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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

V-neck Renfrews

V-necks used to be my t-shirt of choice.  In college I had a heather gray one with the most perfectly-shaped neckline.  I wore it twice a week for several years before it got lost in the laundry room.  After that, I searched to no avail to find another v-neck that fit me as well.  Once I began sewing, it had been so long since I'd worn a v-neck, that it never occurred to me to try to sew one.  But recently I was inspired by a great striped v-neck tee sewn by Inder.  I remembered that my Sewaholic Renfrew pattern had a v-neck view, so I got to tracing.

As for my most recent long-sleeved Renfrews, I cut a size 10 shoulder graded to a 16 and did a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment.  I shaved 1/2" off the outer shoulder and 1/2" off the side seam at the top to deal with some excess fabric I always seem to have in the armpit, and I lengthened the top and the sleeve because I didn't want to use bands.

I couldn't be more thrilled with the results.  While it took me a little while to puzzle out how to sew the neckband, once I figured it out, it was pretty easy.  I normally construct knits entirely on my serger, but I found that in order to get a nice, sharp mitered point to my v, I needed to stitch about 1.5" on either side of the v's point using my sewing machine.  After that, I serged starting at the point, going around the neckline and ending by serging over the point again.  Then I wove in my serger tail and, voila, perfect v-neck!

I think the shape and depth of the v on this pattern is perfect.  I decided that I wanted a wider band on the white tee, more like my husband's undershirts, so I sewed the band on with a smaller seam allowance.

Since the long sleeve on the Renfrew has too much ease for me, I didn't bother with a full bicep adjustment.  Turns out I should have, though, as the sleeve on my first iteration were way too tight.  I tried a 1/2" adjustment on the small stripe Renfrew, but it wasn't enough (and the whole shirt turned out too tight for some reason). So for the white one, I did a 1" adjustment and then sewed it and the sides together with a 3/8" seam allowance, and it was perfect.

All the fabrics are stash from Fabric Mart.  The navy and white fabrics were listed as cotton/lycra jersey, but the navy one feels like it also has some poly in it, and the white definitely has some rayon.  The small stripe is a rayon/lycra.  I'm pretty psyched about the stripe placement on the neckline of that one.

It's nice to have some v-neck tees back in my closet.  I only completed them a few weeks ago but they've all already been worn multiple times.  Thanks for reading and see you next time!


  1. These all look fabulous!!!

  2. Well done!! V-necks are not my favorite neckline on myself, but they look great on you!

  3. These are SO GOOD!! Yes, I wore a lot of V-necks back in the day too, and I'm happy to see they've come back into style, because it's a great style for the larger busted among us. You seem to have worked out the Renfrew fit really well, and I love that wider neckline on the cream, it's spot on. Your stripe matching is perfect too! I really struggled with getting my sewing machine to handle the points well, it wants to eat knit fabric for breakfast. Thank you for the shout out, btw. :)

  4. Great t-shirts. I've had a good luck with the Renfrew and its instructions for the V-neck too.

    1. Thanks! I am definitely getting my money's worth from this pattern.

  5. Great wardrobe additions! Renfrew is such a good pattern -- I always forget about it but it was the first t-shirt pattern I ever used.

  6. These look great! I just sewed up a v neck Lark tee and was really happy with it. I am putting a couple more on my list and as soon as I get fabric I am going on a t-shirt sewing bender! The only neckline I have discovered that I don't like on myself is a boatneck. Never found one I love yet.


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