Jungle....April!

Well I utterly failed at Jungle January. I have documented the sewing machine failure (and the subsequent sewing machine delight) that hampered my completion of this make - I had the fabric cut at the start of January and due to various sewing machine issues finally got around to sewing it up at the end of the month.



Anyway, this was my second version of the Renfrew. I used a fab green animal print jersey from Mandors. I love the colour but actually it wasn't great fabric. As it cost about £8 or £9 a metre I presumed it would be a good quality jersey, however it was not very stretchy and the resulting top seems to have come out a lot bigger than my last spotty Renfrew, somehow. Having been through the wash a few times now, I've also found that it is looking rubbed and worn in some areas. Not impressed with that quality! The larger size isn't too much of an issue since I will be growing bigger in the near future - I'm 23 weeks in the photos shown here. I can't see this version lasting beyond my pregnancy to be honest due to the fabric quality.

The only modifications I made were to add a couple of inches to the length. This is the perfect length for me, not only because the bottom band now sits comfortably below my bump. Sewing it was an utter JOY using my new Janome. I probably didn't even need a ballpoint needle, it's that good a machine, compared to the struggles that developed sewing jersey on my old Singer. Incidentally, I sold my old machine on Gumtree, to a lovely lady who was a beginner and wanted to make her own curtains but didn't want to pay the ridiculous amount she was being quoted for curtain making. I hope it serves her well.


Also, I believe some of you can make the Renfrew using about 1 metre of fabric while I need most of the 1.4 or so metres recommended. What's the secret?! I am a little paranoid of moving the cutting layout around with this top, in case some pieces don't have the stretch going in the right direction. But please share your secrets if you can!

Thanks to Anne of Pretty Grievances for hosting Jungle January, it was great to see all the round ups of everyone's animal print makes, and to have a reason for making this top.

K x

20 comments:

  1. Cute! I love this print on you, and it looks like it fits really well!

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  2. You look amazing! Really nice and different. I am saving up the £££ for a new machine, mine isn't old and quaint... it's a Toyota and HELLISH!! hahaha

    Bundana @
    http://www.bundana.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I can't recall how the layout is written in the pattern, but one way to squeeze out on less yardage is to fold your fabric so the edges meet in the middle and you have a fold running down each side (I hope this makes sense... if it doesn't, holler at me and I'll take a picture for you or something ;)), that will give you twice the room to cut on on the fold. There you can cut your front/back, and then fold as normal for the sleeves. Alternately, you could retrace the pieces so they are one big piece (instead of a half cut on the fold) and cut on a single layer - that saves a LOT of fabric, you'd be surprised at how much!

    And don't worry too much about messing with the cutting layout. As long as you make sure the stretch of your fabric is running across the width of your main pieces (front, back, sleeve - you want the stretch to go AROUND you), and the length of your band pieces (so you can stretch them to fit when you sew them on), you can futz with the layout as much as you want :)

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    1. Thank you!! Some great tips Lauren, I'll definitely be giving them a go in the future.

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  4. I adore your Renfrew, your looking fab! xx

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  5. It's a shame about the fabric quality as this top looks like a good fit and the colour suits you very well x

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  6. What a shame about the quality of the jersey, because it looks seriously good. Like I want to buy some right now - the print and colour are both amazing. Anyway, it'll see you through your pregnancy at least, so that's something! I always manage to get my Renfrews out of about 1m because I piece the back - instead of cutting it on the fold I just cut it in 2 pieces and sew down the middle. Depending on your pattern, a lot of times it doesn't even show. Hope this helps!

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    1. Thanks Marie, I'm sure that trick will work a treat.

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  7. Hmmm, too bad about the quality of the fabric, as it's a really cute top. At least you'll get some good wear out of it during your pregnancy :)

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  8. Your top is lovely! I wrote a blog post a long while back on how I get the most top out of the least fabric: http://asewinglife.blogspot.com/2009/11/one-yard-wonder-t-shirt-tutorial.html.

    Hope it helps!

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    1. Thank you - will check that out

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  9. It looks lovely! Shame that the fabric quality isn't the best.. I'm glad your new machine is treating you so well :)

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  10. Great make! I've never been pregnant myself but it seems many people, by the time they deliver, are so sick of the garments they can wear throughout pregnancy that they would be perfectly happy never to see them again -- so maybe this will work out perfectly for you that way :)
    Fun to hear that you are enjoying your new machine. Have you listened to daughter fish's podcast with the guy who owns the sewing machine store in Queens? It sounds like he is describing your experience -- when you sit down at a great (or at least, upgraded) machine, you KNOW!

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    1. I think you're right, I'll probably be fed up wth it by then! :) I'll have to seek out that podcast too - thanks

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  11. I think it looks great too, lovely colour!! Glad that you are in love with your new machine too! It's a shame though that the fabric isn't living up to its price tag, that is irritating!

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  12. Re 1-yard Renfrews,I do what LLadybird does and fold the fabric in from the selvedge just far enough to take the piece,cut on the fold.The sleeves fit in the bit in the middle,cut on a single thickness (twice!) and there is enough for the bands at the bottom.
    Sorry about the quality - I have found Mandors expensive - the same fabric is often half the price elsewhere, but finding "elsewhere" in Scotland is practically impossible!

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    1. Great, thank you, all noted for my next Renfrew.

      I agree that Mandors isn't cheap, particularly the jersey. I wouldn't have minded paying the price for this one if it had proven to be any good though!

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  13. oh I didn't know you were pregnant, congratulations!

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  14. I usually do what Lladybird and Roobeedoo do (which sounds like a cute nursery rhyme) and create two 'on the fold's to use.
    The colour and print looks great on you but it sucks when you feel you've paid for quality stuff and it dissapoints.
    Also, congratulations on being pregnant! Because I'm not sure I have offered these as yet. You look fab!

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