My declaration yesterday has indeed come to fruition, and I have made my second cowl-neck Renfrew. First up, I pulled my purple one out of the dryer to put on Trudy, my dressform and I knew it was still slightly damp, but I’m a bit dismayed at all of the moist spots that the camera sees that the naked eye does not. Photography is not my strong suit, so bear with me on this.
For this version, I used a random length of rib knit I bought at Joann’s ages ago. The color was nice, I enjoyed working with it and while it’s not the nicest material I have sewn with, it did make up a comfortable and useful winter top. Except, look at that cowl. It’s doubled over and stands up on its own. Yeah, not a fantastic match of fabric and pattern. I have 2 more cuts of the same fabric in two other colorways and I’m thinking they would be awesome as the scoop neck version. Even more frustrating than the fact that the cowl is so bulky is that is made from two pieces with a seam, which in my cheap-o knit is more obvious than I would like-
Seam and fading visible on the bottom edge of the folded over cowl
I am a huge fan of cowls, even if they are not really my best look, so I decided to try again, making the same view with a poppy colored rayon-lycra blend, which I hoped would have sufficient drape for the cowl. This time, I decided to eliminate the seam running along the edge of the cowl. I didn’t take out the seam allowance, assuming it would not matter since it’s only a little bit of extra length.
The pattern piece has a nice shape to it, considering that most cowls I’ve done are nothing but rectangles, but the curve on the top edge was clearly eliminated when I flipped the pattern piece. I only broke two needles getting the serger re-threaded and learned that my serger hates the spools on old Coats & Clark Dual Duty (the mercerized cotton coated polyester before they switched to 100% poly) with the rough edges. Live and learn. That’s what I get for only having bought 2 cones of red Maxi-Lock when I was last stocking up on serger thread. After than bit of frustration I spent an hour swearing at the jersey for curling insanely even knowing that it’s an inherent characteristic of jersey, but really, I do have better luck using way small seam allowances when dealing with this stuff and the serger. The only other deviation I made from the pattern instruction was choosing to use a quarter-inch seam allowance for the side and underarm seam since I was looking for a looser fit through the midsection. I should have gone out to 5/8″ for the underarm as I find it a bit too baggy under the arms, but as I’m forever pushing long sleeves up to my elbow it shouldn’t pose a problem in wearing appearance.
I’m really happy with the end result since the cowl is definitely more what I envisioned way back when I bought the pattern. I really like the band finish for the waist and sleeves as I don’t have a coverstitch and find twin needles can be an exercise in frustration particularly after six months of wear and laundering and every single twin needle hem I’ve made starts unraveling. Anyways, the entire shirt can be done on the serger and this one took 2.5 hours from first laying out pattern pieces to taking pictures, which is totally a win in my book. My usual tendency is to remake several items from the same pattern in a short amount of time, so don’t be surprised if I make one or two more Renfrews before I get bored and move onto something new.