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Renfrew Times Two

2013 March 22
by elizabeth_admin

Ok, I took the time to retrace the Renfrew with the cheater FBA of blending sizes from 10 in the shoulders to 12 at the bust and tapering back to 10 below the bust.  Then I cut it out in the same exact fabric so I could compare the two t-shirts side by side.  Oh I also cut a size 12 sleeve at the shoulder tapering to an 8 at the wrists.

And I really don’t see an appreciable difference.  As a matter of fact, I like the unadulterated sz 10 better.  My mom said that the 10/12/10 version is a little boxier, especially at the armscye.  Something about adding to the side seams at the armscye on down, changed the armscye quite a bit.  There’s a lot of extra fabric there, but still the pulling at the bust and all the draglines.  I’m still not impressed with the cheater FBA, folks.  Not one bit.



I know.  It’s hard to tell the difference.  My photographer today was a little cranky, so I couldn’t keep asking him to retake the pictures.  These were the best of the bunch.

Anyway, I think I will just work with the original sz 10 pattern from now on, but with the larger sleeves.  Anybody care to weigh in?


19 Responses leave one →
  1. Meredith P permalink
    March 22, 2013

    I probably missed the reason to not “embrace the darts” and put actual darts in? Once you’re happy with it, it would add maybe 10 minutes of construction to the TNT’d Renfrew? I like the 10, silhouette-wise, but I’d put a real dart in. 🙂 Years back, Marcy Tilton wrote in Threads, and in her book about Tops about darts in Tees. On one she split it in to three smaller darts on each side. It looked really sharp.

    It’s the same judgement call I need to make with a swayback. Do I want to have a CB seam and eliminate it, or just live with the pooling.

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      March 22, 2013

      I don’t really like darts in knit, especially a simple tshirt knit top. Thats why I was not interested in pursuing that avenue. I think the unaltered sz 10 is better too. I’ll just live with the pulls at the bust to armscye. I live with it in ready to wear anyway. :/

  2. March 22, 2013

    I think you should go with the 10 right out of the package. No need to use a size 12 sleeve. If anything, think about lengthing the tee a little. It looks like the in the pictures that the “Cheater FBA” version is longer. It could just be the camera angle. I think the length is more flattering on you.

  3. March 22, 2013

    Can I delete my last comment? My syntax is a disaster.

    Let’s try again:

    I think you should go with the 10 right out of the package. No need to use a size 12 sleeve. If anything, think about lengthening the tee a little. In the pictures, it looks like the “Cheater FBA” version is longer. It could just be the camera angle, but I think the length is more flattering on you.

  4. March 22, 2013

    I like the size 10 out of the envelope but agree totally with tapering the sleeves. They are very wide and the bottom. Looking great.

  5. Kayoticsewing permalink
    March 22, 2013

    You don’t really have to sew a dart, you can rotate them out. Polkadot overload has a post where she rotates out a dart caused by an FBA on her Jalie 2005 top.

    Remnant remains blog has a version of no dart FBA on her blog, in which she explained me how she does it. It’s a cheater version of FBA which seems to work well for her.

    I think there’s another post by vickikate on how to rotate a dart out.

    Hope these helps.

  6. carol permalink
    March 22, 2013

    Ok, here goes baby. Said with all love (I’ve ready EVERY one of your posts and am a devoted fan) and from simular experience. Next cut try angling the center front fold line, at the bottom edge, a distance from the straight fold. This will angle the waist to hip angle while maintaining the nice fit in the neckline and shoulders. I think the drag lines result from not enough A-line at waist to hip median. If all the flare is at the sideseams there is no give in the center. Mark the CF line with a small clip so you can fit off that center. Loves ya. Cbd

  7. K. Patrick permalink
    March 23, 2013

    I am very interested in your posts comparing the fit of the Renfrew, so thank you for sharing! After seeing these two photos side by side, I am convinced that your fit issue is not circumference (as in adding to/ tapering the side seams), but the length. The drag lines under the bust did not change after adding to the circumference, so my thought is that there is not enough length in the front of the shirt to go over your bust and then lay smoothly across your torso. Perhaps you could slash in a bit of length over the bust to the front only, and then just ease it into the side seam (in lieu of adding a dart, just concentrate the ease). It would be right under your arm, so not too obvious, and easing knits is pretty easy and subtle.
    Whether or not you are willing to try a third sample, thanks for letting me share my two cents! Good luck!

    • Wendy permalink
      March 23, 2013

      My TNT tshirt pattern does this. The front is cut fractionally longer but then eased in with a short length of ease/gathering in the side seam where the bust is. This gives a great fit with no need for darts.

  8. Judi permalink
    March 23, 2013

    I agree with your mom. When I looked quickly from one picture to the other…back and forth, the unaltered sz 10 looks waaay better.

  9. Jodie permalink
    March 23, 2013

    Okay, the next weigh in….I have a top that fits great, and I love….knit top but with a dart. For the first few versions I sewed the dart in. But, I then started just converting the darts to gathers instead. I got the benefit of the extra length but no darts. Now I don’t have a need for an FBA, so it’s not a lot of gathers….but I think it might be the solution. I have a sway back too…and it seems to be getting sway-i-er….so the next version will have a centre back seam. I just want the fit to be better.

    However, in the end, it’s what you are happiest with that counts the most.

  10. mrsmole permalink
    March 23, 2013

    If you had a sideways photo you would probably see the main problem where the drag lines are pointing to…bust points. OK the fabric managed to stretch itself across the bust but it has to relax and make these lines just for some relief. A side view would have shown the problem too. You need more ease across the bust level and a bit more length. If you can add length just at the bust level and width the tee will maybe droop a little center front but that can be trimmed. If you were brave enough to slash across the cheater version from side seam to side seam at bust level, you would see the amount you need to let the fabric do what it is supposed to do with screaming. It will open up and you can pin a strip behind the opening. It will help a little but you may still need more fabric added to the side seams. Don’t be afraid to use the next size up in that area while curving it out slightly and curving it back in. It will still look straight on the outside and allow the fabric to slide where it has to go. Even if you add a dart where the drag lines are indicating it wants to be, you still have the issue of not enough fabric lengthwise and width wise. I’d be interested in seeing the back for any issue with sway back alteration so many tee shirt patterns forget to address.
    The sleeves look twisted and will probably look better after hemming.

  11. Janet B permalink
    March 23, 2013

    I think you could use more length in the front. Shams (Communing With Fabric) talked about a vertical FBA in the past month or so.

  12. Wendy Hillhouse permalink
    March 23, 2013

    I think K. Patrick has the best answer. Sandra Betzina wrote about putting in gathers for bust ease. Personally, I just go with the dart, because it solves the problems and doesn’t show at all in print fabric, and I just don’t care that it shows in solids. If you’re going to use this pattern a lot, it’s worth spending a little more time to get it right. Keep going!

  13. March 23, 2013

    I think the straight size 10 looks brilliant, and i love the colour (which really suits you).

  14. March 23, 2013

    I agree with going with the size 10 out of the envelope and tapering the sleeves. I’m not one for putting darts in my t-shirts either. =)

  15. March 24, 2013

    A FBA will add in depth under the bust and eliminate some of the drag line that appear in both versions. You don’t need a dart to do this.

  16. M-C permalink
    March 26, 2013

    Another cheater version: add 1″ or whatever to your front, the whole thing. Ease the extra in the top side seam, within the first few inches, just pulling both pieces together. Presto! A dart, without seaming, and ever so slight gathering hidden under the arm.

  17. Quincunx permalink
    April 4, 2013

    The NECKLINE on the unaltered sz. 10 sits a bit lower and a is great deal more attractive. What a difference a centimeter makes!

    Now, why that is so when most of what you altered is below the shoulder, I cannot tell, but it’s worth diagnosing.

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