A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Renfrew x 2

It's fall and I am missing my plaid French terry Renfrew!  It is in my closet, but way too small.  So I decided to make a replacement.

After consulting the finished measurements, I decided to make a straight size 16, knowing full well that the shoulders would be a bit big.  It was late and I did not feel like futzing with flat pattern adjustments.  I think it actually turned out pretty well - the oversized look of the slightly wide shoulders is casual and sweat-shirt-y.  It is very cozy for a cold fall day.

The fabric is a nice thick houndstooth-print jersey at the thrift store a few months back.  I am not sure what the content is - it has great recovery, so there is definitely a good amount of lycra in there.  I think it is probably a cotton/poly blend.  The cowl is Laguna jersey.  

We took a bunch of outside photos, but the top one is the only one that did not make me look ridiculously top-heavy.  I have to figure out where to stand in relation to my husband (or daughter) to get the best angle.  The mirror shots are much better.

After that Renfrew, I decided to make a scoop neck.  This time I used a 12 shoulder, widening to a 16 at the bottom of the armscye.  I ended up taking in quite a bit at the seams from the waist all the way up through the arms.  I used a cotton/lycra knit with good (or so I thought) recovery, but it still fit much wider than the cowl version.

I also noticed while sewing this one, that there was definitely a problem with excess fabric at the sides of my chest.  I did not notice it as much with the cowl version, but it's really noticeable in the top photo in this blog post.    After some Googling, I found that I was not the only one with this problem.  The armscye is too high.  I'd like to scoop it out, but then I will have to alter the sleeve too. Instead I think I will just try a Plantain for my next knit top.

After making the top, it occurred to me that perhaps the print was a bit too loud (I had actually bought it with a summer skirt in mind), but I wore it last Sunday and got a bunch of compliments!  I was really surprised.  It's funny how a compliment can make you think about an item of clothing differently.  

My six-year-old took the outside photos.  I didn't realize she had me lined up right in front of the very attractive composter.  After she was done, she requested that I photograph her.


  1. Good job, N, on taking fabulous pictures! I love both tops, but I think second is just so colorful and catchy! Love it! And I honestly cannot see any problems with the tops.. maybe that's why I don't sew for myself... wouldn't know how to fix whatever's wrong :)

  2. Aw they are so nice! And it totally makes me want to sew something for myself RIGHT NOW!

  3. Cute tops!! I've noticed that the shoulders and underarm/above bust area often seem to have wrinkles on the Renfrew - not just yours, but everyone's. Too high an armscye!! That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for that! That said, yours are both lovely and the fit seems great. Comfy warm winter tops. Love that busy print with the vest, that is perfect.

    1. Yeah, it's crazy. It's such a popular pattern and I heard about it a million times long before I bought it - but it took some digging to find reviews that reflected the problems I had with it. It might be something that is more pronounced on a much larger bust, too, because when I made them two years ago when I was 30 pounds lighter, I did not notice the problem. Makes sense since the line is for pear shaped people, so not tailored to the busty.

  4. Love the tops, what a great fabric find at the thrift store- don't you love that! The fit looks good from here, I don't know about you but I am not a fan of having to alter a knit pattern a lot, I really just want there to be minimal fitting issues with a knit! I'm so demanding ha ha! I am glad to hear your husband is up to taking pictures again! Hope he is still progressing! And my daughter is the same, she always wants her picture in exchange for her photography skills- but I love that!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I agree - fitting a tee is so irritating. I am willing to make bust adjustments but I just realized I draw the line at sleeve alterations!!

  5. I am so glad you are sewing to fit you now! Sensible and kind.
    Your Renfrew looks soft, pretty, elegant and comfortable.

    I have to fit the Billy-oh out of everything for me, I am just not a standard shape. T-shirts included.

    xx N


Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!