February 11, 2013

Renfrew #2: Turquoise Striped Cowl

I love pattern books and I always think that it's such a good deal to buy a book full of patterns for $20 rather than one pattern for $20. However, I rarely make anything from my sewing books. I use them for reference and inspiration, but I find more and more that I purchase the single patterns for actually making things.

Sadly the single patterns, particularly from the independent designers, are significantly more expensive than the books/magazines. I prefer to wait until lots of sewing bloggers use the pattern so that I can peruse the internet to ensure that I like it enough to make multiple versions from it. After my experience with the Colette Parfait dress (expensive pattern and total fail dress) I realized that it’s not always easier/cheaper to make your own clothes if you’re only going to make one. I decided that if I make at least three items from the pattern then I can forget about the cost of it.

This was my intention when purchasing the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern (@ $22!). Luckily I'm nearly at the point where I can erase the cost from my mind, because here is Renfrew #2.

Learning from a few of my mistakes making Renfrew #1, I cut out a new pattern with size 4 around the shoulders and chest, but keeping the grading to a size 10 around the hips. This time I used a sweater knit from the Mill End store. This was my first experience sewing with sweater knit and this was a weird one. The two colors are knit with very different thread types. The teal is thin and very stretchy, and after one washing looks like it might pill. The white is stiffer, doesn’t stretch much, but looks very crisp. We’ll see if this one makes it through more than one season.
Sticking to my goal of having more winter clothing, I used the long sleeve pattern piece for this one instead of the ¾. I like the fit of the narrow shoulders better and I like the long sleeve length much better. The torso length is still too long, but most likely I'll just live with it.

Renfrew #1 here

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