Monday, 2 July 2012

FO: Renfrew Revelations

Hello everyone, and happy Monday. Today I am going to share with you my first foray into sewing jersey. Actually, that’s a lie...technically this is jersey mark 2, but I had a bit of a disaster with Renfrew #1 so I prefer to pretend it never happened. I started out with some bright purple jersey I bought in Walthamstow for the bargainous price of £2 a metre (at that price, how could I resist!). Remembering the price makes me feel better about the disastrous Renfrew. The stitching was all over the place, the fabric was all caught up, and I almost broke a needle sewing over twill tape...it was not good. I have actually worn this top, as PJs, but I’m too ashamed to show it to you! This however, Renfrew #2, is a thing of beauty.


For this I must thank Marie, who has been sewing up a jersey storm recently – check it out if you haven’t already....this is what I’m talking about! After hearing Marie rave about jersey, I knew I had to try it. I was so excited. But when things did not quite go to plan, I was in despair and I told Marie that jersey was not my friend. A few bits of advice later, and jersey and I have a vastly improved relationship. Who knew there was such thing as a jersey needle??! So yes, Renfrew #2 was a much more pleasant experience! It wasn’t just the needle, I think the practice and also taking care to stretch the fabric where required was also helpful. Practice makes perfect, or so they say.



This Renfrew is by no means perfect. But it is getting there. I used a gorgeously thick deep green jersey that I received from the lovely Handmade Jane in the Walthamstow Swap. There wasn’t much of it however, so I had to piece it together in all sorts of places, for example down the centre back seam. There is also a slightly skewed join visible on the front colour. However, I quite like these “details”, as I prefer to call them! The collar in particular, I would love to pin a large bow made out of the same jersey in a kind of 50s/Mad Men style – I can totally see it. Not sure I have enough jersey left for this though sadly.


Second time round, I found this pattern really easy to follow. Tasia’s method of attaching the bands is really neat and tidy. In the absence of an overlocker, I zig-zag stitched along all the seams. This took a LOT of thread, but sorts out all those raw edges just lovely. This pattern is a great one for basics and I am sure that I will be whipping up many more of these in future. This version has a round neck and ¾ length sleeves, but there is a whole heap of sleeve and neck combinations to be made. I am particularly looking forward to trying the cowl neck version – but it’s a bit too warm at the moment (yes really!).


Before I head off, I must mention my lovely Sunday! Melizza over at Pincushion Treats kindly invited a group of up over to her gorgeous flat. We drank cocktails, ate cake (lots of cake) and chatted about sewing, blogging, running and all sorts. It was wonderful to spend the afternoon in the company of such a lovely group of ladies: House of Pinheiro, Dibs, So Zo, Shivani, Miss D, Karen, Camilla and of course Melizza. Read a write up of the afternoon with some yummy cake pictures here over at Did You Make That. Thanks for a fab time everyone J

K xx

13 comments:

  1. It is indeed a thing of beauty! It looks great! I haven't tried jersey yet, it's a bit too scarey. :)

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    1. Thanks Lynne! I was scared of jersey too but it turned out ok eventually...you should totally give it a go :)

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  2. Your top looks great! I haven't sewn with jersey yet but I am looking forward to giving it a try.

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    1. Thank you! I look forward to seeing your jersey sewing :)

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  3. Hot? Really? Sigh...
    Great top! Have you explored the stitch menu on your machine? There might be something approaching an overlock stitch if you fiddle - then you only have to sew each seam once.
    And I definitely recommend having a range of interesting brooches to cover up quirky neck-seam issues! At least it is not right up on the shoulder where a brooch would look less "planned"!
    I love this pattern and have plans to make a lot more of them :)
    Oh... and love your herb garden too! ;)

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    1. Hot but the worst kind of heat...muggy. Despite the rain. It's not a good thing :(
      Thats for the tips - I have shamefully only ever used 2 stitches on my machine, I really should find out what else it can do! I will certainly check if i have any faux-overlocker options. And I agree with you about a good brooch - they can hide a multitude of mishaps!!!

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  4. Yay, you did it, you did! This Renfrew is amazing and what a lovely colour on you Kat. I'm so glad my tips helped you a bit...hehe!

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    1. Yey! Thanks Marie, the Jersey Queen :)

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  5. The shirt looks great on you!

    What gorgeous fabric. It looks very soft and comfy.

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    1. Thank you! It is sooo soft. I love it!

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  6. Your top looks great, love the colour. I'm still a jersey newbie but have bought the renfrew with a view to conquering my fear. I did a sewing class a few years back where some people were using jersey and have seen first hand how this can fabric severely test your sanity. What type of stitch did you use to make it up?

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    1. Thanks Camilla! This really is a great pattern. I used a straight stitch to sew the seams and then finished them all with a zig-zag stitch as I don't have an overlocker. However, as Roobeedoo suggested about, I am going to check out my stitch options and see if there is anything more suitable! Good luck :)

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  7. For some reason I missed this when it was first posted. It's wonderful and I'm thrilled that you were able to get a top out of the leftover fabric. The colour is great on you, you look fab! Will have a rummage to see if there's any more of that fabric hanging around, in case you still want to make a Mad Men style bow! x

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