Burgundy Cowl neck Renfrew

1201_Renfrew_Top_First_Image__77051.1405347604.451.416The first project I completed after my illness was a Sewaholic Renfrew top with cowl neck and ¾ length sleeves. I have had the pattern in my stash for a while, and this was a perfect porject to ease me back in to sewing (and life) after weeks of being unable to sit upright – I nearly finished it in one afternoon and evening, but had to put off attaching the arm and waistbands until the morning, as I didn’t have the strength to push on late into the evening as I often would, and I didn’t want to make a silly mistake because I was tired (or overdo it and put my recovery back).


Finding daylight in Scotland at this time of year is a challenge…

I have nothing revolutionary to say about this pattern and didn’t do any crazy adjustments (!) or have any disasters while sewing (!), so I am being lazy and using my patternreview review as the bulk of this post.

Pattern Sizing: I cut the size 16 grading to 14 between waist and hips. This seemed to fit fine while making, but now wearing it the back and arms seem to have a little excess fabric, so I think I will go down a size in the back and arms next time.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes


Modelled by Dolly.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very. As ever, beautifully written by Tasia.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?


  • quick
  • simple
  • stylish
  • repeatable
  • great sleeve and neckline options
  • it is drafted nice and long – no need for me to lengthen the bodice for once!

Beautiful burgundy fabric.

Fabric Used: Richest burgundy blended wool jersey fabric from clothspot.co.uk http://clothspot.co.uk/product/burgundy-blended-wool-jersey-fabric/. I used a 70 ballpoint needle with zigzag stitches throughout, both for the seams and finishing the seams. The material was very well behaved and pressed beautifully.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • A Forward thrust shoulder adjustment of 1cm
  • A broad shoulder adjustment of 3cm – possibly too much, but I think the cowl neck allows the neck and shoulders to move around quite a bit – I will consider this next time
  • I did a FBA in two steps. First I did a 2cm no dart FBA (http://jo-sews-etc.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/fitting-for-slouch-no-dart-full-bust.html ) then another 3cm using a standard Y adjustment which creates a dart. I rotated this dart around into the neckline as I thought the cowl neckline could take a little extra ease (and if there were a few tucks the cowl would cover them). I did the first no dart FBA to reduce the size of dart I was rotating out. Not sure how I will deal with the dart value on one of the non-cowl neck designs. As usual I cut the pattern off at the waist while doing the FBA, then reattached and merged the two side seam stitching lines. The resulting pattern piece looks like it shouldn’t work, but I have dead vertical side seams which testify to the success of this method.

One FBA’d front bodice piece with implausible looking side seam… but…


.. TaDah! straight side seam!

IMG_0440Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely, I can see why this is one of Sewaholic’s best selling patterns, and it could quickly become a TNT pattern for me

Conclusion: A flattering well designed t-shirt which skims and hugs in the right places. It is a fast sew – I sewed it up in an afternoon with lots of breaks while recovering from illness. I really don’t have anything new to add in my review which others haven’t said before.

This entry was posted in completed projects, FBA's, patten alterations. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Burgundy Cowl neck Renfrew

  1. Love your Renfrew! The colour and variation choice is almost exactly what I would have chosen too. I’m just waiting on my Renfrew arriving. I don’t have any fabric for it yet but on the lookout. Will be using your review as a reference when I start to gather supplies and sew. Seeing this on you, I know it’s going to be flattering on me too, which is such a confidence boost. It looks great on you 🙂

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