Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Completed: Two Renfrews and Three Skirts

A couple of years ago I ordered some knit fabric online - red and orange. When it arrived, it was a classic case of "Maybe I Should Order a Sample Next Time."

It wasn't just orange. It was extremely orange. 

I like orange, but this was loud, thick jersey. The weight was odd, and so it enjoyed a place at the back of the sewing cabinet.

The red was more promising, but I just wasn't feeling it. For two whole years, this HUGE chunk of knit took up a HUGE chunk of my sewing storage space.

Until now.

The fabric store down the street received a couple of bolts of "Oh Deer" Moda fabric and Robert Kauffman recently. (Wow, I see it's much cheaper on fabric.com than what I paid. Oh well. Shop local.) They matched perfectly. So I made a few skirts, and that ugly orange and uninspired red became two awesome Renfrews.

Lee was my photographer. 

This one's a little short, but it's not tacky. At least I don't think so.  

"Got it Mommy!" he said. He didn't think my head was necessary.

She scored some red leggings out of the deal. 

Luuuuuurve my double needle.

Shirts
Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew
Fabric: cotton jersey - very stable

Skirts:
Pattern: none - cut two big rectangles, sewed and serged side seams, serged top and bottom, folded up hem and stitched, folded down casing and stitched, inserted elastic, closed casing. Voila.
Fabric: Robert Kauffman (bottom), Moda Oh Deer! by MoMo (top two)

Thoughts
Man, I love that Renfrew pattern. The first time I did it, I used a lightweight knit -- not the stable knit Tasia recommends. This time I widened the shoulders but cut the same size. Because my knits were more stable (thicker with less stretch and heavier weight), I should have gone up a size.** Especially on the orange one. You can see the under-wire outline of my bra. (Mom and I agreed that's an "It Might Be Too Tight" indicator.)

Next time I'll know. And there WILL be a next time.

The skirts are great. I'll pair them with my boots or ballet flats, find some wild-colored tights, and be good to go. The fun colors will distract people from my non-matching stripes. (The fabric was too expensive to buy extra for matching.)

WHY oh WHY did I not add pockets?

Another thing for next time.

I'm convinced the reason I keep sewing is to get it right "next time."

** In a case of perfect timing, Tasia (Sewaholic's designer extraordinaire) has an excellent post published today titled, "What's a Stable Knit Fabric?"

20 comments:

  1. So cute! I love all of those fabrics. And I don't think the stripes are too short. Really makes me with I would take some time to sew for myself.

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    Replies
    1. These skirts are so easy, if you're interested. I'm SLOW, and it took me less than an hour to do one start to finish. You just need a yard of fabric and elastic.

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    2. Oh, and an hour free to do it, which is the hardest part. ;)

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  2. Wow. I absolutely love the orange! Very impressive. You might have inspired me to try sewing a knit shirt....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! There are some great knit tutorials out there. For me, the double needle has made all the difference because the necklines and hemlines always give me the most trouble.

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  3. These are really cute. I love the fabrics. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/09/natural-coconut-bubble-bath-and.html
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above
    www.adornedfromabove.com

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  4. I really love the striped skirt! And your shirts are great! You are a great seamstress. My knit attempts never turn out looking professional like yours do!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind remarks! Sewing knits was more difficult for me, but they're my favorites to wear every day. I've had several failed attempts, that's for sure.

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  5. These are great skirts and tops! I love to mix and match, and I love your colors! Saw your link on I Heart Naptime.

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  6. Love the colors, and they look so cozy to wear. Perfect for this autumn weather I feel is coming real soon :)

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  7. You look gorgeous & the skirt is fabulous!!! I adore the contrasting colors; it just makes it so much more pleasurable to wear, doesn't it?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the sweet words! Yes - the fun colors put me in an instant good mood!

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  8. These are so fun and cute that it makes me wonder if my shorter-wider-middle-aged self can pull of a gathered print skirt. And I want to get out my Renfrew pattern and get back to sewing. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! A gathered print skirt would look awesome on you!

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  9. those look great!! I made the mistake of buying orange knit once (online) and had the same problem. It was traffic cone orange and is still sitting on my fabric shelf. Question about you double needle: what settings do you use on your machine? I've recently got a double needle and it stretches the fabric. If I loosen the tension, it skips stitches.

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    Replies
    1. I use the same setting with my double needle as I do with the single. (So, for these shirts my tension was at 3 and my stitch length at 3. I like a longer stitch with knits and top-stitching.)

      I'd suggest trying to lengthen the stitch. And pressing often fixes my wonky hems.

      Occasional skipped stitches seem to be common. (In fact, if you look at my close-up of the orange t-shirt there's a skipped stitch in the bottom right corner!)

      Good luck!

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  10. The striped skirt is my favorite! Love the mix and match and great job with that neckline.

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