Sunday, January 29, 2012

De-peared: Sewaholic Renfrew Tops Galore

Helloooooooo! This is my first post coming to you live from New York. It's good to be back in the city, but it's been a busy few weeks!

I'm battling a cold right now, but I wanted to take the time to share 3 tops I made in December; they were all made using the brand new Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic Patterns! I was lucky enough to be selected as a pattern tester for this top and I wanted to end 2011 with a bang by sewing up all 3 versions.

Even though this pattern company caters to pear-shaped women, note that this pattern is very easy to alter for non-pear shapes, like me. As with other Sewaholic patterns, the instructions and diagrams are great. And the pattern pieces were stellar as well, it's so nice when markings match up!

Okay, so let's have a look, shall we?

This one's too tight 
First up, view A: the v-neck top with short sleeves. I made a size 4 at the bust/waist and size 0 at the hip. I'm actually one size smaller than the chart's size 0, but found that the fit was just fine because the hem band fits snuggly around the hip. The bust portion of this top felt a little snug though, so instead of looking into an FBA or other alteration I went up to a size 6 for the next two tops and found the fit comfortable. Not sure if that was the alteration to make, but it works :)

Anyway, I do love the bands at the hem and sleeves! Makes for such a great finish - nice and easy to put together, too. I used my serger to whip this top together, but it really can just as easily be made on a regular sewing machine.

I wear knit tops all the time and am excited I finally have a pattern that will fill a nice gap in my handmade wardrobe. Now I just need to have a dedicated sewing space, which is almost within reach as I just signed a lease for an apartment. Probably a few weeks out from having it all set up though...

I think I can take fabric out of the sleeve

Second is view B: the scoop neck with long sleeves. THIS IS MY FAVORITE SEWING PROJECT EVER! Oops, got stuck on all caps there. But, seriously, I wear this top all the time, making it my most practical make to date. The fabric is so comfortable. For the record, it's a size 6 bust / size 4 waist / size 0 hip.

For whatever reason, I don't like wearing long sleeve tops ever, not even in the cold of winter. I usually just wear a short sleeve top with a cardigan or hoodie over it. The fact that I have this pattern with its long sleeves gives me the chance to not always rely on an additional layer, which is a nice change! Oh sewing, you've made me all adventurous.

Stop stretching at the shoulders, Ms. Rib Knit!
Last up, view C: the cowl neck with 3/4 sleeves. I really love the cowl neck variation, so classy and perfect for the office, an evening out, or just as a casual top.

I chose a ribbed knit, which ended up stretching a bit during construction. This is a good lesson learned in my book since I haven't worked with knits that much in the past. You can see the stretch effect at the shoulder seam, which is extending way beyond my shoulder even though I used the same size 6 pattern piece as the view B top. The sleeve band is also loose around the arm.

As some other bloggers have noted, stretch percentage wasn't listed on the fabric that I bought at the store so I had to guess. They all seemed to have the same amount of stretch as the t-shirt I had on, but obviously the ribbed knit had other ideas during the sewing process.

That's about it. But, hey, it's bold font time! If you are thinking about buying this top, Tasia is holding a pre-sale for email subscribers that ends tomorrow (Monday). Don't forget to sign up to take advantage of this special offer!

6 comments:

  1. These look great! If I didn't already have a knit sloper that took me ages to tweak, I would totally be buying this pattern. I love the bands.

    I used to never wear long sleeves, but when I started sewing I realized that was just because it was almost impossible to find long-enough long sleeves. :)

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    1. Thanks, Tanit-Isis! Can't wait to make more of them. It *is* so nice to be able to customize sleeve length, especially when you can pre-shrink fabric and not worry about them shrinking later!

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  2. Hi. I just got my pattern and had a bit of a google to see other versions. I know you said the v neck was too tight but that is my favourite one, looks great on you. Thanks for the review. Dana

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    1. Thanks, Dana, for stopping by and commenting! I love the v-neck pattern too (wear that kind of tee all the time) so I'm looking forward to making more (that fit!).

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  3. I just bought this pattern, and I feel so encouraged by your fantastic versions! I love all of yours!

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    1. You will do awesome things with this pattern, Meg! I hope to include some of these in Sew Weekly challenges this year :)

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