Another Renfrew, Another Show

Seriously, where did this week go? I know we had events every night, but it still feels like we accomplished absolutely nothing. I DID manage to sew another Renfrew between yesterday and today (go me!):

Renfrew #2!

I did what I said I would do last time; all of the body is in size 8, while the sleeves/cuffs are in size 12 and gathered to fit the sleeve cap. I don’t like gathering knits and probably won’t do it again, but I tried tracing the 8 sleeve and doing a conventional full bicep alteration and it wound up distorting the sleeve cap badly. The way I did the sleeves here fits ok, but oddly enough, the armscye is a little tighter than I prefer (just a smidgen) and I know it’s because I sewed the entire underarm and side seam at 5/8″. So, my general feeling is that I will need to enlarge the armhole to a 10 or a 12 then use the sleeve from either of those sizes. I am confident this will improve the fit, but I am startled at how hard it is to truly SCREW UP this pattern. I mean, I feel like I could tweak all day and still wind up with something wearable. That, folks, is what a well-drafted pattern looks like!

The fabric I used here is a lovely and stretchy jersey knit — it’s a bit more soft and flexible than regular jersey, and I fell in love with the print:

My attempt at a fabric close-up.

The print has seagulls, ducks and boats on a white background. It’s very busy, but I still feel like it looks grown-up without being overwhelming. And in a purple/white color way, it goes with all my black.

For those of you who care about my hair saga, I dyed my hair violet on Saturday (for the zebra party that night) and it turned out blue with gray highlights. It looked AWFUL, so I dumped Manic Panic’s Hot Hot Pink on top and muuuuuuch better… It wound up being a cool variegated purple/pink for the party, and now it’s fading out in lighter tones of pink and purple. It’s astonishing how much it’s faded in 6 days, but I still think the pink is taking longer to fade than purple usually does on me. I may have a new favorite hair color….

I’ve been inspecting the backlog in my sewing room, and some things have got to GO. I did get a big new plastic box and pack away my winter clothes, but now I am busy being horrified by my stash. Does anyone want to own 5 yards (in two yard and three yard lengths) of non-stretch black twill? A whole bunch of leftovers in various sizes? What the heck am I supposed to do with all this STUFF? Don’t tell me to sew quilts because I will laugh hollowly at you and freak you out.

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Posted on June 8, 2012, in sewing. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I am going to have to get myself the Renfrew pattern as soon as I fit into it. This is a great version and you surprised me with the lack of skulls and crossbones in the print. 8-D

    I remember reading somewhere that red dyes are the most chemically unstable and that is why red based hair colors fade so fast and why so many people have unintentionally pink underwear.

    Non stretch black twill would make great shopping bags for the subcultural girl that you are, applique a skull or two or make a pocket from some scraps and you have a green shopping bag that is “you”. It least they would be fast and easy to make.

    • I can attest to the red dye thing — that’s why you always need to test red embroidery floss for colorfastness. The newer dyes are better, but it really depends. However, bright dyes are based on a different set of chemicals than a real red hair dye. They’re designed to wash out…I guess because it’s a fashion statement and nobody wants truly permanent pink hair?

      I like your idea of bags — I’ve been kicking around the concept and I see a lot of potential there….

  2. It is a great pattern, isn’t it? I love the print too, even more so on hearing that’s actually purple. It is indeed grown up and quite flattering. I really should break it out to make a few more for summer. My last Renfrew craze resulted in 3 (4th was a gift) but none are really great for summer. Even the short sleeve is warm-ish because of the cowl.

  3. i think you did a fabulous job! it fits great on you:)

  4. Good job getting some sewing time in with all the diary stuff going on. I’m constantly amazed by how much you sew given everything going on. Should really get my sh&t together cos honestly, there’s a lot of wasted time in my day. There must be!

    I like the T – wish I could see the purple more but the print is cool. Not kid-ish at all. Stash? Hmmm, goodwill would take the stuff you don’t want? Is the twill too heavy for aprons? Wondering if you could save it for Christmas pressies for small folk? If not the shopping bags, then goodwill I reckon.

    I still have to finish going through my boxes and boxes of fabric to see what I have because I cannot remember what is in that cupboard. Scary stuff really.

    • Ha, I find that the busier my schedule, the more I am lured into the sewing room. It’s like I have to do SOMETHING with all that nervous energy. As for the wasted time….I spend mine in the carpool lane. It’s astonishing how time-consuming dropping off and picking up can be.

      I am not much of a present maker and usually prefer to buy the fabric specifically for that project. Plain fabric from stash doesn’t feel special enough, ya know?

      • Oh yes I know. At least that’s what I have to remind myself when I have procrastinated enough that it is way way way too late to make something (even a boring stash something) for the lucky one.

  5. Great shirt! That is the mark of a good pattern :). And your idea for the next set of alterations sounds pretty good.

    I tend to use kids’ clothes to eat up the scraps, but if you’re not into sewing for your children that’s not so helpful. You can always post them on kijiji or freecycle or whatever and maybe some crafty type will take them off your hands.

    Not going to touch the black twill, I already have plenty. 🙂

    • Two of my kids are my size or larger so sewing for them wouldn’t use up scraps! Truthfully, they have never been interested in homemade clothing aside from costumes so I haven’t tried to push it.

      I’m thinking now that I’ll EVENTUALLY have a use for the black twill….someday…

  6. Donate it! I don’t sew very well, really only for Halloween costumes, and I almost always figure something out from fabric remnants at thrift stores. And covers for my toss pillows when I need a decorating change. And once a very crooked tablecloth.

    • I never see our local thrift shops put out craft supplies, so I’m hesitant to donate materials. It’s a possibility, though, if I decide that I really can’t handle storing my odds and ends any longer.

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