I did a lot of job-y things this weekend. Saturday was so cold. I spent much of the day keeping warm and when I rallied in the afternoon, I spent it tracing patterns and cutting fabric (and cooking and cleaning and laundering and all the other things that go with Saturday). Yesterday, I was super organised. I got up early, went to Ikea and did grocery shopping before the rain started at lunchtime. I had been hoping to get some Christmassy biscuit cutters that are listed on the website but they’ve been out of stock for ages. I got a few other things, though, like these lights. We have a rope light that we put in the front window but it has slowly been breaking the last two years so I think we’ll retire it this year and replace them with these. Suction cups! Battery operated! I also got some other decorations and picture frames. When I got home, I took a student who’s preparing for auditions next week and after that, I was ready to sit down and be quiet. This is the result.

Pattern: The by-now-quite-famous Renfrew top by Sewaholic.

Fabric: About 1.75m of what seems to be a double knit. I bought it in April in Hickey’s in Galway; it was marked down from €20 a metre to about €8 so I bought 2m.

I cut a size 6 and the finished garment measurement of 35″ bust was spot on.

I tried it on before sewing on the cuffs and lower band and found that both sleeves and body were well long enough without them. What I did was overlock these edges, press them up about 3cm and stitch them down with my twin needle. I’ve heard all manner of horror stories of edges stretching out by using a twin needle but I had no problem here. I think maybe the structure of the fabric helped in this case.

The only downside, to me, is how low the round neck is. If I were making the version without the cowl, I would definitely raise the neckline a good 10cm.

The instructions are really clear and it came together very easily. I think it took me no less than 2 hours to sew. I should probably add that I was careful to use a ballpoint needle and take time to adjust the tension a bit on my sewing machine – it’s usually at ‘5’ and I turned it to about ‘8’. I just used my regular presser foot, too. Although it was really brilliant having the overlocker to finish things off, I see now that it is not totally essential for sewing knits. If I didn’t have an overlocker and I sewed my pieces together as usual and finished my edges by zigzagging them, it would be totally fine too. It helps that this fabric did not fray or shed one little bit while I was sewing it.

Here’s how I’m wearing it today – with my grey wool dress from last year.

I think there will definitely more versions in my future!

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