Butternut Sewaholic Renfrew

Sewaholic Renfrew

Even though I know I could draft a basic, long sleeve tee I often don’t take the time to do it. Why? Because I am lazy. Sometimes you just want a quick sewing fix, amiright? And drafting, no matter how simple, still takes longer than cutting out an already made pattern.

And because weather here fluctuates with the tides I’ve got about a three day window to take advantage of this cool front before 65 degrees turns back into 89.

Sewaholic Renfrew

Soooooo… I made a Renfrew! I sewed the cowl neck version but added full sleeves rather than 3/4 because I have exactly – quick, let me go count – zero long sleeve shirts. I used to have a sweater but donated that sad looking thing sometime this year. Considering last winter I got by mostly wearing this jacket, I think I’ll be safe if I don’t have that many shirts guarding my full arms.

But here’s where my whole “I’m lazy and I want to save time” thing gets thrown out the window. This pattern has 5/8″ seam allowance which is cool and all but I wanted to use my serger which makes a nice 1/4″ seam allowance. But I hate using my serger knife to cut off excess fabric ’cause it makes the edge all jagged and leaves more mess for me to clean up so instead I traced all the pattern pieces and then went back and removed 3/8″ off of all the edges so I wouldn’t have to serger-trim the SA later.

Sewaholic Renfrew

Ok, lets get down to the nitty gritty, kitty.

The Goal: I was smitten by this teaser of fall that the earth likes to do to me this time of year and wanted a long sleeve shirt.

The Pattern: Sewaholic’s Renfrew. This was my first time using a Sewaholic Pattern. Since they’re designed for the pear shaped lady my measurements were all over the place. I ended up cutting a 6 at the bust and blending down to a 4 at the waist and hem. I think it worked out fine.

Ever since I admired Grainline’s Scout Tee I’ve been really intrigued by the details of pattern design. There are some things I like about this pattern, like how the side seam curves in nicely to give a little shape and how the sleeves’ seam lines aren’t perfectly straight either. The only thing I didn’t really like was that the front and back curves on the sleeve cap are the same. This isn’t a big deal and is even less so with a knit but it still bothers me a little (Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges Dress also has a symmetrical sleeve cap, which I don’t like much). Your front has more volume than your back so your sleeve curve should look a little different on each side. But it’s not a huge problem, so whatevz.

Sewaholic Renfrew

The Fabric: A nice stable knit in a color I’m calling “butternut.” Very autumnal. I bought it at Fabricker, a local Austin store that now also has an online shop! Check it out! I also just bought this cool graphic floral print cotton.

Sewaholic Renfrew

I forgot to ask what the content of the fabric was when I bought it. I guessed cotton but after washing I wasn’t so sure so… I burned it! Have you ever done a burn test on fabric before? I hadn’t, although I had an idea of how which fibers were supposed to react. I’m pretty certain it’s 100% cotton. But I did go a little pyro and started burning every different scrap I could find. Fun stuff. 😉

The Changes: Other than adding long sleeves the only thing I changed was not top stitching the neckline seam allowances down. If I had made the round or v-neck styles I would have but with the cowl neck I didn’t need to.

Sewaholic Renfrew

Next time I might make a sway-back adjustment. Maybe…

Sewaholic Renfrew

The Results: I like it, especially the cowl. It looks like a scarf. I feel like I need a big 70’s knee length wrap skirt and knee high brown leather boots to go with this top. Something about the color puts me in a 70s mood. I guess purple jeans will work just fine, too. 😉

  • So beautiful and great wardrobe builder

  • I’m wearing a cowl Renfrew at the moment. Funny you mention it looking like a scarf. This version is black with a colourful cowl and I’ve had people comment on how they liked my “scarf” not realizing it was the cowl for the shirt.

    Love your version and butternut is a great name for that colour. It looks great.

    • oooh, that’s a great idea – having the cowl a different color. i think it would be fun if you had a solid top with a printed cowl. 🙂

  • It’s lovely. I haven’t much liked the cowl necked version I’ve seen, but this one is great. And I love the colour with your jeans.

  • Love it! I just need to suck it up and get this pattern already. I have like 3 long sleeve shirts and I live in a place that gets snowy in the winter.

    • thanks! i like long sleeve shirts with cuffs like these ’cause some how i think they slide through jacket sleeves easier. i’m all about practicality like that 😉

  • I lu-HUV the color of that knit and it looks great with your purple jeans. 🙂

  • I’ve wondered about the curve of sleeve heads. A jacket I just worked on had a longer edge in the back, and I wondered if that was for greater ease of movement for bringing your arms forward, but you say it should be longer in the front?

    • ugh, you’re right, typo! my bad. should have re-read it.

  • Such a yummy color! Enjoy your little bit ‘o Fall while it lasts – I think it’s coming our way this weekend, yay!!! Love your new top.

  • Kate

    I do burn tests all the time. When I studied textile design at you we did them in fibres, yarns and fabrics. Lots of fun. When I am feeling silly I call it “playing science”

  • I think the back portion of the sleeve cap should be bigger? That’s why the shoulder notch always ends up to the right of the midpoint, no? (When I learned pattern making, we always drafted so the back side of the sleeve is to the left). It’s been a while since I drafted a sleeve.

    • you’re right, typo! it should be back needs to be longer than front.

  • Very nice~! The color looks very nice on you.

  • I really like this! It’s a great color!

  • Love it, Dixie!!

  • I like this top! I enjoyed reading your description of the pattern – especially the sleeves. I would love to hear the reason for making the front AND back sleeve caps the same shape!

  • I just pulled out my Renfrew pattern with the hopes of making one in time for this weekend. Hooray for weather below 85 degrees!

    Great shirt. I love the color. I may have to stop by Fabricker tomorrow…

  • Great-looking shirt. Is ordering the pattern possible only from their site?
    BTW, according to Kathleen Fasinella, the sleeve adjustment is because our arms hang towards the front rather than straight vertically down our sides. Sorry, I don’t have her blog address at the moment, because it’s great. Maybe someone else does?

  • PS: Her site is Fashion Incubator. See her Blog Archive re Sleeve Cap Ease is Bogus. Tons of info on her site and in her book.
    Disclaimer: No relation to her or her site.

  • PPS: I should also add that I’ve learned so much from YOU! Thanks so much for your generous sharing, plus it’s always a fun read!