Renfrew knit dress w/leather

renfrewDress1This is what I call easy! A Renfrew T that I extended a few inches to turn into a dress. I’ve seen it done here and here. But then I complicated matters with leather shoulder inserts.

renfrewDress2Upon catching sight of this fabric I instantly imagined a cozy knit dress that I could wear boots with all winter long. But my mind wouldn’t allow me to simply follow a pattern. Oh no! I had to add my own twist– I love a twist!

renfrewdressAMy twist was the shoulder inserts. I had a scrap of embossed fake leather from who knows where that I had been biding my time on. Now was the perfect time to unleash it! But I did have to do a pattern alteration that made me nervous (and excited). I pinned the pattern’s shoulder seams together to draw the new pattern piece  over it and extend down the shoulders. Then I had to modify the existing pattern pieces and, of course, add seam allowances all around. It was especially interesting the shape of the piece of leather I ended up with. Putting the shoulder seam together doesn’t result in a straight line over the shoulder. The shoulder seam is sloped so the pieces come together at an angle. Getting that angle right was the tricky part, or the leather wasn’t going to lay correctly.

renfrewDress3So, my tiny twist took quite a while, but it turned out splendid. It is just the detail to turn this from straightfoward to unique. And those unique design details are one of the main reasons I sew!

I tried to lift my foot off to show off my new shoes, but I almost fell over! That is why I am making that silly face!

I tried to lift my foot up to show off my new shoes, but I almost fell over! Don’t I look surprised?

The Renfrew has a fairly modest (high) neckline, at least on me. So I brought the whole dress shape in to be more body-con. This knit is very forgiving of my figure issues and the curvier shape makes it more edgy. But I promise it is still so comfy to wear! Just a simple knit dress, really.

I’m entering this in Project Sewn Sew-Along! I’m number 45!

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Sweater knit batwing–BurdaStyle 04/2011 #118A

sweaterknitbatwing1If I am truly honest with myself, what I wear on a daily basis is mostly jeans and some sort of knit top. Sometimes those jeans are in different colors or even corduroy, but it is all in a similar family. Likewise, I tend to grab tops that are comfy and cozy for our Pacific Northwest weather. I also work from home, so things can get very casual and stay that way ALL DAY. Sometimes I wear a nice sweater or (on the fanciest, shmanciest of days) a blouse and jacket, but mostly it is a variation on a t-shirt/cardigan theme. Continue reading