Sunday, March 3, 2013

Renfrew Madness!

I've been analyzing my store-bought wardrobe lately. Most shirts are one of two shapes - the standard t-shirt shape that I don't wear much unless I'm cleaning or doing yard work, and more of the fitted "baby doll" shape. The only differences are the fabric and slight variations of the cut.

That's why I love the Renfrew pattern so much. I can make 10, 20, 30 of the same pattern and they'll all look different depending on the fabric, version I choose and any style adjustments I make.

Silver Striped Renfrew

Today's Renfrew is a variation on View C.  The cowl neck with 3/4 sleeves variation is my fave.  For this version, I lengthened the shirt by about 2-3 stripes. I don't know what that is in inches, I just counted down a couple of stripes and cut, widening it a bit at the bottom. I discovered that I didn't have enough for a full cowl, so I cut one layer minus a few inches. I adjusted the pattern curve so that I could neatly fold it over, instead of using the two full sized layers called for in the pattern.  The result is a lot less volume at the neck, but I think it works because the fabric is so lightweight.

The fabric was a sparkly knit from Vogue fabrics in Evanston, IL.  If you ever go there, check out the remnant section. It's so much fun and it's where I usually pick up most of my knits.  Basically, I see what looks good, bring it home and then look to see what Renfrew I can squeeze out of it. (Okay, occasionally I switch off with a Burda pattern, but there's not much variation these days.)

Here's a closeup of the neck detail and better view of the sparkle factor in the stripes.

Silver Stripe Renfrew - Neck Detail

The fabric was a bit wonky - warped with different sizes of silver and white stripes, and not by design. This gave me some difficulty when trying to match stripes. Oh well, I'm not complaining because a. Sparkly fabric and b. under $10!

I also used this project as an excuse to break out my twin needle.  I think the detail was a lost in this knit, but I enjoy trying out new techniques even when they don't work as planned.  I omitted the bottom waist band and instead serged the edge, folded it over and used the twin needle to finish:

Silver Stripe Renfrew - Hem Detail

I have a few more Renfrews planned and a t-shirt decorating party where I'm going to embellish them a bit. If the end product is something I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in public wearing, I'll post pictures.

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