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Renfrew Muslin

2013 March 20
by elizabeth_admin

Image from Sewaholic Patterns


Last night I muslined the Renfrew top by Tasia of Sewaholic Patterns.  I have loved all of the iterations floating on the interwebs since she debuted this top in her pattern line.  It takes me a while to get to new patterns.  I’m a slow sewist and slow to start a new project.  Is anyone else like that?  I procrastinate like no one’s business when I want to start a new pattern.  The unknowns always make me a little nervous.  It drives me nuts.  Especially now that I have finished (sort of) this top.  It’s so quick and easy.

Anyway, back to the top.  I chose to make view A but without the cuff and waist bands.  Since I have a coverstitch machine, I thought I would just coverstitch the hems in those areas if the top fit.  I picked the size 10 to muslin as I invariably pick too large a size when I’m new to a pattern.  Of course, this bit me in the butt.  Sigh.  I think the size 10 is a little on the tight side for me with the fabric I chose, which was a beefy cotton knit (almost like a ponte knit it was so beefy).  It had great stretch, but is pretty stable.  So I have a bit of negative ease going on.  Having said all that, I know I love this top already.  It’s drafted really well.  I think I will muslin it again in a size 12 in this same fabric to see what the differences are.

I would love some feedback on the fit of this top on me.  I am used to RTW tops fitting pretty much the same on me as this sz 10 top fits me in these pictures.  I almost always have the pulls from the bust to armscyes.  I always have a little extra fabric at the back, but this is actually better than RTW.  And I always have back fat lines from my bra straps, which I am disappointed to know will probably never be eliminated.  Another big sigh.



What do you think of the ease in this muslin?  Too much negative ease?  It’s comfortable since the knit is stretchy.  I just can’t tell if I like the fit or not in this size.  I guess I will only know when I make up the size 12 later today.  The sleeves are a little snug at the top, but a little too loos at the wrists.



I am not interested in a doing an FBA with darts for this top.  And I have had no success with dartless FBA’s in knits.  So I will not be making any of those adjustments.  If the size 12 works with my bust a bit better, I may add more shaping at the waist to get a more fitted look.  What do you think?

Comment away!

Final thoughts:  I think this is a very versatile knit top draft.  I can see making running tops with wicking fabric, casual tops.  Cute tops with the cowl neck.  T-shirts.  I could even do my ASOS knock off with this pattern!

asos knit leather top


I am very excited about this pattern.  Thanks Tasia!

16 Responses leave one →
  1. March 20, 2013

    Lovely top. While I can’t see the back, I can tell you that I get similar wrinkles in the side back. The only solution I’ve found is to put in a back seam with a taper to the waistline (really a swayback adjustment). Usually I start tapering the seam about 1-2″ below the neckline with maximum taper to at the waist and then to full width at the bottom. When that’s done, you can determine if you need to add to the center front (to add back the circumference that was removed in back). Hope this makes sense. Good luck

  2. Rebecca permalink
    March 20, 2013

    I get those ‘back fat’ lines as well, as do lots of other people from my observations walking behind people in shopping centres. I have been pondering this, and have decided that it is because the back is being pulled forward in this area because I am bigger than a B cup in front. Next top I try, I’m going to do a FBA to see if this helps the back fit better. I did this on the ‘schoolhouse tunic’ I recently made (not adding a dart, just slashing the fabric along the FBA lines) and it worked really well. Although this was out of woven I think it might work with a knit as well.

  3. March 20, 2013

    Have you tried the “cheater FBA” for knits a la Debbie Cook? Just a thought – it’s really easy to do and those definitely look like FBA wrinkles on the front to me.

  4. Jean S permalink
    March 20, 2013

    I used to get the “back fat” lines until I went UP in band size (and, correspondingly, down in cup size).

    Shaping at the waist is a great idea…

  5. March 20, 2013

    I’ve had lots of issues with knit tops being too small for my bust lately, and always run into trouble if I got up in size for the whole pattern. For this top on you, I’d only cut the 12 from the armscyes down – the neck and shoulders seem to fit you really well. And the wrinkles point to needing more room at the bust in particular. The next size up across the back at armscye level and through the bust might prevent the back fat bumps (I know what you mean here! Hate that, myself.) If you make the top of the sleeves a size larger as well, not only will it fit the armscye but it will give you some more room in the upper arm. Then if you find the waist and hip are looser than you want, you can always take them in and shape as you prefer. And, I love the color on you!

  6. March 20, 2013

    It sounds like you want to make a bunch of these so it’s worth getting it perfect even though the “muslin” is definitely wearable. I think if you go up a size then it will be too big in the neck and shoulders which fit you really well. How about just blending between the seamlines, so a 10 at the top, 12 at the bust & upper back and then back to a 10?

  7. March 20, 2013

    I think Allison is right – you don’t want to do an FBA (and I am not sure you need masses of extra room where the FBA would give it) but you do need something. I have personally tried the cut-large and then try and make all the smaller areas smaller but it just doesn’t work (or I can’t make it work). In my case, the FBA is a must-have as the ladies are seriously large…in yours I think Allison’s grading idea plus making the fit looser around the armscye might do the trick. It’s pretty close but worth getting right. You are inspiring me to get on with my second muslin for this top!

  8. March 20, 2013

    Nothing like muslin fitting. I’ve been craving that pattern too.

  9. March 21, 2013

    I second Allison’s idea – use a combination of the 10/12 depending on where you feel like you need more room or less room with this pattern. I have been blending sizes a lot more lately, rather than doing post-tracing adjustments, and it seems to work a lot better/faster to get a nice fit.

  10. March 21, 2013

    Love the colour on you! I’d cut the size 12 and then taper in at the waist/hips and lower sleeve as other’s have said. I do this not only with tops I’ve made but with RTW items too, as I find they are invariably tight on the bust & baggy on the waist…made for square shaped ladies not curves LOL! x

  11. March 21, 2013

    Looks like your first version of this very popular pattern is a great fit! Personally, I have to reconsider the fit anew with each new stretchy tee, so much of the fit issue depends on the stretch of the fabric chosen.

  12. March 21, 2013

    If the shoulders and waist are fine, it is possible that a broad back adjustment would do the trick- I like Trena’s:
    good luck!

  13. March 21, 2013

    You could try using a 10 back and a 12 front and adding a bit at the sleeve side seam/armhole intersection.

    I’ve made this a bunch and fabric choice is huge for me in getting a successful garment. A rayon tissue knit grows like a mofo and you’re taking it in for days. Beefier knits need a bigger size cut. I think your muslin is pretty darn good and really only needs a few tweaks. Soon you’ll have a Renfrew sweat shop going.

  14. March 26, 2013

    I know you’ve already made another one, and I have no sewing advice…but I just wanted to say I think you need a new bra. You look rather flattened out, and not very lifted. I think changing your bra will help with those horizontal lines under the arms (which mean to me that the armhole is too long–a common issue with fuller busts, who need the extra length over the bust apex, not in the armhole zone).

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Pattern Review: Sewaholic Renfrew Knit Top — Wearable Muslin | SEWN
  2. Delusional Vanity Sizing | SEWN

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