I started planning my next Mood Sewing Network make back in August. I picked out one of Mood’s fun Liberty of London prints. I downloaded a pattern for a cute, sleeveless BurdaStyle dress. I printed the pattern out and taped it together. I cut out my size and made a few flat-pattern adjustments. Then, just as I was getting ready to make a muslin, the weather shifted here in Seattle and fall appeared. With the chill in the air, I lost all motivation to make a cute summer dress. Instead I wanted something cozy.
While I stalled, debating whether a project counts as an unfinished object (UFO) if the pattern is prepared but the fabric is left uncut, I kept eyeing a pink cotton jersey from Mood that I’d picked out a few months back (no longer available online – sorry! – but check out this one and this one and this one instead). It looked so cozy, and I kept imagining it as a cowl. As the fall weather continued, that imaginary pink cowl became a cowl I wanted to wear right that moment. So, I put aside all of the work I’d already done to prepare the dress pattern and grabbed my tried-and-true (TNT) cowl-neck top pattern: the Sewaholic Renfrew.
Ever since making my first cowl-neck Renfrew back in 2011, I always knew I’d make more. My second one was made in 2013 during my maternity sewing, and, unfortunately, that one hasn’t gotten much wear since that winter given all of the excess fabric it has in the tummy area. But, it was very loved back then. This pink version is my third. Given that it’s now 2015, it seems I’m on an every-other-year schedule for making these cowls! And, I have to admit that I think this one is my favorite!
I made the pattern as shown in view C, only I doubled the height of the waistband to give it a bit of a tunic feel. I really like the length! I almost added the length into the top itself, leaving the waistband as designed, but I worried the waistband would ride up, leading to a baggy top instead of a tunic. I’m still unsure if I like the way the waistband hugs my bum though (I didn’t think to account for the extra bit of width in my hips!), so next time I might try adding more width to the waistband to give my hips a bit more room.
This top’s dirty little secret is the neckband topstitching. I forgot to check my machine’s tension before topstitching the neckline, and after I was finished I immediately realized my mistake when I saw all of the skipped stitches. I tried unpicking the topstitching, only to realize that I was stretching out the neckline. A stretched out neckline seemed worse than a bit of wonky topstitching, so I decided to just stitch over the original topstitching with the correct tension. The second row of topstitching dominates, which means that overall everything looks okay, but I’m thankful that the cowl neck covers the topstitching up for the most part. Lesson learned though: I will not launch right into topstitching without first testing my machine’s settings on a scrap of fabric! All of the rest of the interior seams were finished on my serger.
Even though it was hard for me to set aside my original plans, I’m so happy that I decided to make this cowl instead. I feel great in it, and it fits right into my life, whether I’m out and about or chasing my daughter around the house. I think this cowl is going to get a lot of wear until the weather warms up again!