Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Third Sewaholic Renfrew: Muppetlicious Texture

My third Sewaholic Renfrew

I'm still behind on posts and this post, like the last one, is brought to you courtesy of another snow day!  I think this is our 4th snow day this year, plus 1 early dismissal and 1 delayed opening.  Some years there is hardly any snow at all but this year is super, super snowy.

Thanks for all your comments on my serged renfrew from my last post.  I absolutely love love love that one and have worn it at least 4 times already.  (Fitting the Renfrew was covered in this post).  

When I saw this fabric at the ASE last September, I *knew* I had to have it!  I bought it in Emma Seabrooke's booth.  It's soft, has 25% crosswise stretch, and has tons of texture.  I also knew it was venturing into Muppets territory with this fabric, but I was willing to take the risk.
my Muppets shirt fabric
A bonus is this fabric has very subtle stripes, so graining it and cutting it out was super easy.  Also I did myself a favor and traced the front and back pattern pieces full sized so I wouldn't be cutting on the fold.   Too much shiftiness with knits to be cutting on the fold.
wrong side of Muppets shirt fabric
Wrong side of fabric is shown above.

What I wasn't expecting was how big that collar would be in such a textured fabric.  I'm not sure what's going on with my face here, but that collar is mighty big.  actually during the day it "settles down" and flattens out a bit

My third Sewaholic Renfrew


My third Sewaholic Renfrew

In this version I added some bust darts and as a result, there are no diagonal drag lines down the front.  The fabric has so much texture that the darts blend in.
My third Sewaholic Renfrew
No thumbholes this time; I was worried I might totally turn into a muppet if I went with the thumb holes.

There is so much texture to this fabric that all the seams blend in to each other.


My third Sewaholic Renfrew



Here are the dress form shots.  You can see how tall I can get the collar to be, but it doesn't stay that way.
My third Sewaholic Renfrew:  fuzzy!
My third Sewaholic Renfrew:  fuzzy!

My third Sewaholic Renfrew:  fuzzy!
My third Sewaholic Renfrew:  fuzzy!

I sewed this shirt on the sewing machine and then serged, just like the last one.  I like having the stitching from the machine so I have my guide for cutting.  Also basting helps with the fit.  I basted the arms as entirely 1" SA but this fabric has half the crosswise stretch as my last two versions so I actually needed   5/8" SA in the bicep and 1" in the forearm.

The serged edge looks fine when the right sides are together, but as you can see where I serged the raw edge for the sleeve hem, it had difficulty with all that texture.  Looks ugly, but I don't think  could have done better than that with, ahem, all that texture.  I don't have a wide range of serger thread colors so I went with navy.  Turquoise was already on the serger but I felt the navy looked better so I changed it.  I have changed my serger thread a few times this year, and it is not so scary anymore.  I think in 2014 it started off brown, then turquoise, then navy, and since this shirt I have changed it to white.  My main tip is before changing the thread, serge the fabric first in a few test samples, even though the thread is the wrong color. Get all the settings etc right first and have a great test sample.  Then change the thread and run another test sample.  I have been getting good results doing that...for me, if the sample is really bad after changing the thread, I clip all threads and rethread and then run the sample again.  That way I know it's a problem with the rethreading and not with how this fabric is behaving with my serger.

My third Sewaholic Renfrew:  fuzzy!
I stablilized the shoulder seam and pressed to back.  Raw edges are all serged.  Love love love how the inside looks with serged edges.
My third Sewaholic Renfrew:  fuzzy!
I blind hemmed the hems.  I remember back at PR Day 2011 in Austin,  PR member Leslie in Austin wore a sweater knit shirt she made (the Kwik Sew cowl neck one) and I asked her how she hemmed it.  "With my blind hemmer" she said.  I had no idea what that meant.  Now I understand there is a machine called a blind hemmer, but I used the "stretch blind hem" setting on my sewing machine and it worked like a charm.
blind hem is blind
That's the end of my sleeve.  Blind hem is blind.

So this fabric was actually quite easy to work with.  Highly recommend!

Ok, so last post Vanessa was commenting on serging sleeve caps.  I practised first.  I had a little bit of left over fabric from my first Renfrew so I cut out basically short sleeves and the armhole front/back and practiced first.  I have been doing a lot of pracicting on every technique before I try it to get the tension right and the technique down.  Also every knit is different so....

Here is the inside of one of my two practice sleeve caps.
interior sleeve cap practice
And here's the outside:
sleeve cap practice
I also practiced pressing the sleevecap on my ham. This made me feel more confident when it was time to sew up the real deal.

Ok, be careful out there if you're in a snowy clime.  I got a flat tire hitting a ginormous pot hole and I fell outside after taking a picture of the snow on the trees (though that was more to do with my own inattention than the ice itself).  It really shook me up!

Be well!


12 comments:

  1. At my recent sew 'n tell, my friend showed up with a cowl neck renfrew top out of a doubleknit.
    Your new one is a great color for you.
    We're all done with winter - spring starts for us - now.
    Crocuses & Snowdrops are blooming.

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  2. I adore the cowl neck version of the Renfrew and your fabric is awesome and so warm looking! I recently made my daughter a velour cowl neck top and she loves it and gets so many complements at school on it so between that and yours, I'm wanting to find great textured fabrics to make some more Renfrews for myself!

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  3. Another awesome Renfrew!! I love the texture, it adds so much interest to the garment. Thanks for including your practice sleeve caps. It really encourages me to practice mine as well!

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  4. Another winner. Great job and be careful out there.

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  5. Your Renfrew is so suitable for your snowy weather.
    Your serger skils are great and I'm taking notes as we speak. Be well Kyle.

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  6. I love the texture of this top, I just hope people aren't tempted to run their fingers through the fabric while you're wearing it! It looks very cosy for the crazy weather you're having

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  7. Oh, I don't know, I wouldn't mind it if folk stroked me enviously when I wore this top, lol. The giant cowl brings it right into modernity. Which muppet does this bring to mind? I'd say my favorite, Grover, but he was blue, not burgundy. Don't worry about matching your serger thread to your garments -- you're not trying to exactly replicate rtw, but instead to have personal couture. How better to point that out to any (weird? creepy?) people who are examining the insides of your clothing?

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  8. And what's wrong with dressing like a muppet? Ahem. Seriously though, it's a lovely cosy top. The giant collar is cool.

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  9. I love the texture of your fabric for this top. Great looking Renfrew. You have inspired me to make several of these. Just need to find some similar fabric.

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  10. Isn't it interesting how the same pattern in different fabrics is utterly transformed? You look so warm and cozy! Great color for you.

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  11. Muppetlicious -- love it! Great version, especially with the dramatic cowl. Stay safe out there!

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  12. That cowl is the perfect proportion. Sorry about the fall -- very unpredictable weather conditions this winter, for sure.

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