Renfrew to the Rescue

1 Shroud

I’d been schlepping around town for too long, was probably dehydrated and unable to think straight when I bought this hideosity.  Look how it hangs over the dummy’s curves.  You’d be forgiven for thinking it was some kind of podgy Grim Reaper in there.

Le GarrotteSewn inside the neckline is a strip of ribbon designed to help the garment stay on the hanger.  Does anyone know if this helpful feature has a name?  I know what I‘d call it!  Is it just me who manages to nearly get garrotted whenever I put on a top like this?

1 NECKI decided to give the shroud a new lease of life because I liked its faux leather neck binding and I think the centre front/centre back seams are a nice touch.  The end result is not quite stunning but it’s much more flattering and endlessly wearable with my many bright skirts.  And I get to keep the centre seams and neckline!


How To:

You will need: a baggy jersey top with dropped sleeves, a close-fitting T-shirt pattern (mine is Sewaholic Renfrew), a ballpoint needle, a machine or overlocker and thread.

1.  Cut off the sleeves.  Try them on to see if they fit to the top of your arms then put aside.

1 hOW TO2. Cut the side seams (the shoulder seam should stay).

3. Lay the top as flat as you can.  Place your bodice front pattern on top, centre lines matching, then cut around it.  Both centre fronts should match and the shoulder/armscye lengths should also be equal.  Flip the pattern piece over and cut around the other side.  Keep the cut-off fabric in case you want to make a pocket.

4.  Repeat step 3 on the back.

5.  Sew the side seams together.

6. Hem the bottom.

7. Attach the sleeves, pinning them first and matching each underarm seams to the side seam.  You may need to stretch one or the other to make the sleeve circumference and the armscye fit.  Luckily, jersey is forgiving.


13 thoughts on “Renfrew to the Rescue

  1. I’ve been rebuilding/remodeling a lot of t-shirts; I almost never sew knits from scratch. As much as I like to work as flat as possible at all times, sewing up the side seam and inserting the sleeve does give the best results in knit. I am a chronic knit-stretcher, so I cheat on it by sewing most of the armscye flat, sew the side seam flat, and then sew them together at the armpit so that the dominant seam is the one going around. Stole this from jeans construction.

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Good that you put in the effort. T Shirts can be so cheap to buy but it’s rare to come across rtw that’s perfect.

      You mention the “dominant seam” which I’ve not heard of before. I’m now trying to do some research to find out what I’ve been missing!

  2. Aaaah….. that’s much better. You look much better in it that your mannequin too which might seem like faint praise but it isn’t always the case with me 😉

  3. Well done on refashioning! I have loads of tops that are too big/too tight/too short/too long/too see through… they have been in a refashioning queue for ages – I just never feel excited about doing this kind of job.. Love the skirt!

    • Do you, like me, also have favourite, old jersey tops that you plan to take apart and copy someday?? I keep them years!

    • Thank you! I made the skirt 2 years ago but last summer it got overlooked as the summer was so hot and I just wore dresses….

  4. You get my vote for even just doing this! Great idea and an even better fit. I have so many things, both RTW and sewn that could do with a few alterations but I just never seem to get to them – it seems easier to start from scratch on anew thing than rip out an old one. Well done

  5. I had never heard the word “hideosity”, but I like it, and I must agree that it applies to your before shirt. I like the after shirt very much, including the leather neckline trim. Sometimes I think it feels even better to save a hideous garment, than it does to create one from scratch.

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