Sewaholic 1201 – Because You Can Always Use Another Renfrew Top in Your Closet

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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.

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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.

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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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McCall’s 6886 -Inspired by Dolce & Gabbana

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I am very happy with my dress. I love when a vision turns out exactly as planned.

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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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Vogue 8950 – A Tale of Two Knits

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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):

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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.IMG_6049

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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