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

fashion revolution

Fashion Revolution Week: Secondhand Shopping & Thrift Tips!

It’s Wednesday and we are halfway through Fashion Revolution Week! Today I’m taking a short break from sewing projects to talk about my favorite Haulternative to Fast Fashion! For the past several years, thrifting has been my #1 way to get a “new” wardrobe. I’ve been cleaning out all the clothes I don’t wear or fit my style, and I’m mindfully filling it in with secondhand finds (along with upcycles and handmades of course!)

My #1 favorite resource to shop secondhand is ThredUp. It is so easy to find whatever I’m looking for with their filters, and returns are a breeze! I’ve been shopping on ThredUp for about 3 years now, and just became a ThredUp Ambassador! This is a huge deal for me, because this is a company I really believe in and love. I don’t work with a lot of brands because they don’t align with my values, but I’m thrilled to share all about ThredUp, which I do over on Instagram all the time anyway! This floral romper and these flats are from ThredUp!

Trish Stitched

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, most of my activewear wardrobe is second hand and comes from ThredUp. I like to filter by condition of apparel, New with Tags or Like New condition to ensure I will get the most life out of my “new” garments. I also shop ThredUp a lot for secondhand shoes! It can be very hard to find my size (Size 5) in a retail store, and even harder to find a pair while thrifting but I’ve found several pairs of shoes on ThredUp! Here’s my current used shoe collection! (From Poshmark & ThredUp)

Trish Stitched

{If you are interested in shopping on ThredUp, follow this link to get $10 to spend (I’ll also get $10 for the referral!)}

But this isn’t the only place I shop used. Poshmark is my second favorite online resource. You shop from individual sellers, but there is a lot more variety and you can ask questions about items before purchasing! Another place similar to Poshmark is Depop, which I haven’t bought from yet. And there are your more popular places: Ebay and Etsy (for vintage). And for luxury items – I love looking (not doing much shopping on this site!) at The Real Real. Here’s one of my favorite Poshmark purchases- overalls! 

Trish Stitched

I also try to go to my local thrift stores, although I can’t always get there (especially now on Stay at Home orders!). There are some local church thrift stores in my area, a few chain stores, and vintage shops as well. Among those, my favorite spots are Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange because they are a little more curated. Winter coat from Plato’s Closet!

Trish Stitched

Thrifting in person can be disappointing, and you can definitely walk away empty handed. I’ve shared my tips for thrifting before but want to share them again for anyone looking to start thrifting!

Trish Stitched

Thrift Tips

-Go often! Stores get new inventory daily, especially if they also have a donation drop-off in store. New clothes are usually put on rolling racks on the floor before getting sorted throughout the day.

-If you like something, try it on. Vintage sizes are different from modern sizes, and something labeled at a different size than you wear may fit. And if something doesn’t fit, remember the clothes are wrong – not you!

-Thoroughly look over each piece for wear and stains. If you are thrifting for clothing to wear off the rack, be sure that the pieces you pick up aren’t worn. Check the butt and crotch of pants, underarms and necklines on dresses and tops, and double check zippers work and buttons are all there. If something has a small hole or stain, will you fix it? I have a pile of pieces that I say I will fix but rarely get around to them!

-Now, if you fall in love with something that is stained or worn and you have some sewing skills – take that piece home and get creative!

-Check all sections of the store. I like to take a look down all the aisles if I have the time, some items get misplaced, or hidden by other shoppers. And don’t forget to shop the linen section for tablecloths that can make beautiful pieces and sheets that can be used for muslins!

-Check care labels. I find a lot of clothes that are Dry Clean Only, but don’t go to the dry cleaners often. I only take those pieces if I really love it and can see it working well in my wardrobe. This is also a great way to add in more natural fibers to your closet. Cottons, linens, and silks can be plentiful when thrifting, and at a lower price point.

-If you are looking for worn clothing to refashion, ask an store employee if there are pieces you can go through that weren’t good enough to be sold.

What’s your favorite thrift score? One of my favorites was this Anthropologie Dress I bought for $7 that fits perfectly! The other, a faux leather jacket from a San Francisco Thrift Shop!

Trish StitchedTrish Stitched

 

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

#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Actually, I can believe it- things have been a little hectic. Since my last blog post in August, I finished making my wedding dress, got married on the rim of the Grand Canyon and spent two weeks exploring National Parks with my new husband. Of course, there was a lot more that happened in the past few months, but those are some of the more notable moments!

I will definitely share my wedding dress/the process of making it when I get back some more photos! (But I will leave a few down below if you haven’t seen any on instagram)

While making my wedding dress, I had a lot of refashioning ideas, but didn’t have time to make any of them because my dress took way longer than expected. After my dress, and all the wedding planning, I didn’t feel like being creative at all! The past couple weeks I have been re-organizing life, sewing through a little bit of my stash (projects that have been on my list all year!) and designing new bags for my shop.

For a few months now I’ve been eyeing “tier dresses”, dresses with 2-3 gathered layers, and have been falling in love with the style. I was doing some pattern research and came across the Myosotis Dress and really fell in love! But before spending money on another pattern, I wanted to test how the dress style would look on me. Enter this sweet denim dress I picked up earlier in the year.

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

This denim dress was very well loved – the denim has been washed a number of times and it has several stains, but I really loved the bodice detail and the velvet collar. It was a size small, so I didn’t have to do much fitting to it, but I was able to use the skirt for the look I wanted. I went off this photo for inspiration.

First step was to re-size the bodice a bit on each side. I also removed the skirt from the bodice and took out the pleats in the original skirt. The first tier of the skirt came out to be 10.5″ long. I gathered the skirt and reattached the first tier.

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

To make the second tier a little bit of a quicker process, I measured from the bottom up to keep the original hem. I had to add about 7” to both side seams of the second tier to add more material to gather. There are additional seam lines on the sides, but I don’t mind. The second tier measures in at 9″.

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

I also re-sized the sleeve slightly and took out a few inches on the shoulder. After that, I re-attached the ties to the side seams and my refashion was complete!

#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Tier Dress Refashion - Trish Stitched

I really love the style on me, I just have to be sure to watch the length. Going too long with this style dress can make me look frumpy, so a style right above the knee works well! I also need to watch the amount of gathering in each tier. I’ve had this issue before- adding too much gathering makes me look childish, so for me, it’s all about moderation with gathering!

This refashion came together quickly and would be easy to do with so many dresses! I could also see this as a cute upcycle for kids!

 

Looking for a little more inspiration? Here are some awesome tier dresses:

Have a Seamwork Account? This Amber Dress is so cute – I love the multi colored layers, another option for upcycling!

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This tutorial from peek-a-boo pages can be easily adapted for an upcycle project!

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Sara from The Sara Project also created a tier dress tutorial with trim!

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Happy Friday!

And here are some photos of our wedding and honeymoon! I will blog more about all of this soon!

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#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress

Happy Friday! I am so excited because it is Fashion Revolution Week! I really love this week because it’s a time for everyone to come out and ask the fashion industry about what they are doing. For those that don’t know what Fashion Revolution Week is, you can read about it on their website!

To be honest, I like to believe like every week is Fashion Revolution week, and one of my goals with refashioning projects is to educate others about reusing resources we already have, whether that be through clothing in our own closets or thrifting items. I’ve found my best solution to the messed up world of fashion is through my sewing. Over my 13 years of learning to sew, I’ve become much more aware of the textiles I’ve been bringing in, and the waste I accumulate. My sewing has become much more mindful, and I’m really honing in on my style, and the quality of my makes.

That being said, I have a new refashion to share today! I’ve had this dress in my refashioning pile for months, waiting for the right idea. I went onto Pinterest and started searching around for denim dresses, and one style that popped up was a shirt dress. I don’t have a casual shirt dress in my wardrobe and I thought it would be a fun, easy going style to carry me into summer.

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

The one thing I really wanted out of this shirt dress was a longer sleeve, but because of the limited amount of fabric, chances were that I wouldn’t be able to get the full sleeve – and I needed a pattern for it. That’s when I remembered I had a pattern in my library for a shirt dress- and I already made it once before! I was able to take a few of the pattern pieces from Mimi G for Simplicity 8084 for this refashion.

One of the reasons I bought this dress in the thrift store was because it had a lot of stains, and I knew most people wouldn’t want it. It sat around for so long because I was trying to figure out ways to work around the stains. But after washing it, quite a few of the front spots came out so it wasn’t that big of a concern anymore. There were a few large stains I could work around, but two smaller ones that I couldn’t do anything about.

The first stain was right next to the side seam- a nice bleach stain that was easily cover-able. The second stain was on the sleeve, and thankfully I had enough hem left over to make a new upper sleeve! There is still a small stain on the bodice that you can’t see unless you are right on top of it, and one more that’s on the button placket but it gets covered by a button.

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

The first step was to remove the skirt gathering. It was just a detail I didn’t want, and it allowed me to use some of the extra fabric in other places. I really wanted to keep the side pockets so I had to remove fabric from the center of the front skirt pieces, since I also wanted to keep the front button placket in tact. I did the same with the back skirt, removing material from the center. Since I wanted to make this look intentional, rather than just having two seams down the front skirt, I added some stitching on both sides of the seam line for detail. This was just a little trick that can go a long way for refashioning.

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

I didn’t want to mess with the top bodice at all. I remember from my denim dress refashion that removing the pockets left deep holes in the fabric that have to be covered, so while I think this dress would be cuter with smaller pockets, they will be staying in place!

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

I absolutely love how the sleeves turned out! At first I thought I would get rid of the hem, but decided to play around with it instead! With the seamlines in the skirt, having more exposed seams just made more sense, and added cute detail. I cut sleeve bottoms from the dress hem and attached them to the original sleeve bottoms. I made some tabs from leftover scraps and added buttons from my stash to complete the sleeves.

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

The final step to making this look into more of a shirt dress was adding in the curved hemline. Again, I used my pattern pieces to get the curve. You really don’t need a pattern for this step, but it was easier since I already had it on hand!

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

Overall, this refashion required way more steps than I thought it would take because as much as I love the “oversized” look, it does not work on my body. I love the boxy style, and have made several pieces in the past with this style in mind only to remember that I don’t look good in it. I originally left the back bodice in tact – figuring the original size would give that over-sized look, but after trying it on several times, I had to face the fact that I looked like I was drowning. I wound up taking an extra two inches out of the entire back, then adding a back tie to pull in ever so slightly.

#RefashionFriday Dress to Shirt Dress - Trish Stitched

I LOVE how this piece turned out. There were so many times throughout this refashion when I didn’t like it. It wasn’t looking right, wasn’t feeling right, but as soon as the sleeves were put in, the whole piece was brought together. It is going to be the perfect spring/summer casual dress to throw on to go out to the grocery store, or run errands, and go out with friends. This is the type of wardrobe piece I’ve been needing to add. Every summer I want cute casual dresses but I never wind up making them. So hopefully this will be the kick I need to keep going with sewing this kind of wardrobe staple!

I do have the video footage, and will be working on a youtube video showing the entire process. Coming soon! If you want to be notified, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

 

sewing

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric

Have you been following along with Fashion Revolution this week? I’ve talked a lot in past years about Fashion Revolution and things we can do to during the week and beyond, but today I’m talking about how my general sewing has changed.

When I first started sewing, I would go to JoAnn Fabrics often, and after college, I bought from Fabric.com about twice a month. I spent a lot of money on fabric, fabric that I didn’t think about buying, I just wanted to make and make and make. I was on this path for a few years, buying new fabric whenever I wanted, trying to finish a project a week to have something new to write a blog post about, but it wasn’t a sustainable path.

Since I now don’t have a consistent income, I don’t have as much money to spend on fabric like I used to. But it has also made me incredibly aware of the quality of fabrics I’ve been purchasing. Now I only want fabrics I truly love and want in my wardrobe – not just because it’s on sale. What I love even more is getting to work with companies I really believe in, and want to work with.

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

I am so proud to work with Measure Fabric. Their quality and collection is beautiful and getting to work with these gorgeous fabrics is so special. I saw this striped fabric on their website, and was intrigued. I’ve been falling in love with stripes, but have no stripes in my wardrobe! I thought this was a perfect stripe to get into the Spring Spirit, and try out a new silhouette. This dress was a total experiment for my body and my sewing, but I am so proud of the result!

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish StitchedSpring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish StitchedSpring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

This dress was inspired by one from Kate Spade. I used a pattern already in my collection (Simplicity 8086) with many, many changes. I really only used the bodice pieces in view A, and added a gathered skirt and an additional hem band.

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish StitchedSpring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

I don’t have a lot of experience working with stripes, so this project was a little new to me. I had to re-do the zipper about three times to get the stripes right. The first time wasn’t bad, but what I really want out of my sewing projects now is a more professional look. I want to re-do steps to get things right even if it takes longer. My favorite pieces are ones that I took extra time to complete. (and as I say that I know I have to add a hook and eye to the top of the zipper!) I was so happy with how the stripe matching came out, and definitely took time to get them to match up!

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish StitchedSpring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish StitchedSpring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

Now, lets talk about this fabric for a minute. The colors in this stripe pattern are beautiful. A light pink and olive-y tan on a cream background. It is a beautiful mix to ease my way into more stripes. The fabric is a really cool cotton twill, that gives it a more casual feel. I can see this fabric going into a number of different projects (my mind is still on dresses) including apparel and home projects. After washing, it became much more comfortable, and relaxed. I was a little nervous that it would be too stiff for apparel, but I have no problem with it against my skin! The bodice is lined with regular cotton, and even though the skirt is unlined, it’s comfortable.

This silhouette is definitely different for me, since it is a much longer skirt than I normally wear! I’m still not positive where a “midi” length is supposed to be, and I think taking this up just about an inch will make it perfect. (sometimes you have to see the length through a lens to get the full picture). But overall, it feels like a classic design for a dress that will do well for me throughout summer.

Spring Stripe Dress with Measure Fabric - Trish Stitched

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?

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!