Sewaholic Renfrew

IMG_9479_edited-2It’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.IMG_9487_edited-1

(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.



About girlguydogcat

Living in the midwest, wife to a fantastic husband, mom/servant to two cats and a dog.

13 responses »

  1. Really like this style- looks good on you.

  2. Really cute! This looks great!

  3. Cute! Love that color. And it looks polished, but so comfy!
    It seems that everyone LOVES Sewaholic patterns. I should really check them out.
    And I hear ya about the broad shoulders–I’m beginning to realize that I need to be lengthening the shoulders on all my patterns.

    • Thanks. Who knew about the shoulders? But I need to figure out if my problem is shoulders (I think slightly bigger than the norm) and/or a broad upper back. I’m going to start to get a complex learning about all my ‘issues’!

      • Me too! Short waist, swayback, broad shoulders, the list goes on and on. . . This is why I’m going to start working on a bodice block.

  4. looks great! ANd you are so darn cute!

  5. Pingback: Renfrew Part Two « Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat

  6. Pingback: 2012–My First Year of Sewing « Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat

  7. I was going to comment your clothes but I got distracted with your cat! He (or she?) is so lovely!!!

    But, about sewing, some day I’ll have the guts to start making clothes, right now I’m staying for aprons, book covers, bags and some other stuff!

    Great work here!

    • Thanks! He is quite the looker but don’tlet his sweet innocent appearance full you – he’s trouble! Sewing clothes is fun but I have to admit, it bums me out when it isn’t successful. But I have learned with each mess up. And mostly it is has more to do with pattern or fabric choice than the technical part (I only sew easy patterns). Give it a try!


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