A floral top for “sprinter” (and various sewing updates)

Floral Renfrew - finished

Get it?  Spring + winter = sprinter?  The calendar says spring, but clearly the weather hasn’t gotten the memo!  Since my brain has officially switched over to spring/summer sewing but it’s still below freezing here in Boston, I sewed up a pretty floral top that hints at the upcoming spring but still keeps me warm while I (very impatiently) wait for its arrival.

Project Stats:

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew (yes, I know, my millionth one).  Do you think indie pattern designers should start giving out awards for extreme pattern use?  Tasia, any thoughts?  🙂

Fabric: My second Art Gallery knit – Recollections by Katarina Roccella in “flowered engrams delicate.”  The fabric is 95% cotton and 5% spandex.

Modifications: Nothing new, just my TNT modified Renfrew pattern.

Level of crafty satisfaction: This fabric makes me smile!  For a simple top, I’d say this is a winner.

Floral Renfrew - back

Update on Art Gallery knits

As I mentioned last time, I think I am officially a fan of this expensive and nauseatingly over-marketed fabric, despite my burning desire to hate it.  Hey, at least you’re getting brutal honesty on this blog!  🙂

My yellow printed top has been holding up beautifully in the wash, and I’ve been wearing and washing it about once per week.  I haven’t noticed any additional shrinkage (after the initial pre-wash), any pilling of the fabric, or any fading of the print whatsoever.  The fabric has remained beefy and soft and is a pleasure to wear.  In fact, I’d say that it’s been holding up even better than my Laguna jersey tops, which is saying a lot because the Laguna jersey is dream and holds up beautifully over time as well.

I hope that my new floral top holds up just as nicely and becomes a favorite garment… well, at least until the warm weather arrives.  It *will* arrive eventually, right??

Update on Alpi Chinos “wearable” muslin

Floral Renfrew and Alpi Chinos - front      Floral Renfrew and Alpi Chinos - back

Do you remember the black Named Alpi Chinos that I made over the December holidays?  A few months later, I still can’t decide if I like them or not.  I call them “wearable” because I do actually wear them occasionally (like today), but I always feel a little frumpy in them.  Surprisingly, they fit beautifully right out of the dryer after the fabric has shrunk up a bit, but they bag out as the day goes on.  You can see this a bit in the photos above, although it’s really hard to photograph a black garment against a snowy white background!

Also, I really don’t like wearing black – AT ALL.  It’s really noticeable when the fabric starts to fade, and I feel like I’m wearing some kind of work uniform when I’m in straight-cut black pants.  I don’t know, they’re just not me I guess.  But I don’t hate them…

The problem is that my wardrobe is in desperate need of new pants.  The situation is dire, my friends.  My old pants have been wearing out, and I’ve been really stubborn about not buying new RTW pants because I can sew them myself.  Well, in theory I can sew them myself!  I think my pant-sewing energy and skill leave a lot to be desired, so this happened:

Gap jeans

Yes, I bought a pair of Gap jeans today.  The horror!  The shame!  I feel somewhat defeated by this purchase, but at least now I can show up to work in a pair of non-frumpy pants without any holes in them.  I really need to muster up the energy to get back to my pants sloper… one day.

Recent fabric purchases!

As if this post weren’t random enough, I have some new fabric purchases to share!  After my recent quilting saga, it had actually been a while since I bought any new fabric.  Behold my new beauties:

Blue cotton voile and shirting

I picked up some floral cotton voile and striped shirting (both in person from Gather Here) to make a spring/summer Archer.  It’s no secret that I love this pattern, and I think some precision shirtmaking will get me back into the garment sewing groove.  I hope to start cutting this weekend!

Sur La Table blue lace vintage apron - detail

Interestingly, I just ran across this vintage-inspired apron that uses nearly the exact same fabric combination, with a little white lace thrown in for good measure.  I guess I was onto something!

Black lingerie fabric and elastics

I also picked up some black rayon/spandex knit, stretch lace, and picot lingerie elastic (all in person at Fabric Place Basement) to make some cute undies.  🙂  I can’t decide if I’ll use my TNT So Zo undies pattern or venture out a bit, perhaps finding a pattern that already incorporates lace.  Suggestions welcome!

Floral Renfrew and pile of snow

Whew, that was a lot of updates!  And look at all this snow still lingering in Boston – with a fresh coat just deposited this morning!  SPRING PLEASE RESCUE ME FROM THIS FROZEN ABYSS.

I’ll leave you with this: Do you have a TNT pattern that would earn you an award for “extreme pattern use?”  Do tell.  🙂

18 thoughts on “A floral top for “sprinter” (and various sewing updates)

  1. It’s the Washi pattern for me. I’ve made it 11 times! 7 for me and 4 for friends. I definitely got my money’s worth with that pattern! I love this t-shirt. That floral print is so fun!


  2. Love the floral print of your top! My fav TNT is probably the Skater Dress, I’ve made a ton for myself and my daughter. I’m working on matching ones this weekend 🙂 Love your blue fabrics too. I think the grey lace would be perfect for a Watson bra.


    • Matching skaters – how cute! I love it! I’ll be looking forward to seeing the results. 🙂 I still haven’t dipped my toe into bra-making, but my new pile of lingerie elastic is very tempting.


    • Thanks Ginny, and thanks for the recommendation! Is this the same pattern that Tasia has been sewing up at Sewaholic? The lace detail looks familiar. I’m glad to hear the pattern has been working well for you – it’s always great to get feedback on fit and comfort!


    • Thanks Ali! I haven’t tweaked the pattern recently, but it’s been heavily modified from the original to fit my tall, non-pear shape. I noticed that I get a different fit with different knit fabrics, which isn’t surprising since knits can vary so much!

      And yes, I saw the FunkiFabrics list, thanks! I think my little blog is finally “on the map” after 3.5 years of blogging, LOL. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That shirt is perfect. I keep craving neon colors and florals and pastels and, well, anything bright and springy, but sewing anything with even 3/4 length sleeves seems crazy right now. That shirt is just the thing. I like all the “randomness”, too. Bring it on! And about the jeans, it just means you need a break from pants sewing, but you can always come back to it. It’s not a defeat, just a breather.


    • Haha, thanks for the reassurance. 🙂 I know what you mean about short sleeves – they still seem so far away! I’m still wearing sweaters and my heavy winter coat. Sewing with warm-weather fabrics is cheering me up though. I keep telling myself that spring is just around the corner! The windy, frozen corner…


  4. This is a lovely floral top and it fits you very well. I don’t actually have a TNT as I’m quite new in this, the only pattern I made more than once is the lady skater, twice for my mother, and it fits her quite well but have not achived the same fit for myself yet. Have also tried twice the renfrew top but I have some exess fabric around the armhole that I have to get rid of.


    • You’re getting there though! For me, TNT patterns come naturally. I know what styles I like to wear, and once I work out the fit issues on a pattern, it’s easy to make a whole wardrobe of them. Everyone seems to love the Lady Skater – I’ve heard raving reviews!


      • Hopefully will get there. My First Lady skater was ment for me, but I didnt like at all how it looked on me, bad fabric choice for sure and also it was in the big side. Will defffenetely try again though with the necessary modifications.


  5. I love the springy top – its a lovely print. I need to focus a bit more on finding some TNTs – I haven’t been getting much done recently and have had a few projects which haven’t turned out as well as I hoped which is always disappointing. Time to think about a refocus for the new season (if it ever properly comes!)



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