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Miss Minnesota - Pageant Dress

| On
Thursday, November 30, 2017

The standard of beauty for years have been clouded by white-women and beauty pageants were there to reinforce it on and on again. However this changed when one of our very own Halima Aden, a Somali-American became the first one in history to wear a hijab on stage. The significance of her representation lit a fire not only in MN but worldwide. Now, from 1 hijabi in 2016 we were blessed with 7 beautiful hijabi women on stage this year. And I was honored to make a custom made dress for Ahlam Yusuf, who was the last hijabi standing and ranked 2nd place on the TOP 15!!! I am extremely proud of all of these young women because now young girls will no longer see the standard of beauty as blonde hair and blue eyes. Now, young girls will see beauty in themselves.

Okay! Now what most of you actually came to this site for...Let's get to the jaw-dropping dress!

I want to begin by saying this isn't a tutorial rather an overview of my process (if you have specific questions feel free to DM me).

  • Fabric - This was all the client's doing and I couldn't be more ecstatic of her choice. It was the most stunning fabric I've ever laid eyes on. It literally shined, twinkled, beamed, sparkled, you name it...this fabric did that. 
  • Design - The silhouette was a tamed mermaid dress. I say tamed because the bottom is not too dramatic. The reason we went with this is because we wanted to focus more on the overall dress seeing that the fabric was so bold.
  • Sewing - This dress definitely deserved a significant amount of time because of the style and delicacy of the fabric. Underneath was a white lining which really brought out the details of the outer fabric.

I had such a fun time designing  and sewing this dress for Ahlam! She's a sweetheart and it was wonderful to work with her.

Want your own CUSTOM MADE DRESS?
Contact me via
Instagram: HamdiKeynan

Check out more photos of her wearing it on her instagram: @Ahglam_


Photo credit: @Ahglam_


| On
Tuesday, August 08, 2017

I'm back at it again! If you have a special event coming up and in need of a dress with a perfect fit contact me and I can help you make that vision come to life! 

Types of Garments I specialize in:
- Bridesmaid Dresses
- Special Event Gowns/Dresses
- Regal Skirts 
& More!

How to contact me?
Email (preferred): hamdikeynan@gmail.com
~ Message me on any Social Media Platforms ~
Facebook: HamdiKeynanDesigns
Instagram: @HamdiKeynan
Twitter: @Hamdi_Keynan

The HK Design Process:
1.) Email/Message me
2.) Face-to-Face initial Consultation
3.) Sketch/Design and Cost Estimate (Down-Payment Needed)
4.) Fabric Shopping 
5.) Create Pattern for the perfect fit
6.) Bring the Design to life 
7.) Initial Fitting
8.) Finalize Garment
9.) Final Fitting (Remaining Payment Needed)
10.) It's ALL Yours!

*MN Only for now. 

READY to ORDER?! Email: hamdikeynan@gmail.com

"Veni, Vidi, Vici!"

| On
Saturday, May 27, 2017

"I came, I saw, I conquered!"

It's only been a few weeks since I graduated, but tbh it feels like a century ago. After 4 years of ups and downs I finally walked the stage and got my degree. I came into college as a pretty naive person with very little real life experience. College allowed me to view the world with a whole new perspective...one that was way more mature and understanding. My first year of undergrad was like any other freshman year experience (minus the party life). I pushed myself out of my comfort zone which I would recommend everyone to do because this allowed me to grow as an individual. I began joining student groups and put myself in situations that were uncomfortable but healthy (if that makes any sense). Through undergrad, I had instances were I did not do as well as I hoped in an exam or class like many many people experience. This setback did not deter me from pursing my major or future career rather it made me that much more invested in my education. Overall, college is a time for you to flourish as a person and a time to discover more about who you are or want to become.

Okay now to the real stuff...now that I graduated the most dreadful question I keep getting asked is "So, whats next?" Lmao. I'll be completely honest here I majored in Psychology, which was amazing! But lets be real, the job prospect is very low. Like... nonexistent. But I was fully aware of that going into psychology and that did not bother me because I always knew I wanted to further my education. 

For my graduation ceremony I wore a box-pleated skirt with pockets, check out my previous post on how to make it. I fell in love with this fabric like seriously! Look at how gorgeous the colors are... i'm obsessed! I paired the skirt with a simple black long sleeve shirt I bought and a gold chiffon scarf. It was a simple outfit to put together but I think the skirt really made it pop. 

Ramadan Kareem 

Photo credits: IG @bakarelmi

Instagram: hamdikeynan
Questions/Comments: hamdikeynan@gmail.com

White Cape Dress [A 2 in 1]

| On
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I hope everyone ended their semester on good terms. Even though I'm officially done with undergrad, it doesn't feel like it. But how is it suppose to feel like? Idk. I will do a post on how I made my actual graduation ceremony outfit later on. This post is about a white cape dress I made for my senior photos that I took with a group of friends. Believe it or not, I made this dress the night before the photoshoot! I guess I just like working under pressure.

How to make it?
This dress is actually pretty simple and very versatile!
- As always begin with the base, in this case is a simple maxi (if you choose) long sleeve dress. I added a turtle neck because thats the style I was going for, but you can pick.
- Then, its time to make the cape. I'm sure there are countless ways to accomplish this but for me I measured how long I wanted the front of the cape to fall (~ 20 inches). Then did the same for the back, which was about 10-15 inches longer than the front measurement.
- This step is optional which is connecting the cape to the dress (by sewing). I opted out of this step because I wanted to wear it separately as well (photo shown below).

Style #1: Cape

Style #2: Simple Maxi with a hint Pastel

I am so thankful for the amazing friends that made college that much more bearable!

Photo credits: IG @bakarelmi

Instagram: @hamdikeynan
Questions/Comments: hamdikeynan@gmail.com

Shining Shining Shining Yeah [*Bey's voice]

| On
Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Shining song by Beyonce has been stuck in head for weeks now, I don't think I'll get tired of it anytime soon. I bring this up because I recently made a dress for a client and it screamed shiny. The fabric is a filled with black, silver, and beige sequences that literally glisten in the light and is bright as hell. Even thought it has loads of sequences there is some stretch to it as it has a mesh fabric underneath. For a lining I went a bit unconventional and instead of doing the whole traditional lining sewn underneath, I made a separate knit off white dress that my client could wear under the sequence part. This was basically a 2 for 1 type of dress because she could wear the underdress with other outfits.

Making this dress took a lot of time...approximately 7 hours. I would say it took 3 hours for the underdress and 4 hours to make the sequence dress but I split my time in 3 days. The aftermath was having sequence fall everywhere in my work room which was a hassle to deal with.  

Some tips for working with sequence:

1.) Lay down a sewing mat or large paper so you can catch the fallen sequences! (b/c they WILL fall)

2.) Fabric is expensive and fabric with sequence is even more expensive so be careful where you cut and try not to mess up. Its not the end of the world if you do mess up. I've messed up many times before there are tricks you can do to recover your fabric...thats a whole other post tho. 

3.) Go with a straight stitch. This does depend on your material but I prefer straight stitch as it is cleaner to work with.

Best of luck on your endeavors with sequence fabric! Let me know how it goes!

Lining worn underneath

Box Pleated Skirt with POCKETS!

| On
Friday, April 07, 2017

Helloooo! Ya'll it's been way too long about 4 months tbh but who's counting right?! I've been on a hiatus for the past few months so I could study for a shitty exam that I am officially done with (alhamdulillah). Now, that exam is out of the way, I can focus on doing more fashion things. This post is based on a skirt I made for a friend for a cultural event.

The fabric is actually from Tanzania and is so gorgeous with multiple bold colors that make the pattern pop. In designing this skirt, I used box-pleats which were about 4-inches wide and I also added POCKETS! I have yet to understand why people don't add functional pockets to women clothing, like really? Do we not need places to hold our phones, lipstick, wallet?! Okay I digress.

Time: 4-5 Hours
Level: Intermediate 

- 3 Yards of Chosen Fabric
- 2.5 Yards of Lining 
9-in Zipper
Thread & Scissors
Measuring Tape
Sewing Machine

1. Lay down Your Measurements:
  • In making box-pleated skirts, it's important to calculate the measurements you need ahead of time before cutting into your precious fabric. Don't worry the math here is not extensive, trust me... math is not my favorite subject. 
    • (waist inches)x2 + (half of your waist inches) = Length of fabric for pleats
2. Making the Box-Pleats:
  • As I say in a lot of my posts... it's all about trial and error my friends. To be honest I watched random Youtube videos to make box-pleats until I got the hang of it. A brief overview would be to fold 2-inches in on one side and 2-inches in towards the other fold. Then this will look like a 4-inch pleat on the front. 
    • Does this make sense? I know it probably doesn't if you're new at this, that is why I highly recommend looking for videos because visualizing it will definitely help. (Best of luck on this one!) 
3.) Sew (of course)
  • One big tip I would give is to sew your box-pleats down as soon as you got the right amount and measured it according to the waist. This is important because it will prevent the pleats from moving out of place during the process of adding the waistband, lining, etc.
4.) Lining and Pockets
  • Depending on the type of fabric you have you may or maynot need lining for your skirt. A lining is basically cheap lightweight fabric that makes your garment more opaque. So it's pretty much up to you on this one.
  • Pockets! I made a post a while back on the details on this, so please check that out for a step-by-step tutorial on it. 
5.) Add Waistband & Finish it up
  • I choose to make a 3-inch waistband meaning you have to cut a 6-inch wide fabric with the same length as the waist. Then you fold it up and sew and sew. 
  • Hem as always & your done!
Let me know if you have any questions!

Email: hamdikeynan@gmail.com
Instagram: hamdikeynan

French Blue Dress with Side Gather

| On
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy Sunday! Its week two-ish of consistently doing blog posts (whoa whoa!) -- so lets all hope I can continue it (I'A). One thing that is not fashion-related but life-related is that I recently quit one of my three jobs. I was contemplating for a few months on whether or not letting go of that specific job would negatively affect my future. After literally writing down the pros and cons of quitting, I ultimately came to the conclusion that my mental sanity is far more important than having another line on my resume (even tho I worked there for more than the 'resume' mark). Through this experience I learned that we all have limits on how far we stretch ourselves and in my case I definitely stretched myself too far this time. So note to self its okay to say no to opportunities even if it seems really good.

That being said here is a quick overview of how I made this dress with a side gather. I made this for a client and was pretty content with the outcome. This dress is very classy and elegant which was exactly what she was looking for.

Time: 4 hours
Level: Moderate

1.  Materials: 
- 2 Yards of light weight of your choice (with stretch)
- 2 Yards of nude color lining (with stretch)
- Sewing Machine & Essentials
- Brooch (optional)

2. Layering:
- The reason I love this design is because of how well the nude lining and sparkle blue overlay compliment each other. I feel like it gives off a calming sensation and just looking at is relaxing.
- Attaching the lining and overlay fabric is the same way you would any other garment however you need to measure extra overlay material so you can create the gathers next.

3. Side-gather:
- Alright now lets get to the fun part! When I'm sewing there always one part I look forward to because it brings the fabric to life.
- To be honest it took me some time to create gathers that I was pleased with. So the only advise that I can really give is to play around with diagonal folds from the one shoulder to the lateral side of the waistline. Also in the future I would make the gathers lower, mine ending up a bit too high up closer to the bust than I anticipated. But I just had to roll with the flow.
- Nonetheless, when your happy with the gathers -- PIN them DOWN (lol) because they will move around and you will lose them...trust me or else it can it complicated. Once you pin them down you can sew 'em up and your good to go.

4. Hem Hem:
- A sewer's final touch is always a good 'ol hem. Sewing for a few years now I can tell that hemming the ends of your garment really makes all the difference.

I hope this was helpful! As always let me know if you have any questions below.
Email: hamdikeynan@gmail.com