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Now that we’ve been in the new house a few weeks and have started settling in, I can get back to my sewing and sharing refashions! I’m so happy to have another Refashion Friday to share with you!

I have a confession to make. I LOVE shopping. When I was younger, shopping was a major bonding experience between my grandparent’s, sister and I. We would go on shopping trips all the time. My grandpa would drive the three of us girls to the mall, and sit and wait for us in the parking lot. He would wash his car, or stroll around the mall looking for other guys to talk to. My grandma, sister and I would go through all the sections of the department store, and grandma would let us buy 1-2 pieces of clothing each. My grandma was also the queen of discounts. She never believed in paying full price and even now, I cringe when I don’t see a sale, and get a slight high when I find a great bargain. 

The older we got, the less frequent we went, and the more frustrated I would get shopping because clothes just didn’t fit. When my sister and I started high school, we rarely went shopping with our grandparents- and I went even less when I started making my clothes in college. Since I make so much of my wardrobe now, I go shopping even less, but the urge from my childhood is still there.

Since I’ve become more aware of shopping habits and the fast fashion industry, I’ve still wanted to get my shopping “fix” but without the impact. That’s where thrift shopping came in. I get my shopping desires satisfied, along with my bargain hunting AND I’m not shopping fast fashion.

When I go thrifting, I find all different pieces. A lot of times, I buy items to refashion, but I also buy used items to wear “as is” and (as I previously mentioned) buy items to sell online. I haven’t been thrifting in a really long time, and earlier this week I decided to hit up my favorite spot. I didn’t find too much to wear, but I did find this blouse to refashion!

I see outdated blouses like this all the time, but most of them don’t have this great of detail and I had to snatch it up. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted to make, and started on the journey to this top!

Something about summer screams for a cute white tank. It’s like a summer staple and I decided that this would be the top to make my summer dreams come true.

I started doing some pattern research for a woven tank pattern, and came across Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt Tank, and thought it would be a good pattern for this top and for future tanks/dresses. It’s a relaxed tank, with a ton of opportunities to alter.

I found the waist line on the pattern and added a bit extra to the length to account for adding the peplum. This blouse was very easy to rip apart, and by ripping the front, back and sleeves, I was able to make the pieces flat for the pattern to sit on. I do wish I took a few more progress shots but it came together so quick, I completely forgot!

I decided to leave the button placket (which wasn’t in my original plan) but by stitching the placket shut, I was able to save some of the embroidery without needing to re-position it on the tank.

With the extra fabric I was able to create the bottom peplum. I wanted to keep the front clean, and add some fun detail to the back- which is why I transferred the rest of the pleats to the back. The peplum measurement came to 7″ total in height, and I franken-pieced together some more fabric to get enough material to gather.

I tried to remove the embroidery from the sleeves and collar to use as the neck and sleeve binding on the tank, but after sewing it on and taking a step back, it wasn’t sitting right so I had to rip it all out. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to use all the details, but I was able to keep a majority of the shirt.

This tank took a few hours to make, but doing this from scratch would have taken over double the time with all that detail. Refashioning isn’t always about using fun and funky fabrics (which I am trying to tell myself), so next time you are in the thrift store, look for something with detail!

For today’s inspiration, I decided to share some other blouse refashions! {If you want to see even more inspiration, take a look at this previous refashion post! I swear, my next refashion WON’T be a peplum hah!}

Resizing a garment is always a solid choice, but if you do want to take your refashioning a step further:

Bring that 90’s style into modern times with shoulder cut outs!

Read about a bunch of 90s DIY’s here

Use the details that come with the shirt!

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Happy middle of May! It’s been awhile since I blogged – and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know why! Three weeks ago we officially moved out of Hoboken! I’ve talked a little about it before but I wanted to share our first home-buying experience. (Please feel free to skip on down to my Me-Mades)

In the beginning of last year, Drew and I decided that it was finally time to move out of our apartment. Hoboken had been good to us, and we were fortunate to have an affordable 2 bedroom apartment and a garage parking space (which is SO hard to come by), but we were ready to move on from the party town into a quieter space with a yard, and room to grow as a family. When we started looking at homes around March of last year, we were clueless and quickly learned what we had to do to find a home in our price range and in our dream area.

We found a realtor at an open house, and unfortunately, she “didn’t have time for us” and didn’t want to show us any of the houses we wanted to see. It was about a month of working with her that we wasted, and by May of last year, we were starting to get into the height of the market. We found another realtor, who we fell in love with, and she would send us 1-10 houses every week – and we would see 2-5 each weekend.

Drew and I fell head over heels for one house, and put in a bid over asking price. Because of the demand, we lost the house to a higher bid and our hearts were completely broken. We had felt like we were already searching for so long, and even met the owners of the home, that it was such a huge hit to us on a personal level. After another few months of looking, we found another house we loved and went through the process again. We actually went well over the asking price, and thought there was no way we could lose, but once again, we were outbid.

The winter months were very depressing, and we barely saw any homes, and we were getting very discouraged since we didn’t want to go through another spring/summer and compete with more families looking for homes. In early February we found another home, and immediately bid well over asking. We lost our third home and at this point, we were getting used to the rejection and were afraid to fall in love with another home.

That’s when a little yellow home with a white picket fence came on the market. The pictures were amazing – but we knew that pictures don’t always tell the whole story. We went to the open house and fell hard in love, but still talked very cautiously about our feelings like somehow loving it too much would be bad luck. This house checked all the boxes on our list: a cute backyard, space for a sewing studio and space for Drew to have a “man-cave”, with plenty of room for entertaining. We put a bid in and expected to lose – it felt too perfect of a house for us to get.

A few days later, we got the call that the house was ours. We were so excited! Closing took two months, but before we knew it- we were homeowners. It’s been a long, LONG process, but we are so happy with our home and we learned more than we could’ve imagined. Over the course of a year, we went to see over 70 homes, and saw more than double that in online listings.

Finding a home was a process, but now it’s time to actually fill it! We finally bought a dining room table, and our bed frame should be delivered later this week. Today we found a beautiful dinnerware set and last week I got my first watering can! (it’s the little things that make me so happy) We still need to find living room furniture and dressers, but we are slowly enjoying the process of finding pieces we love.

So that is why things have slowed down a bit on the sewing front. My machines are unpacked, but since we are doing a little construction in my future sewing studio, my temporary space is all disorganized.

I’ve been trying to keep up with Me Made May this year, (as it is my fourth year participating) but without a dresser, and always doing work to the house, I don’t want to ruin my me-made pieces and find myself wearing the same things over and over. Here’s a little two week roundup:

Day 1: Ginger Jeans & Seamwork Oslo in my future sewing studio. We plan on ripping up the carpet and tearing down the wall that splits the attic in two. I hope to get skylights for more natural light, but they may have to wait a while.

Day 2: Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt in our garage! The previous owners added a bar in the garage and this was the back wall – perfect for photoshoots!

Day 3: Cactus Print Lou Box Top & Ginger Jeans in our sunroom, in my cactus corner =]

Day 4: Cranberry Anorak (not pictured) & Handmade Backpack in our backyard! I’ll have more info about these backpacks soon!

Day 5: Closet Case Patterns Ebony Dress in front of our garage!

Day 6: Closet Case Ebony Tee, Kelly Anorak and Ginger Jeans at a craft show!

Day 7 & 8: Not photographed- Handmade Leggings and Tanks.

Day 9: Seamwork Ariane & Handmade Cardigan in our (furniture-less) living room

Day 10: Ginger Jeans & Refashioned Vest – this was a piece our realtor gave us!

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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!

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!)

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.

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.

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!

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!

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

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Hello again, Fashion Revolutionaries! Today is all about spreading that refashioning love! I wanted to share my favorite refashioners to keep the DIY inspiration going! So lets get into it!

Pearl & Scissors is run by Hanna and her refashion archive is loaded with inspiration like this Skirt to Dress Refashion!

If you’ve looked up refashioners before, you have definitely come across Trash to Couture. She has done an incredible amount of refashions, most of them with tutorials so you can make your own versions! I loooove this dress makeover.

Maybe it’s because she has a great eye for prints, or because her son is adorable, I love Melissa from Trevor Loves Mommy (lets be honest it’s both those reasons & more). She does a lot with florals, and I’m really partial to those refashions- just like with this dress to jumpsuit refashion!

I “met” Chickie Walsh (I Can Work With That)  through Instagram and loved her take on some classic pieces. You may remember my Cargo Pants to Vest Refashion – that was a direct copy from Chickie’s piece! She is constantly turning the old into new, like with this dress refashion!

I recently came across A Pair and A Spare on Pinterest. I don’t know what took so long to find her, but I’m glad I did! Her refashions look so professional, and are super inspiring. A simple shorts refashion turned out so chic!

Carissa Knits is a refashioning master. Seriously: Look at her page. I absolutely love what she did for the Jeans Refashioner Challenge in 2016!

Heather, from Heather Handmade, is such a sweetheart and her refashions are wonderful! I also can’t believe how much sewing she gets done with three kids- she’s Super Woman! This coat refashion is awesome and super special since it was her Grandma’s!

Amy Nicole is a fellow shortie, and one of the founders of the restyling exchange! She has such a cute style and even re-made her wedding dress!

Of course, the beautiful Sarah is on my list of favorites. Her refashions are always awe inspiring, and she is the sweetest person to read about. One of her latest refashions is so cute!

I’ve been following Lisa over at Pattern and Branch for some time, and always love her entries for the Refashioners. And she was the winner in 2015 with this look! She puts so much detail and love into each project!

Whew, that’s A LOT of inspiration! These makers aren’t even all of my favorites! Have a favorite refashioner not on the list? Share below!

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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!

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.

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!

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

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!

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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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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Happy Spring! Although we got our 4th snow storm this month 2 days ago, the sun is shining and I can actually hear birds chirping! It’s been such a crazy month, but we are finally in the moving process! In just 5 more weeks, we will move into our new home! The past couple weeks have been filled with cleaning, packing, shopping and tying up loose ends.  I’ve been pulled in a few different directions, so apparel sewing was not on my mind. But my creativity needed a huge boost, and this sweater needed a facelift – so I thought we could help each other out.

I bought this sweater at the thrift store a few months ago – mainly for the print. It started as a 1X, but I turned it into between an XS – S. When I first started reading about other refashioners, I was a little shocked by the amount of backlash some bloggers got about buying XL clothes to make smaller. Because it was taking the larger sizes away from those who really needed them. At first it made me rethink my buying, but then I would go to the store and see the same pieces sitting there week after week. No one was buying them, and that’s when I realized sizing was just part of the hunt.

Today’s Refashioning Tip: Any item that you find, and you want, it’s yours! The reality is, that any article taken from the thrift store is saving it – whether you wear it as is or turn it into something new.

I’m fortunate that my petite figure gives me a wide range of sizes to refashion, but even after a shopping trip, there are plenty of pieces left behind! Now a lot of bloggers will recommend buying oversized clothes because it will give you more fabric to work with. And while that’s a great tip, it’s still a good idea to like what you are buying, not just buy because it’s oversized. (The more you like it, the more motivated you are to work with it!)

But now back to this sweater. I wanted a quick refashion. Something easy, but super wearable, with a little more pizazz than just resizing it to fit. Sweater refashions are very common, and there are a million ideas for them on pinterest. One of my favorites is adding another texture to break up the sweater and make it a little less casual.

Adding coordinating fabric is a great stash buster! I had this black chiffon left over from my Black Tie Wedding Guest Dress, and thankfully it was just enough to gather for the bottom portion of this sweater!

The first step was to resize the top. I took roughly 3″ in on both sides and removed the arms. The arms were sucked in as well, then reattached. After reattaching the arms, I tried the sweater on to hem the sleeves (about 3″), mark where to cut the sweater body. I wanted the sweater hem to end right around my hips, so I added a half inch to that length (for seam allowance), and cut.

There are a whole bunch of options when adding a new hem to a top. I decided to make a 5″ extension because anything longer makes me look short. After gathering my chiffon, I attached to the sweater and finished it off with a simple hem. And that’s it! This was a very easy refashion, and just the quick project I needed.

Inspiration: 

My favorite inspiration today comes from Merrick’s Art. She wrote up a great tutorial to make your own chiffon hem top!

Another great idea is to layer your hem, which could be fun with different colors or prints. This top from Anthropologie is so pretty!

Leave the hem a little longer to create a tunic style top!

Last thing to share: Do you join Facebook groups? I recently joined a few and love that my news feed is filled with so much sewing! My favorite group so far is Upcycle Sewing. It’s been a great place to get and share ideas, and I totally recommend joining! What are some of your favorite Facebook groups?

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

Have a great weekend!

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Really now, where has the month of February gone? It flew by and I didn’t get everything done that I planned on! I’ve mentioned a few times about house hunting and finally moving out of Hoboken, and I don’t want to jinx anything but we think we found the one! I’ll definitely have more details about this soon enough, but for now you can see where my brain is at based on my pinterest boards. I have a whole lot of home ideas going on- with a ton of focus on my future sewing studio!

Because of all the excitement with the house, my personal sewing has not been getting as much attention. But this super cute Kalle top would not stop haunting me, so here she is!

I have a slight obsession with Closet Case Patterns because Heather’s patterns are so fitting for my lifestyle. She designs practical patterns that are meant to be wardrobe staples, and the ones I’ve made so far (Bombshell Bathing Suit, Kelly Anorak, Ginger Jeans) have proven their versatility in my closet. I loved Kalle when she came out. She is a super cute pattern that comes with three options: Crop Top, Tunic and Dress. I really wanted to see others versions of Kalle before diving in, because all three of those options were not common pieces in my wardrobe. I would want a regular top version, but didn’t know the best way to design it so I thought eventually I would get inspiration from the sewing community.

Fast forward a few months and everyone is making Kalle. Every time I open Instagram- there’s another version! So I finally caved and bought the pattern. To make it fit my lifestyle, I either had to shorten the tunic or lengthen the crop top. I really love the hem of the crop top, so I decided to go that route.

This is technically a wearable muslin. I’ve had this lightweight denim hanging around for years from another project, and thought a denim version would be good to have. I didn’t have any blue thread, so I went with white and quite like the contrast. I say this is a win in my book. This top is easy to wear, has a cute fit for being ‘oversized’, and after a few washes, will get that worn in feeling of a great piece.

The older I get, the fewer patterns I tend to buy. I’ve become very conscious about what’s in my stash and even though Joann’s has those great 5 for $5 pattern days, I realize that just because you have a million patterns to make doesn’t mean you will ever get around to actually making them. (I also have a few patterns from my own stash available on etsy because there is no way I’ll get around to making them!) I’m always on the lookout for basic patterns with options- and Kalle one is loaded with them!

Kalle has three lengths, two front button options, two collar options, and two back options – leaving lots of room to build your perfect style. My version is comprised of View A (full length placket) with a full collar, and back pleat. I cut a size 2 and to extend the crop top into a longer shirt, I added 4″ to each bodice piece at the lengthen line.

I’m excited to make more versions, and to finally add mine to the amazing Kalle Shirt Dress posts online! Have you made Kalle? Do you have the sleeve expansion? That may be the next version I have to make..

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Happy Friday! I am so ready for the weekend – maybe because we have a friend’s birthday tonight and tomorrow Drew and I have a few houses to see, or maybe because the weekend just feels like a happy time. Whatever the reason, Friday means another #RefashionFriday!

Today’s refashion has been in my stash for a few months. I found it during a thrifting haul and it was another one of those, “no one else is ever going to want this” pieces, but it was too interesting to leave behind. This dress is from clothing designer “Hearts”, and still had it’s original retail hang tag on! Whatever decade this was from, it was worth $89.99 in it’s day. But with massive shoulder pads and outdated look, I scored it for $3.99.

When I pulled this out, I had my mind set on making something casual, as I need a few more tops in my wardrobe. As I’ve mentioned before, dresses are rare in my everyday wear, and I’m trying really hard to not wear pajamas on my sewing days (it makes me feel lazy!). On another thrifting trip, I found this amazing poncho-like sweater that I fell in love with and wore all during my November vacation in California. I loved the curved hem and decided to copy that detail in my new top. Here’s the result!

Today’s Refashioning Tip: Use Ready to Wear clothes as patterns! There are a few bloggers who do this often (Refashionista anyone), and it is a great way to upcycle, especially if you are looking to copy something you know works well for your body type.

I traced the curve from the original top to the dress and was able to use that cut line for cutting out my ribbed knit material. I cut a hem band of 3″ but added a little more to the ends. Since I’ve never made a curved hem before, it came out a little awkward but I was able to trim away the access fabric.

While the dress said it was size 13/14, I didn’t need to resize the body at all! I have no idea why this dress was sized so large, because it definitely felt like a 6/8.

To make the sleeves, I measured 8″ to cut off from the hems, cut, then attached a 3″ ribbed knit band to the end. I reshaped the sleeve top and shoulder seam to fit better, then reattached. I also took in the sleeve for the ribbed knit to fit secure around my arm.

I had a lot of material left over from this refashion, which is not typical for me and I didn’t want to throw it in my scrap bin. So I followed this awesome tutorial and made myself a hat! I’m generally not a hat person, they never look good on me but I figured out the trick: make my own! I was able to control the height and shape and this hat looks so much better than ready to wear ones I’ve tried on. I still have a little fabric left over, so maybe a pair of matching mittens are next on the sewing list?

Interesting thing about this top, the pearls have a metal backing and man are they cold against your skin! The first time I put this on for the “before” photos, I didn’t know why my body felt like it was tingling… those little backs were a surprise!

Inspiration: 

While this was the final result, I definitely had other ideas racing through my mind. If you follow me on Instagram (@trishstitched) you saw this dress last week – and maybe even commented on it!  I asked the insta community what they would do with this dress and got some fun ideas. And for today’s inspiration, I found RTW apparel that relates to the ideas Instagram had! I’m a very visual person and like to do my research before making any cuts, but you can see how this one dress could transform into any of these pieces! 

Peplum Top

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Trish Stitched by Trishstitched - 4M ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fabric Details:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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