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!

1 RR AFTER

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.

1 RRON

Two Peas in a Pod

It’s a fine line between being fashionable and looking like you can’t dress yourself properly.”

This damning quote came not from some enfant terrible of Brit fashion but from my own DH who during a quiet moment in a waiting room took a leaf through my Pattern Magic Stretch, saw this and laughed out loud:

What about this?  Two peas in a pod,”  I asked.  I was looking for a quickie with which to join Lisa of Only the Small for the first installment of her monthly challenge Project Pattern Magic.   

DH paused thoughtfully then said, “that would look good on really skinny people.” 

Well I made it anyway 8O Here:

How to Make

1. Shrink the stretch bodice front pattern to 65% of original size

2. Enlarge the back to 135%. 

3 Gather the back with ease stitches and sew to the front. 

Easy peasy :-)

4 You may then use cuffs, waistband and neckband to finish. 

I used my Renfrew pattern, now I know it fits me, and included sleeves as I didn’t fancy the kimono style in the book – too much excess in the armpits!  One advantage to using the Renfrew pattern is that it includes seam allowances (though not on the sleeve which I cut in half at the shoulder then added the SA).  Once the front and back were sewn together,  the original-sized Renfrew cuffs, neckband and waistband fit the new T perfectly.

Tip: I recommend using a copier with an A3 bed, i.e. one large enough for naked drunks to sit on at office parties… oh how I miss abusing work facilities!  Doing it piecemeal on an A4 machine was the only time consuming part to this project. 


The Verdict

Two Peas in a Pod is an ideal Pattern Magic project if you’re in a hurry, especially if you have a TNT stretch pattern that you can quickly shrink and enlarge. 

The nicest design features, in my opinion, are the ruching on the inner side and the horseshoe neckline.  The downside?  Well, I have a sneaking suspicion that the shrunken front appears under a certain glare like a tiny person – my inner teeny dancer if you like – waiting to get out.  

If ever it does, I’ll stamp on it!