Monday, October 21, 2013

A very quick post on T-shirts, Sewaholic Renfrew

According to the calender autumn has been here for a few weeks already, however for the most part I am still wearing sandals, shorts and lightweight summer dresses. And that is fine with me :) But one of these days I will need to dig out some sweaters. To that end I bought (finally) the Renfrew knit top pattern, solely for view C which is the cowl-y turtleneck version. Based on this first version I am very glad I did.

Renfrew cowl maroon
This was very much an experimental version using a tissue weight knit I ordered last year from Fashion Fabrics. I wasn't thrilled with when it arrived so I set it aside for who knows what. To make my first Renfrew cowl version I rummaged through my bin of knits, coming across this which seemed fine for a test version. Once I laid it on the cutting table I realized how sheer it was, and having a lot of yardage I decided to do a double layer for the front and back as I have seen on ready to wear. Worked like a charm and I actually do like it, and can see wearing it with my olive green corduroy jacket. Two items totally outside my usual color range but maybe time for some variety?
Here you can see how thin the fabric is.
Renfrew maroon close up
One of my layers was a bit raggedy as I was near the edge of the fabric and I meant to put that on the inside, but as you can see I did not. Oh well. I decided to leave the edges raw because I liked the look plus how could one hem that fabric? I'm sure there is a way but it seemed like a very fiddly fabric to hem.
Here is the pattern envelope showing the options. I also made the neckline of Version A on another top to see where that landed on the body, and as a comparison to my Jalie T-shirts which I really like.
Renfrew pattern envelope

This version below was definitely a test, just to see if I liked the shape and the neckline. On this pattern I made a size 10 and I really like how the armholes fit, although I narrowed the shoulders a bit on the version above. The top of the sleeve seam was about 3/4 inch further out than it should be but that is just my usual knit top adjustment. The top below is kind of a goofy knit I just bought at an ASG sale, it is the same type of knit as you find in golf shirts so not super stretchy. I will probably shorten the sleeves to a very small cap sleeve, take it in at the waist and maybe even cut the hem band off. Not crazy about that, I think a regular t-shirt hem would look better, but it is a good idea in terms of not having to do a hem on tricky fabrics. I think I prefer the neckline and band on the Jalie pattern so I will probably to some blending in the future if I make any more tees. Happy on the stripe matching if I do say so. There is a little bit off at the front upper arm but hey, the back looks good!
                        renfrew stripe frontrenfrew stripe back

As for my next project, I have tentatively stuck my toe into the French jacket pool and hope to have that finished this weekend. Not really an authentic version - more like a "faux" French jacket but something for myself to work out the details on fit and finish. My mom has always wanted one so perhaps hers will be the real thing, hand-sewing and all.

Here's hoping all your halloween costume sewing is completed by this weekend so you can move on to other things!
Happy Sewing, Beth

My SunnyGal garden photo for today, getting to be slim pickings this time of year, although I did spy a camelia yesterday. This one is basil, going to flower now with a background of red hibiscus.

Basil in flower


  1. I hope to get to a Renfrew cowl this season as well. I'll have to figure out how to add to the belly section though! And, I can't wait to see your French jacket. I want to make one for my mom - I even have the fabric and chain and everything - but I haven't gotten up the courage to start... She and my dad are supposed to be visiting for Thanksgiving, so maybe I can get her fit then?!

  2. I. love. hibiscus!!!
    I really need to get back to the Renfrew as I love the big cowl neck but I had fitting issues. I will say that all my fitting issues disappear if I wear the renfrew with a jacket. :)
    I like the layered look of your double layered shirt and how it doesn't match at the bottom. I think that looks very RTW!
    I also agree that I don't like the band as a hem. I couldn't put my finger on why, but mom said it looked more like a sweatshirt to her with the band.
    I'd love to see what this looks like on you!

  3. Love your versions of the Renfew. I just made and blogged one on the weekend. I love this pattern for a quick comfy wardrobe basic. The hem band doesn't bother me, I think it helps to keep the hem in place more as it doesn't ride up as much.

  4. I like the cowl and I especially like the double layers -- very cool! I'm actually on the fence about the band. I like the look of a wide hem as well as its functionality, so perhaps there is a way to tweak it so it works.

  5. Very nice, Beth! I love the Renfrew but also do not care for the bands. I'd rather just hem my knits. :)

  6. I love the look of the edges raw! This was a great idea for the fabric. Every girls needs a really great fitting Tshirt pattern :)

  7. That looks terrific Beth! I ´ve been seing so many pretty versions of this renfrew I think I should buy the pattern ASAP!

  8. Beth, your experimenting paid off-the maroon tee will look so pretty with a variety of colors, and I love the look of the next version. Very sporty. I envy you the warm weather in the Bay Area. We are still warm during the day here but it is freezing now at night. Very crisp!!

  9. I really like that maroon top, especially the sheerness! I just bought the Renfrew and I'm really looking forward to making it up.


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