It’s time for a confession: I am totally obsessed with knit fabrics. I think it’s because they appeal to my sloppy tendencies. You don’t need to finish the inside seams because they’re not going to fray on you. Facings aren’t necessary. Darts are rare. Zips too.
You don’t have to freak out as much about gaping and FBAs and all the other things that I’m still too intimidated to think about.
You don’t even really need to press as you go along.
Consequently I have a knit stash mountain, which is threatening to impinge on the hereto untroubled consciousness of my roomie. At the current exponential rate of growth, he’s going to be forced to notice the stash when it topples onto him one morning and he has to gnaw off his own arm to escape.
To save his life and limb, I nobly purchased the new Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic. For my first experiment with the design, I opted for the short-sleeved cowl neck combination. I do not own a single cowl neck top and this top kind of reaffirms that purchasing decision. It feels like it’s kind of too much on top of my chest, it’s already a party up there right?
But I still like the finished article.
As I’d expected, I found Tasia’s instructions straight-forward and the pattern pieces designed well. I think you can be a little more conservative with your fabric purchasing than the back of the packet suggests. This is a straight 4 and I just managed to cut it out of 1.5m of this houndstooth knit fabric.
After sewing up the sleeve bands I noticed that the seam allowances form a ridge where the band meets the sleeve. I wanted to be able to tuck the top in to skirts without lots of seams being visible, so I opted to leave it off. I could easily have shortened the bodice pieces because they reach hip length on me but I wanted to try the top in a longer length. In the end it looks much better tucked in.
The fabric really determines how your cowl will turn out. I used a thicker polyester blend knit so the cowl is less draped and chunkier, which makes it nice and cosy but I think it would be more wearable on my frame with less volume. I do try and style it without the rounded look I have in the first picture but I didn’t realise it looked like this until the pics were done.
- The fabric is a little cheap but the houndstooth print is pretty awesome. It’s more of a cream and very dark brown combo than the pictures show.
- Having a warm neck.
- The sleeve bands are a nice finish that makes the knit look a little more polished. Plus, less twin needling.
- There was only one side of pattern instructions, score!
- Why do I have a fold of fabric above my bust? You can see this in the side-on shot. I thought this sign-posted the need for a small bust adjustment but I wear a double D for heaven’s sake! I’m at a loss.
- The seam allowances creating a bulky ridge on the sleeve bands. I should try and trim this down a little. It would be less of a problem on thinner knits.
- I should try and grade it down one size at the waist to make it snugger. When it’s not tucked in, the side view makes me look a lot wider than I am in reality.
Looking at these pictures in the cold light of day I realise I need to stop dodging the fitting issue. Even with this straight-forward knit, something is not quite right with the bust. Fortunately the slightly hypnotising houndstooth pattern means no one will notice because they’ll be mesmerised by my chest area.
As per readers, as per.