Monday, January 12, 2015

Sewaholic Renfrew in chunky sweater knit

Sewaholic Renfew in Sweater Knit
Hi!

Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit
I love the giant collar!!

I made the Sewaholic Renfrew 3x before, in thin sweater knit here and here,  and a fabric that I refer to as Muppets here, but this was my first time sewing the Renfrew in a chunky acrylic sweater knit.
Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit
I purchased this fabric at Haberman's in Royal Oak, MI, before the ASE in Sept 2014.  Fabric.com has what appears to be the same fabric right now if you search on "sweater knit".
Sewaholic Renfew in Sweater Knit
Sewaholic Renfew in Sweater Knit



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This is how I make sure I don't use a cut out piece as a "scrap" during my sewing process--I pin the pieces to my dress form also so they don't get lost
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 I swore I had bought enough to make a sweater dress but it wasn't enough.  I had to get creative to cut out the collar (which is two pieces of fabric).  I should note that I don't actually cut anything on the floor anymore, this was just to get the  layout.  I rough cut the fabric and then cut the piece out on my cutting table with my rotary cutter and cutting mat. I cut it out at the end of 2014 and sewed it up but it was too big at first....

All the deets on how Sunny Gal helped me fit the Renfrew in early 2014 are here.  After making all those adjustments to make the sleeve fit and to make it larger in the bust for fabric with 25-50% stretch (Muppets:  25%; Stone Mtn knit:  50%), it meant it turned out to be quite large in the bust with this fabric which is almost 75% stretch, and I couldn't fill out the extra space without some socks, ha ha.

I had learned that point in the PR "More Knits" class while doing the homework for a half-scale t-shirt (if you sew the exact same size pattern in a less stretchy knit and a more stretchy knit, the less stretchy knit will be smaller and the more stretchy kit will be much much larger) but this was my first practical application and it totally made sense.  I wound up not including the extra length for bust, and sewed with 1" seam allowance in the arms and side seams, and then taking it in a bit more from the bust to the armpit.

Dressform pix (after fitting)
Sewaholic Renfrew
Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit
Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit





I understitched the collar so that the undercollar doesn't peek out.
Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit


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I blind stitched the hems.
Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit
Blind hem is blind


After sewing this and with all this cold weather I want to make the Renfrew like 5 more times in various chunky sweater knits, but I have no more chunky sweater knits in stash, just thin ones.  I'm contemplating taking one of my thin sweater knits in stash and just lenghtening the Renfrew into a dress, or frankenpatterning the Renfrew top onto the V1351 skirt.
Sewaholic Renfrew in creamy sweater knit
It like to baste each seam by machine first, fit, serge, repeat.

Out of the scraps, I made this hat (McCalls 4664) which looks sort of ridiculous when worn together with the sweater.  It is not the right fabric to wear as a hat in super cold weather, but I have made this hat before from fleece and wear the fleece one all the time.
Sewaholic Renfew in Sweater Knit
Sewaholic Renfew in Sweater Knit
Sewaholic Renfew in Sweater Knit
In my post about my new serger, someone asked about Differential Feed, or DF, and what it does.    I always run a test through my serger before serging the real deal to make sure everything's ok.  DF can correct issues with knit fabric being stretched or compressed.

Sewaholic Renfrew
Here this shows that with DF set to N, the fabric is stretched and convexes outward.
But with DF set to 2, the fabric is straight across.
Also note that this sample was 3" wide to start, so the finished serged seam should also be 3" afterward.  Sometimes serging stretches the fabric but not in such a crazy convex shape so it is not as obvious that it is stretched out, but if you measured it before serging, you know if it stretched (or shrank) or not.
You should test stitching horizontally and vertically, as you might need to change the DF for one direction and not the other, or slightly different settings for both.  You may even need yet a different DF setting if you are stitching on the diagonal (like an A-line skirt).


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After all that winter white, here's some random color for your January!  It's green dianthus purchased at Whole Foods.  I take two bunches and arrange them like they're one giant pom-pom, then rubber band them together.  People love to touch them!  Very soft.

Be well!



39 comments:

  1. Wow, they came out really nice. I will have to check them out when I go home next month, if the snow doesn't keep me away.

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    1. Sabrina! I didn't get to try out your suggestion about the Fabric Depot but maybe this year!!!

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  2. Great post with lots of tips & info !!!!

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    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them, MaryEllen!

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  3. I LOVE your Renfrew. That collar is awesome. I have a similar sweater knit from Fabric.com. Hope mine looks as good as yours!

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    1. Thanks! I hope so too! It's a joy to wear!

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  4. Oh it looks so good. I have to be more pedantic about my fitting basics like you are and then I may have some more go to patterns. I don't have a DF overlocker (but just got my sister's serviced - she doesn't sew) so this information is good. I thought it was more for gathering.

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    1. Hi Summer Flies! Yes you can use your overlocker's DF for gathering and you can also use it to correct when you don't want it to gather (like in the case of knits).

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  5. flip up your brim.
    This sweater looks very RTW!

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    1. Thanks! That is what my dad said, that it looks like I bought it in a store. :)
      I like to keep my ears covered so that is why the hat is so long.

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  6. That sweater is beautiful, I love that fabric, great purchase.

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    1. Thanks Lori! The fabric is pretty great. Haberman's has it in purple too!

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  7. Replies
    1. Yay! Your photos on changing the differential on your serger saved me today while sewing thick French terry! <3 thank you! :)

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  8. Really appreciate the tip about attaching the cut pieces to your form. I have come close to thinking up a pattern piece more than once and actually done it once.

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    1. You're welcome! I find it also helps prevent pieces getting lost amongst the mess I create while sewing.

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  9. The fit is spot on! Love this cozy looking top.

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    1. Thanks Shannon! I strive for the perfect fit. :) It is very cozy to wear.

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  10. You have made yourself one awesome looking Renfrew here! The fit looks great, and you're actually tempting me to get some of that chunky knit for myself - even though it's summer here :)

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    1. Thanks Gabrielle!!! Never a bad idea to plan ahead...sew what you feel like making even if it's not the right season. :)

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  11. Lovely sweater what fantastic fabric , havent seen anything like that here in the UK, well done.
    Diana

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    1. Thanks Diana! I don't know of too many places to get chunky sweater knits myself.

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  12. Your sweater looks so comfy and cozy. Perfect for this cold weather! And it fits you beautifully too!

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    1. Awww thanks Tomasa! It is comfy and cozy and I'm loving the fit--my best fitting Renfrew so far.

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  13. Came out beautiful girl! Hmm im feeling inspired to make a mens chunky swrater know! You lookk very beautiful in it!

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    1. Hi Enrique!!! Thanks!! Go for it! Paron has a lot of chunky sweater knits right now, according to the Shop the Garment District blog.

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  14. I absolutely love the sweater. Great job.

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  15. It looks so warm and cozy! I love the hat too, but the picture taken from the back bracket me up. You disappeared!

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    1. Cracked me up. Ugh, auto correct!

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    2. Hee! I know what you mean about disappearing! I think that photo should have been titled "if speedskaters wore sweater knits".

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks Catherine. I love how big and substantial it is--it makes sense that it was designed by a Canadian!!!

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  17. I didn't think you could top the cuteness of the Muppet version, but you have come very close with this one! I can see why you considered a dress version for this knit -- this would be adorable as a dress. Thank you for the serging tip -- I still haven't made a project yet on my new serger -- will definitely remember to test my fabric first!

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  18. You make me want to buy nothing but sweater knits now. Stupid fabric fast! Your top is great!! Thanks for sharing a photo of how differential feed works. I should probably play around with that on my machine. Hah.

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  19. Just gorgeous. It looks like a very expensive, time consuming sweater than someone spent 100s of hours knitting. Love it!

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  20. How cozy and pretty! I guess chunky sweater knit is on the shopping list for 2015?

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  21. What a wonderful sweater-you always make such lovely things, and clothing which is so very well fitted.

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