Tag Archives: Renfrew Top

Ink Splotch Renfrew

This is my third Renfrew top with 3/4 sleeves and crew neck. Sadly this is not a stable knit because the shirt keeps growing, it’s  big on me.  I don’t really feel like taking it in, since the whole thing was serged. Instead of attaching the neckline piece, I just serged the neck of the bodice piece, folded it over and topstitched it down. My favorite thing about this top is the fabric. I have extra so I think I will make myself an infinity scarf. I think I picked up the fabric at the National City Swap Meet or at the Loft in LA.

I am also working on my fourth Renfrew, the fabric on that one is just as awesome, but I am making some changes to the hem style, which is holding me up a little since I did not do it to the pattern piece before I cut it out. But expect to see another Renfrew soon.

As you can see I got my new dressform. It is much nicer than I thought it would be considering I spent around $150 for it. I can’t wait until I really get to use it.

I just started cutting out a pattern for my birthday dress. Making a dress by this Friday evening is stretching it. I know, I am pushing it with my schedule. I also will have to make sizing adjustments since it does not coming in my size. A FBA and adding to the side seams should help fit in the bodice and then adding to the side seams for the skirt. Sewing it up SHOULD be a piece of cake since there is not that many pattern pieces. Cross your fingers for me. I am really excited about my birthday, nothing better than spending time with people you love and eating good food. Also starting the next chapter in one’s life.

Speaking of next chapters, my next post I will share with you how I spent this past weekend. But it is time for me to get a nap in before I need to be up for work, so until next time.


Renfrew 2: Color Blocked Edition

I finally buckle down and completed my second Sewaholic Renfrew t-shirt. If you did not see my first version you can find it here.

To make this version, I took the fitted bodice front and back and re-traced it, figured out where I wanted the front seam to fall on my body, then I matched the front seam to the back.

I wanted to go with the neckline from View C and the sleeves of View B. I love Cowl Neck. LOVE LOVE LOVE. For the sleeves I opted to not adjust them at all and I love the fit.

This is sewn up using both the conventional sewing machine using a narrow zigzag stitch and serger. I mostly proud of my serged interior except in one location that I forgot to put the presser foot down. Remember to put that pressure foot down or things will not look cute professional. No pictures but trust me.

All and all I am very happy with how this came out. I do need to practice sewing in a circle with a serger more. Stitching on and off could be better.

What is left for me to do with this Renfew is to clip the hanging threads and press the seams. (Yes, I am bad, don’t judge… too much). I’ll try to get a picture of myself wearing it when the weather is not so hot.

I have some exciting things lined up, I can’t share one of the exciting news yet and the other… well, I am not sure if I should share with the sewing world yet. At least until I am further along in the project/goal. I made some book purchases (that I do plan to share soon) that you might figure out what I plan from the selection. Putting it out there on the web (public) creates a kind of pressure and some what official stamp to what my goals are. Very scary.

I can be pressured into sharing tho.

My first Sewaholic Renfrew Top

I  made my first version of the Sewaholic Renfrew Top out of a soft purple and gray jersey knit that I found at the Swap Meet and I think I paid about $2 a yard.

I originally wanted the make a chevron version of the Renfrew like  Lladybird’s, but then I was talked out of it by my teacher.  I came across a similar version as my finished one from a magazine that I don’t recall the name. So I was sold on the idea of the diagonal stripes in the front and horizontal stripes in the back. At that point I did not want to try to match stripes. I wanted to be lazy and just focus on learning to sew with knits.

The next step in the process of making this Renfrew was to have it fit. I kind of talked about the process in this post, so I won’t go into details. However, I will note that I made the following adjustments:

  •  1/2″ back width adjustment,
  • 2 3/4″ Y-FBA
  • dart removal
  •  1 1/8″ full sleeve adjustment.

I cut and laid out the pattern a little different then usual. I traced around the piece and used rotary cutters to cut the fabric. I used a very helpful technique that is used for stripes and plaids.  The next striped Renfrew I make (and you know this is going to happen) I’ll try to document the way I cut it out and share with you how I did that. If you are interested.

So, in my sewing class we had to make our top using our conventional sewing machines. In order to sew our seams we used a narrow zigzag. At first glance it might look like a straight line, but it really is not. When working on stable knits, like jersey you want to use a 0.5mm stitch width and a 2.5mm stitch length and on interlock and double knits use 1mm width stitch and 1.5mm length stitch. This adds elasticity to the seams. I used the narrow zigzag stitch in my shoulder seams, but a regular zigzag in my other seams because I don’t think my older machine has that low of a width and length. The shoulder seams were done in class. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the narrow zigzag.

As you can see above I made two rows of zigzag stitches and then trimmed the seam allowance down.

My collar was a little tricky to do, but as you can see the raw edges are not serged.

Instead of doing a zigzag stitch for the collar like the pattern instructions say, I used my stretch twin needle to do a fake cover stitch.

The stitching that the twin needles creates it very interesting. See those raw edges. They are not going anywhere.
I actually kind of enjoyed using the twin needles. The trick is to go slow.

There are some changes that I would like to make to the pattern after the fact. I want to make the cuffs smaller. I like my 3/4 sleeves to be close-fitted. These are too loose, I can’t even roll them up. I also might consider adding length.

I really like how this Renfrew came out and I think I feel a little more comfortable working with knits.

I really look forward to finishing up my next Renfrew. Yup, it’s already cut out and just waiting to be sewn up. The second top we have to make in class has to be sewn up using a serger. We also had to do at least 2 modifications to our pattern. I am not going to share the modifications, I am just going to surprise you.

My Memorial Day weekend will be mostly spent sewing. How about you? How are you going to spend yours?

Me-Made May 2012: Week 4

Can you believe it? It’s Week 4 already.

Top: Sewaholic Renfrew Top in purple & gray jersey knit
Pants: Lee’s Jeans from Ross
Shoes: Purple Chucks, that I can’t remember where I got it from.

I just love my outfit today. My Renfrew came out better than I thought it would. My coworkers are super shocked that it was handmade. This makes me grin from ear to ear. 🙂

I am so happy I found these jeans yesterday at Ross. I did not have anything clean to wear with my top, so OF COURSE, I bought new jeans. Two pairs in fact. This pair is pretty near perfect. Fits great, covers my crack sitting and standing and does not require being hemmed. Which means no ripped hems. I don’t mind the wrinkles, I actually like the relaxed look. Jeans can get too tight in the thighs and in months the inseam will start splitting.


I finally get to wear my purple chucks again. I bought these to cosplay for a friend’s comic several years ago and I rarely wore them since. Yes, I really like my look today despite what my face might read. I swore I took a picture with me smiling but it turned out I was actually snarling.

Now, I need to tackle my next top for the last week of MMM12. On the last day of May, I will have a nice surprise for you, so stay tuned.