Everybody needs a great basic t-shirt pattern in their armoury, right?
This might just be mine. It’s the Sewaholic Renfew top, a complete dinosaur of the lightning-fast indie pattern scene, but still going strong. Heck, it’s been sitting unopened in my stash for almost two years!
- You don’t need to master, or even buy, a twin needle. Unlike lots of t-shirt patterns, this one doesn’t use a turn-and-twin finish for the hem and the sleeves – it uses bands instead.
- Like all Sewaholic patterns, it’s designed for pear shapes. So if you’re a pear, all that grading out from bust to waist and waist to hip is already done for you.
- There are three sleeve lengths and three necklines to choose from – V-neck, scoop and, for something a bit different, a cowl neck.
I went with the scoop neck and short sleeves for my first version, mainly because I didn’t have much fabric to play with.
This is a mystery lightweight, slippery jersey that I picked up at Royal Fabrics in Leamington Spa at the start of the year. It’s a kind of ashy/pewter brown, and right now, it reminds me of drinking chocolate powder… It’s not a hugely stable knit, but the recovery is good, so I thought I’d give it a go before trying anything with stripes. Looking at these pictures, it’s a little too slinky for this pattern, but it looks fine under a cardigan or a jacket, so I’ll settle for that for a first attempt.
I made the straight size 14 with the scoop neck and the short sleeves, just adding around an inch to the length above the waistline. It’s turned out pretty well, although I think I’d add 1/2″ to the short sleeve length in future, and I’m going to chew over possibly switching to the size 12 with an FBA. Opinions welcome – would the fit be more critical in a heavier knit?
If you’re new to sewing t-shirts, there’s lots of help available on the Sewaholic blog.
Like all t-shirt patterns it’s incredibly quick to construct on an overlocker. I used my ordinary sewing machine for three steps: sewing the shoulder seams, adding clear elastic to stabilise these and to zigzag around the neckband.
That last one is going to divide opinion; lots of people prefer to use a twin needle. While that probably does look a little more professional, zigzagging was an awful lot easier…
I’m going to wear this on heavy rotation for a few weeks to see if I’d like to unleash this pattern on some of the other lengths of jersey that are lurking in my stash. Meanwhile, I’ve been running up a second version for my sister – I’ll post that one soon.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a Merry Christmas – with plenty of time to sew!