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 hereΒ 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! πŸ™‚ 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.

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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 πŸ˜›
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!

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!

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 ConniyaΒ  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β 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!