Despite all my grumbling about having to re-fit the Renfrew, I cut a second one immediately after finishing the first. I used an unrelentingly drapey knit purchased long ago when Joann's was having a 50% off Red Tag fabrics (on another note - that Red Tag section is so deceiving - I have never actually found the bargain basement pricing as I would expect there). I think it is this knit from their web site. I had some buyers' remorse after I bought it - I had purchased three yards thinking I'd make a wrap dress, but then decided I wouldn't wear such a spangly dress. As it turns out, though, it's kind of a perfect fabric for a cowl-necked top. And it's not as spangly, made up into a garment, as it appeared as a cut of yardage.
I decided that the stretchiness of the knit would require me to cut a smaller size. After much hemming and hawing (and really no mathematical or scientific reasoning), I settled on an 8 through the shoulders stretching to a 12 in the bust and a 10 in the waist on down. I also added an inch of length to the main body and cut the neckline 1/2" lower. Again I sewed the sides with a 3/8" seam. The 8 shoulder works well but I should have kept the 14 in the bust. Finally, I did a forward-shoulder adjustment. I have noticed particularly on my recent woven tops that I have to keep shrugging them forward. After some Googling I found that there is a relatively common and simple fix for this. It's less necessary for me in knit tops, but I still think it made this top fit better than the last one. I'll blog about it in more detail the next time I make a woven top.
It's funny how I never notice drag lines in my RTW garments, but they are all I see when I scrutinize my sewing. I totally would have bought this top for $19.99 at Marshalls.
The above pic is a little washed out due to flash, but you can kind of see the spangle in the fabric. From far away it just reads gray, though.
I think the cowl looks better on this one than on my last one, but that probably has mostly to do with the drapiness of the fabric - it's like a Slinky in that it just pours over itself. I'll keep the lower neckline for my next Renfrew, though. Maybe even lower it a tad bit more.