handmade wardrobe · sewing

Mustard Ebony Tee

Do you ever get cravings? Usually the kind of cravings I get are food related and involve diet coke or french fries. But for the last few months I’ve had a craving to make an Ebony Tee by Closet Case Patterns. It’s a pretty peculiar craving for me, because usually I find a pattern I want to make and just make it. But I could not find the right fabric to make my Ebony. After multiple trips to JoAnn’s, and constantly looking in my own stash, I thought I would come across something that would fill my desire for a new Ebony. Thankfully, I finally came across a piece of fabric to fit the bill.

A few weeks ago, my mom and I went to TexWorld, which is a fabric show at the Javits Center in New York. I went to search for fabric for a new project, but it just so happened that my favorite fabric “store” had a booth with fabric for sale! I was able to pick up five different fabric cuts from Fab Scrap– one perfect for an ebony tee!

I’ve talked about Fab Scrap before, but for those who don’t know, Fab Scrap is a company that retrieves unwanted materials and fabric scraps from fashion companies who are looking for a more economical way to recycle them. They sell yardage and larger scraps to individuals like you and me, or to small companies who are looking to be more sustainable in their production! They have a warehouse in Brooklyn, where you can shop all their fabric, or volunteer to sort fabrics, and they do small pop-ups around the New York/New Jersey area. And… not saying it’s official but… they are looking into opening up an LA location! But in the meantime – you can shop online!

Anyway, back to Ebony. It’s the perfect pattern for me. I’ve actually made 4 versions now- two unblogged, and love this pattern more each time I make it. This is my third cropped Ebony. I usually add between 1.5″ – 2″ to the cropped version, to make it the perfect length.

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

The piece I got from Fab Scrap is similar in weight to a scuba knit, without the scuba texture. It has this beautiful floral burnout that was what really gave me all the “heart eyes” for this material.

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish StitchedMustard Ebony Tee - Trish StitchedMustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

Since the fabric was reclaimed, it wasn’t a clean cut, so I had to do a little tweaking to fit the pattern pieces just right. I had to take out a little bit of the body from both the front and back, and 1/4″ from the 3/4″ sleeves. Since I cut a size larger than I typically cut in patterns, taking a little of the angle out of the sides didn’t change the shape much.

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

Specs for this top:

I made View A, Cropped, with 3/4″ sleeves and an added 1.5″ in length. I made size 4. The sleeves are a little tight because I couldn’t cut them on grain properly, so the stretch is going the wrong way, but it doesn’t bother me.

(You can get the pattern here)

Here’s my total haul from Fab Scrap – and a close up of this mustard!

Mustard Ebony Tee - Trish StitchedMustard Ebony Tee - Trish Stitched

This top is the epitome of my style- and a great basic to add to my wardrobe (yes, I consider it a basic because it is a solid color!). I love wearing skinny jeans and a flowy, or larger, top. I feel put together, and comfortable at the same time, and I am so happy to have another Ebony to add to my collection.

Have you had any pattern cravings? What have you been dying to make?

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being ethical · inspiration

Haulternatives & What To Do After Fashion Revolution

Happy Monday! With Fashion Revolution week behind us, it may be easy to say “See you next year”, but around here, we want to encourage a Fashion Revolution all year long.  While most revolution-ers may be focused on asking brands who made our clothes, the goal of the week is to also inform about “Haulternatives” to shopping new and today I’m taking it a step further to talk about how to get rid of unwanted clothes, because even as makers, there are pieces we don’t want!

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I’ve been on the search for the best way to dispose of unwanted clothes for years. Since my wardrobe isn’t 100% handmade, I still have store bought pieces I am slowly getting rid of because they no longer suit my style. My first instinct is always to refashion, but there are some pieces too good to chop up, and some too unusable to wear. I’ve done several things to limit my landfill waste when it comes to apparel including:

1.Selling online. Ebay is super easy to set up, and you get free listings every month, so you only pay when something sells! This is a great place for gently used clothing items that you actually want to get real money back for. Poshmark has also become a popular app, and a great one if you are constantly on your phone. A few other places are: Mercari, LetGo, and even Facebook Marketplace (although a few of these are more for furniture or tech pieces, I’ve seen clothing on them as well). Etsy is also an option – but the clothes must be “vintage” (over 20 years old) or have been altered in some way. (Etsy is also the best if you have handmade pieces to sell!)

When I’ve been on thrifting trips, I’ve actually picked up some items in the store that are New With Tags and have sold them online, making a small side income to support my fabric addiction. There are many people who make re-selling their full time job, and from my perspective, it’s such a great way to keep good clothes in circulation and getting them to the right customer.

2. Donate to ThredUp or a local location. ThredUp is an online thrift store that will pay you for your gently worn clothes. Fill up one of their polka dot bags, send it in and watch the money come in! You can use the funds to buy clothes through ThredUp, donate to a cause or cash out to buy more fabric! There are also local consignment shops that will give you cash for clothes and another favorite of mine is Plato’s Closet. These places will not give you a lot of money for your used goods, but it’s a great alternative to throwing them away, or dropping it in one of those “unknown clothing bins!”.

Worried about what they do if your clothes aren’t accepted? Here’s ThredUp’s response:

“We have high quality standards and typically accept less than 40% of the clothing we receive. Items that are still in great shape but don’t meet the thredUP standards are sold to third party sellers. Items that are no longer in wearable condition are passed onto our textile recycling partners and upcycled. The proceeds we recoup through this process help us cover some (but not all) of the shipping and labor costs incurred for the unaccepted items we receive.”

If you have specific items to donate, like a prom or wedding dress, a simple search will help you find local donation centers or charity events that look for these pieces! (and because I love making things as easy as possible, here’s a list of places to donate a wedding dress you may have: babble.com )

3. Recycle through H&M. They take any and all fabric/clothing waste & give you a coupon for the donation! What do they do with it? They re-distribute the good quality clothing for re-sale, upcycle the good pieces of material into new store collections and then recycle all the small scraps and unwearable pieces! This is the bag of scraps and failed sewing projects I brought in a few months ago. (and no, I didn’t use my coupon!)

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You can read more about their initiative here. I’ve come across a few people who are very opposed to H&M recycling program, saying that they don’t recycle as much as they claim to. While I don’t believe every single thing I read on the internet, I do trust that they are trying their best to make a change in this world, and putting greater power into recycling, so I am willing to give them a shot. They also have a pretty large voice in the industry, so I’m happy encourage their efforts!

Another alternative is to look up a recycling location with the Council for Textile Recycling. This council is something I’ve recently learned about but the mission is simple: Keep clothing, footwear and textiles out of landfills. They have a locator search tool to help you find places to donate used goods nearby. Near me, Goodwill takes old materials. I have heard that scrap bags and unusable materials should be labeled as such before donation – ask your local branch what they prefer.

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Thrifting/second hand shopping is becoming one of the most popular forms of retail – and I don’t think that’s going to end any time soon. Take a look at the 2018 Fashion Resale Report by ThreadUP. Companies are listening to the demand of less fast fashion. They hear us, and they are making changes because now it’s either change or lose business.

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As a maker, I am always on the lookout for recycled materials to use. My handbags use a lot of fabric swatches, which I got from a local interior designer and I just received my first order from Fab Scrap to use in my wardrobe!

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If you are unfamiliar with Fab Scrap, they are a company reducing waste in the apparel industry at the factory level. There is so much unused fabric in fashion collections, that most companies don’t know how to recycle or sell it. Enter: Fab Scrap, and now you can buy designer fabrics at cheap prices while supporting recycling efforts! You can buy scrap packs, which have smaller scraps or yard packs which include 5 + yards of curated materials. I bought a “warm pack” and asked for florals and solids to make blouses and dresses (silkier pieces) and they listened!

I hope my little series has inspired you to think about the pieces in your closet. Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean you have to keep it! Keep Fashion Revolution going by Refashioning, Recycling, and Consciously Shopping. These are all ways to help make our planet a little greener.

It’s such a great time to encourage others to take a step to think about their wardrobe as well. Want to encourage more handmade? Me Made May starts TOMORROW and you know I’m taking part! I use Me Made May to see the gaps in my handmade wardrobe and which pieces don’t get any wear. It’s also a time to push myself to finish a few projects I have hanging around to have another outfit or two for the month!

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I am really excited for this year’s Me Made May and can’t wait to be inspired by every one else’s wardrobes!

being ethical · refashion · sewing

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion

Happy Fashion Revolution Week! It’s going to be a great week of awareness and I hope you are taking part – whether you are a maker, or fashion consumer, your voice can make a difference!

For the past few months I’ve been wondering how I could make a difference during this week. How can I have my voice heard, in a way that relates to my everyday missions? I absolutely love making my wardrobe and selling handmade bags. When sewing came into my life, I had no idea what an impact it would make. I fall deeper in love with sewing every single day (alright some days it totally pisses me off, but we all have off days, you know?).

As a maker, I love looking at Fashion Revolution Week as a week of motivation for the creative side of the fashion industry.  (You can read all about my thoughts on the fast fashion industry on my post from two years ago.) 

I believe it’s important to get through to the big fashion companies, but it’s also important to change on a more localized level. What every day changes can you make to your buying habits? Over the past few years (and if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have seen this trend) I’ve been super interested in repurposing, and saving items already in circulation.

Refashioning has become a major part of my life. I love taking something already made and turning it into something new. It’s a challenge, sometimes more challenging than building something from scratch. I’ve also been encouraged to refashion more because my financial situation isn’t what it once was. I’m becoming more financially dependent on my sewing, and with moving into a new house, my fabric budget has gone way down. Second hand stores are not just a fun shopping adventure anymore, they are my fabric resource. It’s made me become a lot more creative, but it’s also made me happier about my consumer practices.

All that being said, this week on the blog, I’m talking all about refashioning & repurposing! I’ll be sharing a few refashions, inspirations, and facts about the second hand world.

Today I am sharing a brand new refashion! My wardrobe needs to get summer ready, and shorts are on the list! I’ve been needing some lounge shorts, that can also be a beach cover-up or pajama pants (my wardrobe needs to work overtime, people!)

I got this scarf a few years ago as a gift, and always loved the print (and the adorable tassels) but I don’t always reach to wear a scarf. I thought this would be a good lightweight material to make a pair of shorts, but since it was such a large piece of fabric, I thought I could do something really cool with them…make them reversible! Two pairs of shorts for the effort of one?! I’m in!

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I used Made with Moxie’s Prefontaine Shorts Pattern as a base and to keep them basic, omitted the binding and pockets. The trick with keeping the tassels on the hem was some creative cutting. The shorts required 4 pieces of material, so ultimately I cut four pieces (two front, two back) from each color way. To keep the tassels even, I marked where the tassels landed on the print side, and on the solid side I marked in between the print tassels, so they were all evenly distributed.

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish Stitched

For the most part, I followed the pattern, but started with sewing the hems together, which wasn’t the best decision. In reality, the best way to make the shorts reversible is by making two separate pairs, then sew them together during the waist band step. This tutorial is an excellent resource to making reversible shorts and I totally recommend following this along rather than my messy way!

I LOVE how they came out! They are really light and comfortable and think they will be a fun summer short!

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish Stitched

And the best part? I have TWO new pairs of shorts!

Fashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish StitchedFashion Revolution Week: Scarf to Shorts Refashion- Trish Stitched

Looking for a pattern to make your own shorts? Here are three FREE options to make a pair!

City Gym Shorts- Purl Soho

Boxer Pajama Shorts – Melly Sews

Tutorial to Draft Your Own Shorts – Refashion Co-op

I also want to share my first real video! I bought a phone tripod so I can take videos with my iPhone, and it’s opened up a whole world of possibilities! Take a look at my video below! It’s just a quick clip but I’m excited to make more!

Are you ready to join the Fashion Revolution? Check out how you can get involved HERE.

Want to get involved by doing a refashion this week? Send me your makes!

being ethical · handmade wardrobe · sewing

Kalle Shirt & Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution week is just a few days away, and while my mind is on the cause all year round, it’s coming up on the time to inform and inspire – and I have big plans for doing just that next week!

Not sure what Fashion Revolution week is?

 

“On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in

Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and

another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth

largest industrial disaster in history.

That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.

There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.

WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE:
The Model, Material, and Mindset”

 

Fashion Revolution is about asking retailers who made the clothes they sell. Are they working in safe conditions and getting paid fairly? Are retailers following environmentally safe practices to ensure a healthy world? Clothing doesn’t just magically land on a shelf for you to buy. There are a lot of steps and people garments go through to end up in your closet.

For the past few years, I’ve been an advocate for Fashion Revolution because, as a maker, I know firsthand just how much time and energy can go into making a garment. It’s been an important mission for me because I believe every single person that works in the fashion industry deserves a voice. From the farmers to the makers- working environments should be safe and wages should be fair.

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For me personally, I’ve made it a mission to buy as little as possible from retail stores. I still buy basic necessities like underwear and socks, but almost everything else is made or bought second hand. (I also buy shoes, because that’s a whole ‘nother beast to tackle!)

But two weeks ago I had a breakdown. I was going to a concert for Drew’s co-worker and had nothing to wear. My go-to spring jacket wasn’t fitting comfortably (damn you, winter body!) and I was feeling really crappy about myself. So I ran to Target, and bought a jacket.

It’s actually a really cute jacket, and in a color I’ve been dying to make, but haven’t had the time. And I’ve worn it several times since purchasing. Is it the best quality and fit? No. Did I know that going into purchasing? Hell yea. But I know that I’m going to wear it constantly and I’m happy my sewing list hasn’t added a new item. What’s even better is, once this jacket has had it’s day in my wardrobe, I will be happy to refashion it!

Fashion Revolution isn’t about denying your shopping addiction. It’s about making smarter choices and getting major retailers to make changes. It’s about calling out a retailer and asking them to be more transparent. The more people who ask, the less they can deny an answer.

Kalle Shirt - Trish Stitched

Target, my new jacket goes great with my ‘me made’ Kalle Shirt! I know who made my top, but who made my jacket?

DSC_0060-014Kalle Shirt - Trish Stitched

I’ve done a little research about Target’s brands, and the company is filled with good and bad. I’m no expert, and I haven’t yet taken the time to fully research, but from the basics, they want to be ethical but still need to work on their transparency with each individual brand they carry. I will certainly need to do more research, and encourage you to give a little shoutout to a store you love and ask what their practices are!

 

A few more details about my Kalle Shirt. I made View B with a popover placket and band collar. The fabric was from my trip to California – I scored it at Michael Levine’s Discount Loft! I have no idea what it is but it was a pain to work with. It was slippery and did not liked to be marked with any kind of pen/pencil. It also didn’t care to be interfaced and I had to re-do the hem three times.

Kalle Shirt - Trish StitchedKalle Shirt - Trish StitchedKalle Shirt - Trish Stitched

This is not my best make, but it’s still pretty good. There are a few things I would change, but I worked SO. HARD. to get the prints to line up nicely, that I’m pretty proud of the result. Since the fabric was slippery, I had a difficult time with the collar band, and the topstitching is a little wonky, but it’s one of those things only I would notice.

This Kalle had a test run yesterday, and it’s super comfy and I really like that it covers my behind. I’m not a leggings person, so I don’t really like tunics, but this is the perfect balance between long and loooong.

I cropped my Kalle a few inches (to be honest I can’t remember how many) and took the back hem up to better match the front. Short bodies and long hems don’t mix all that well. I’ve been having crazy itches to make more tops, especially with Me Made May coming up, and this make was no where near my sewing list but I had to stop everything to make it!

Look out next week for my Fashion Revolution Posts!