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!

Sunny yellow peplum skirt and a vintage purse

Long time, no see!

I’ve been pretty busy with school and work and filling out various applications for study abroad, but I promise I haven’t quit making things. I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting since it’s easy to carry and I can do a few rows at a time versus dragging out the sewing machine and having a big cleanup afterwards. But today I want to show you this skirt!

Sunny yellow peplum skirt. Salme patterns. full view. Handmade by ConniyaCute, ya? The pattern is from Salme Patterns. The fabric is a sturdy mid-weight I got from my Grandma’s fabric stash this summer. If you make this skirt, be very careful about cutting it out! I did not look at the layout diagram carefully before cutting and ended up having to redo the peplum after I’d already spent the time pressing and sewing the darts. And for some crazy reason I cut the back piece of the skirt on the fold and then realized that the zipper was supposed to go back there. But everything worked out and it fits perfectly despite the omittance of seam allowance.

Sunny yellow peplum skirt. Salme patterns. Closeup 1. Handmade by ConniyaI added the cute little bow just for the pictures– it’s actually a hair clip I picked up for 25 cents at an antique store in Berea, KY this weekend. Speaking of which…

Vintage 60s Koret gold metal basket handbag with leather interior. With handmade yellow peplum skirt by Conniya.Isn’t this bag adorable?! It’s cloudy and blue outside, so the photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s a vintage Koret handbag made out of metal that looks like a basket! I got it at Something Olde antique shop in Berea. The owner is a really cool lady- if you’re ever in Berea you should stop by! I love the purse, but I think I might post it on my Etsy store. If I actually used it, it’d probably end up getting banged around 😦 So shinnnyyyy.

Sunny yellow peplum skirt. Salme patterns. Vintage Koret 60s gold metal basket handbag. Handmade by ConniyaBut back to the skirt! The pattern is really easy and fit me perfectly. The only adjustment I made was to use an invisible zipper and I made the hem an ince or two longer than what was called for. I think it’d be fun to experiment with different patterns and textures. Maybe mix up the peplum fabric and skirt fabric?

Mitered corner on peplum skirt. Salme patterns. Handmade by Conniya.And check out these mitered corners! They look pretty good if I do say so myself 🙂

And here are a couple of hiking pictures I took on my long weekend off:

Conniya Pinnacles View 3Pinnacles View 1Have a great week!

The dreamiest skirt

A few weeks ago, I was up late at night sitting in front of the sewing machine thinking, “What can I make next?” I couldn’t stop thinking about these two pictures that I had pinned on Pinterest. I don’t know the source of the first picture, but the second is from Peter Som’s Spring 2012 collection.

long white skirt with side slit SS12 NEW YORK FASHION

Here’s what I came up with! This creamy white, drape-y, gorgeous skirt!Long white flow skirt_front view, Handmade by Conniya

Whenever I put it on I just want to smile and do this:

Twirling-in-white-skirt

Don’t you wish everything in your closet made you want to do that?! Anyway, let’s talk about the construction. There are four triangular panels, the waist is interfaced, and it closes in the back with an invisible zipper and a hand sewn hook & bar.Back view_Long flowy white skirt. handmade by Conniya

However, there are several technical issues with the skirt. First, I just estimated the triangle dimensions that I cut out because having a full circle skirt of this length would be a ridiculous amount of fabric. Second, I did not cut out accurate triangles because the fabric i was cutting into was SUPER long which meant ironing would take forever and I would end up standing on half of it while I ironed the other half. Third, I totally wasn’t thinking about the grainline— some of the panels were cut on the bias and some weren’t! D: OMG so embarrassing, guys. I blame it on being tired 😛
Long flowy white skirt_handmade by Conniya

As a result, you can see that the seams are a little wonky. Btw, those are all french seams. Ooh-la-la!

These issues made hemming it evenly really difficult. SHOUTOUT TO GRANDMA!!! I took it down to her house for advice and she ended up sitting on a little stool with a ruler and measuring the hem distance from the ground while I stood still in the skirt. And then she cut and pressed the hem so I could finish sewing it on my machine. And I also hijacked my grandparents’ computer and signed them up to follow this blog (Are you reading this, Grandpa? Be sure to show Grandma these pictures!)

Side view_long flowy white skirt. Handmade by ConniyaDespite a few mistakes, I am absolutely in love with this skirt. It’s a bit fancy for everyday but I think I will wear it anyway because fashion is about what makes you happy and confident, not what people in central and eastern Kentucky think about what you wear!

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!

Laurel Dress #2: Blue paisley linen with front pockets

This Laurel dress went twice as fast as the first one for several reasons. First, this is linen instead of slippery rayon. Second, I didn’t make an underlining so there was less cutting and basting. Third, because I’ve made this before!

P.S. I made the headband too. Yay DAISIESSSSS!

Blue paisley printed Laurel Dress_ front view Handmade by Conniya

Now let’s talk about the good and the bad.

Good: I wasn’t super crazy about this print when it was on the bolt, but I am crazy in love with it now. It’s really bright and I love the contrast in it. Because this fabric is easy to work with, I got the hem exactly like I wanted it

Bad: The neckline is too big because I adjusted it a little too much and forgot to staystitch. If I’m not careful, the top gets all lopsided and tries to hang off one shoulder.
Blue paisley printed Laurel Dress with front pockets. Handmade by Conniya

These pockets are awesome! They’re almost invisible because of the busy print. They are just big enough for my iPhone. I think the dress would look good with a belt, but I didn’t pack one (I’m only home for 3 weeks). Or maybe I could make one with some leftover fabric? We’ll see.
Blue paisley printed Laurel Dress_ sleeve and neckline. Handmade by Conniya

The sleeves seem longer in this version…What is going on around here?! The dress feels bigger all around actually, probably because the linen isn’t drapey like rayon. I took in each side of the skirt 3/4″ and it’s still a bit loose I think. Not sure what I’ll do on the next version of this dress. I think I’ll make a shirt version next. I want to do something drastic to change it up though…hmmm.Blue paisley printed Laurel Dress with pockets_ back view. Handmade by ConniyaIn this view you can see the gap at the neck. I hand sewed a hook and eye at the top but it came undone after literally running around the grandparents’ house in the wind, looking for a place to snap pictures.

I’ve been super busy at the sewing machine– I can’t wait to share them all. I might share a few sneak peeks on Instagram, so watch out!

Vertical striped seersucker skirt with hi-low hem

You know when you have those spur of the moment urges to just make something but have no specific plan? Well this skirt is a result of one of those times. Usually things like this end up wonky, but I’m quite happy with how my skirt turned out!

Front view (2) of seersucker hi low skirt. Handmade by ConniyaThe fabric is cotton seersucker– white with blue stripes. A comfy and cool alternative to shorts for summertime. The waist is encased elastic, and there is a light gray polyester/cotton underlining that is a bit shorter than the hem.

Close front view of seersucker skirt. Conniya

It’s hard to tell in most of these pictures, but the hem is actually raised in the front and lowered in the back. I simply traced a curve for the front and flipped it upside down for the back.

DSC01184Close side view of seersucker skirt with hi low hem. Handmade by Conniya

Originally, there was going to be a matching sleeveless top with red bias binding and horizontal stripes…I made a few too many mistakes, so I’ve thrown it into  my “I’m-tired-of-messing-with-you pile” to take another look at in the future. Full side view of seersucker blue and white striped  hi low skirt by Conniya.

Instead I’ve thrown on this super comfy and so flattering t-shirt. I’m seriously in love with this shirt. It was on clearance + my boyfriend’s employee discount, so it was a super deal! I want to trace a pattern off of it sometime so I can make more.

Seersucker skirt. Handmade by Conniya

I love how poofy it is! So girly and fun ❤Seersucker skirt in blue and white. Handmade by Conniya

And here’s a funny picture when I was pushing the hair off my face and look kind of like a ballerina.Seersucker skirt. Funny ballerina pose. Conniya

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.