Some say that a couple of hours is all it takes to make the Sewaholic Renfrew top, but after buying a first edition of the pattern which unbeknownst to me contained a mistake, I nearly met my nemesis!
The correction is in red. Initially, I followed instinct and sewed the pieces right sides together. Realizing that what I’d done didn’t match the text, I sliced off the offending seam and stitched as instructed The result – no matter in which direction I turned it – didn’t so much resemble a cowl as a Möbius strip…. Luckily I had my family around me, so could freely vent my frustration on them (I think one innocent brought up the topic of it being “lunch”, poor lamb…). When I turned to Google, hoping, with a remaining iota of self-esteem, that the fault may not be with my uselessness but with the instructions, I uncovered a trail of warnings (like this one) and found this link to Sewaholic’s Errata page. “We do our best to make our patterns error-free,” it says, though I wonder why not supply distributors with erratum slips which could be inserted inside pattern envelopes with relative ease (surely?).
Very good! I made size 6 (I’m a UK 12) and the top fits very well over skinny jeans or leggings. To wear over rugged jeans and with belts, I’d need to grade a size up from the waist down. The cowl is teacher-friendly in that it won’t compromise your modesty when bending over desks!
Before adding the cuffs and waistband, I tried the top on and thought the hem and the sleeves were an ideal length. I was tempted to turn under and sew but doubted I’d be able to finish off professionally. In the end, I shortened the cuffs and waistband by 1.5cm (i.e. I took off 3cm from each pattern piece). Had I not, I might have ended up with a boy’s pyjamas look. Tip: If you’re on the short side and comfortable hemming jersey on your machine, cut the waistband and the cuffs only once you know you’ll use them.
Lovely, warm and rather heavy jersey from A1 Fabrics in Goldhawk Road, W12. In picking a striped fabric, I’d made life a bit more difficult for two reasons. Firstly, the obvious stripe matching. It worked out ok, though not perfect. Evidence:
When I realized this was gonna be ugly (- think Frankenstein -) I bypassed all the zigzags with a straight stitch.
I really like my top: it’s warm, practical and quite good looking though it wouldn’t have passed the RTW test: I mean that if I saw it in the shop for the price of the pattern (£12) plus fabric (1.5m at £4.50), I wouldn’t have bought it. Buy this pattern to make more than once. Find your fit and make it again and again, combining the variations in the neckline and sleeve length, or like I intend to, making own design changes. I’m sure that next time, it will only take 2 hours!