Spotty Renfrew tank – T-shirt of the (previous) Month

Sometime in May I came across the T-shirt Project created by Elizabeth of ~E Made This, and I thought, awesome, I want to commit to making a tee a month too! You know I love a deadline to keep me motivated, and I want to make more simple everyday tops, so, perfect. Well, May was almost over, so that month was out, and then June came, and I sewed other things, and then it was over… but not before I eked out this tank tee! Yep, just under the wire, here’s my top for June – conceived and cut out on the 27th (while my machine was in for maintenance), mostly sewed on the 28th, finished and worn on the 29th. See, plenty of time. And you think I can’t meet deadlines. (Let’s all just look the other way while I blog this in July, okay?)

(I really like how it looks like the plant is eating me. I’m hiding from the sun to get a better picture… but ugh, camera in the sun with no hood means tons of lens flare! Ah well.)

This is, of course, the Sewaholic Renfrew top, sans sleeves. Lesson learned from my first version, this time I cut an 8 everywhere except the neckline and cut all the bands according to the grainlines, and I got a much better result. The neck band still doesn’t sit quite flat, but it’s close enough. And funnily enough, with the bottom band stretching like it should so I can pull it down over my hips all the way, I actually think the top is a little long for me as drafted (that has to be a first, I usually love long shirts). I’d prefer about an inch less length. On the plus side, it doesn’t ride up when I’m on the bike!

It’s been quite warm here lately (which I love, don’t get me wrong), so I wanted a sleeveless top this time. Inspired by Andrea’s cute Renfrew tank dress, I bound the armholes in the same manner as the neckline, but with slightly narrower 2 inch strips. This made about a 1/4 inch band, which was just right for me. Rather than try to do the math to figure out how long to make the strips, I cheated and bound the armholes before sewing up the side seams, just sort of stretching the bands as much as I thought would make them lay right. I did end up trimming about an inch off the bottom of the armscyes before binding them, though, and I probably could have done another half inch. I’m starting to think I have low armpits or something, since that’s often where my shirts are tight. It was necessary to trim them anyway since the binding added back a quarter inch, but even so it’s an adjustment I’ll probably make on the sleeved version in the future.

The fabric is a funny remnant piece from my favorite place. It was maybe a yard and a half total, but it had a wide white border on one edge, a weird cut out section, and was kind of trapezoidal on one end. I did get all the pieces to fit, luckily, but I don’t think I could have made the top with sleeves even if I wanted to. I have no idea what kind of fabric it is, though. It has the hand and stretch of a stable cotton jersey, but it’s, well, sticky. It sticks to itself like crazy in a way I’ve never encountered. It’s not static, and it doesn’t stick to my body or other fabric, just to itself. I’ve washed it, so it’s not starch or anything. Mysterious. On the plus side, I didn’t have to baste any of the bands or pin anything, so it was very easy to work with! Any idea what it might be, anyone? Modal or something maybe? I initially was going to make a skirt with this fabric, but I’m sure glad I didn’t – it would have been all bunchy. This turned out to be the perfect project for it. Love when that happens!

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7 comments
  1. Super cute! Love the sound of the T-Shirt Project– I’m scurrying away to look it up!

  2. Jody said:

    I just made my first renfrew short sleeved t-shirt and I had to fix the sleeves because they were digging into my armpits too! I thought I had done something wrong, I feel like I have normal armpits :-) anyway, just wanted to let you know I had the same problem! BTW, I love your blog!

    • aleah said:

      Ha, thanks for the reassurance! Wait, I’ve figured it out – maybe Tasia has super high armpits! My Lonsdale is long in the bodice, but only on the sides… I assumed it was because it was drafted for a long torso, but I think it actually was drafted for higher arms! Hmmm… luckily this won’t be an issue on her new trouser pattern!

  3. Katie K said:

    I know this post if kind of old, but I was just wondering if you found anything to stop the fabric from sticking together. I bought a couple dresses last summer and after I washed them just like the tag said, the fabric started sticking to itself. I feel like I’ve tried everything to fix it and nothing helps! Thanks!

    • aleah said:

      Sorry, no luck. It’s still pretty sticky-togethery, but since it’s a shirt it doesn’t bug me when I wear it. I think it’s worst right after it comes out of the dryer, so maybe line dry your dresses? Sorry it’s still as much a mystery to me as it was!

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