I’ve finally caught up with the rest of the sewing community and tried out the Renfrew pattern by Sewaholic. I’ve got other t-shirt patterns that’s I’m quite happy with, so I wasn’t in a hurry to find a new one. But after reading numerous glowing reviews about the shirt I figured I’d give it a try. And lo and behold, I actually really like the pattern. It’s not anything vastly different from my other tried and true t-shirts, but having the cuffs and neck and hem bands included in the pattern, instead of just adding them on my own, is a nice perk. Also, it probably can’t hurt for me to have found another t-shirt pattern that I love, since I apparently live in jeans & t-shirt.
I made my first one out of some fabric that’s been in my stash so long I couldn’t tell you what it is or where it came from. Looking at the fabric folded up, I couldn’t remember why I’d gotten it, and thought I might as well use it to test the pattern. Funny thing though, after making up the shirt I decided I really like the fabric. It just feels so springy to me. The fabric itself is some sort of blend, probably poly/cotton given how old it is. And it’s fairly lightweight, so the edges curl if you even look at them.
Reading other reviews of the pattern, I saw a few people comment that the armscye was a little tight, and after making up my first Renfrew, I’d have to agree. There’s a little something wonky gong on around the armhole, and it feels a little snug to me. Not so uncomfortable or noticeable that I won’t wear it. But enough that I didn’t want to sew a second one until tweaked it to fit me better. Now, despite the fact that I will periodically draft (and I use that term loosely) my own patterns, I don’t actually know much about how to draft patterns. I generally just wing it. So that’s basically what I did here. When re-tracing the front, back and sleeve pieces I mostly copied the armholes and sleeve cap from a tried and true shirt pattern. It ended up being fairly minor changes – the armholes lowered and flared out a smidge more, and the sleeve caps flattened and widened a bit. It’s still not quite perfect, but close enough for now. And most importantly, this version is more comfortable.
The only other changes I made were to sew the cuffs and hem band on with 3/8″ (serger seam width) allowance instead of the called for 5/8″ allowance. That was my quick and dirty fix for adding just a little bit of length to the sleeves and body. I should probably go back and actually add the length into the pattern pieces in the correct spots. And maybe someday I actually will.
I’m quite pleased with the pattern now. I can see making several more of these. Actually, I’ve already cut out a version with the 3/4 length sleeves and a v-neck. And ignoring that the weather here has taken a sudden turn for hot, I’m tempted to cut out a version with the cowl neck. Speaking of necklines, I love how this one came out.
It’s such a clean finish. And there’s just something nice about the way the stripes worked out. But then, I like stripes. I’ll have to make a point of sewing up at least one of these in a non-stripey fabric. Just for kicks.
Bonus points, both these pieces of fabric are out of my stash!