A handmade Christmas part I

This is the dress I made for my friend Rachel! I thought it would be fun to sew something for her this year because we’re the same size and I really like making dresses 🙂  I used the Sonja dress pattern (Salme Patterns) that I had already altered to fit me.

Handmade Sonja Dress by Conniya

The fabric is one I already had. I am unsure of the fiber content, but it definitely has some poly in it. Unfortunately that didn’t keep it from getting a bit wrinkly after being wrapped up. The dress is fully lined with a navy cotton for the top and slick navy poly for the skirt in the hopes that it won’t stick to tights in cold weather. I used store bought double fold bias tape for the neck and armholes.

handmade Sonja Dress by Conniya I got the pattern to match really well at the front waist and fairly well at the back zipper.

Back view_Handmade Sonja Dress by Conniya

Now I just need to finish the other handmade Christmas gift I’m working on! Only a few days left.

Diamonds and Ruffles Scout Tee + instructions

The Fall semester is finally over! That means time to sew and watch TV! To celebrate the end of finals, I made this lovely scout tee Friday. I wore to out on Saturday to see The Hobbit and already know I’ll be wearing it a lot more. Skip to the bottom of the post for instructions.

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Fabric is from Grandma’s stash. It’s definitely cotton, but has a really cool soft/slick texture to it as well. It’s a really crisp white with subtle little diamonds that catch the light.

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What I really love about this shirt is that it’s really loose and comfy, but can be worn casually or dressed up. I need to hand sew some tiny belt loops on the waistline so the skinny belt will stay up without having to wear it too tight.

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This is a really easy modification to do, although making the ruffles even takes foreverrr. I have a love hate relationship with ruffles. Here are the steps I took:

1. Slash the pattern at the “shorten/lengthen” line and then cut out fabric as usual (just leave off the bottom part you cut off).

2. Sew the shoulders, bias neckline, sides, and sleeves as usual. I used 1/4″ double fold bias tape and used a slipstitch to hand sew it to the inside of the garment.

3. Cut out two long rectangles for the ruffle. The length of my two rectangles were about 40″ each (from selvage to selvage for each rectangle.” Make them smaller or larger depending on your shirt size and how full you want the ruffle. The height of the rectangle should be how much length you want to add to the shirt + seam allowance (I did 1/2″ at the top and 3/4″ for the folded hem). Make the rectangles really long, and you have a tunic or dress

4. Sew two lines of basting along the top of each rectangle 1/4″ and 3/4″ away from the edge. You’ll be sewing between these lines in a minute. Or use whatever method of gathering you want. Basting just means use the longest straight stitch on your machine.

5. Sew the rectangles right sides together so you have a tube and press seams open.

6. Gather the rectangles by pulling both thread tails and evenly redistributing the ruffles. This may take a while. Keep doing this until the rectangle is the same length as the edge of the shirt.

7. Match side seams and pin the gathered rectangles to the shirt edge, right sides together.Use as many pins as necessary. Keep fussing with those ruffles and get them evenly distributed! No one likes ripping out stitches later.

8. Using a straight stitch, sew the top and bottom together with 1/2″ seam allowance.

9. Pull out the basting. Finish the seam with a zig zag stitch, serger, or your preferred method. You could also sew a skinny piece of elastic onto the seam at this point if you want the shirt to be fitted at the waist.

10. Roll the bottom edge under twice, press, and hem.

TA-DA!

The Sonja Dress

The first half of the semester is over! It still feels like the first few weeks of school because I am constantly trying to get my act organized. I’ll be super busy writing papers and studying until December, but hopefully I can share my small backlog of completed projects.

This is the Sonja dress, a free Salme pattern which you can download here at BurdaStyle. It was released February 2012 (before I started sewing) and I just happened to come across a photo (on Pinterest I think?) that led me to the pattern. I love this dress! It’s pretty simple, fitted at the waist, and has a full, feminine skirt.

It’s a bit wrinkled in the photos because I just pulled it out of my suitcase after returning from Fall Break. I was so excited about my mannequin my boyfriend got for me I just had to take pictures! 🙂 The mannequin’s measurements are almost exactly the same as mine, but her shoulders are super wide. I don’t have a big living space, so I am still getting used to walking by her in the mornings without jumping out of my skin hahaha.

Sonja dress handmade by Conniya. Salme patterns.I did have to make several adjustments to the bodice. The original pattern was made for a really long torso. I slashed my pattern halfway between the neckline and bust about 2-3 inches and smoothed out the armhole curve. I also had to take in the sides quite a bit above the waist. I added about 2 more inches to the skirt than what was called for.

Sonja dress handmade by Conniya. Close view. Salme Patterns.The straps have a racerback look to them. I think I want to make them wider next time, because I’m definitely making another one of these dresses when i have the time.

The fabric is a vintage home fabric I got for cheap in Berea. The pattern calls for facings, which I don’t like. The next version I make will be with a thinner fabric, and I plan to fully line the bodice. This one is unlined, and the neckline is finished with single fold bias tape. Since this was mainly a test version, I went the lazy route on the armholes, folding them once and sewing around.

In Progress: Clouds and swirls A-line dress

It’s been a bit since I’ve had a blog post so I thought I’d make an update of what I’ve been working on.

I’m almost done with this dress. The pattern for the fitted part is based off of a dress that I cut up – I never wore it because of various fit issues so I took what I liked to make my own pattern. In order to finish this dress I need to 1) hem it, 2) take it in at the waist, and 3) fix the zipper/back hem. But isn’t this fabric dreamy? Stole it (with permission) from Grandma’s stash.

In progress. Clouds and swirls fitted top A-line dress. Handmade by Conniya

Originally I was going to just do a plain rolled hem, but now I’m kind of wanting to do something different. I’m a little tired of hi-lo hems so I’m not sure what else to do. I dunno…maybe I should keep it simple so it doesn’t distract from the top part or look odd with the two pleats.In progress. Clouds and swirls fitted top A-line dress. Front_straight_view. Handmade by Conniya The reason I need to take in the waist is because I made the pattern for an invisible zipper but used a lapped zipper instead. This should be relatively easy to fix – just rip out the zipper and increase the seam allowances on each side.In progress. Clouds and swirls fitted top A-line dress. Front_close_view. Handmade by Conniya When I redo the zipper, I also need to figure out how to fix the back seam where the two meet.  Right now it looks AWFUL. I think I will look up some online tutorials before I attempt fixing it.Clouds and swirls fitted top A-line dress. Back_view. In progress. Handmade by Conniya

I also made two pairs of sleep shorts recently.

The first pair are a bit poofy at the hips, which is fine for sleep shorts. Elastic was sewn directly into the wrong side of fabric. I like this print a lot ❤

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The second pair has encased elastic and the side seams are overlapped and topstitched. photo

And isn’t this wallet adorable?! I thought so!Kitty Cat wallet. Conniya

Have a great day! And if you have advice on inserting zippers, let me know or comment with a link!

The Laurel dress in blush pink rayon challis

It’s done, it’s done, it’s finally done! I present my Laurel dress in blush pink rayon challis (with light gray polyester/cotton underlining). This was my first Colette Pattern, and my first time sewing with rayon. I feel like I spent hours cutting out and basting the pattern pieces because I didn’t want to mess up with this slippery fabric. My dress feels great, and I’m happy with how it turned out.
These pictures were taken after going to the movies– I promised I ironed it before I went out!

View 1_ pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya

I love the pattern, and I definitely want to make more of this dress. The only intentional change I made was to lower the neckline because it was choking me. Unintentionally, the hem ended up a little short because I had to make up for the uneven fabric at the bottom of the back seam. Darn you, slippery fabric!View 2_ pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya

OHMIGOD THERE’S A TREE COMING OUT OF MY HEAD. My brother took these pictures haha.
View 3_ pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya

I can’t decide whether I should make the bottom half a size smaller or not. There’s plenty of extra space down there, but I want it to stay loose enough that sitting down is still easy and comfortable since this fabric has no stretch.

Back view of pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya

I really like the bright, coral-ish pink I chose for the bias binding ❤Sleeve and collar closeup of pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya

And here are a couple shots of me and my sister, Natasha. Aww, sisterssss ❤

With Natasha_ pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya Squishy faces with Natasha_ pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by ConniyaAfter this we went and petted the dwarf bunnies at Orschelyn’s. I want a pet bunny one day!

Holding a dwarf bunny, wearing pink rayon challis Laurel dress. Handmade by Conniya                   Holding a dwarf bunny while wearing my Pink Rayon Challis Laurel Dress. Handmade by Conniya.

P.S. You’re not crazy; the blog DOES look different. Hope you like the changes. I’ve added a blogroll to the sidebar with some of my favorite blogs. Check ’em out!

Sewing Projects Catch-up: pencil skirt, maxi skirt, and thrifted dress

It’s taken so long for me to get pictures of some of these projects that I’ve resorted to self-taken iPhone pictures :/ Sorry about the quality

This first one was one of those huge, old-lady maxi dresses you see a ton of in thrift shops.

Before version of thrift store dress. Conniya

The dress has two side seams and one seam running down the back. I took in the side seams and shortened it, not bothering with bust darts because I was fine with having a loose fitting top. In order to make the neck and shoulder area to fit, I also had to take in the top of the back seam.
Full length view. Thrifted and altered dress. Conniya

I really like the neutral palette. This pattern is similar to the one on my favorite romper that is too big for me now, so I’ll think of it as a replacement 🙂Torso. Conniyacloseup of neckline. ConniyaThis pencil skirt is made from some charcoal gray ponte knit I got at JoAnn’s. I absolutely love it! I have some in light gray and navy as well, but haven’t decided what to do with it yet.

Front view of ponte knit pencil skirt in charcoal gray. Conniya

I based the pattern off of another pencil skirt, but made this one a tad bit longer. I wore this skirt to an interview yesterday.ponte knit pencil skirt in charcoal gray. Conniya

I love this outfit! I picked this adorable pink crop top up in the mall on clearance. It’s pretty cheap, but I figure I can cut it up and make my own replicas whenever I’m done with this one. This skirt started out with an elastic waistband (in February), but I didn’t like how it looked. I ripped out all the old stitches and made a new waistband and inserted a zipper. This was the first time I’ve done any gathering before. It’s not very even, so I’m thinking about ripping out the stitches and redoing it. I have leftovers from this fabric so I might experiment with different lengths in the future.

Full length. Pink crop top and white eyelet cotton maxi skirt with side split. Conniya

I swear I measured everything, but the waistband ended up being a little tighter than I would have preferred. It’s very high waisted now, but it’s still a good length.White maxi skirt with split. Waistband closeup. Conniya

 

 

Thought I’d throw in a little extra here! I dyed this white t-shirt purple ombre last summer. My brother dyed one for himself too.
purple and white ombre shirt. Conniya

Big plans coming soon! And I’m still working on my Laurel dress 😀 Stay tuned.

Quick practice version of the Laurel dress

I couldn’t resist; I finally ordered PDF version of the Laurel Dress pattern from Colette Patterns.

Pattern preparation

Here is the quick version I made yesterday. This is a size 2, and it looks like it will fit fine.

Test version of Laurel DressI’m so excited to make this dress! I will have to go fabric shopping soon. I have no clue what kind of color scheme/pattern I want. Hopefully I will find something cool in the limited selection offered in Richmond.

 

I’ve got several projects I STILLL haven’t been able to get pictures of, so keep an eye out! Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow, and I can get some of that done.