March Monthly Stitch (the first): Renfrew-itis

It seems you guys share my love of Sewaholic patterns. When I put up my choices for March, I underestimated the blogosphere’s love of the Renfrew top. The Alma blouse beat out the Renfrew for this month’s challenge by 1 vote! So I decided to make both, and I totally get the adulation now. The bands. Oh my, those bands…

But let’s start at the beginning. I decided to make this top the first weekend in March. I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m in costume prep mode for All-Con (which kicks off tomorrow!), and I wrapped up the bulk of my projects that weekend. Speaking of, I can’t wait to show those off to you guys!

I decided on a whim to test out the Renfrew. I went with view B because I had just barely enough fabric in my stash for it. Figuring out how to mangle out my yardage was actually the most time-consuming part of this endeavor. I toyed with the idea of doing a contrast color for the bands (like this blogger), but I managed to make the white work. Next time!

Aside from playing fabric-Tetris, this project went together beautifully. I was a bit flummoxed by the neckline, but only slightly. As others have said, I think it would have been better to reduce the neckline seam allowances to 3/8″ rather than 5/8″, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was off the center point by a tiny bit, but I don’t really mind it.


This project also forced me to work with my “new” serger! As you may recall, I was gifted an old Kenmore for Christmas last year, but I’ve mainly been using it to finish off my seams. It is a scary, loud, and heavy beast. I feel a bit like a cat around a vacuum when I use it.


Well, I ran out of white thread about an inch away from finishing my neckline. Normally, I’d just run to my local Jo-Ann’s and pick up more thread, but we were experiencing a marvelous “wintry mix” at the time, so I decided against braving the elements and used my serger to complete the project. I am so glad that happened, because I am now having a love affair with my serger. I want to sew all the knits and stretchy things!

Yup, reusing pics. Seen here with my Sewaholic Tofino pants.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew, view B

Fabric: 1~ yd of a “beefy” white jersey knit from my stash

Alterations: I cut a 16 for the top and waist and tapered to a 14 at the hips based on what others have said and the finished measurements. No length added! This was mostly because of my fabric restrictions, but it turned out quite well. I’m a lanky and busty gal at 5’10~” with a 42″ bust, and I was pleasantly surprised that it hit my ideal shirt length.

Notions: Thread.

Make it again?: Definitely. The main reason I bought the Renfrew was because of the cowl neck on view C. I want to eventually turn it into a “sweater” dress that’s an appropriate length for work. Now that we’re moving into warmer weather, I’ll probably make a few knit dresses to practice.

Favorite parts: Bands. These are ingenious. I want to finish all my knits with these bands. I really like the sleeve length as well.

Other thoughts: I really like this top. Like, really really like it. I actually wore it to work last week before I finished the neckline and it was suuuuuper comfy.


There’s a slight bit of pooling in the back. I may need to look into doing a swayback adjustment. Or it could just be my awkward pose here. Either way, not a big deal for a shirt that came totally from the stash.

I am super excited that I did a pretty good job of matching up my side seams! I do need to press it a bit.

Have you guys made the Renfrew yet? I’m so excited to have a basic white tee in my wardrobe again!


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