adult's clothing · sewing

Renfrew meets Simplicity

Like many other sewing bloggers, I purchased a copy of the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern.  Doesn’t everyone need a well-fitting pattern for a basic t-shirt top, with sleeve length and neckline options?  I certainly do!  When I was at Sewjourn I sewed up my first go at a Renfrew.  It definitely won’t be my last.

Renfrew top

The fabric is a mystery knit with not a great deal of stretch. Possibly just a basic cotton interlock, really. I actually traced off the front and back pattern pieces instead of just hacking straight into the pattern pieces with my scissors as I normally would, because I wanted to straighten out the bust/waist/hip curve to better accommodate my measurements. Apparently Sewaholic patterns are drafted for a pear-shaped figure, which is pretty much the opposite of mine (and why it’s taken me so long to buy any of them, as much as I like the styles). I traced off a size 12 around the shoulders, neckline and bust, somewhere between size 8 and 10 for the hips, and pretty much a straight line from one to the other to approximate my “waist”. I think that it’s worked quite well, although looking at these photos I might try a 10 through the shoulders next time (depending on the amount of stretch in the knit) and maybe a slight FBA.  Or maybe not.

Renfrew top

And can I point out how well I matched up the stripes on the body and the sleeves? Not too bad considering that this is a “wearable muslin”! I did a rather dodgy job on centring the v-neck binding unfortunately,but it’s not too noticeable. I’m looking forward to giving this pattern another try in a slightly stretchier knit. Fabric choice makes such a difference in these types of garments – you can make exactly the same size/pattern over and over and get different results depending on the amount of stretch and the fibre type.

Because I have lots of this fabric, I also whipped up a vest from Simplicity 2283. I’ve made this before.

Renfrew top with Simplicity 2283 vest

I do like a long, drapey vest! This pattern has cutaway armholes and a centre back pleat. It’s easy to construct and I think that it would flatter many body types. The other Sewjourners thought that the vest might be a bit much worn with the top, but of course I wear them both together quite often.  Too much?  What does that mean?  Now that I’ve written this blog post, I might head upstairs and cut out another Renfrew!


10 thoughts on “Renfrew meets Simplicity

  1. I like them together. You looked very good in them yesterday – they look like one garment at first glance, but when you notice the two pieces, it looks interesting. I had obviously forgotten you akin them at Sewjourn but I definitely remember the fabric. I think it’s a pure cotton jersey.

  2. Love it! And I think the vest works really well with it. I must be a ‘pear’, I cut a 12 as I read it was roomy (I’m normally a 14) and it was perfect! I cant wait to make more! I’m going to tweak the arms though, not sure about the cuffs….

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