Sewaholic Renfrew (1st round)

I’ve wanted a perfect t-shirt pattern for eons, to have as a quick sew fix and to keep my chest drawer full of grand colours to compliment my outfits.

So when Sewaholic released the Renfrew, I got it straight-away. Erm, it was released a few weeks ago, wasn’t it?

According to the envelope, I should be Bust 16, Waist 14, Hip 10. That’s one crazy, eighties’ bodybuilder triangle, so I cut Hip 14. I’m glad I did, the hip is the only thing that seems to be issue-less.

I used 4-way super-stretchy, thin knit from my stash, which is VERY silky smooth and comfy. This is against the pattern’s recommendations of stable knit, but hey, you use what you have. So this slinky-dinkyness will influence some of my fitting issues greatly, but here are my notes nevertheless.

Back like a waterfall in spring

Back is like a waterfall in spring

It’s way too big under the arms (although the armcye/sleeve is roomy and comfy, it’s more casual than I need my tops to be).

The shoulder is about 2cm too wide, making the sleeves hang over the shoulder edge.

Sleeves are sooooo long. OK, I just cut it straight from pattern without measuring at all, so silly me. I have to shorten them by nearly 6 inches! I feel abnormal. But good thing is I’m not a monkey.

Waist is OK, I don’t want to tweak that yet as stabler knit might change to fit and feel here.

The huge problem is the pooling of fabric in the small of my back. I always have to make swayback adjustments on all garment, but there’s never been this much pooling. I did start to pin the excess, but it just seems to be way to much fabric hanging from my upper back, width-wise, below my shoulder blades. But the upper back is fine, so I can’t simply say that it’s a size or two too big (or can I?).

Taking out the wedge will help some, but not fix the problem

Taking out the wedge will help some, but not fix the problem

I folded one of my favourite t-shirts (very fitted, and the fabric is similar) and LOOK at the difference!

Woah - about 6 sizes smaller?!

Woah – about 6 sizes smaller?!

So here’s my conundrum:

Draft the pattern straight off my favourite t-shirt (then grade up for when using more stable knits), but use Renfrew’s finishing techniques


Work on the pattern’s fit, solving all the problems and be proud?

Thing is, I want to learn, even when my head hurts. But for a t-shirt? But then again, I have been meaning to teach myself a swayback adjustment without having to add a CB seam (using this incredible tutorial by Sherry), which Dixie also soldiered through, so I should take this opportunity to revv up the learning curve. If I just want a garment, I buy one – if I want a garment that fits and compliments, I make one, so I should put my money where my mouth is. But I’m also trying to pick my battles. Lots of people seem to have had the same comment of having to maybe do a swayback adjustment, but I can only find Dixie that has. Maybe there’s a reason? I’m too fussy? Not good at analysing the fit and identifying the problem? Maybe life’s too sho

Who knew a t-shirt pattern can make you break into a existentialist crisis.

This was supposed to be a quick fix as I’m recovering from a tonsillectomy, and before I take on Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge 2. I’ll just have to forget today ever happened, and start afresh another time.


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