Sunday, 26 February 2012

Renfrew - sexy tiger or ugly camo?

Friends, I adore a bit of animal print and I was smitten with my first ever Renfrew top...right up until I took photos and realised that it might look more like ugly camouflage print than a sexy tiger print. I'm quite gutted really, as I'm not really a camo kinda gal! Do you see what I mean, or am I being paranoid?


Anyway, despite my fabric print woes, sewing the Renfrew up was a doddle considering it's the first time I've worked with jersey. I picked a medium-weight jersey, which was really, really stable and easy to work with. I used a straight stitch on a regular sewing machine and I naughtily left all my inside edges raw as jersey doesn't fray. Hooray!

Renfrew's cleverly constructed for a really neat finish!


I did, however, commit a cardinal sin by ignoring the grain line for my cowl piece. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric to cut the piece out correctly and Ditto had already sold out, so I figured it wouldn't matter too much. But ignoring the grain line does matter, especially when you're working with jersey! My cowl piece didn't have enough stretch in it to fit the neckline, so I ended up having to take the shoulder seams in and to gather the neckline a little. Luckily, the cowl covers the neckline, so I just about got away with this faux pas, but I strongly advise against it ;o)


Also, because I'm terrible at visualising things, I must admit that I did have some trouble with the minimalist instructions for this pattern. Most of it was absolutely fine, but assembling the cowl neckline did leave me scratching my head for a while. I know, I know...only I could find one of the easiest patterns of all time a little tricky! I do love it by the way and have already bought fabric for future versions.


If you'd like to sew your very own Renfrew, but you're nervous about the jersey aspect, Lauren's written a great post about conquering knits, packed with useful advice and tips. I'm thinking it would make a great pattern for Tilly's One Week, One Pattern challenge!

34 comments:

  1. First time with knits? - wouldn't have guessed! I think it looks great and love the print. Don't know if you know about the stall that sells jersey on Leicester market - Mon, Tue and Thur - mainly remnants for £1 a metre (or less). You have to rummage for good stuff and wash everything the minute you get it home but if you want more practice sewing knits without spending a lot, it's a great place to start.

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    1. Oooh, thank you Clare! I didn't know about the jersey stall, will have to check it out asap...though I am a bit scared of your description ;o)

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  2. It's gorgeous Marie, you look totally sexy in it. Definitely tiger rather than camo! x

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  3. Great, got the pattern just need to find some jersey, my local fabric shop doesn't carry much but I think a trip to Brighton to visit Ditto is in order.....

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    1. I've bought some lovely jersey from Ditto recently, so I'm sure they'll have a great selection in store!

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  4. Ooh, I love it! It definitely looks like animal, not camo. I just made a Renfrew too. and will be making more for sure.

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    1. Thanks Andrea...show us your Renfrew soon please ;o)

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  5. It looks wonderful, We all are too hard on ourselves. I am not sure what you are seeing but it looks like a tiger to me and you look beautiful in it.

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    1. Haha, thanks Gina! Sometimes we see something completely different to what others are seeing I guess!

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  6. Love it - definitely tiger, not camo! I actually have some very similar looking greyish-brownish and black tiger print double knit I'd bought with the renfrew in mind, assuming double knit isn't too stable for a project like this.

    Also, though I haven't started my renfrew, I did glance at the instructions and puzzled over certain parts of it as well. I'm rather literal and also have trouble visualizing, so you're not alone! :)

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    1. Oooh, we can be animal print Renfrew sisters ;o) My jersey was pretty stable, so I'm sure your double knit will be fine...just remember that if you make the cowl version, it will just be stiffer. Mine stands up all on its own ;o)

      Good to know I'm not the only one who needs things spelled out to them ;o)

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  7. It looks very good! I like the fabric you used, you actually look like a cute tiger^^ don't worry!

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  8. Definitely tiger - it looks fantastic and very professional!

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    1. Thank you Rachel, you're very kind!

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  9. I think this is tiger but I get that it does have a hint of camo but still fabulous sewn up into this great top!

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  10. This is lovely. It's sucha great pattern isn't it.

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    1. Yep, it certainly is! Can't wait to make more!

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  11. Marie I dont think it's cammo but has a lovely strokeable tiger about it! It looks a great fit too. Well done on your first knit! I have also been a bit Renfrew mad recently & can easily see how it could be the Tilly's one pattern one week challenge! I have made the cowl neck version & I had to compromise grainline on the cuffs (shock!)- Lazily, I have't tried it on me yet, it is being modelled on my dummy, so I am yet to discover how much of a problem that will cause me....

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    1. Haha, funnily enough it feels slightly fleecy, so is quite strokeable ;o) Hurry up and show us yours please!

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  12. It's lovely! Absolutely nothing to worry about. Roar! You sexy tiger, you.

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  13. This looks great - I don't know what your worrying about! yet another version of this top making me want this pattern!

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  14. Lovely! You did a great job! I had difficulty understanding the cowl directions myself-- I sewed it together upside down and didn't figure it out until after I had trimmed the seam allowance, so it was a pain in the neck unpick and re-sew. But jersey is pretty forgetting, isn't it? The Renfrew top was my first jersey project, and I was so scared to try it, but it really was easier than I thought it would be!

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    1. Oh, I'm so pleased that I'm not the only one who struggled a little with the cowl! I too sewed it together incorrectly a couple of times...do'h! But yes, jersey is thankfully forgiving and much easier to work with than I imagined!

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  15. Sexy tiger for sure! I really need to try the cowl version of this pattern - I'm loving everyone's versions so far!

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    1. Thanks Lauren! And yes, you must get on to a cowl version next, it'll really suit you methinks!

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  16. This is such a nice pattern, I love how it looks with the cowl! I really need to try out this version, too...

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  17. You should not be gutted at all. This is such a cool top. Great choice of fabric and even with those tucks under the cowl it is nothing less than perfect. I would so wear this top. Its amazing!

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  18. Dearest: I live in the american South and it is Camo Country, and don't you worry. Camos are much more blotchy and khaki/greeny. You are a sexy tiger for sure!

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  19. I think the shirt looks lovely! Definitely not ugly camo. The shape is really nice and the cowl drapes perfectly.

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  20. that is reaally lovely! I am a fan of knits, I thinkthis is a great pattern.

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