Here’s what I’ve been up to!  Sewing and wearing Renfrew’s all winter long. And I’m still not sick of them!

I’ve made them in a variety of fabrics and played with seam allowances to create closer or looser fit, depending on my objectives.

This Grey Spotted version is my favourite – and most worn. It’s deliberately loose and works on its own as well as a pullover with a layer underneath.


Here it is over the Funky Red Floral: (it’s not that transparent in real life…the flash just picks up everything!)


And here’s a red one, sewn with 1/4 seam allowances to create a looser fit, for layering:


This is a gorgeously soft, fine jersey version. Feels fabulous to wear! – on it’s own or under something.


And this one is a heavier, sturdier, poly-knit something-or-other…I like the subtle raised floral pattern and the way the cowl sits up.


You will note that they colour coordinate!!! Yes, I am finally getting better at SWAP (sewing with a plan).
The Grey Spotted, Funky Red Floral and Grey with Black Sleeves will be doing double time on a trip to northern climes later this year. I’ve been given strict instructions to PACK LIGHT this trip…and with these mix and matcher’s (and a few coordinating skirts I’ll post about soon), I’m all set!


  1. I love this idea! It’s a gereat pattern & I’ve made loads for me & my girls. Dying to know where to get that fabric in the first pic, it’s devine!!

    • Hi Anne, I’m getting TONS of wear out of these! The fabric…sorry to report…I found it on a remnant table at a designer outlet….and there was only enough to eke out this top!

  2. You really have made the most of your Renfrew pattern. I did buy one after reading your earlier blog about the Renfrew and I have found it really good. I do love the black spotted top that you have made the best. The fabric is gorgeous and I am hoping you didn’t buy it at Spotlight but somewhere very exotic.

    • Hi Marj – good to hear you’ve found success with the Renfrew too. As for the grey spotted fabric’s provenance…I found it at Jack Textiles, in Marrickville, Sydney….a tad more exotic than Spotties, but not much 😉

  3. Wow, you have been busy. I love the Renfrew pattern too, but I have not tried the cowl version yet. Just goes to show that you don’t need a whole lot of patterns…just one good one and a creative imagination. Love all your versions.

    • I totally agree! As much as I enjoy the challenge of a new pattern, when it comes to wearability, the Renfrew and the Butterick Straight Skirt 5466 win hands down in my wardrobe!! Just made version 10 of the skirt. They just WORK!

  4. My word……! Productive to say the least and they are all so cute! Smart move on color coordinating the tops. I may create a looser fitting on next time around too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thank you Sarah! If you try a looser version, I suggest sewing the shoulder seams and cowl with the usual 5/8ths seam allowance, then reduce the arm and side seams to 1/2″ or 1/4″ depending on the stretchiness of your fabric and your desired looseness.

  5. Hi Anne, I’ve been wondering what you’ve been up to all this time – sewing up a storm obviously! Love your wardrobe of Renfrews – I can see them being a very handy travel wardrobe

    • Hi Kristy – I’m definitely had ‘travel wardrobe’ in the back of my mind when sewing these. It’s so nice to be able to put them on and just go…no deliberating about what to wear with the gorgeous-but-completely-unrelated-to-anything-else prints I am pre-disposed to 😉

  6. Wow. That is a herd of Renfrews! What is it about this simple unassuming pattern that makes all such fans? I can’t work it out. I haven’t tried the cowl version yet. You just pushed it to the top of my sewing list. My favourite is your gray spotted one too. Love that fabric.

    • Hi Becky – nice to hear you missed me ;-). I am determined to make things that coordinate with at least 3 other things in my wardrobe! I have so many ‘orphans’ !!

  7. Okay, that does it. I’m ordering the Renfrew. You have totally inspired me with all of the creative layering ideas you have working. The grey with black sleeves already looks layered! You’re a Renfrew ‘Ho! I want to be one, too!

    • Oh yes, Dorcas, order it!…You’ll go to town on the Renfrew!! The black with grey sleeves version was a unplanned ‘design feature’….the grey fabric was a remnant…and not big enough for the entire top. I think it actually looks better with the black sleeves! Might be a tad boring if completely in grey!

    • Hey BeaJay! I can thank the lovely Ms Velosewer for that fabric purchase! She and I were innocently meandering through Stanmore/Enmore on our way to catch up over a Sunday lunch, when we stopped in at a Designer clothes outlet and found a table of remnants. Score!!

  8. You certainly won’t get lost in a crowd in that red floral top and that fabric looks even better made up. Maria sure has a way of finding these remnants. Welcome back to blog-land, it’s been quite a while..

    • I was a little wary of the red print being a bit toooo much…but I think it works as a top. Looks good with black pants or skirt…and yes, before you comment….I know you are waiting to see these on me rather than Dolly… ;-P . I’ve put my camera remote in a ‘very good’ place…just can’t remember where…will hopefully find it when the skirts finished and ready for blogging!

  9. I just love your fabric choices! And that they play nicely with each other. Reading this motivated me to actually start my summer sewing instead of pondering it! I would love to see a post on what you pack for your holiday – and how much is me made xxx

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