the sew weekly “childhood”: the “heart of a child” top (renfrew)

The Facts:

Fabric: rayon-lycra knit recommended by the gorgeous ann and purchased from gorgeous fabrics.
Pattern: sewaholic 1201, renfrew, scraps of liberty of london crepe-de-chine
Year: 2012
Notions: none
Time to Complete: 1.5 hours
First Worn: April 20, 2012
Wear Again: yes, yes, yes!!
Total Price: ~$30
Challenge Theme:  “Childhood”

this challenge was nothing but fun from start to finish.  i originally had planned to do a blouse based on my school picture from 1st grade (crazy, crazy 80s dress with pouffy sleeves and a kite motif), but couldn’t find a picture of me wearing it.  i found a picture of my sister wearing it several years after i would have owned it, but not me.  so, lacking inspiration, i moved on to a treasure trove of family albums i sort of inherited/stole from my grandfather after he passed away.  he kept beautiful, well-chronicled photo albums from the time he was in the army (he invaded normandy in the 1940s) until the late 90s, when he (i think) became too ill to keep up the practice.  it was stunning to look at all of the places he and my grandmother traveled to (another hobby he had to give up late in his life) and to see all of the amazing family photos from when my mother was young–and then again, from when my sister and i were young.

this photo is dated spring 1992. i am not sure why i am so happy, since the presence of matzoh on the counter means i am on the brink of a week of starvation. maybe i was too young to understand the impending doom?

in terms of creating a new look, a classic knit top was the obvious and exciting choice, since i’ve been itching to try the renfrew.  and i had gorgeous scraps of heart-motif fabric leftover from a 1950s cowl dress i did late last year to add an applique to the top–still fun, still a bit kitschy, but updated enough that i can get away with it at 30 the same way i did when i was 10.  the fabric was selected for my by the gorgeous ann of gorgeous fabrics, since this was my first knit top and i wasn’t sure what sort of fabric i should be using.  (if you don’t already love her and her shop, you should.)

the knit is just slightly slinky, in a fun way, so i took the added precaution of stabilizing not just the shoulder seam but the armscye and v-neck as well.  i cut a heart out of my CDC scrap, fused it with some interfacing (another helpful scrap, this time from fashion fabric supply) and zig-zagged it straight on to the top, raw edges and all.

Pattern Description:
fitted knit top with sleeve and neckline variations. View A has long sleeves and a scoop neckline. View B has short sleeves and a deep V neckline. View C has a dramatic cowl neckline and three-quarter length sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
0 – 16. i cut a 0, but depending on the knit i might have to do a 2 (jersey seems less stretchy and more demanding of a 2.)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes, the technical drawings are excellent and accurate.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
for the most part, yes. i did not love the way the section on attaching the neck band for the v-neck was written. compared to the rest of the well-written instructions, it was not up to par.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
versatility and simplicity.

Fabric Used:
rayon-lycra blend from gorgeous fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
none. straight out of the envelope as-is.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
unequivocally. this is an amazing pattern because it is so simple to use and the perfect gateway to working with knits. if you only need one knit top, then this might be the one.

Conclusion:
tasia calls this the “perfect basic T” and she is not lying. i cannot wait to continue working with this pattern to create new tops AS WELL AS to use it as a base to refashion all of those great too-large t-shirts we all have sitting around the house, AS WELL AS combining it with some of the great work Steph C is doing with t-shirt patterns over at 3 hours past the end of the world. there is nothing but potential here.

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4 Responses to the sew weekly “childhood”: the “heart of a child” top (renfrew)

  1. I’m beginning to think I need to get this pattern. I think teh interwebs is conspiring against my no-buying-new-patterns resolution. Love the cat sneaking in that last photo!

    • puu says:

      seriously, i have an entire stack of t-shirts waiting for this pattern to bring them to their full potential. many, many, projects brewing from this pattern…

  2. Pingback: renfrew, missoni style | puu's door of time

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