Con-frew, or Ren-cord: A TNT Mash-Up

Cashmerette Concord Tee with Renfrew Cowl

5 years ago, when I started sewing, it was a simpler time for indie patterns. There were just a few major companies, and only a small selection of patterns. Sewaholic Renfrew was (rightfully) a runaway hit – a tee designed to be sewn on just a sewing machine! I made so many before newer, shiner patterns started distracting me away.

I dug out my Renfew pattern last week because I fancied a cowl, and was shocked to find my TNT tracing was a Size 12!!! Nowadays I’d fit a 16… which by the way, is the largest size. I guess in those 5 years I’ve really come to expect a wider size range in any pattern.

Cashmerette Concord Tee with Renfrew Cowl

On to the shirt at hand! It’s a Concord body, with the Renfrew cowl attached. I had to add a few inched to the cowl to make it fit the Concord’s scoop neck, but otherwise these two pattern blended nicely. Because the fabric is fairly stable, I also added some ease as I cut out the pattern. A little more ease would get rid of those wrinkles on the back!

Cashmerette Concord Tee with Renfrew Cowl

The fabric is a jacquard double knit from the Fabricland ends table. It has gold threads woven with soft black patches, and a rather scratchy backing. I don’t notice the texture when I wear it though, so that’s ok! Design-wise, I wanted something slightly glam but work appropriate, so I went with a top instead of a dress.

Cashmerette Concord Tee with Renfrew Cowl

And that’s it! A simple top, but it reminds me of when I started sewing knits and how things have changed since. Three cheers for the sewing community! Where do you think we’ll be in another 5 years? What new expectations will we take for granted by then?


16 thoughts on “Con-frew, or Ren-cord: A TNT Mash-Up

    1. I’m cold ALL THE TIME! My body just doesn’t bother to heat my extremities. I used to always be warm, but then I moved to the tropics, moved home to Canada, and was never warm again! 😉

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  1. Lovely frankenpatterning! It seems to me that much of what’s been coming out lately are wardrobe staples and easy to wear everyday pieces– no complaints here, since simple sewing is all I seem to manage these days. But it’ll be interesting to see how much of that continues and how much things swing back towards statement pieces in the indie world.

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    1. Great point! The CSC group makes it clear to me that there is a whole world of comfy basics knit patterns out there, that seem to be targeted at moms doing the school run, as far as I can tell. Leggings, tunic, waterfall cardigan, to infinity! Usually with kids patterns, too… and quite a lot of ruffles and peplums. All of which are things I also like to wear, but there’s something distinct about the marketing and photo-instructions that makes these patterns seem different from what I consider the average indie. (I hope I’m not sounding horribly snooty about this… it’s just seriously a side of indies that is totally different to the one I see in the blogs I follow!)

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  2. Oooh, that’s lovely. I love a good Frankenpattern; I’ve just converted the free Deer and Doe Plantain tee to a dress, I made one yesterday and immediately cut out another. I’d love one in the fabric of your top.

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    1. Thank you! I get to a weird stressed stage when I’m fabric shopping if I’ve only picked up solids or neutrals… this was the result of one of those panics! “It’s patterned! It’s glittery! I must have it, even if neither black or gold is great on me!” was my thought process. I’m glad it came out alright!

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    1. I don’t know where Fabricland has been getting an endless supply of 1m long jaquard knits ends from for a whole year or more… but they just seem to keep appearing in stores!

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      1. We’ve gotten shipments in at my store for the last three years for sure. Most of those knit ends seem to be factory discards (left over from garment factory runs) so there’s a high proportion of flaws and other issues, but also some cool fabrics we don’t see otherwise.

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  3. That top is stunning! I love a good cowl neck and that one rocks. The fabric is utterly stunning. It looks very fancy indeed. Not going to comment on going up pattern sizes from this end, just mentioning that I my patterns now come in a differently labelled packet. 😀 I think that we might see more personalisation of patterns in future with more bespoke sizing. Maybe that is just wishful thinking to save me from grading everything up. Xx

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