Earning my Renfrew stripes

Yoo hoo! It’s another Renfrew!

Sooooo I actually made this not long after my stars Renfrew but have just got round to writing it up. Yay – another successful Renfrew. This pattern is awesome – seriously. I cannot recommend it ENOUGH.

But what to say that’s new? Well – I kinda fecked up the stripe matching even though I really did try, I promise! But the mismatch doesn’t bother me at all if I’m honest.

I really like that the neckline has that thin white band all the way round. Don’t ask me why. Simple things please me these days.

This top is so comfortable it’s unreal. You just pop it on and forget you’re wearing clothes – it’s soooo cosy. Even after my bump deflates I’m going to wear these as jammy tops in the winter. I could put a hot water bottle in the flabby bit left behind.

In other news I’ve been enjoying my first few days of total and utter freedom. I’ve officially left work and am JOBLESS. It feels really weird to a) not be working and b) not be actively looking for work. I’ve been batch cooking for post baby dinners so lots of spicy carrot soup and Irish stew is getting whipped up. Plus I’ve got some uber-cute crochet projects to show you too. But that’s for another day. Have a fabulous weekend!

A Renfrew to see me through

Why have I been avoiding this pattern? It’s a dream! Must be something to do with a fear of knits and a growing bump. But then I came across Zoe’s fantastic tutorial on adapting a jersey pattern for maternity.. and a new wardrobe essential was born!

Maternity Renfrew

Maternity Renfrew

The tutorial couldn’t have been easier. Zoe walks you right through it (and all you’re doing is adapting the front pattern piece in any case). Couldn’t be easier. Pregnant bloggers – take up the challenge!

But mustn’t forget the genius that is Tasia’s Renfrew pattern. I sewed up View B with View C’s three-quarter-length sleeves. The trickiest bit was attaching the V neck to the body of the top – that was a little hard and I think I botched it slightly although it’s impossible to notice. However Tasia has plans to do a step-by-step on this later in the year. The rest was pretty much plain sailing. I really really wanted to do some topstitching with a recently purchased twin needle but lo and behold it’s gone on walkabouts somewhere in my sewing room, along with my tomato pincushion. (Where do these things go… the fourth dimension?) All seams were sewn with a basic zigzag stitch.

I feel a bit guilty as I’ve only taken one photograph but that’s really all there is to the top and showing you all my different angles isn’t as appealing as it once was! The fabric (looks like polkadot but is actually a star print) is from Walthamstow market (a bargain £2 a metre).

Verdict? This is an ace pattern, pregnant or otherwise. You can do it in an afternoon and you don’t need an overlocker either. Once you’ve done one I’ll bet you’ll go back for more. I’m going to try a stripey black and white next!

Has your fear of knits been conquered by the Renfrew? Or are you still quaking at the thought?

Completed: March Minoru

Greetings from a dull, rainy London afternoon! I wanted to share some Minoru pics before the light dies completely but I certainly didn’t want to venture outside on such a horrible day. No, today should be solely reserved for blue cheese on biscuits, roast chicken and cups of sweet tea.

March Minoru from the side

I dragged the husband outside the front door to take a few pics instead and am now back inside in slippers and dressing gown while he makes hot water bottles. Brrrr!

March Minoru back

Pattern: Minoru by Sewaholic (Intermediate)

Difficulty rating for Stitchandwitter: 4.5 out of 5

Fabric and notions used: 2.5 metres of medium grey corduroy (£1.50/metre). 2 metres of royal blue polka dot satin (2.99/metre). Two zippers (one open ended and one standard) about £2 each. All in all, this coat came in at less than £30 even including the pattern!

Fitting issues: I found the original length to be much too long for my short frame so I shortened the length by 8 centimetres. I cut out a size 2 and other than adjusting the length I didn’t need to make any further changes. I added side seam pockets using Amy at Sew Well’s excellent tutorial, and left out the inside pockets.

Making issues: Tasia’s sewalong was a dream to follow. But thank god she did one because I’m not sure I would have had the skills just to follow the rather brief pattern instructions. The trickiest bit by far (funnily enough – when I went ahead of the sewalong) was sewing the casing for the elastic through the corduroy and the slippery lining. I got it really wrong and lopsided the first time, and the second time my lining ended up being pulled up by a few inches, meaning that I had just enough lining to tuck into the hem. I didn’t have the heart to unpick it again so I left it as it was, and added an extra line of topstitching at the hem to really secure the lining. Finally, I had interfaced one side of my collar so was disheartened to see that the interfacing side was visible when I had my hood out (likely to be the case all the time for me), so before I finished the lining I basted some leftover lining material onto the offending section – worked a treat.

Skills learned: Woah – this was a steep learning curve of a project! Adding elasticated cuffs, installing lining (only done before on a Beignet) – um… making a COAT!

Anything to add? I think if I were to make this again I’d reduce the height of the collar a smidgeon, and perhaps use better quality corduroy. As it stands I’m well chuffed with this though. I felt for the first time that I was perhaps moving out of being a beginner and into a more intermediate skillset. A pattern like this is perfect if you’re itching to try something more complicated but need extra support – the sewalong is a massive help.

March Minoru hood

March Minoru lining

March Minoru