Renfrew you, Renfrew me

28 Apr

A couple of months back now, I took advantage of Tasia’s birthday discount and ordered myself a Renfrew, Lonsdale and Minoru. I already had the Pendrell and the Crescent skirt. And just quietly, I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Cambie too!

I tackled my first Renfrew in view C, the cowl neck. I had seen so many lovely versions online, and I wanted to join in the fun! I particularly liked Leith’s lovely yellow number. The plan was that this go was going to be my toile, with the hope that it would be a wearable one 🙂

So, over Easter, I Renfrewed it up. And this is what I ended up with. (Ignore how awkwardly it’s sitting above the bust, no mirror in the park to check prior to photos 🙂 )

Renfrew front view

What size to make?

It took me quite a bit of thinking and consideration to decide what size to make. The Renfrews I had seen online looked like there was quite a lot of ease in the pattern, and I was after something a little more fitted. So considering my measurements, the finished measurements and the fit I was after, I ended up making; the cuffs at a 10 (will go 8 next time), the front and back at an 8 grading to a 10 at the hip (will shape this in more next time, likely staying at 8 the whole way down), the cowl at an 8, sleeves at a 10 (will grade to an 8 below the elbow next time), and the waistband at a 10 (will go 8 next time).

Renfrew back view

The back - a bit baggy

More details:

  • I constructed the whole thing on my overlocker (serger). This was so quick and easy – loved it!
  • It’s made out of a stretch wool blend (??) from Darn Cheap Fabrics

If you are making view C, please, please note there is an error in the instructions. In the words of Sewaholic, “In Sewing Step 6, for View C, text should read ‘Sew collar pieces right sides together along un-notched edge’.”

Of course, I did not find this out until I started Googling after my tantrum of not being able to make it work. Joy.

At first, I had just gone ahead and sewn it correctly without reading the instructions (win!), but then, I stupidly read the instructions and tried to unpick the overlocking. This was a nightmare!! So I did something naughty and just cut it off. Gasp!

I then overlocked it together again as per incorrect instructions. Attempting the next step (step 7) would subsequently not work because it was now obviously constructed incorrectly.

Then I realised i had sewn it right the first time, and had to pull it apart and put it back together again. Cue tantrum. And I must confess, I did just cut the row of overlocking off again.

Renfrew cowl

The finished cowl

But it was all ok in the end.

I was a bit hesitant with the whole knit thing (I have a ‘knit scar’), but given that there were lovely cuffs and a waistband rather than those awful to sew double stitched hems – and I decided to overlock the whole thing – it was really quite easy (apart from the aforementioned tantrum).

And the best bit is, that even though I will change it for next time, this is totally wearable!

Here’s some more pictures:

Renfrew cuff

The cuff


Renfrew serging

The delightful overlocking and waistband

Oh and I am so so close to the finish line with my v8146, half a hand stitched hem and some prick stitching to go!!


11 Responses to “Renfrew you, Renfrew me”

  1. Sophie (monbouton) April 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

    very nice version! I also had the same issues with size: I finally went down 2 sizes to have something fitted and blindly followed the instructions for the cowl even though I found it bizarre to stitch it wrong sides together. I should have been more confident and followed my own logic. It wasn’t as hard to unpick as you, because I made my first version before I ordered my serger so it was only zigzag stitch.

    • ZoSews April 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM #

      Thanks Sophie 🙂 I thought it was so strange too to be sewing wrong sides together (the second time I made the cowl)! I wish mine was zig zagged, trying to unpick the overlocking was hideous (hence the cutting lol).

  2. Julia Bobbin April 29, 2012 at 6:29 PM #

    You have totally SMASHED it in this top. I’m totes jealous. The colour is so perfect it’s ridiculous!

    • ZoSews April 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM #

      Oh wow – such enthusiasm 😉 Thank you thank you! You should make one 🙂

  3. theperfectnose April 30, 2012 at 9:04 AM #

    Nice! Any sort of knit unpicking is hideous so I’m sorry you had to go through that but the end result is great.

    • ZoSews April 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM #

      Haha, knit unpicking certainly is hideous!

      • Little Package (@littlepackage) May 1, 2012 at 4:18 AM #

        Looks really great on you – nice job. I do a lot of 4-thread overlock unpicking and can tell you there’s a trick to it; but especially if you have your tension perfect, IT’S STILL A BEAR!! Good for you for taking control and cutting the seam out – it’s only 1/4″, right? 😉

  4. Leith May 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM #

    Fantastic Renfrew! I love the colour. I wear my Renfrews so much that I’m considering buying some more merino knits in a few colours for winter.

    • ZoSews May 13, 2012 at 5:40 PM #

      I actually have mine on now! They’re so comfortable 🙂 Do you get the merino from The Fabric Store, I’ve seen it there before in some pretty colours.


  1. Tutorial: Knit cuffs – Undercover Hood « ZoSews - August 18, 2012

    […] the raw edge. I don’t like the idea of having to unpick overlocking (as detailed in, ‘Renfrew you, Renfrew me‘), so I turn through and check everything is just so (just ‘sew’ lol) before […]

  2. Renfrew | Sew 2 Pro - January 26, 2013

    […] may not be with my uselessness but with the instructions, I uncovered a trail of  warnings (like this one) and found this link to Sewaholic’s Errata page.  “We do our best to make our […]

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