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.


Bright, handmade summer purse (and new shoes!)

Look what I made yesterday!

handmade purse, thrifted cutoffs. by Conniya

And I got these shoes over the weekend at Shoes Carnival ❤ (My brother got some new shoes as well)new shoes

The shorts are cutoffs I made from Goodwill jeans a couple of weeks ago, and the Kpop t-shirt is one I’ve had for a while.

I could probably stare at the pattern of the purse for hours. When you look at it one way, it looks like 3D boxes with a stud in the center…But let your eyes refocus, and it looks like rows of striped diamonds (vertical gray/white stripes, horizontal yellow/gray stripes). Trippy! Reminds me of those holographic folders that were so cool in middle school.
handmade purse. by Conniya

This was my first time sewing a zipper, and it was pretty simple. The duck cloth is really bad about getting frayed, but after cutting all the fringies off the zipper opening looked okay after all.

Purse in progress: front view of zipper. by Conniya      Purse in progress: back view of zipper. by Conniya

I didn’t have any really stiff interfacing, so I used some plain duck cloth as the inside layer to give it structure (Except for the handle).
Pieces for a purse. by ConniyaThe only problem I ran into was that I miscalculated the length I needed to go around the circle so I had to cut an extra square to cover the bottom of the purse. As a result there is one extra seam at the bottom so it’s not a big deal. Measure twice and cut once! Lesson learned.

DIY: Embroider canvas shoe

I’ve had these slip-on shoes for a few years now, and decided they needed an upgrade…to diamond slippers!

This is a really easy DIY. For a hand-drawn look, I backstitched the diamonds without tracing the shape in watercolor pencil beforehand. I used all six strands of my floss.
embroidered canvas shoes

For the insteps, I did a little cross hatching. The key to having neat lines is to draw evenly spaced dots across the top and bottom using watercolor pencil.Side view of embroidered diamond shoes

This idea works best with simple shapes. Other than diamonds, I considered using cats, cupcakes, and cool geometric designs kinda like this but not nearly as complicated looking.

Crochet “Pineapple” Bookmark

Pinterest and I have an ambivalent relationship. There are so many cool things to discover and pretty pictures to look at! But I spend way too much time looking at it. However, it’s still pretty sweet when I find something through Pinterest and actually follow through with it. Like these crocheted bookmarks!

Click HERE for the free pattern.


My boyfriend bought me this book and got it signed by the author during his winter residency this January. Isn’t he sweet? Justin Cronin is probably more well known for his other novel, The Passage, which is the first in a trilogy and is going to be made into a movie.

This is the first time I’ve used crochet thread before. These two variegated threads (and the hook I used) were given to me by a family member over Christmas break. I’m excited to do more cool things with thread in the future.

DSC00667Next, I want to make a couple of drink coasters out of red thread I bought at Hobby Lobby yesterday. I’m in love with this leaf pattern, but might do granny squares or a plain circle instead. I’m a little intimidated by crochet diagrams, plus everything on the site is in a different language :/

I’ve also been working on some sewing projects, which I can’t wait to share!!