Sewaholic Renfrew!

This is my version of Sewaholic’s newest pattern, the Renfrew Tops! I was chosen to be a pattern tester and I made up view A, which is the extremely flattering scoop neck with long sleeves. I was really tempted by the cowl neck version but I was determined to make a ‘winter basic’ as nearly every time I get dressed I vow to make some plain long sleeved tops. It was such fun testing the pattern and I enjoyed taking part! Tasia runs her pattern line and blog with such grace and professionalism and the whole pattern testing process ran extremely smoothly.

I used a rayon/lycra jersey, which worked fine but it is a little drapey and clingy around the tummy area so I think I’ll make up my next version in a sturdier jersey or maybe in an interlock. Even though I’m not a huge cowl-neck fan (on me) I can’t resist this cowl neck top and I hope I’ll manage to make it up soon!

It’s a great pattern and I love the mix of necklines – a scoop neck, a v-neck and a cowl neck.  It’s also extremely well drafted and Tasia has put a lot of thought into making it as easy as possible to sew knits and avoid some of the classic problems associated with knits. To tell you the truth, I think as long as you take care to cut on-grain and chose a knit that has some lycra and good recovery, you won’t have any problems with wavy hems on knits. Having said that though, I know that a lot of people haven’t ever sewn with knits because they think it’ll be difficult so I think this is a great pattern to test the water and see that it’s really quite easy. I have one piece of advice for sewing knits: I hand baste a line of thread down one of the ribs on the right side (in the middle of the fabric or wherever you’re going to place the fold) and used that as my fold guideline. This really helps you cut the pattern on-grain and avoid a lot of headaches. By the way, I should add that I haven’t got an overlocker/serger and sew knits with no problem on my machine. Just make sure you use Stretch needles (or ballpoint needles for knits without lycra) and use a narrow zig-zag stitch.

Overall it’s a fantastic pattern and I’m sure I’ll be making up lots of them. Well done Tasia over at Sewaholic!

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