Saturday, February 3, 2018

January Re-cap and February Plans

Hello everyone!

When I think about how my month of January went, it feels like I could divide it into two categories.  The first would be "utter frustration," and the second would be "confident resurgence." I started out with some stuttering, but I have gained my bearings, and now look forward to my February plans.

But before I tell you about that, here are all my January garments:

Butterick 6526 Crossover Top (shown at far left on top and bottom): I really gave this pattern a bad wrap!  I think it was tied to my experience sewing it, and not the final result.  It truly is a nice top, and I have changed my mind after wearing it.  I will now re-make it with more length.  In fact, I can no longer ignore my LONG torso, lol! Unless there is a lot of length built-into a garment, I will have to add some.  Lesson learned!

Sewaholic Renfrew Tops (Fitted V-neck): I still love these, and have started to wear them. It feels good to be this early into the RTW fast, and already have lots of things to choose from! While I wish I could sew another five or six, I will move on for the sake of my capsule.

Alright, now that January is out of the way...let's move onto February plans!  If you recall from a few of my posts last month, I have been working on my pants sloper.  Well, I am making progress on it, but not quite finished yet. I am discovering that each adjustment I make affects another thing.

My goal was to finish my sloper so I could work on my two pants choices for this month. Well, I am throwing caution to the wind, and working on PANTS anyway!! I can do it!! I have been encouraged by a lot of other RTW fasters who have sewn their first pair of pants, and I'm gonna just dive in!!

**As a side note, I must say that this month is Jeans month at Closet Case Patterns! In honor of that, they are taking 30% off all their jeans courses, and patterns!!! I may have purchased the Ginger Jeans pattern already, lol--for the near future, of course.  Now is a great time to get this pattern or others (PDF or printed) if you are also thinking of giving pants a try. Click here for the website to check this out.**

That said, I will work on the Sabrina Slims first!!

I am hoping that the simple silhouette and seaming will work in my favor.  I mean, come on! No zippers, closures, etc.  But maybe a welt pocket? I will see. If I choose to do one, it will be my first ever! I definitely like the way they look on the back of the pants, so I will see and keep you in the loop.

After I finish the Slims, I will work on the other pair of pants from my capsule, Simplicity 8056. This one looks slightly more involved, but has some ease since it is a trouser.

I am aiming to finish as much of my capsule as possible so that I can be ready to move on to Spring soon.  Once I reach the end of this month, I will evaluate how much more time I will take if needed. I have already decided that my Spring Capsule will be much smaller, lol! Much smaller!!  

For now I want all of my knit items in the capsule finished.  Then, I will move on to the woven things.  I hope that this establishes the opportunity to get into a "groove."  That's the plan, at least.  How it plays out will be seen.  

But, I am most excited about PANTS!!!

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sewaholic Renfrews and a Save

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share my experience with a pattern that could be called a national sewing treasure.  It is my SECOND top from my Fall/Winter capsule, and one that has been made by a countless number of sewers with high remarks--the Sewaholic Renfrew!

Perhaps you are familiar with this pattern, or perhaps (like me) you know about it but have yet to sew it. Either way, let me share the story of my Renfrew with you:

It all started with this leftover Rayon Spandex knit from my failed peplum.  I had enough to make a Renfrew in a size 8 with no adjustments.  The end result was good, but there was some gaping along the neckline:

Still, I really liked the style of the shirt with its' cuffs and hem band.  I felt confident that I could make it work with a few tweaks and adjustments.

So, I tried a second version:

This version was an rust orange sweater knit from Michael Levine's that I love!  This time I did a 1/4" forward shoulder adjustment and added 1/2" to the shoulder seam for a roomier fit.  There was still some slight gaping at the neckline, but not enough to keep me from wearing this top! 

With some more research on the issue, I found an amazing tutorial by Colleen of The Fashion Sewing Business on Youtube.  I used her instructions to reduce the neckline by 1/2" and came up with this well-fitting version:

I absolutely love this Renfrew made out of a cotton jersey from Girl Charlee!  It seriously is the perfect V-neck!  And speaking of V-necks, this one was SO EASY to construct.  I have been practicing, and it is getting easier and easier.  I find that staystitching the front V before you add the band, then cutting to (not through) the stitching helps me so much.  Most times, it lines up at the center front without any issues.

So after I made this top, I felt pretty good with the fit, and decided to try it out on a Ponte de Roma from Girl Charlee in a Medallion print.  Since the knit was not as stretchy as the other fabrics I used, I was conservative with the seam allowance, and even added 1/8" more to the side seams to be sure.

The end result is this:

And this one is the one I LOVE the most!!!

If you are counting, that makes FOUR Renfrews!! Yep, I got a little cray-cray with this pattern, but this top is so cute and well-drafted, in spite of the changes I needed.  And guess what?  I won't be buying anymore V-neck fitted tops!! Nope, nada...zilch...none.  

I would much rather reach for this beloved Renfrew pattern! Yes!! Just look at the variations on the pattern envelope and see what I mean:

The sleeve variations will take me through the year, and I can't wait to try the cowl for next Fall/Winter!  This pattern is definitely a keeper, and I can see why it has received lots of raves from the people who have sewn it. I need a Renfrew for EVERY season, lol!

Here are my collection of Renfrews:

Unfortunetaly, that is where my story with the Renfrew ends (for now).  But, I will definitely re-visit this pattern soon, and HIGHLY suggest it for all skill levels.  It is a quick sew that requires no hemming, and has CUFFS. Did I mention cuffs?

Ok, so before I go, I have one more thing to show you!  Remember my failed crossover Butterick 6526 top that was too big?  Well, I had put it aside with every intention of throwing it out when it dawned on me that since I can SEW, I might be able to save it.
And, well, that is what I did!

It still needs more length for me to be SUPER happy with it, but I really, really like it compared to where it was.  And saving a garment that was on the fringe of destruction always makes me happy! If you would like to read more about my experience with this pattern, click here for my other version.

For my next post (probably Saturday) I will be back to do a re-cap of January, as well as talk about my plans for February.  I will give you a hint now: I am diving in!!  I have also been working on my Burda wrap top, and hope to finish it soon. TWO items down, EIGHT more to go!

Stay sew-filled!