Sparkly Striped Cowl Neck Renfrew Top

I haven’t been sewing as much as I had hoped to this Winter, but I did manage to whip up another Sewaholic Renfrew Top.


This is my second Renfrew top that I have made. I blogged about the first one I made here. I said I would make this pattern again and I meant it!

I found the fabric at Pacific Fabrics in the sale pile. I thought it would make a great cowl neck Renfrew, be seasonal and good for the holidays, as it has a little sparkle in it.


This pattern is awesome because it has three collar types to choose from (v-neck, scoop and cowl) and three sleeve lengths (short, long and 3/4). Since I like to trace my patterns and the first one I made had short sleeves and a scoop neck, I only had to trace the 3/4 length sleeves, cuffs and cowl neck collar. The rest of the pattern pieces I already had from last time, so that saved some time!

the pink stripe is sparkly, kind of hard to see in photos

I thought this pattern would be easier to sew the second time around, but maybe it just seemed easy the first time. I made my first Renfrew in a class at Made Sewing Studio and had someone helping me along to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. And mistakes I did make this time! I sewed the collar on inside out the first time around. I think I was just going too fast and got confused and pinned it on wrong. I mostly used my serger to sew this, and serged seams suck to remove (so much thread!). I almost just ditched this project all together after that. The fabric was cheap after all… but I really wanted a sparkly, cowl neck Renfrew to wear to holiday parties! So I pulled out all that thread and sewed it on the right way the second time.

I was also never really taught how to set my sewing machine for sewing knits, since everything was already all set up at Made when I took the class. I think I had my machine on the wrong settings when I tried to topstitch around the collar, because it’s a bit ripply. Or maybe I was pulling too hard on the fabric as I sewed? That’s the beauty of a cowl neck I guess, I can style the collar so this can’t be seen! You can see it in this back shot though.


I’m not super picky about my stripes matching up. This may be making some of you scream right now. I almost didn’t have enough fabric (since it was a remnant and there wasn’t much of it to begin with), so I wasn’t able to cut the fabric for the cowl neck super straight, so it doesn’t match up at all. It’s in the back though and I usually have my hair down, so it will hardly ever be seen. The side stripes aren’t perfect either, but they are good enough for me.


There was also a short cut for sewing on the cuffs that Carisa at Made had us do, which I thought was sewing the cuffs to the sleeves before sewing the side seams (versus sewing on the cuffs after).  I think I remembered it wrong though, because my cuffs aren’t finished on the inside like they are supposed to be My serged seam ended up on the outside of the inside of the cuff. You can’t see it from the outside, but I know it’s there.

I’m still not sure what Carisa’s trick was, but next time I’ll probably just follow the instructions to sew the cuffs on after the side seams have been sewn up.

Oh well, mistakes are good, because next time I make this top, I think it really will be easy because now I know what NOT to do. I still love this top and even though I made it over the course of a couple of evenings, it could be completed in a day and I love that.

Dixie DIY has some great info on sewing knits on her blog. I found these posts after the fact, but will definitely refer to them next time.

I do plan on making more of these (I have more stripy knit fabric from the sale pile), so if any of you have tips on sewing knits for me, I would love to hear them!

I did wear the shit out of this top over the holidays and loved being able to brag that I made it myself!

7 thoughts on “Sparkly Striped Cowl Neck Renfrew Top

    1. You should make one (or two or three)! All of the styles would look totally cute on you. Plus, you are such a good seamstress already, that I bet this would be a snap for you.

  1. Cute! Stripes seem hard and I know I’ve sewn things on backwards plenty of time. I’m going to lift your hair though and look at the back of your top next time you wear it!

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