adult's clothing · sewing

more Renfrew tops

Rather like my experimentation with the Elle pant pattern, I have been sewing up more Renfrew tops.  I believe that this habit may now have the official name of Renfrewitis, and I’ve noticed that Sarah, Leigh, Christy and Andrea have been similarly afflicted, among many others.  I fear that it is becoming an epidemic.  I needed to replace some chocolate brown tees, so armed with a remnant of wool jersey, I assembled a simple scoop neck, 3/4 sleeve Renfrew (#4). Sadly none of my regular photographers were available, so it’s mirror shots for the moment.

3/4 sleeve Renfrew top

Lessons learned from this version – make the sleeve bands and hem bands shorter – and therefore tighter – next time. Otherwise it’s exactly what I was after – a simple basic tee for layering. It’s even long enough to be okay over the Elle pants.

3/4 sleeve Renfrew top & StyleARC Elle pants

Then to Renfrew #6 and another wardrobe hole. I have a couple of pinafores/tunics that look best with a black top underneath. I have a black skivvy, but really don’t like that tight fabric around my neck – and the black right up next to my face isn’t terribly flattering. So combined with a super-stretchy, slightly sheer, textured mystery knit I sewed up a cowl neck, 3/4 sleeve Renfrew.

3/4 sleeve Renfrew top

Have I already mentioned how much I LOVE the cowl neck on the Renfrew? It is shaped rather than being a rectangle folded in half, and this gives it just the right shape to fall and drape perfectly. I managed to make the sleeve bands shorter this time, which was an improvement, and did the same with the hip band. But due to the super-stretch of this fabric, I could have made the whole top a little smaller, including the hip band. I did stabilise the shoulder seams before sewing (which I do with all my knit tops) which proved to be an excellent move. But the sleeve cap still isn’t perfectly set in across the shoulder seam – all that stretch meeting a stabilised seam. But hey, it’s a tee to go under things.

black 3/4 sleeve Renfrew top & StyleARC Elle pants

So the more I sew, the more picky I get about fit. I criticise things in clothes that I make that I’d never even worry about in ready to wear. Hmmm. And I don’t think that you’ve seen the last of the Renfrews – after all, we haven’t even got to summer and short-sleeved versions yet!

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