Monday, 5 March 2012

Petrol Blue Renfrew Top

I've now finished my second version of the Renfrew top from Sewaholic patterns. Here are the pictures:

I used a polyester and elastane (around 5%) knit in a petrol blue. I used the same pattern pieces as for my  first version of the top which I had already altered to take in at the sides. Somehow on this version the top has turned out a tad tight around the bust. I tried on my first version again (a fine jersey knit) and that was fine. It's funny how different types of fabric can behave with the same pattern. With this knit fabric I think I need to build in more ease.

I had a minor disaster with the sleeves. Once I'd sewn on the cuffs I realised the sleeves were too short. How did that happen? I really don't remember lengthening the sleeves but after measuring my first version I obviously did! I didn't alter the pattern piece so I must have just chalked on some length at the bottom when cutting out. I cut the cuffs out again, this time making long slim cuffs. Another adjustment I think I will make to future versions is to take in the sleeves below the elbow. I have fairly small wrists so it's a bit baggy around this part.

I omitted the topstitching on the neckband. The pattern calls for a zig zag topstitching below the neckband to hold in place the neckband seam allowance. On my first version I used a more decorative flatlock stitch. On this one I first experimented with some sample neckline finishes. Here are some pictures of the samples:

The first sample follows the method used to attach the bias binding to the Pendrell blouse neckline, except in reverse. See this tutorial from the Pendrell blouse sew-along. I like this method and it gives that extra bit of re-inforcement in the neckband as the seam allowance is enclosed.

The second sample has the neckband sewn as per the Renfrew pattern instructions. On the left hand side I topstitched with the flatlock stitch and on the right side I topstitched with a straight stitch. I asked an independent mediator which one he preferred and he said the flatlock version! I think both the flatlock and the first sample work. The straight stitch topstitching didn't work with this knit, although it may be fine with a jersey knit.

With this fabric I wanted a cleaner look than the topstitching so I simply hand sewed that area with an invisible stitch. Here's a close up of the neckband. If you can't see the hand stitching then good!

All in all I'm happy with the top. The only part I'm disappointed with is the fit around the bust which I will have to tweak if I make future versions in this type of fabric.

Happy sewing.

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