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 hereย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.


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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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

Too 90s, a lot of UFOs, and the first day of school

I’ve recently given myself a resolution to finish all of my UFOs after reading Lauren’s post (of the Lladybird blog) on how she sews so fast. UFO stands for unfinished object. I have way too many of these. They not only bug me, but they take up space. Confession: I have an entire duffel bag camped out on the folding chair in my tiny living space just for UFOs. It’s kind of like how lots of people have a junk drawer; once it’s there you don’t question why you have so many things sitting around. Ah- I can feel you judging me! I promise it’s not a big bag ๐Ÿ˜›

I have promised myself I will not start a new project until every one of those UFOs is complete. So here’s the first completed project!
90s shirt. Handmade by Conniya

This shirt is McCall’s 4702. I picked it up for 10 cents at my favorite charity thrift shop when I was home this summer. It was printed in 1990.

vintage mccalls patternIt’s boxy and cropped, which is the style steer towards too much. But I’m not crazy about the shirt. I didn’t realize until I got to the part of the instructions that said to sew in shoulder pads that this pattern called for shoulder pads. I guess I just thought the models on the cover had really straight and tall shoulders? Haha- oh well! I obviously left the pads out of mine, so the shoulder seams sit slightly off of my shoulders.

Back view. Front closeup. 90s shirt. Handmade by ConniyaThe sleeves are just SO big. I haven’t decided whether I absolutely hate it yet or not. What do you think?

The back of the shirt also features a “design feature” (aka mistake). The back piece was cut on the fold, but I didn’t look closely before I cut. There was a chunk missing out of the fabric that I didn’t notice. I had one fabric scrap that was just barely big enough to cut out half of the back piece. Hello unwanted center seam!

Front closeup. 90s shirt. Handmade by ConniyaThis was my first time sewing a collar, and I really liked it! The instructions were a bit confusing, but I figured it out and it totally makes sense now. I want to start making more professional/fitted types of garments. I have yet to find a good looking trouser pattern, but I recently heard about this cool new line of indie patterns called Named. I’ve got my eye on the Tyler shirt.

Side view of 90s shirt. Handmade by Conniya.I’m kind of covering it up with my arm, but there’s a cool curved side split on each side of the shirt.

In other news, today was the first day of school. I actually only had one class, environmental economics, but then I also went to work. Here are some of my textbooks this semester. I still need to get my intro to managerial accounting textbook and statistics textbook as well as online access codes for 3 classes. So don’t expect me to keep up my current rate of sewing once school really gets underway!

textbooksAnd don’t forget to check out my Etsy store–> the link is in the sidebar to the right. I’ve got a few more finished pieces that will be added soon as well as some more UFOs, so stay posted!

Thrift shop style

I picked up this shirt last summer in some no-name thrift shop in Murray, Ky. Originally it looked like it was made for someone 3 inches shorter and 10 inches wider (I’m not exaggerating). This was before I had my own sewing machine, so I asked my grandma to take in the sides.
embroidered and altered thrift shop shirt

Last weekend I made a short trip to Goodwill in search of jeans I could cut off into shorts. I lost weight last semester, so none of my shorts fit anymore. I didn’t find any jeans, but I did find this adorable maternity dress! I was on my way out the door, and it caught my eye. It looked like new, and I loved the bright color. I’ve been making an effort to comfortize (is that even a word?) my wardrobe and this dress fits the bill. It’s a medium/heavyweight knit with some length to it. It cost about $5.

before and after thrift shop maternity dress makeover. by Conniya

This was supposed to be a fast and easy makeover, but took a little bit longer because I kept making mistakes.

Basically, I flipped the dress inside out and made a new, slightly curved seam on each side. I didn’t have a dress to copy from, so it took a few tries to get the seams just the way I wanted. After I was fairly happy with the seams, I still had a few small puckers around the hip area, which I couldn’t seem to fix. I got a few of them fixed and wore the dress anyway since it’s not that noticeable. I’ve already worn the dress once and got several compliments ๐Ÿ™‚ I love my new dress!

And here’s this because who doesn’t love this song?

Have a great day!

Cats and coffee and Keurig!

I’ve finally joined the world of coffee drinkers this semester. I’m not to the point where I go crazy if I don’t have coffee, but I generally drink two or three glasses a day thanks to this super speedy Keurig. My boyfriend got it a few weeks ago using some gift cards he won at work.
Kitty cat coffee mug and Keurig

Isn’t this coffee mug adorable?! I brought this back to school with me from home, since no one there uses it. ย It’s at least 10 years old, probably older. Its stubby front legs make me laugh.

kitty cat coffee mug

In other news, I started a new job this past week, I really need to get going on an econ paper, and it looks like I’ll be attending Daegu Haany University in South Korea next Spring (assuming North Korea doesn’t go crazy on everybody before then).

Knit + Crochet Vintage Patterns

Here are some lovely vintage patterns to look at. Merry Christmas!!!


Knitted shirt and cardigan, 1940s. Buy it here.

It has bows on it. Enough said.


Vogue Knitted dress, 1960. Buy it here.

I love the silhouette. Feminine, classy, and retro.

vneck striped dress

Crochet Romper, 1960-70s. Listed here.

Remember this romper? Well here’s an older version, modeled by Sir Michael Caine’s wife, Shakira (Btw, I’m kind of in love with Michael Caine; he’s kind of the coolest old man ever). This pattern was recently sold on etsy, but it will probably be re-posted soon since it’s sold as a PDF.

crochet romper

Knit Helmets. Buy it here.

I love the helmet on the top right. I think it’s just the coolest looking accessory. The idea of having a hat/hood that doesn’t get blown off in the wind is cool, ย and these things will definitely cover up a bad hair day.

knit hat pattern vintage

Crochet and Knit Hot Pants, 1970s. Buy it here.

Hot pants are another fashion trend that has become popular again recently, and here are several knit and crochet versions of it. There is so much going on in this picture. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I first saw it.

hot pants