Pattern Testing for Sewaholic Patterns: The Renfrew Top
Did you see that Tasia announced the next pattern in her Sewaholic Patterns line this morning? It’s a knit top with three different neckline and three different sleeve variations that she’s named the Renfrew Top. It’s a wonderful pattern; I know because I helped test it.
Back in December I was busy making up all three versions: the long-sleeve scoop neck, the short-sleeve V neck, and the three-quarter length-sleeve cowl neck. I’ve even since made a fourth of my own combination, a short-sleeve scoop neck. It’s been so hard to keep this pattern a secret as it’s become my go-to top pattern. I want to recut all of my old, baggie T shirts using the Renfrew pattern pieces so that they’ll be cute and fitted and have that nice band at the hem.
Today I have view A for you since it’s the only version that I have photos of currently. I plan to get photos taken of the other views this weekend and post them next week. First, a bit about my experiences sewing the Renfrew top. Tasia recommends stable knits for this pattern, so for this view I chose a green striped 100% cotton knit from FineFabrics.com. I cut a size 4 through the bust and waist and then graded to a 0 at the waist. With this sizing I was able to squeeze two shirts out of two yards of fabric: this long sleeve and another short sleeve with the same neckline.
The shape of the top is flattering, but the design of the bindings around the hem, cuffs, and neckline is actually my favorite feature. They turned out perfectly every time, without needing to worry with a double needle or fret about not owning a serger. All I needed to make this top was my basic sewing machine. My biggest disappointment was my own fault – despite my best efforts when cutting the shirt, I did not match the stripes at the side seams (UPDATE: the fault being my inexperience, not the pattern’s). In fact, you can see from the peek above that I got them about as far from matching up as I possibly could. And, to be completely honest, I didn’t get it right on my second make with this fabric either, despite incorporating the lessons I’d learned the first time. I know stripes can be matched since Tasia did it perfectly on her versions. Hopefully I’ve now learned enough to get it right on my next striped version. Hopefully?
I really enjoyed pattern testing for Tasia. While it required printing off and taping together pattern pieces similar to what has to be done for online BurdaStyle patterns (like the Bombshell dress), working under a deadline, and finding the extra time to write up comments and suggestions, I have four new shirts and warm, fuzzy feelings in my belly from helping out a small business owner.
Congrats on your most recent pattern, Tasia. It’s already one of my favorites.