the top 5/8” down. Next top stitch the bottom down. You may need to stretch the fabric a bit to fit evenly, but it fits. Next, stitch two more channels 5/8” from the top stitching line. I found it best to go in this order, but stitching the bottom down first also works well.

Once all three lines are stitched, feed elastic into each channel and stitch ends of elastic together. Once all elastic is in, stitch the 3” gap closed, and your pants are done!

This pattern was great to sew. The fit is awesome and it is so easy to cut length out for shorter legs. The instructions are detailed and clear, it is very apparent how much time was spent making this pattern! Not only is this a quick and easy sewing project, it is also a great pattern for beginners or if you are teaching someone to sew!

Get the pattern HERE!

Here’s a short video tutorial as well – yes, I joined TikTok!

{This post is sponsored by Trevor Loves Mommy, as always, all opinions are my own.}

fashion revolution · refashion · sewing · Tutorials

Fashion Revolution Week: Low Waste Alternatives & Skirt to Top Refashion

Hey world changers – how are you doing? We have all been going through some difficult times and I haven’t been talking about it much because I use my sewing as a form of distraction. I hope these refashions & posts have distracted/inspired you in these times!

Today I’m sharing another simple refashion with a “before” you may be familiar with! I made this skirt several years ago, and I’m definitely not the same size I used to be! This skirt stayed in my wardrobe because I love the fabric so much, and I recently moved it to my refashion pile because I wanted to be able to wear it once again!

Fashion Revolution Week: Skirt to Top Refashion- Trish Stitched

This refashion is based off of this cute top! I am a huge fan of gathering and have done multiple peplum refashions, but haven’t tried an empire style top! This skirt was a very simple pleated skirt with a side zipper. Here’s how I refashioned it:

I took off the waistband, removed the zipper and removed the pleats. I took 5″ off the top of the skirt portion, and used that and the waistband to cut a new bodice and straps. I made a lining from some fabric in my stash. After the bust portion was sewn, I gathered the remaining skirt and attached it to the bust. Then the zipper was re-inserted on the back, and straps were sewn on!

Fashion Revolution Week: Skirt to Top Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Skirt to Top Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Skirt to Top Refashion- Trish Stitched

For the bust, I used a pattern I had in my stash, McCalls 6838, but you can use all different patterns to get a similar result! I made a muslin of the bust portion because I had such little material to work with. Some of the pieces had to be franken-stitched together before making the bust.

Fashion Revolution Week: Skirt to Top Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Skirt to Top Refashion- Trish Stitched

Here’s a short video with some behind the scenes!

{Music in Video is Early Hours by Ikson on Inshot App}

Starting on a sustainable fashion journey can often lead into wanting to go sustainable in other areas of life. For the past few years, I’ve been taking small steps towards going “greener” in other parts of my life, mostly trying to reduce the amount of plastic and trash we create. (We already do a lot of the basics, bringing reusable bags to stores, using metal straws and re-usable cups.) My rule of thumb is, when something in our household is running low, I start looking for alternative products, or a more sustainable system. This is a slower process to go waste free but one that is working well for us. Progress over perfection!

Here’s a few of the products I’ve researched, fallen in love with and now use on a daily basis!

Blueland Hand Soap & Cleaners – This was an instagram ad that got my attention. When we first moved into our home we bought glass soap dispensers and bulk liquid soap, but as my bulk was finally running out, I decided to give Blueland a try! We were also running low on household cleaners so we purchased the whole cleaning set. Blueland sells “forever” bottles and tablets. You keep the same bottles, use tap water to fill the bottles and pop in a tablet to refill the soap dispensers and cleaners. The foam soap is amazing, and the cleaners have been great! I bought a double batch of soap so we are stocked for awhile!

Dropps Laundry & Dishwasher Detergent Pods – It took some time to switch our laundry detergent because I’ve had bad skin reactions to detergents in the past and have been afraid to try a new product, but Dropps have been incredible! Dropps are pods and what I love is that they aren’t sold in a giant plastic container! We also bought the dishwasher pods, which we love! Another sustainable option I almost went with is Tru Earth, which are laundry strips!

Soda Stream – I know this is a strange one to be on my sustainable list but it’s a product that has cut down on so much of our waste. Drew and I love bubbly water and we would go through a case of La Croix a week. The recycling bin was getting outrageous, so we switched to Soda Stream last year. We don’t drink much soda, so our system is just used for carbonated water, and this little unit has been awesome!

Next alternatives we are trying: Shampoo and conditioner bars! It took some time to research, but I’m hoping the ones I ordered work for my hair! They are set to arrive next week so I will update soon!

What are some of your low-waste alternatives?

There are a few low waste youtuber’s I love following, and if this is a topic you are interested in, check them out!

Shelbizleee

Sedona Christina

refashion · sewing · Tutorials

Fashion Revolution Week & Simple Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion

It’s Fashion Revolution Week! This is a very important week, and as a refashioner /lover of the planet, this week is a chance for me to bring even more awareness to a cause close to my heart. If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’ll have seen my posts in previous years about Fashion Revolution. But for those who are new here, or somehow stumbled upon this post – I would love to share what Fashion Revolution is!

Fashion Revolution.org explains it best:

On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, we encourage millions of people to come together to campaign for systemic change in the fashion industry.

We are living in a climate emergency and the fashion & textiles sector is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries. The industry continues to lack transparency, with widespread exploitation of people working in the supply chain. Never before have there been this many people on the planet in slavery, and fashion is a key driver of this reality. Brands and retailers are still not taking enough responsibility for the pay and working conditions in their factories, the environmental impacts of the materials they use or how the products they make affect the health of people, animals and our living planet. 

If the fashion industry is so horrible, why do we still love shopping and getting new clothes? It’s so easy to ignore something that isn’t directly affecting our daily lives. But if we know what is wrong with the clothing industry, why can’t we do something about it? As a consumer, there are a few things you can do: ask your favorite brands who made your clothes and how. Hold them responsible for their impact, and if they don’t have a good answer or plan on changing – find an alternative.

I am fortunate to have a passion for sewing that has helped me to find alternatives to shopping fast fashion, and with second-hand shopping gaining momentum, it is now easier than ever to say “no” to buying new, unsustainable fashion. This week I’m talking about alternatives in the fashion & sewing industry, ways to be more sustainable in every day life, and sharing some new refashions. One of the most important things to remember about your sustainable journey is that it isn’t about being perfect. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and taking time to make little changes can be more impactful than diving straight in. My wardrobe still isn’t 100% sustainable, and probably won’t be for a few years, but I’m doing what I can at my own pace. World changers aren’t here to judge, we are hear to encourage and inform.

Why do I care about Fashion Revolution? I’ve been part of the world of fashion since I was a child, playing with paper dolls and creating new clothes for them. I’ve dreamed of being a designer, owning a fashion house and making several new lines a year. I’ve envisioned seeing my clothes on people walking down the street, and in shop windows. I’ve always known I was meant to be in the world of fashion, but when I started to really learn about the industry, my dreams started to blur.

I learned about the horrible working conditions, and it was a complete eye opener. A world that I loved had just started crumbling around me – the realities of what my dream meant to others and the planet started setting in and I believed I wasn’t meant for this industry. And I was right. I’m not meant for the traditional fashion industry. I’m meant for this new industry that is forming. One that cares about employees and working conditions, fair pay and materials used, sustainability and inclusivity.

My love for clothing hasn’t changed, but I no longer desire to have my own clothing company. Now, I dream about encouraging others to create. One of the best alternatives to shopping fast fashion is to take a second look at the items already in your wardrobe- and if you sew, you’ll have a lot more opportunity to love your garments over and over!  This week I’m transforming a few pieces that have been sitting in my closet into something new for me to re-love.

Fashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish Stitched

The first piece up is an Aeropostle dress I thrifted quite a few months ago. I originally bought this dress to wear as-is, but after washing it and trying it on, it was clear the top was too tight for me. The underarms were too high and cut into my armpits, and there were a few stains along the bodice. What drew me to the dress was the longer skirt, so that’s the part I wanted to keep! It didn’t take long to turn this dress into a cute midi skirt for spring/summer.

Fashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish Stitched

There’s a short video for this piece, but a few written instructions as well. This is for a skirt with front buttons but can be done with a zippered dress as well. With a zipper, you may have to remove and re-install the zipper.

  1. Measure waist to midi length (or the length you would like your skirt to hit) and add 1/2″. Starting your measurement from the bottom of the dress, measure and cut that length on your piece. This way you will get to keep your hem in tact and save a step! My measurement came to 29.5″.
  2. If you are raising the waist of your dress, you may need to take out some extra fabric. I took out 8″ total on my new skirt from the back seam. Starting at the waistline and tapering down to the seamline.
  3. Using the excess material from the bodice of your dress, make a waistband. I wanted a small waistband so mine was 2″ x the length of my waist (+2″ for seam allowance) Add lightweight interfacing to waistband.
  4. Stitch the waistband to the skirt, right sides together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  5. Fold the other raw edge of waistband in, then fold waistband in half with wrong sides together, enclosing the raw edges. Topstitch waistband.
  6. I added a hook and eye to the very top of my waistband, but if you have a zipper, there will be no need.

I wanted the front of my skirt to have a clean look with no gathering, but I will be going in and adding elastic to the back, as I tried my skirt on the next day and it wasn’t as secure (thanks to the short detox I’m doing!). Adding a little bit of elastic on the back will help with fit.

Fashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish Stitched

I’ve wanted a midi skirt in my wardrobe for a long time, but never thought it was right for my short body. Being able to try the style with a second hand piece showed me I can rock and LOVE how midi’s look on me. I am so excited to wear this piece with sneakers and tees, and also dress it up with heels like I did here. It’s going to be a perfect piece for summer in my sewing studio when I want something light and airy to wear.

Fashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Dress to Midi Skirt Refashion - Trish Stitched

And how cute is that print and those buttons?! I hope you’ll join me along for the rest of the week and ask your favorite brands who made your clothes!

For more info and ways to get involved, visit FashionRevolution.org