Sunday, December 30, 2012

Embrace Your Outer Diagonals

I've not posted for a while, and I have a lot of great excuses, but instead I'll regale you with horrible photographs taken last night about three minutes before we had to leave for a friend's birthday party.

I got the Sewaholic Refrew pattern from my brother this Christmas and had this blue and white striped cotton jersey in my stash waiting for it. 

You may notice that the stripes are not particularly horizontal. That is because my fabric is cheap crap. I mostly buy cheap crap so I don't have to worry about messing up or being frozen with fear to cut into precious cuts of fabric from far off places (I've got a great piece from my trip to italy over a year ago that is slated for a jacket that falls in this category). 

When I laid the fabric out, I was not so pleasantly surprised to find that the stripes were ridiculously off-grain. I decided to just go ahead and make it a possibly not/possibly so wearable muslin. Turns out, when you sew with wild abandon, magical Christmas surprises happen: 

Those smug smiles on my face are because of the stellar stripe matching that occurred no thanks to any clever cutting I did. I just cut full-steam-ahead and this pleasant surprise happened. The stripes ended up matching on the bottoms of the sleeves and even somewhat on the bottom and sleeve bands as well. 

And the fit... this is my new tnt top. It's seriously fantastic, fast and easy to sew. And it fits my lifestyle of t-shirts and jeans. 

My official pattern review: 

Pattern Description:
The perfect basic tee! The Renfrew Top is a fitted knit top with sleeve and neckline variations. View A has long sleeves and a scoop neckline. View B has short sleeves and a deep V neckline. View C has a dramatic cowl neckline and three-quarter length sleeves.
I made view B with A sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
0-16. I made a 6 in the bust and waist grading to a 2 in the hip

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy, plus I had read through the tutorials/tips on sewing for knits that Tasia posted on her blog before I got the pattern, so I was very prepared.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like everything. I put off getting this because its "a basic t-shirt pattern", but it is so worth it. 

Fabric Used:
Cotton jersey. The stripes were printed WAY off grain, so I just went with it and had some pleasant surprise stripe matching in the outcome.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
There is some gathering under the arms in the front that I've noticed in other versions, and I'm not sure if a tuck above the bust would eliminate this or cause more problems. Right now, it fits the same or better than a rtw top, so I'm inclined to leave it alone. The sizing was right on (just the Minoru jacket I made a few months ago). Also, I normally make a broad back adjustment in most tops, but after measuring the pattern piece I decided to leave it. Usually, the width of the back at the armpit needs to be 18 inches and this was just shy, but with the negative ease of the knit it worked out perfectly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will most definitely sew this again. I've got a sweater with an awkward neckline that desperately needs a custom white crew neck. Now if I could only find a decent white knit...
And also, yes, for the love of Pete. Those of you on the fence about this one:  take the plunge for goodness sake.

I'm totally sold. I'm so happy with this top and it took all of a couple of hours to make!

I have more Lekala goodness in the works and a couple of tragic peplum fails so more on that soon.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  1. I look forward to making this top too!
    What a happy coincidence about the stripe matching!

  2. Dang- that is impressive stripe matching! Consider yourself high-five'd!

  3. I actually have been contemplating a slightly diagonal/off grain striped tee myself, after seeing one in RTW. This is so cute, and the stripe matching!!!

    1. Just buy really cheap fabric and the crap-ass printing will do the work for you! It was nice to race through this top and not have to worry about ruining "precious" fabric.

  4. This top is great, isn't it? You did a pretty impressive job with the stripe matching, considering the challenge!

  5. Truth be told, I didn't even try to match the stripes. It was a complete accident. I still don't know it happened. It's like I ate too much sugar, had a black out and when I came to, the stripes matched.