It is no surprise that the Sewaholic Renfrew top was “A Best Pattern of 2012” on PatternReview.com. There’s so much to like about this pattern.
The pattern offers three neckline variations as well as three sleeve variations. The pattern comes with all sizes in one envelope; 0-16. I made size 4. Pattern details available here.
The pattern is for knits but if you don’t have a serger you can still whip this one up easily. It offers 5/8″ seams and banded hems for the sleeves and body. I sewed the top with the knit stitch on my regular machine followed by a three-thread stitch on my serger.
The fashion knit is a remnant from Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, Quebec. I love their fabric selection and always stock up when I’m visiting that area.
This is my fourth version of this pattern and it won’t be my last. The top is a quick and satisfying project.
Here are my previous three tops:
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I purchased this medium weight knit from Fabric Mart last year and had a cardigan in mind when I saw the fabric. While flipping through a fashion magazine for inspiration I came across this ad from Dolce & Gabbana.
POW! Inspiration hit me and I knew my fabric had to be a dress. I was not looking to re-create the dress from the ad. I had something in mind: McCall’s 6886. I love that pattern. This is my fourth version of this dress.
I shortened the sleeves by 2″ and added 2″ contrasting bands. I shortened the dress front and back by 5″ and added a 4″ contrasting band. The only other change I made was to add two fish eye darts to the back. The picture below is not a great shot of the back but it does give you an idea of how the dress fits with the darts.
I am very happy with my dress. I love when a vision turns out exactly as planned.
Below are pictures of my three previous versions of this dress. The black panel print is the only one with fish eye darts in the back.
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This was such a simple pattern to sew, it should have been a quickie but nooooooooooooooooo! After reading reviews on PatternReview.com I concluded that I needed to cut a size 6 instead of my regular size 8 in Vogue. I realized that if I had cut a size 8 I would not have achieved the “semi-fitted” look the pattern was calling out. So far so good.
I traced the front and back to be “full” pattern pieces rather than having to cut them on the fold. I was cutting the front and back on the bias and figured it would be easier to match my stripes that way. The fabric was a remnant and had a bit of a warp to it. I couldn’t line up the stripes. Beginning of FRUSTRATION #1. At this point I was not sure it was going to be wearable. One of the reasons I like my homemade wardrobe is that my stripes line up.
Front Pattern Piece (Full and On Fold):
The other change I made was to tape the sleeve pattern pieces together because I was cutting the sleeve as one piece and not two pieces as the pattern indicates.
I sewed the top using a stretch stitch on my sewing machine and then finishing the seam with my serger. Both machines HATED both knits. Beginning of FRUSTRATION #2. The brown fabric is a mystery knit with medium stretch. The black is a leather-look scuba knit. After cover-stitching the neckline I decided to hem the sleeve and body by hand to avoid any more heartache. This worked out well.
I’m learning to live with the mis-matched stripes after receiving encouragement on PatternReview.com. Sewists are a very supportive group. I like the fit of this tunic very much and the slight high-low hem is a nice touch.
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