Pumpkin Renfrew

I finally got around to making a second Renfrew top! I actually made this back in November, but I haven’t had a chance to take photos until today.

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I made this top primarily because I found this orange knit at my local fabric store and fell in love with the color. And then I had to figure out something to make with it.

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The fit of this one is much better than the fit of my first Renfrew. For this one, I cut a size smaller than I did last time, and graded down an additional size at the hip (which makes sense, since Sewaholic patterns are designed for pear-shaped women). I also took in the side seams right at the underarm, and narrowed and shortened the sleeves. I think the fit is pretty spot-on, now. (It’s a little clingy, but I think that’s mainly down to the fabric being a little flimsy, not the fit being too snug. It doesn’t really bother me.) I even remembered to write down the changes I made on the pattern pieces, so it should be pretty easy to recreate them next time!

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I ended up wearing this for Thanksgiving this year — the color seemed appropriately autumnal.

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I made this all on my sewing machine, since my serger is still at my parents’ place. It worked just fine — I just used a narrow zig-zag to sew the seams, and finished the seam allowances with a wider zig-zag. I love that the Renfrew is finished with a hem band and cuffs, so you don’t have to worry about hemming a flimsy knit!

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That’s it for now! I’ll be back soon with a year-in-review post — I really want to participate in Gillian’s “Top 5 of 2014” series before it’s too late.

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Happy New Year! :)

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Pattern Testing: The Sandpoint Top!

I got to test a brand new pattern a few weeks ago — before it was officially released! Pretty thrilling stuff, huh?

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This is the Sandpoint Top from Gray Day Patterns. Gray Day Patterns is a new pattern company run by Helena of the sewing blog GrayAllDay.com.

Helena put out the call for pattern testers about a month ago, and I volunteered. I liked the sophisticated-yet-wearable look of the pattern, and I thought pattern testing sounded fun. If you’re unfamiliar with the pattern testing process, here’s how it usually works (with indie pattern companies, anyway). People who sign up to test the pattern are given a draft copy of the pattern for free and are expected to sew it up and send feedback to the pattern designer, which is then incorporated into the finished version of the pattern. Testers are not paid, but they are given a copy of the finished pattern when it’s released. I’ve tried to be unbiased in my review of this pattern; Helena did not specifically ask us to blog about our creations, but I really liked how mine turned out and wanted to share it. :)

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From the front, the Sandpoint looks like any other scoop neck, kimono sleeve knit top, but from the back…

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Bam! Surprise cowl action! (…Let’s just pretend my shirt ISN’T awkwardly tucked into the waistband of my pants in this picture, ok? This is the best shot of the back I got, so we’ll just have to deal with its shortcomings. :P) The cowl is secured by a band that is sewn across the shoulders of the top. This keeps everything in place so nothing falls off your shoulders. Clever!

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The only modification I made was to add a hem band at the bottom–I got the idea from one of the other testers. Helena actually added an optional hem band to the finished pattern, which I think is great. It helps give the top a little extra shaping and definition. (Plus, it means you don’t have to deal with hemming drapey knit fabric.)

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I had no complaints about the pattern. The armholes were a tiny bit tight, but Helena says she fixed this in the final version. The pdf was easy to print out and assemble (and the final version of the pdf is layered, so you have the option of only printing the size(s) you need, which is pretty nifty). The sewing process went smoothly. The instructions in the final version also look very detailed and clear. This pattern gets my stamp of approval. :)

Fancy making a Sandpoint for yourself? You can snag a copy here. Helena has a 20% sale going until 10/26 with the sale code “firstweek”, so act now if you want it (and you know you do)!