A couple weeks ago I met up with several bloggers from the Chicago area and Lauren from Lladybird when Lauren made a last-minute visit from Nashville. I was so pleased to meet these wonderful ladies: Jen from Grainline Studio, Meg from Meg the Grand, Tasha from By Gum, By Golly, Debbie from Makizy Sews, Liz from zilredloh, Michelle from tres bien ensemble, and Mari from Disparate Disciplines. I’m stealing pictures of us from Lauren’s blog, since I didn’t have a camera with me and the camera sucks on my phone (along with everything else, but we won’t go into that!).
As you can see, I’m wearing my Renfrew in the second photo. I was so flattered when Lauren told me that she admired the “v” in my v-neck that I promised it would be the first post on the blog I had already begun to plan by the end of the weekend. So here we are! Not a very exciting first post, but I like to give the public what they want.
I saw SO. MANY. Renfrews being made over the past year or so, and I always thought I’d hate it. I’m not much of a t-shirt wearer, and I thought the band along the bottom would be unflattering for my shape. I finally gave in a few months ago, and I’m so glad I did. The Renfrew is amazing, ya’ll. First of all, there are so many options. I’ve since made a scoop neck and a dress based on the scoop neck, both soon to be featured here. I love all the different sleeve lengths, and the band is actually quite flattering on me. Believe me, I NEVER wear t-shirts out of the house unless I’m running, but I wear my Renfrew all the time. It goes with skirts and jeans and can look casual or slightly dressy depending on what you pair it with. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here because everyone on earth has already made a Renfrew, but if you happen to be a holdout like me, seriously, go make one right now.
My measurements indicated I would be a size 14, so that’s the size I made my muslin (I muslin every last thing I make, no matter how simple or fool-proof it is). I like a little more ease in my knits than the pattern is apparently drafted for, so I widened out to a 16 below the waistline. I feel much more comfortable in the shirt with a little extra room there. Aside from that, the only change I made was to shave off the tiniest little piece at the underarm of the bodice – a quarter inch on each piece – because it seemed like I had some excess fabric under my arms.
I made the v-neck first because I feel like it’s the most flattering silhouette for large-busted people. I used to wear really high-necked things because I thought that would somehow disguise my enormous bust, but all it really did was make me look super matronly. I’ve since learned that neckline detail that visually breaks up the bust area is what will minimize the appearance of a large bust. Just a little pro tip for you.
As you can see in the photo above, I have a bunch of wrinkliness on the back of the shirt at the waist and below. I have no end of problems with swayback/prominent buttocks/terrible posture, and I always have this problem. I can usually fix it with a center back seam or even better, darts on both sides, but that would just look silly on this knit top. I’m not exactly sure what to do about it, so if anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears! I’m not excessively worried about it, because I see RTW shirts looking this way on people all the time, and when I buy RTW, I usually get shirts that are blousy in the back and make me look like a hunchback. So some wrinkling is not a major concern of mine, but better fit would always be nice.
Finally, a close-up of the v, in which I reveal that it’s not precisely perfect. You can see that the line in the center of the v in the neckband is a hair off from the center of the v in the bodice fabric. It’s hardly noticeable, and I’m still really pleased with the top of the v of the neckband – the v is nice and sharp with no puckering. I think if I had been more precise with my topstitching, it would have fixed any appearance that the neckband and bodice don’t quite line up, but I didn’t want to rip stitches out of a knit and risk putting a hole or a run in it.
The fabric this is made out of is quite beefy. My muslin was made out of some gross ITY knit I got at Joann’s from the red tag rack, and it was really drapey and I liked that. I knew this fabric was more substantial, but I didn’t realize quite how beefy it was until I finished it. I didn’t like it when I first made it in July, partially because it was too thick to wear in the summer heat. But in the early fall, I’ve grown to love it, and the beefiness of the fabric means I’m comfortable wearing it with pants. Do you guys get more lumps and bumps with pants than skirts? I do, and I hate it when shirts cling to them. It’s a Sophia doubleknit that I got from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL. I love that I live close enough to Vogue to pick up stuff like this at a moment’s notice. I have a few other Sophia colors for Renfrews in various permutations. I heard cowls are out now and I also heard they’re not for the well-endowed, but I want one, so I’m gonna make one and there’s nothing you can do about it!
Finally, a note about the skirt. I didn’t make it, which is odd because skirts are so easy that I usually make them myself. But I LOVED this fabric so much when I saw it at Banana Republic that I had to have it. I tried to deny my love for a while, but when I went back and it was on sale for $28, I couldn’t stop myself. While I like to make my own skirts because they’re easy, they’re also something that it makes sense for me to buy right now because I’ve been losing weight and skirts are pretty much infinitely alterable down in size if you’re willing to unpick enough seams. Once I got the skirt home and saw that the tag said it was from the Milly Collection, it immediately made sense to my why I loved it so much. Milly speaks my language – whenever I see Milly fabrics at Emma One Sock, I jump on them right away. I’ve sewn up one in a Tiramisu that I’ll show you soon, but others I’m just hoarding because they’re so beautiful that I’m afraid to sew them, haha!
Well, that’s it for now! I’m looking forward to sharing more of my closet with you all!