Sew Grateful week may be over, but my gratitude goes on and on! And today I would like to thank a wonderful and amazing Tasia, of Sewaholic, for the pattern that has taken the interwebs by storm and set my heart a flutter, and that would be the deceptively simple Renfrew Top.
Tasia is amazing, number 1. First of all, she’s Canadian, and I will pretty much do anything a Canadian tells me to do at any time. (Sidenote: Go watch Slings and Arrows right now, if you haven’t already. Don’t question me, just do it.) Tasia’s blog, Sewaholic is fantastic as all hell, filled with awesome tutorials and tips and tricks and truly excellent question posts that generate smart and helpful discussions. And, most importantly, she bikes to work! I also do this, so I love her.
Additionally, Tasia designs patterns especially for pear-shaped ladies. I am not, in fact, a pear shaped lady, rather I am an hour-glass shaped lady, but still, I appreciate her making a range of patterns for lovely pear-shaped ladies. I like knowing that it’s out there, you see. So anyway, I’ve always admired Tasia’s designs, but never actually made one myself, despite the plethora of amazing makes out there (google Pendrell Blouse if you need something to do for the next, say, ten hours, because that’s how many amazing iterations of it exist). However, Tasia recently released a pattern in knit, the Renfrew Top. And people, my heart, it nearly exploded.
As you may or may not know, I’ve recently jumped into the world of sewing with knits head first. Dixie DIY has been hugely grateful, as has Made By Rae, who recently did a week of interviews with champion knit sewers. As someone who doesn’t own a serger, and isn’t planning on buying one anytime soon, not for lack of interest but for lack of funds, I have been on the lookout for ways to make knit stuff that doesn’t look hopelessly home-ec. Enter Tasia with the Renfrew, as if on cue. And so I bought the pattern in pre-sale, got it almost instantaneously, and, armed with this striped knit from the Hoarder Stash, came out with this:
And I love it. I LOVE IT. It looks like a real, honest to god shirt! That’s what Ginger’s boyfriend said, and he is very wise. It looks so professional! Right? RIGHT?
It’s the bands, people, the glorious glorious bands. There are fabric bands around the hems of the sleeves and bottom of the shirt, and they just make it look so good!
Look how happy the bands make me!
So happy. My enormous face is aglow with happiness.
Now, onto the construction. As I said, Tasia designs for Pears, and I’m not one of those. So I had to do some resizing. I traced the pattern in a size 10, and graded to a size 8 in the waist and a size 6 in the hips, essentially ruining all Tasia’s hard work in scaling for pear-shapes. Sorry, Tasia! I kept a 10 in the shoulders and sleeves, which, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have done, because the sleeves are a bit too long. Oh, well!
Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with this top. It came together in a ridiculously easy fashion, taking up maybe 4 hours of my life, all together.
I like the length of the body of the shirt a lot, it’s perfect for me. And I cannot wait to make more of these. I sewed up View A, but there are two other options, a short-sleeved v-neck, and a 3/4 length-sleeved cowl neck, which, if you mix and match, makes a total of 9 combinations, as Tasia reminds us on the envelope. Challenge? Accepted.
I know it’s more typical to see horizontal stripes then vertical ones, but I swear, they are death to women with anything going on in the chest region. So I went vertical, because I think they look awesome. But I threw in the horizontal ones on the bands A. for variety and B. so I didn’t have to worry about matching! Two birds, one stone.
I didn’t mean to do this, but the neckline came out all white, even thought it was cut from the same cloth. Oh, well, it actually looks rather nice, I think:
You can just see the zig-zag used to keep the collar in place. Luckily, I don’t mind that kind of thing. In fact, I kind of like it.
A final photo of happy, stripy, me. And it should be noted that not only am I wearing Tasia’s pattern, BUT the cowl I’m wearing in this photo is one I made after I saw her version and was inspired! It’s the honey cowl, and after I selflessly made one for my friend Becca to help her through the cold Chicago winter, I made one for myself! A girl can only be so selfless….
So thank you, Tasia, for all that you do.