A Renfrew Sweatshirt


I will freely admit that when I first started sewing I was completely taken in by things that were "new."

New pattern?  I'll make it.

New fabric?  I'll take it.

We'll just ignore the fact that I really don't need either of them.

For me, it's a terrible trap that I have to work hard not to fall into.  There's the whole issue of consumerism (which is ironic considering the fact that so many of us sew in part to avoid consumerism) but there's also the issue of losing appreciation for all the things that have worked well so far as we chase after the latest and greatest.  You know, like Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz.  Or something like that.

In any case, as I work my way through sewing some basics for the fall I keep coming back to this idea of rifling through what's already in my own "backyard" before I go searching for my "heart's desire" all over the internet and all through fabric stores.

One of the first basics that I knew that I wanted to make for myself was a sweatshirt from the Renfrew pattern.  Actually, I should say "re-make" for myself because I made one ages ago but I ended up getting rid of it because it was far tighter than I would have liked it to be.  When sewing it up the first time I apparently didn't take into account that sweatshirt fabric has very little stretch so it was quite fitted once all was said and done.  Fortunately I learned my lesson the first time around and this time I cut out the shirt one size larger than my recommended size.  While I was sewing it up I started to worry that it still wouldn't be roomy enough so I sewed the sides together with a slightly smaller seam allowance (somewhere between 3/8 and 1/2 inch) to give myself a tiny bit of extra wiggle room and it seems to have worked out just fine.

I like to think of this as my "fancy" sweatshirt.  It's a totally cozy, cuddly, and warm sweatshirt but with a funnel neck and a more fitted cut it's a little, well, fancier (if a sweatshirt can, in fact, be fancy). The fabric is the most awesome peachy/salmony color that you ever did see and these photos do not do it justice.  Earlier this month I taught a week-long class in southern Washington and I managed to pop over the border into Portland for the world's fastest shopping trip into Bolt Fabric.  This is one of two the two beauties that I bought during that whirlwind trip.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take this sweatshirt off because summer is still blessing us with its presence and it way too hot to be wearing this thing around!


  1. Looks great on you! Love the color!

  2. You've really summed up my thoughts in this post. I've found myself getting 'sucked in' to buying more patterns and fabric when I have more than enough. I watched "The true cost" last week and it was incredibly impactful. I also thought that I was avoiding consumerism by not buying clothes, but taking a hard look at my fabric purchasing I realised that I'm still part of the problem. So thank you for another reminder. Your sweatshirt looks fab!

  3. This is so practical!!! And yes, I've totally been having that "Why do I keep buying new shit instead of using the stuff I have?!" crisis the past few months, combined with the more basic, "I don't really NEED any new clothes!" So I made a quilt. We all have our methods. ;-)

  4. Cute sweatshirt! I love to tweak a pattern to get different styles from it. So much better than buying new ones. But I know all about wanting to buy new sewing things, too. I just gave two garbage bags of fabric to the thrift shop today

  5. It looks great!

  6. Oh wow, my girls and me have just been through this. Less clothes but more outfits, it works!
    You look gorgeous in that colour.


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