A Lady Renfrew

About a year ago, when I was still new to sewing with knits, I decided to adapt the Sewaholic Renfrew View  into a dress. I had several metres of a gorgeous soft russet red (viscose?) jersey that I’d bought for a Euro a metre when I lived in the Netherlands. Having made the Renfrew once before, in a turquoise ponte, I felt confident cutting into my russet jersey.

Unfortunately, everything from that point on went from bad to worse… The fabric had stretched really unevenly during pre-washing, it was really hard to find the grain (it was a ‘circular knit’ and had also twisted during pre-washing), and it had much more stretch than the stable ponte I had worked with before.

Although the finished dress was wearable, it stretched out during wear, so by the end of the day it was saggy (never, ever good!) Basically it was a disaster! I didn’t take any photos so I can’t show you, but at least I learnt a lot of lessons about sewing with knits, which helped me with the reincarnated version this year!

After the success of my last Lady Skater, I was keen to try the pattern again – and after seeing Lauren’s ‘Lady Renfrew‘ – mash up between the Lady Skater and Renfrew, I decided to give the dress version another go!

Adapting the pattern:
As I knew both the Renfrew and Lady Skater fit me fairly well across the chest and shoulders, I decided to stick with the Renfrew for the bodice, and then tapered to the waist to match the Lady Skater skirt. I then sewed up the dress using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Having learnt from previous knit projects, I decided to stabilise the neckline with clear elastic (at a 1:1 ratio), as well as stabilising the shoulder seams and waist seam with clear elastic. This helps to stop the neckline stretching out as you wear it. It does mean you use a lot of elastic, but it’s worth it!

The end result is a very cosy dress:

Lady Renfrew!

Fabric: Misc. Sweatshirting from Minerva Crafts’ sale section at £3/ m (there’s definitely a high poly content, but it still feels nice!)
2.5m Fabric used for dress = £7.50Around 2m Clear elastic used = £2

Total cost: £9.50!



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