Thursday, July 17, 2014

My First Renfrew

Oh. My. Word.

It's taken me TWO MONTHS to blog this shirt. I whipped it up back in May (you can see it as part of MMM here) and kept meaning to blog it ASAP.

However, every time it came out of the laundry, it was on me within 24 hours (the "Golden Boy" of shirts as I just saw on an episode of Seinfeld). And then I'd forget to take pictures, and then I'd wear it to bed...anyway, enough excuses!

Altered pattern piece, back bodice.
The portion to the left of the green line was removed.

This is the Sewaholic Renfrew in a size 4 with significant width removed from the center-back along the shoulders, following this excellent tutorial. I think I removed maybe an inch (on the fold, so 2 inches!) and it's still not enough, as evidenced by some back neck gape. I have seriously narrow shoulders.

The fabric is a cotton/spandex knit from Girl Charlee. It is SO. SOFT. The bands on the sleeves and neckline are a solid black cotton/spandex, also from GC.

This was my first time sewing a V-neck, and the results are pretty good for a first try, I think. Black hides all sewing sins!

I went with the V-neck in order to keep this somewhat masculine print from overwhelming me and making the shirt look like boys' pajamas. I LOVE a V-neck, I think it's super flattering, so expect most of my Renfrews to go that route. And of course, there will be more! 

I've got a bunch planned (and apparently they're all striped!), but I'm waiting for a good time to sit down and make them all assembly-line style. Probably soon. I'm in love with the way this pattern is drafted, with just the right amount of ease through the torso, sleeves that are a cinch to sew in the flat, and yet it doesn't look sloppy at all. I made this one during ONE toddler nap (just the sewing, anyway, not cutting). How can you beat that? Especially for my first time making this pattern.

I did try a new trick for serging in the round, which I read about in Serger Secrets (I think it was that book, anyway...). Basically, you cut a rectangle out of the seam allowance, creating a "starting point" to begin your serging:

Serge around in a circle and meet up with your start point. The only disadvantage, which I figured out AFTER I'd already started, was that my serger could not accommodate the full seam allowance. My bands are bigger than called for because of it. No biggie, and next time I want to try this, I'll trim the seam allowances first.

There isn't much more to say about this pattern than what's been said before, so I'll leave it at that. Add me to the list of Renfrew-lovers!


  1. I like that fabric, and thanks for the link to the tutorial, the neck gape is a big issue for me, as well.

    1. I think this fabric is/was available in a white colorway as well.

  2. Here from PR, and love your Tee. The fabric is so pretty too and looks fabulous on you. TFS!


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