It’s been awhile since I made anything. It has been such a crazy fall, it was nice to get back to sewing. Strangely, it’s another knit cowl top. I’m repeating myself already! But I liked the pattern and decided to give it a shot.
I am a big fan of Sewaholic. I’ve been following Tasia’s blog since early this year when I picked up sewing and love her helpful tone and easy to understand content. I’ve purchased a few of her patterns but hadn’t actually tried any until now.
Other than days when I have work appointments, I live in jeans; I wear knits year round. Though I love the look of blouses sewn with woven fabric, realistically I know I will get more use out of an assortment of knit tops. I’m not about to iron a shirt just to work at home with the dog and cats! So, it made sense that I would try the Renfrew pattern. People all over the blogosphere rave about the versatility of this pattern and the praise is well deserved.
(Hi, crazy eyes)
With that said, I have mixed feelings about this pattern. First, I wasn’t sure about the band at the bottom. Was it going to look frumpy? I think it can veer into frump-land on me. Choosing the cowl neck and 3/4 sleeve options helped. But it’s the bands on the sleeves and waistband that are the key to widespread use of the pattern – you don’t need a coverstitch. This pattern is designed to be made with a normal sewing machine. No serger required.
The directions are clear and easy to understand. The one exception is step 6 – there was a typo that was frustrating. Since I’m still a beginner, I used the instructions word for word and ended up sewing the cowl incorrectly until I found others online with the same problem.
My other frustration has nothing to do with the pattern – it was my own faulty decision making. My measurements fell in between sizes so I went with the smaller size based on the finished garment measurements and the fact that it was a knit. Sounds good in theory but I used a black doubleknit. It was nice to sew but barely stretched at all. I was stuck in there like a sausage! Worse were the shoulders – they were tiny! Who knew I had such broad shoulders? Unwearable. Bummer.
I traced the larger size and used a knit with more stretch and it worked great. Next time I make it I will make the sleeves a bit longer (and maybe more narrow). I may try a longer version hemmed with a double needle to get a more traditional ready-to-wear look. Either way, it’s a great basic that goes together quickly.