Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Tale of Three Renfrews...

Well hi there!

It has been a whole year - how did that happen?!  I guess it's not surprising in a year that has involved running around after our three kids (one of whom left the baby stage early on in the year to become a raucous, physical, adventurous toddler!), supporting my husband as he completed a PhD and started his first post as vicar, and moving house to boot. It's been fun, and a challenge, and exhausting!

I'm going to pick up right where I left off.  Be prepared for some terrible photos though!  I think having to photograph clothing makes is one of the things that stops me blogging more often than not, so I've decided to just get on with it and post what I can.  Back in January last year I was blogging about my plan to make three Sewaholic Renfrew tops in quite different fabrics.

I cut out all three fabrics at the same time in the same size and was interested to see how the fabrics would behave differently.

I made up the crazy print mystery knit Renfrew back in February last year.  It is ok but not a favourite.  The fabric doesn't have much stretch and I think I cut it on the cross-grain so it's a bit tight through the back, shoulders and upper arms.  As a result it feels a bit 'clingy'.  Also I'm just not convinced I like the cowl-neck.  I probably will still wear it but it's never my first choice out of the drawer.

The navy viscose jersey Renfrew is a wardrobe stable, great for layering and so comfy it sometimes gets worn to bed.  I left the cuffs off the sleeves and had to take the side seams in quite a bit in this slinky fabric.  Looking at the photos I could probably have taken it in a lot more, but it feels nice to wear, and I don't generally wear it on its own anyway as the drape of the viscose jersey is not kind on any lumps and bumps!

The last of the three fabrics was a sweatshirt knit that I bought hoping to use for a Lola dress, but once received I decided that a) it wasn't thick and cosy enough to hold the shape of the dress, and b) I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable wearing such a pale colour head to toe.  I cut it out for a Renfrew, imagining a snuggly winter top, and started sewing it up.  However, when the crazy knit cowl version turned out to be a little uncomfortable I had a horrible feeling that my 'snuggly' winter top would end up being just 'snug'!  The sweatshirt knit has very little stretch, and I could imagine the stitches popping as I struggled to pull it on over my head!  Hah!

Well, a year later I sat at my sewing desk with a can do attitude, came across the pieces of my sweatshirt Renfrew, and had it finished within an hour or two of picking them up.   What was I afraid of?!  To be on the safe side I sewed the side seams with a 3/8 inch seam instead of 5/8 and it has just the right amount of ease for a fitted sweatshirt.  And what's more....I love it!  It's sooooo cosy.  I love fleece lined sweatshirt knit.  It is perhaps a little reminiscent of a pyjama top, but not so much that I wouldn't still wear it out, and yes, I have slept in it too!!

Seen here with my extremely shabby denim skirt that I made from Jon's jeans back in July 2013 and have since worn virtually to pieces!  In fact, looking back at the photos in my blog post I can't believe how much it's aged.  I can't put my phone in my back pocket anymore without risk of it falling through and smashing, and Jacob has great fun finding things to post through the hole in the front!   I have finally (finally!) made a new denim skirt (from fabric not Jon's cast offs) that I will post about soon [sneak peek in some of the pictures above!].

So that's it - my journey through three Renfrews.  It took a little longer than expected but now I have three wearable tops and have learned more about stretch fabrics, and about how the amount of stretch will affect the fit of a garment.  I'm hoping that now I'm back into sewing regularly I will be able to make time to blog again regularly too.  Time will tell!  

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