So That’s What That Gizmo is For

Just before I start concentrating on what I can fit in a cabin bag in order to avoid Easyjet’s hold baggage charge when I go to the U.K. next week, whilst still having enough frocks, shoes and knickers to last seven days, I thought I’d show you my second and much more successful attempt at Sewaholic’s Renfrew top.

renfrewtopno.2This time, I made it in two sizes smaller at the top and three sizes smaller from the waist down.  I hadn’t realised, until after I made the first one, that Sewaholic specialises in pear shaped women which I definitely am not.  Well, actually, I am a bit but I would be an upside down pear which I don’t think is what they mean.  Also, I cut the neckband and waistband a little smaller so that I could stretch them a bit more when sewing them on to give a better fit.  The knit fabric I used was a bit thicker so the whole thing is more ‘T-shirty’ (made up word!) and in order to do a double top stitch around the bands, I delved into the depths of the accessories drawer in my sewing machine and finally realised what the extra felt ring, the spool holder and double needle were for!

By the way, I don’t know why I appear to have the hands of  H. Rider Haggard’s ‘She’ after she stepped into the flames of everlasting youth one too many times but I am blaming the heat and a camera malfunction.

Off to my mini sewing bee this afternoon where I am hoping to make this cute little tote bag and, time permitting, the coin purse too.  I don’t have these same fabrics but I will do a slightly less colour diverse approximation.

French Tote BagAs you might be able to tell from the text, in the photo, this is another minimalist French pattern but I am always up for a challenge.

On a parting note, having both dogs and cats in quantity at our house, I would say that I am a dog person first and foremost and, if I had to choose only one animal to have, it would definitely be a dog.  However, now that I’ve seen O2’s ‘Be More Dog’ ad, I think my cats may have potential.  Have you seen the ad?  Lord knows what it has to do with the product but if you like cats and dogs you’ll love it – it’s here

Cats on RoofHenry and Salem doing their cat thing.


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  1. #1 by sew2pro on July 19, 2013 - 12:10

    The Renfrew looks fantastic! It’s worth, I think, having a few goes at this pattern as you do get closer to the perfect t-shirt each time.

    I shall try to ignore your cats-versus-dogs comment and instead am writing to Harry and Salem personally to suggest that if they ever feel underappreciated, they’re always welcome at the crazy cat (stealing) lady’s…..

    Hope you have a great time when you come over!

    • #2 by tialys on July 19, 2013 - 12:59

      It’s a good job you don’t live here – you would be drowning in a sea of cats by now. Brigitte Bardot doesn’t seem to have extended her cat neutering influence this far down in France and there are always kittens being abandoned in boxes next to bins and worse. Beau and Betty (our other 2 moggies) were from the local rescue centre and Henry and Salem were found in the garden of a friend’s holiday home along with 4 other kittens – 2 of which we managed to re-home and 2 we had to leave there as they wouldn’t come close enough to be picked up! Luckily, the friends were over for the summer at that time otherwise who knows what would have happened to them all.

  2. #3 by Wendz on July 19, 2013 - 12:35

    Your new dresses and tops are fantastic! I meant to comment on the last post but oh dear never made it back! So sorry – but to make up for it can I just say how lovely your makes are? That purple floral frock is especially wonderful – very flattering design – I reckon it would even look nice on my (very) pear-shaped figure..maybe I should look up Sewaholic patterns!

    I think you are very clever to do all that.

    As for Easyjet – I think I shall revert to my old name for them…Sleazyjet. How on earth is one supposed to get more than a change of knickers and a hairbrush in your cabin luggage now? Bah.

  3. #4 by tialys on July 19, 2013 - 13:06

    Thanks Wendz – I know you are talented with a bit of fabric but do you sew clothes at all? I’m finding it a bit addictive now I’ve got back into it.
    As for limited cabin baggage, I’m finding it easier to go over with the minimum – luckily I’ll be staying with my parents for some of the time and Mr. T’s commuter flat for the rest which will be equipped with towels, shampoo, etc. so I don’t need to worry about that sort of stuff. When I come over, I need to stock up on certain things and, rather than pay for a suitcase and lug it about, I have found it easier to use a courrier service which will generally pick up and deliver, door to door, quite a big box of stuff for around £20. I hope the weather keeps up over there. It is hot here too but we are a little better equipped for it so I don’t mind if the U.K. drops a few degrees for when I arrive.

  4. #5 by Jan Marriott on July 19, 2013 - 15:30

    The best thing you can take with limited baggage is a credit card…..
    I like the bag,
    I remember making a bikini from an Elle ( when it was only French) schematic… watch tartan cotton, I thought I looked pretty neat.

  5. #6 by tialys on July 19, 2013 - 18:51

    I bet you did look neat Jan. Any photos?

  6. #8 by Ann on July 20, 2013 - 02:37

    I envy you your slim hips. Where did mine go?! I used to sew clothes in high school and should take that hobby up again. Just sent the Be More Dog link along to the rest of the fam. Have a wonderful trip – am looking forward to reports.

  7. #9 by tialys on July 20, 2013 - 08:48

    You should take it up again Ann, I find it very satisfying and although Mr. T. says, ‘why make a t-shirt as you can buy them so cheaply anyway?’, the cheap ones are probably only cheap for a reason and, by making it yourself, you get to be in charge of the fabric and the fit. I was pants at sewing when I was at school. We did sewing for the first half of the year and cookery for the second half. My sewing teacher used to get frustrated with me and she once called me ‘gormless’. I had to go home and look it up in the dictionary!

  8. #10 by Ann on July 20, 2013 - 13:16

    Yeppers, I had to google the word. If only your teacher could see you now. 🙂

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