Saturday, September 29, 2012

another renfrew mod

Think you've sewn (or seen) enough versions of the Sewaholic Renfrew already? Think again! Think the Renfrew pattern is too casual for your glam dress-stuffed wardrobe? Think AGAIN! That's what this blog is all about, after all: thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating content.


Well, I hope you didn't think I made this dress from the Renfrew because I did not. Urban Outfitters made it so I could wear it to lure you in. Louisville didn't get an Urban O. until after I left, so it's nice living in a city where their stuff is already heavily circulated in consignment shops. I'm still not ready to commit to a fully self-stitched wardrobe, so I supplement with secondhand items. One day, though, I'll be head-to-toe in Andrea originals... maybe... ehhh.

So what is handmade here? Duh, the boring cardigan. I laughed when I finished it because it's pretty sloppily made and just reminds me of a $14.99 Merona brand cardigan you'd give your mom for Christmas or something. But I still like its practicality and length and have worn it a couple times already. Hopefully this kind of styling helps its cause.

This red ponte knit is the same I used for my stupid Cynthia Rowley dress from a couple posts ago. I bought like 5 yards of it for real cheap from Jomar, the crazy fabric outlet (is it an outlet? What is it?) in south Philly. Their inventory is heavy on the stretchy fabrics right now. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than digging through tabletop mountains of knit yardage of questionable quality? That was not sarcasm.

Making the cardigan version of the Renfrew was quite simple. I shortened it by 2" first because I like my cardigans to fit at the curve of my back (or be really long) so I don't look like a balloon when I wear them with skirts. The front is normally cut on the fold, so I just added a placket to the front pattern piece at the fold line. Cut two front pieces instead of one. This placket extension had enough width to be folded over and still be able to overlap the placket on the other side (1 1/4" total with the intention of making a 5/8" final placket).

On each end of the neck band and bottom band, I extended it by the width of the finished button placket (5/8"). Instead of connecting the bands end-to-end in a circle like on the original Renfrew, I stitched their edges so it'd form a neat square at the top and bottom of the placket. I can explain this in more detail if you'd like.

Too-big buttons, ha. I need to go button shopping so I'm better prepared for my on-a-whim projects:

I did not think about the necessary ease for a cardigan, so this fits like a t-shirt but open at the front. If I make another Renfrew cardigan, I'll size it up so I can wear it over other clothes more comfortably.

It's hard to stop at one when you're working with this pattern, so I made another in a sweater knit, also from Jomar:

I'm not as crazy about this one because the only thing I can wear it with right now is this granny skirt. Literal granny skirt. It was my grandma's -- I chopped off the hem at some point during my college years. I used to wear these warm brown tones all the time because they go well with my complexion, but I've ventured away to cooler colors. I'm kinda thinking of moving back that way this autumn. In fact, I'm currently working on something else now in this same brown.

So, friends, neighbors, far-away sewsters, how do you feel about a Renfrew cardigan or sweater? Dare to try? I know Tasia's revisiting the pattern over on her blog, so it's as good a time as any to bring back out that little green envelope! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, y'all hear.