Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sewaholic Renfrew Tee

Having bought this pattern about a year ago, I finally cut it out and sewed it up. Lots of good reviews for this pattern. My fabric is a single knit jersey, cotton and lycra blend. I am sewing from the stash, as I really need to downsize my fabric and pattern collection.

I found the neckline to be very well done. It lays nice and flat and the proportion of band to neckline is perfect.  My only quibble is that these patterns are drafted for a young body, and at my age, I find the neckline too low.  The skin on the upper chest doesn't have that youthful appearance any longer.  I finished the first version and then raised the neckline for a second one. 

In order to keep the proportion the same as the original pattern, I measured the neck seamline on the pattern, then measured the neck band, eliminating all seam allowances. I found the neck band was 2 1/2" shorter than the neck seamline.  So once I had redrawn the neck on the pattern (brought it about 1" higher on the front and about 1/2" higher at the center back, plus extended the shoulder line about 1/4" closer to the neck, I then simply took off the proportional difference on the band.  I think I may extend that shoulder seam a little more, to bring the neckline in closer before cutting out a second version.  It might be a good idea to compare it with  another pattern that has a higher neckline.

Tasia, the designer, has made this pattern for first-time sewers I think. She has added a bottom band and a sleeve band or cuff, so that you don't have to fiddle with top-stitching a hem, something that can make newbies to knits rather nervous.

I made the pattern as per directions, but on the next one, I will eliminate the bottom band and the cuffs, as I find this makes the tee look like a sweatshirt. I will simply make sure I have enough length and then turn up 1" and top-stitch in place.

This is in the queue for another time, as I now have plans to sew up a hoodie with some lovely micro fleece that I found in my stash. Even have the thread and zipper for this, so no need to head to the store to buy any notions.

The winter storm that has hit our city might have inspired the next project.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Knitting Progress

I began this sweater in March of 2013 and it has taken me this long to finish it.  From the picture in the magazine, I thought it was a fairly simple pattern. But once I began knitting, I found that I simply could not commit the pattern to memory, so I was forced to continually read the directions to make sure that I was doing it right. 

After finishing the back and fronts, I packed it away. I couldn't face two sleeves with the same pattern. But this fall, while recovering from a second hip replacement surgery, I bit the bullet and dug it out.  I was determined to finish it, as it really is lovely and the wool, the colour, the pattern were everything I would want in an aran cardigan. It took a long time to complete, but it was well worth it.

Knowing that it was going to be a snug fit for me, I finished it as a gift for a daughter. She doesn't know about it yet, and I will mail it to her this week with a bottle of Eucalan.  Along with strict orders on how to wash hand-knit sweaters. I have reservations about knitting for others, because people who don't knit or sew are not usually aware of the care that must be taken with certain items.  I will even offer to wash this for her whenever I visit, so that it will be last a long time.

The collar is really lovely, nice and high. It makes this sweater into a jacket really and it will probably be too warm to wear indoors.  Where she lives, the fall and spring weather will be perfect for this kind of sweater.

The pattern was from Knit Simple Winter 2012 and most of the patterns are simple, just not this one!

This is the sweater as pictured in the magazine. I will ask my daughter to send me a photo of her in the cardigan when she gets it. I am pretty sure it will fit her. I do hope she likes it.