Renfew 2.0 and a First Birthday

8 Jun

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So here's my second version of the Sewaholic Renfrew top that I made a few weeks ago. I chose the 3/4 sleeve cowl neck version for this incarnation. As you can see from the wrinkly sleeve bands, these "3/4 length" sleeves are more like elbow length on me. Next time I will lengthen them a bit to get a true 3/4 length. I cut this top from the same modified pattern as my last Renfrew but this one is a lot looser in the armpits. All I can say is that it is because of the fabric (this one is a really lightweight jersey). Be warned that the less stable your fabric, the more you will have to take in your seams. Aside from that, my only other issue (and it is very, very minor) is that the back of the neck is a little loose. Next time I will cut the cowl in a smaller size than the neck opening to eliminate this problem.

Version 2.0 improvements include cutting the sleeve and armbands 2 sizes smaller and stretching them as I sewed them on to ensure a snug fit. I didn't want another loose waistband like I had on my last version. This change solved the problem and the waistband is perfect! Also, the cowl on this version is awesome! It is pretty and drapey and it doesn’t show your goodies when you bend over.

All in all, I highly recommend this pattern. The second time around, I spent about 4 hours from start to finish on this shirt, and that included making some stupid mistakes that I had to fix. Next time (and there will be a next time soon), I bet it will take 3 hours or less.

I also completed a kitchen project recently, this cute ruffled cake for my friend’s daughter’s first birthday. My friend, Jenny, asked if I could make her little girl, Dublin, a banana-flavored, ruffled birthday cake with colors that matched the ocean and a dress sewn by her late great-grandmother. I was happy to oblige and went straight to my favorite banana cupcake recipe and made a double batch of the batter for a three layer 9″ round party cake plus a two-tiered smash cupcake. I filled the caked with salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream and frosted it with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. I was afraid the buttercream would be too sophisticated for a toddler’s palate, but Dublin seemed to enjoy it more than anybody, and that made my day :)

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This was Dublin's first taste of something sweet and there wasn't a crumb left when she was done!

The only modification I make from the recipe I linked above is using my own caramel recipe. If anyone is interested, let me know and I will be happy to post it.

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12 Responses to “Renfew 2.0 and a First Birthday”

  1. Jenny June 9, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    Thank you again! Dublin loved the cake, and so did we. AND the top you made looks awesome, of course. You’re so talented. My sewing skills are slowly improving. Definitely helps that you gave me my first sewing lesson :)

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 9, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      You’re welcome! I will bake for Dublin anytime since she is such an eager customer ;) I wish you lived closer so we could sew together more often.

  2. Lynn June 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Next time you should try to get the frosting to match those gorgeous eyes! Your top looks great – wish me luck…

  3. Vanessa June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Wow, you are so talented! I am really impressed. Even though I like to think I can do a lot of things, I am not even close to your skills level :). I am just slowly improving my baking and sewing skills. Maybe one of these days we could cook or sew together. Love the ruffle cake btw, that’s what I am planning on making for Victoria’s cowgirl party this year. I am soooo excited.

  4. Claudia August 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    This is a great review of the Renfrew top. I bought it on presale and haven’t touched it yet (my excuse is I was moving a lot). I was concerned with the idea of a “stable” knit, but your description of the jersey you used and how that affected the fit- that really helped. Can’t wait to get started on mine!

    • Susie Homemaker, MD August 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      You should definitely give it a go. It is quick to sew up and has such a great fit! Would love to see your finished version :)

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