Sewaholic Renfrew & Yogic Ramblings

Breaking news! Have you seen Sewaholic’s new pattern? You can find out all about it here.

I was lucky enough to be invited to make this up as a pattern tester. I loved the process of feeding back! I felt like a good little student, filling out Tasia’s questionnaires, carefully considering the process, making notes.

This is a very simple and accessible pattern. Tasia recommends using fabric that has less than 5% spandex content. Shopping on Walthamstow market, it’s impossible to know the content of any fabric! (And I WAS going to shop on the market. Jersey anywhere else seemed ludicrously expensive. Hello, John Lewis, I am looking at you!)

If you don’t know the content of your fabric either, my top tip is the stretch test. Pinch two sections of the fabric and pull apart. If the jersey is really stretchy, you probably don’t want to use it on a make like this – the fabric will just stretch out of shape during the construction and wearing. You need something fairly stable.

This is also a quick make. As ever, Sewaholic’s instructions are perfectly transparent and clear. The  cuffs on the wrists and waist hem are inspired – your jersey makes will never be so neat or well-structured! I imagine this project being a great stash buster. Those lengths of jersey that have been sat around for years? Now’s your chance to run up a whole new set of T-shirts.

Sewaholic makes great patterns. Fact. But I think a moment should be taken to acknowledge what a great teacher Tasia is, also. She must pour hours of her life into her sewalongs and technique posts. It’s all incredibly generous of her. Thank you, Sewaholic!

I have wondered about adapting this pattern to make myself some yoga T-shirts. For those of you who do yoga, don’t you find it really tricky to get just the right cut of T-shirt? Not too short, not too long, not too baggy, not too tight, not too warm, not too thin. Something that won’t fall down round your head in a shoulder stand but isn’t so clingy that you have to gaze at your little, round, pot belly during a forward bend! These things matter, people! But go to a yoga specialist clothing supplier and feel the blood drain from your face at the prices. That much? For a T-shirt?!

Have you noticed? I’ve copied Tasia’s version of this top almost exactly, including photo poses. I’m such a loser!

So what do you think of the Renfrew? And do you have yoga stories to share?

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49 Responses to Sewaholic Renfrew & Yogic Ramblings

  1. gail says:

    I love your description of what makes a good yoga t-shirt – spot on!! Especially the bit about not having to look at our little pot bellies in forward bends! *giggle*

  2. Marie says:

    Oh Karen, you made me laugh out loud with your yoga t-shirt interlude ;o) I didn’t know what I thought to this pattern before, but I’m pretty sure I love it now. Your version (especially the print) is something I can actually see myself wearing, so I’m definitely inspired to give it a go sometime. Quick question: did you sew it up on a regular sewing machine, or using an overlocker?

    • An extremely good question, Marie. I made mine on my overlocker, but part of Tasia’s motivation for this pattern was to have a jersey make that could be sewn on a sewing machine. You don’t need to own an overlocker to make this!

      • Marie says:

        Sweet! I do own an overlocker, but I’m too scared to sew anything other than finishing seams on it yet! This would be the perfect chance to use it properly mind, but it’s good to have the choice ;o)

  3. Joanne says:

    Oh I love it! I’m very jealous as I want want want this pattern. It’s so nice to get a good casual separate (god I sound like my mother now but hopefully you know what I mean). Good tips on testing the stretch factor of jersey fabric too – will be very handy when perusing the ‘stow market. All in all a brilliant (and uber wearable) make Karen 🙂

  4. Lisa says:

    That is a gorgeous print Karen it makes it nicer than just a basic top. I wish I lived near a place that sells fabric so cheap it’s just not fair …*stamps foot*

  5. Love your version. The cowl neck really appeals to me. I think it’s flattering and it looks like that won’t be dangerous to lean forward in.

  6. Leah says:

    OMG! you are so right about John Lewis and their jersey fabrics! I picked up a roll in there the other day, it was £53 a meter! WHAT THE HELL!

    Your top looks really good!

    I totally understand the thing with the yoga tops. I used to do trampolining at school, every time I came down fast the air would catch my top and it would end up around my ears, the boys playing basketball would get a eyeful and I would go bright red, we had to wear a P.E kit so I took to wearing cotton ballet leotards underneath, it was a bit warm sometimes but t worked!


    • Ha, ha – that’s a great story! And yes, John Lewis seems to become more and more ridiculous in their price ranges. MacCullough & Wallis has a much wider range of fabric and much more quality, but they still have some fabrics that are reasonably priced. Really, understanding your market is understanding that we don’t all have the same number of pennies in our purses.

  7. Suzie says:

    Oh this top is lovely! I have to say that the style really suits you, you look great! I have never really been interested in sewing basics like t-shirts, but seeing more of these Renfews may be changing my mind, especially with those cuff and hem bands.

  8. Lauren says:

    I love the Refrew & I was excited to see the email in my inbox – not to mention Tasia’s stripey version, in an eerily similar stripe to the jersey I picked up a couple of weeks ago 🙂 I love making tshirts, I just think jersey is so much fun to play with!

  9. Louise says:

    I liked this when I got the email from Tasia and I like it even more seeing it on you. I’m looking forward to getting this pattern and trying it out, need to find a cheap jersey retailer though, maybe a trip to Fabricland is calling………

  10. shivani says:

    great make – I love what I’ve seen of this pattern so far, so I’m already v tempted to splurge come pre-order time!

    too true re yoga tops. Also, what is it with yoga pants? why do these have to be low-rise? I find at yoga classes, I’m usually exposing myself in some way. thank goodness for ginormous granny-pants. (TMI?)

    • Now, here’s the thing, Shivani. I recently did buy some yoga pants (in the sale, mind) from Sweaty Betty and they are inspired as they have a really deep, high waistband so that even when you’re bending backwards your modesty and comfort will be intact. I love them! I think they’re probably a bit like maternity trousers, but I care me not! It’s a dangerous thing, discovering comfort wear… Granny pants? Every girl’s gotta have some!

      • Definitely worth studying the yoga clothes for the key styling features – I seem to spend 10% of any class pulling things up or down, and yet the price of yoga clothes means I don’t buy anything specificially for it.

    • Bethany says:

      Silhouettes has a yoga pant pattern that my sister and mom swear by (I haven’t tried yet, it’s on my to-be-attempted pile). It’s the “three-piece yoga pant” #3400 My sister’s look like some of the really nice pants I’ve seen in stores and while she went with the lower waistband, my mom said it was easy to make a high waistband by cutting the piece wider (kind of a beginner so apologies for my wording). Not sure if they’re available in England, but rather decent patterns all around.

  11. Vicki Kate says:

    I love this top, have done since it arrived in my inbox in the newsletter! And the view you’ve made is my absolute favourite!
    And I’m also suffering from Walthamstom market fabric shopping envy! But I can now at least look at the jersey’s in my local store as I have a use for them now…

  12. Lucy says:

    I wish I had a pot belly. Instead I have a flabby, stretched by two pregnancies one which will never lie flat again. So I have even less desire to expose my stomach during yoga with the lithe, taught, 20-somethings who look like I used to (sob). And as for yoga pants – all the above, plus the slippiness. If someone can point me towards yoga pants in which your foot will stay put when doing the tree pose I would be very grateful!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Looks fantastic! I love that print. Beautiful!

  14. Looks like a really useful and nicely fitting top. A new basic! I like your fabric choice – walthamstow has come up trumps again!

  15. SuzySewing says:

    Looks fantastic Karen. Funny enough, I have some greay leopard print jersey I bought last year that will be ideal for this. Mind if I copy you? 😉

  16. That’s a great collar. T shirts are such a good sewing project. I can never find ones that are long enough in the shops.

  17. sallie says:

    Teehee! Yoga shirts – yes I have often found myself in a shoulder or head stand only to find my shirt around my eyeballs. I guess I always figured that everyone else was upside down too and wouldn’t notice my goods on display!
    I’ve never made one of Tasia’s patterns – but I’m soo curious! I think what has always stopped me is that I’m not pear-shaped – in fact I’m a bit bony on bottom so I always figured I’d have a lot of alterations to make.

  18. Great t-shirt Karen – I lurve the print on you! I just ordered my pattern from Tasia’s site!
    I also ordered some needles from here: – Ballpoint needles as I realised all I had were Universal ones at home LOL :)! I wanna be prepared – already have a lovely range of washed & ready knits just crying out to be made into Tee’s plain black, white, dusky pink, dusty blue, and a navy/white stripe.

  19. Clare says:

    Great top – love the fabric choice for both of your cowl necks. And £2 a metre is a bargain – bet you only needed about a metre for this top.

  20. Law says:

    Great review, love this top, but i have a question. Can you make this with a regular sewong machine or do you need an overlocker or a special stretch stitch on your regular machine? Thanks

  21. Pearl says:

    Nice! I really should check out her patterns – I live in the same city as Tasia does!


  22. Tamsin W-P says:

    Fantastic top! I have been pondering this since I got the email about it. Gotta love a cowl!

  23. Felicity from Down Under says:

    Thank you for sharing another lovely make, and I’m very taken by the cowl neck (my favourite for all sorts of reasons).

  24. Jane says:

    Oooh I love your cowl version Karen. Nice lippy too. x

  25. Great shirt and I totally know what you mean about the problem of what to wear to yoga. Now I think I may have to order this pattern!

  26. Felicity from Down Under says:

    For the bands, I’m wondering if you could substitute ribbing if you wanted to?

  27. Roobeedoo says:

    I really want this pattern! May have to pre-order 🙂

  28. Adrienne says:

    Hey! This looks great on you Karen! And it seems so comfortable!

  29. melissa says:

    Lovely top! I adore cowl-collar sweaters so much that I’m almost done with my second this month now, ha. Not sure I could justify a third, but I do love that style!

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  31. Susan Davis says:

    You look fabulous – plus they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. You look delightful in the recreated poses to boot! You are the first cowl neck I have seen from the testers so far. I should try making all three when my pattern arrives (pre-ordered this morning).

  32. nothy lane says:

    I’m most interested in making the cowl neck too. It looks amazing on you. I can’t wait to receive my pattern (ordered last Monday) so I can get started.

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  34. Zoe says:

    Swit Swoo!!!! What a total honey!!! Oh, and nice top xxx

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