High Waists and Jewel Tones and Dresses – Oh My!

This is the fourth and final week of Project Sewn – hard to believe it’s almost over! This week’s theme is the “signature style,” and the goal is to “showcase individual tastes, talents, strengths, and personality’s as both designers and seamstresses.” Well, that narrows it down!! 😛

With such a broad list of possibilities before me, I decided to start with a short list based on the design prompt.
-I love high waists and full skirts
-I enjoy sewing with knits, which I consider to be a sewing strength
-although I don’t use them much, I have a closeted penchant for jewel tones
-I love dresses!

With that list in mind, I came up with this little number:


Not my most original creation, but I decided to go with a rehash of an old favorite – my Lady Skater and Renfrew Frankenpattern. I’ve worn my first version about a million times, so why not make another? I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, amirite?

I did make a few mods to my first version. I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the cowl (I had two yards of fabric, post prewash shrinkage), so it’s an inch or so smaller than the original, but I don’t think you can really tell. I also shortened the skirt to end just above the knee – I’ve found that that is a more flattering length on me. Lastly, I did a square/broad shoulder adjustment. I’ve found that sleeves tend not to fit me well at the shoulder, so I’m experimenting with fitting in that area. This version isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than previous ones.


The fabric I used is a squishy sweater knit, which was kind of a nightmare to work with. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself! (Well, no, I do – it’s sooooo soft and comfy, it’s like wearing a hug!) I tried to get detail shots of the fabric – the color isn’t quite right, but these should give you the basic idea of what I was working with:



I ended up using my sewing machine instead of my serger for some of the seams. The serger has a tendency to stretch out delicate fabric, and even with the presser foot pressure and differential feed adjusted, I still got ripply seams. I used a zigzag machine stitch to attach the sleeves and sew the side seams to avoid unsightly ripples, and I’m much happier with how it turned out compared to previous experiences with sweater knits. Whew!

One last detail – and I’d love input on this – I’m experimenting with using filters on my photos to improve the ambience. The two dress pics above have filters, the two below don’t. Which do you like better? Pros and cons?



I have had such a great time sewing along with Project Sewn – thank you to everyone who has commented and voted for me! I think the best part, though, has been seeing everyone else’s creations – how differently everyone has interpreted each challenge. Good luck to the final three contestants!!


7 thoughts on “High Waists and Jewel Tones and Dresses – Oh My!

  1. This looks so snuggly! Super cute. I vote for no filter. Since you’re already photographing in low light I think the filter makes the pictures a little dark. However you might want to try that filter on outdoor pictures in the spring/summer. Light makes all the difference in my photographs. I wish Project Sewn ran longer, but I guess that would kill the contestants or at least lead to a couple emotional breakdowns. It would make for a good read though.

    • Thanks for the tip!! I was wondering – how do you ladies take the pics for your blog? Do you have a helper or do you use a tripod? And what kind of camera? Mine is currently dying a slow and painful death, so I need a new one anyway :). Thanks!!

      • For the most part I take pictures of Laney and she takes pictures of me. We’ve also used the timer/run back and forth method as well as my boyfriend. But that gives you an idea why individual shots are more common than pair shots for us. Ping (www.peneloping.com) uses a tripod and a camera remote to take her pictures. As for cameras, Laney and I took all of our pictures on an iphone until this January because I got a cannon rebel T3 for Christmas. Pretty dang exciting! The rebel T3 has been a good choice for me because it was a highly recommended entry level dslr and it can be purchased as a kit (camera body and lens together) so you’re all ready to go. Shoot me an email if you want more details, katyandlaney@gmail.com. We should organize a brunch/photo party in spring when it warms up. Mimosa and blog photography are a pretty awesome combination.

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