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!


  1. Woohoo! You totally owned that pattern! I love all of them but especially the orange striped version!! So gorgeous on your skin.

    Can't wait to see your February plan develop.

  2. Oh great save, it looks super terrific now and what a great colour. I love the orange Renfrew too. I must get that pattern. I miss Sewaholic!

  3. I've seen this pattern so many times. Your versions all look great; the orange one is my fave. It really is a great pattern and I like that it has so many variations. And what a great save on the crossover - that's definitely one of the benefits of being able to sew.

  4. Vanessa, this is a great TNT for you (and for any one else for that matter!) I love the way you got all these beautiful Tees in different colors and prints… Just gorgeous on you! Also, great save on your Butterick top! It fits you perfectly and the color stunning on you too!

  5. Looks like you've got the V-neck version of the Renfrew down pat Vanessa! This is such a great pattern. I've made this a few times (one was a rusty orange too!:), but always the cowl view. I really need to try the V-neck. Maybe even make it into a dress for summer! Ah the possibilities;) I'm going to check out that link for reducing neck gaping too:)

  6. I love the Renfrew. Yours look great! Too bad Sewaholic isn't designing any more patterns...


Let me know what you think!