Last week, I lamented the demise of my first shot at the Sewaholic Renfrew top. I used a slinky (strike 1), striped (strike 2), lightweight (strike 3 - I'm out) knit fabric that was all fine and dandy...but NOT the right fabric for this top. I also had the sizing all wrong and ended up with a top that was kind of loose in the chest/waist/sleeves and EXTREMELY loose in the hips. There was just a whole lot of wrong going on.
So this week, I decided to give it a second shot. This is a cotton/poly/lycra knit from Joann that is actually quite lovely. It's very stable, medium- to heavy-weight, soft and fluid. It was also very easy-to-sew and has a bit of four-way stretch. I checked the store yesterday, and they have it in a few colors - heather gray, heather charcoal and heather mauve to name a few. It's also 50%-off as I'm typing this.
The first time I cut this pattern, I used a size 10 based only on my full bust measurement. I normally don't pay attention to the hip measurement when making tops, but it really made a difference this time since the band at the bottom of the shirt hugs the hips. So, um, my hip measurement was 3" less than the suggested measurement for the 10. That explained a lot.
This time around, I measured my high bust, waist AND hips to get the proper size. I ended up using the size 8 for the chest/shoulders area, and then I graded down to a 6 for the waist and hips. Once I sewed the sleeves and side seams, I tried the top on and found it was still a bit loose for my liking. I chugged it through my NEW SERGER (!!) a couple more times, removing a quarter of an inch each time until I got it to the perfect fit. After that, I adjusted the sleeve cuffs and hip band as needed to fit the new circumferences.
The construction was ridiculously simple. Just remember to make all your little snips marking the center of all the pattern pieces, and you're golden. I used a serger for the entire construction and simply cut some selvage off a woven fabric to use as stay-tape/twill tape in the shoulder seams. I held it to the seam allowance and serged it with the main fabric as I went. The cowl, sleeve cuffs and hip band make it so you don't have to do any hemming...and that is music to a knit-fabric sewist's ear.
And finally, the perfect fit! Overall, I am pleased with this pattern and plan to make some of the other versions as well (v-neck, scoop neck, short sleeves, 3/4-length sleeves). Depending on the type of fabric and the look I'm going for in future attempts, I may or may not go down in sizing as much as I did for this particular top.
Finally, a couple notes. I had begun doing this linkup on Fridays, but last week I was off my game due to a broken-down serger and Kids' Clothes Week. However, I think I'm going to permanently switch to Mondays to see how that goes. It gives me more time to get everything put together, and I hope it will get more folks to link up since Monday is usually a busier blog traffic day.
FINALLY finally, I have one more KCW project to share, but I need to get Harper to do a photo shoot sometime this week. It's super cute, and I can't wait to show it to you!