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A Chocolatey Renfrew Top

An all-season wardrobe staple? A knit top, of course! The rain has moved in and with it colder temperatures so it’ll be a winter (or as winter as we need it on the Southwest coast of BC) wardrobe from now until the warmth comes back next spring.  I admit I’m not overly upset about this because it means I get to change up my sewing projects and after sewing summer outfits for months on end, I’m ready to switch it up to something different.

Since I’m not buying any clothing for a whole year (read more about that here), I’ve had to prioritize what I need the most in my wardrobe and since this cranky belt buckle decided to naw away at the front of all my knit tops, replacing some of them became a priority.

Seems innocent enough but it's not at all.

Cranky belt. Seems innocent enough but trust me, it’s not at all.

The result of the belt buckle.

The result of my cranky belt buckle.

I took a Craftsy course quite a while ago called Sewing with Knits: Five Wardrobe Essentials with Meg McElwee, and it helped me to conquer my fear and loathing of sewing with knits so I really wasn’t apprehensive at all about making knit tops.  I love the versatility of the Renfrew Top pattern and knew I’d get lots if use out of it so decided to use it to make my new tops.


I notice the shirt isn’t lying flat at my shoulders but this is a result of my poor posture, not the pattern.

Earth tones are my comfort zone in terms of colours and even though I’m trying to break out of my comfort zone by incorporating more colour in to my wardrobe, I opted for this chocolate brown cotton knit, which is an organic cotton with some spandex in it.  Who could not like a colour with the word “chocolate” in it?!

This pattern was so straight forward to work with.  The instructions contain a grand total of 13 easy steps to follow and not one of them is complicated in any way.  I highly recommend it, especially if you’re not a fan of sewing with knits.  I didn’t need to make any alterations to the pattern, which is always a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned.

The dreaded back-side pose!

The dreaded back-side pose!

I used my walking foot with a jersey needle and rather than using a zig-zag stitch, I used the stretch stitch on my machine.  I finished all of my seams with my serger however a serger is definitely not required for this pattern.  I opted for the v-neck version for this top and it worked out perfectly!  Well, maybe not so perfect.  My seam line on the binding is about 2mm off the centre of the top but I didn’t notice it until I’d finished the top-stitching.


Sewing confession # 1: The seam at the point of the V-neck is slightly off centre. Sewing confession #2: I didn’t have any brown serger thread.

I know I’m always going to wonder how obvious it is to others when I wear the top but I dreaded the thought of ripping apart the whole thing and starting over again more than I dreaded wearing it as is.  So as is it is.  Ha!

I love how the band at the bottom of the Renfrew stops the shirt from riding up.


The facial expression is me studying the camera to see if the timer had gone off & the picture taken.

Plus, I think it makes the top a little more finished.  What do you think?

In all, from start (not including the pre-wash) to finish, this top took me less than three hours to make, which didn’t seem like a very long time to me.  Especially considering the bulk of my time was lining up the grain line and pinning it in place along the fold line.  I’ll definitely be making more of these!

PS – Apologies for the blurry photos – I blame it on the photographer! 😉  I’m still trying to get the timer figured out!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amy #

    I can’t tell your V is off center. In fact, I was thinking how crisp your V looked!

    January 20, 2014

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