Renfrew sewing season is in full swing!

Yellow Renfrew finished

Armed with a stack of pre-washed jersey and the onset of the cold weather here in Boston, I’ve been re-stocking my supply of cozy long-sleeved layering pieces.  And what better pattern to use for cranking out long-sleeved t-shirts than my trusty old Renfrew?  I know, I’m sure you’re shocked by this rogue pattern choice.  🙂

The shorter days and colder weather make blog photo shoots even harder to pull off than usual, so for now I’ll share a few in-progress photos, hoping that you’ll excuse the temporary absence of my smiling face.  Besides, since there’s a storm passing through today and I didn’t have any reason to go outside, my hair has that unstyled, fresh-out-of-the-shower look, and trust me, no one needs to see that.

Pincushion and pattern pieces

After the alterations I had made to my TNT pattern pieces resulted in a big orange FAIL, I reversed my last set of changes, going back to my TNT adjustments.  To make a long story short, I tried to deepen the armholes while keeping the circumference of the sleeves the same, and I basically made myself a t-shirt with blazer-style shoulders.  Not a good look!

Oh, and I finally got a tomato pincushion.  I quite like it.  🙂

With my TNT pattern pieces back in working order, I whipped up a bright yellow top this afternoon.  It’s pretty yellow, but bright yellow is in my color palette, remember?  I dig it!  I picked this color specifically to be worn under my gray Archer – I think it’ll be a good combo.  Really working the right-hand side of the palette.

Allspice Abounds color palette

I’ve been using a combination of my sewing machine and serger to put together my recent Renfrews, which has been awesome.  I insert the neckband with my sewing machine, finish the edges with the serger, and use the serger for most of the major construction seams.  Topstitching is done on the sewing machine.  I love being able to switch between the two!

Yellow Renfrew - V-neck detail

Here’s a close-up of the point of the V-neck.  I’m pretty happy with it!  Here’s a tip if you struggle with getting a good point: attach the neckband to the neckline everywhere except 1 inch before and after the point.  Arrange your sewing so that the front piece is on top (so you can avoid puckers), and the neckband is on the bottom.  Put a pin at the point of the V through all layers, and slowly sew the rest of the neckline, pivoting at the point (right where your pin is).  A good press before you topstitch can usually even out any wonkiness.

Yellow Renfrew - neckline seam detail

For serging, I’ve been using this tip from Handmade Jane: match the color of the left needle thread to your fabric color, and don’t worry about the color of the other 3 threads.  It works like a charm!  The photo above is the inside of the neckband where I used the serger to finish the raw edges, but this tip is especially useful for seams that will get a lot of horizontal strain, like the side seams.  Give it a try on your next serger project!

I’m happy to report that this bright yellow beauty fits well, as it should.  My TNT pattern pieces don’t lie!  I don’t know why I bothered to alter them last time.  ** smacks head **

Purple Renfrew pieces cut outWIth the success of the yellow top under my belt, I cut out a purple one.  I’m hoping that this top will go with my blue Oxford and Liberty Archer.  See, I’m planning ahead with my fabric choices, people!  Granted, this fabric came out more purple and less blue than I was expecting, but that’s online shopping for you.

I had quite a relaxing day sewing while the storm passed through today.  Sometimes it’s nice to be homebound with inclement weather.  There was plenty of coffee, cat snuggling, snacking, and t-shirt making.  Not bad, if you ask me.  🙂

Do you have a set of go-to garments that you re-stock every season?  I don’t know what I’d do without an arsenal of long-sleeved tees!


10 thoughts on “Renfrew sewing season is in full swing!

    • Awesome, do it! 🙂 I never wore any yellow for years, but now I really like it in combination with gray or a black and white print. It’s great pop of color and a little unusual, which I think makes it interesting.


    • Thanks Vanessa! I’ll be sure to take some photos as soon as I get some free time during daylight hours. Now that the days are so short here, it’ll have to wait until the weekend!


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