Introducing the next pattern…the Renfrew Top!

I’m excited to interrupt the Minoru Sew-Along to introduce the latest pattern from Sewaholic Patterns… the Renfrew Top!

The Renfrew Top is the perfect basic tee. Great for layering, it fits perfectly under the Minoru Jacket. Cosy and comfortable for wearing on the weekend!

This is the knit top pattern for people who dislike sewing with knits. That’s what inspired me to create a knit top pattern that was easy to sew with a professional, clean result. Instead of ripply, stretched-out hems, I’ve replaced the sleeve hems and lower hem with bands. These bands are easy to sew and finish the edge in a professional-looking way. No more messy hems!

Choose from three neckline options – a V-neck, a scoop neck, or a cowl neck – to finish off the top. The great news? All three sleeve patterns and all three neckline options can be interchanged to sew nine different tops.

I love my dressy tops, full of ruffles and detailing and prints. But some days all you want to wear is a soft, cosy tee shirt. Now you can make a whole bunch of fresh new tees! Refresh your wardrobe by adding a couple of new, colourful knit tops this spring. I know I’m planning to make at least three new white tops using this pattern!

What’s the name Renfrew mean? It’s named after Renfrew St in Vancouver, BC. I named the tee shirt Renfrew because it’s the street near Playland (a local amusement park), near a stadium that has concerts and hockey games, and a horse-racing track. So it’s a fun-loving tee shirt. Maybe you’d wear the V-neck version with shorts to ride the roller coaster, a long sleeved version with jeans and boots to watch the hockey game. Perhaps a striped version, chunky necklace and printed skirt to watch the horse races in the summertime. It’s simple, it’s easy to sew, and it’s comfortable to wear. I hope you like it!

Stay tuned for more on this exciting pattern release! I’ll tell you now that the pre-sale is happening very soon. We’re doing it a little differently this time out of necessity, so I hope you’ll bear with me if there are any kinks. People on the mailing list are always the first to receive updates and to be alerted of pre-sales! Be sure to check your email over the weekend. Sign up today to stay in the loop!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

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99 Responses to Introducing the next pattern…the Renfrew Top!

  1. Stephanie January 20, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Yay! I need more basic tops. And knits are so comfy!

  2. Vicki Kate January 20, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Yay! Yay! and Yay! Can’t wait for this one!

  3. Leigh Ann January 20, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    This sounds like a great go-to pattern. I usually get my basic long sleeve tees from Old Navy and I usually have to tailor them. It would be so nice if I could make my own!

  4. Debi January 20, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    How exciting!

  5. daiyami January 20, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Sounds like the perfect pattern for me to take the plunge into badly needed knit tops, looking forward to it! (Also, loved Playland)

  6. Sue January 20, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    I am SO excited for this pattern! I’m one of those people who is afraid of sewing knits, but this top looks simple and classic and awesome! can’t wait to try it :)

  7. lisa g January 20, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    yay! love the tee options all in one pattern. so cute, can’t wait to try it out!

  8. Jodi January 20, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    It’s a great pattern, Tasia! Thanks for selecting me to be one of your pattern testers. I’ll try to get a review up on pattern review in the next few days so everyone can see more versions of it.

    • Jodi Bonjour January 20, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      As a Jodi-with-an-I, I am always thrown off when encountering another one. :)

  9. Erin January 20, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    I’m so excited for this – I have been avoiding knits, but I could really use more tees. Plus I’m assuming you’ll do a sewalong for this one as well, for all of us newbies to sewing stretch fabrics…. :)

  10. louise January 20, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    I like it, hope there will be a sewalong for this one as well

  11. Louise January 20, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    This is very exciting, because you are right….knits are not my fave and I avoid them like the plague, but I am thinking I just have to try this, because everything you post looks so perfect, how can I go wrong. I taught my girls to never be afraid to try anything because if you can read directions you can do anything….and here I am avoiding knits all the time. Maybe I will bite the bullet on this one.
    I have made bridal gowns and still fear knits….that is on me…need to get over it.
    Thanks for the inspiration. Looking very forward to presale.

  12. Marie January 20, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    I love how comfortable this pattern looks! I’m a complete novice when it comes to jersey, so I just had a couple of quick questions if that’s ok!?!

    1. Can you sew this pattern up on a regular sewing machine, or is an overlocker essential?
    2. Is a jersey made up of 97% Viscose, 3% Elastene ok to use, or do you have other recommendations?

    Many thanks!

    • handicrafteria January 25, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      The 1 question is my question as well!
      I would love to try this pattern but not ready yet to get a special sewing machine :)

      • handicrafteria January 25, 2012 at 7:09 am #

        OK, i found the answer! Thanks a lot :)

  13. Jodi Bonjour January 20, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    And I love the cowl turtleneck! So flattering!

  14. K-Line January 20, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Just lovely. I’m intrigued to know more about the hem bands. Can you show us a pic so I have a better idea of what you mean?

  15. Seraphinalina January 20, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Great choice in your next pattern. I really like the little cowl neckline.

  16. K-Line January 20, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Oh, now I see, it’s like a cuff. I thought you meant a finishing on the inside of the fabric – I was confused.

  17. Rachel January 20, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Can’t wait to make these! They will be my first foray into knits! I was very confused by the name until I read the explanation. (Here in the states Renfrew is an Eating Disorders clinic.) I was thinking, I know that in fashion models are supposed to be skinny but… :)

  18. Ashlee January 20, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Yet another fantastic pattern Tasia! You’re releasing them too quickly, though, my wishlist is already overflowing! ;) Keep up the great work!

  19. Susan January 20, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Can’t wait to get started on that top. I love working with knits (using the zigzag setting on my machine) and that one looks like a keeper. The three quarter sleeves and cowl neck are great.

  20. Sam in Texas January 20, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Congratulations on another pattern! It is beautiful and I’m a cowl enthusiast.
    I will be definitely buying this — even just to make that perfect V-neck binding in your picture. I’ve never been able to master it — and my sewing experience is older than your age !!

  21. Kate January 20, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Oh, this pattern looks great!

  22. Lauren January 20, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I was so excited to see this pattern in my inbox :) Yay knit tops! I loooove playing with knits! I actually have a basic block for knit tshirts that I drafted myself, but I’m considering buying this pattern anyway just to see how you did that cowl – mine always have a seam at the neckline! And I agree with you about finishing the hems with bands of knit fabric – it is sooo easy, looks super professional, and gives you another way to customize the top with contrasting fabric if you feel so inclined :)

  23. Latrice January 20, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Yay, I am super excited for you and us. I avoid knits too, unless I am sewing a rectangle.
    Oh, how awesome would it be if I had this pattern in my fingers in time for my advance knits class in 2 weeks. I will be keeping my eyes out for the sewaholic emails. :-)

  24. Roisin January 20, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Tasia, that pattern is adorable. I’m not really much of a one for separates but I can imagine this layering beautifully under dresses in the cold weather. Your hard work and productivity with designing patterns is astounding and such an inspiration – I’m sure this one will be every bit the success your previous ones have been! x

  25. Stacy January 20, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    I love it! Once I am moved and settled in I will have to look into adding this pattern to my collection.

  26. Marsha January 20, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    I’m so excited for this top! I love basics with twists! I can’t wait for the pattern release!

  27. Anne January 20, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Love it! I suspected your next pattern might be a tee… I can’t make to make some (in white, stripes, and with all kinds of fun embellishments!)

  28. Maria January 20, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Hi Tashia,
    Just wondering how much ease do you put in your patterns? Are they more like Jalie or the Big Four? I prefer the former as even when using the smallest size for the Big Four, I find the finished product still a little loose for me. And do you have adjustment lines for petites? Thanks!

  29. KLyons January 20, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Oh, I have had exactly ZERO luck with sewing knits. And everyone seems to say they are so easy!!! I was wondering, can you sew this top successfully without a serger? I only have a sewing machine, and I would really like to be able to make t-shirts. I’m pretty excited, you are such a great teacher… I actually have hope that I might be able to do this now!

  30. Debbie January 20, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Congratulations on your new pattern. Can’t wait for this one as self sewn casual tops are in short supply in my wardrobe. Red and white stripes, plain black, floral …… many options ( so little time!!!)

  31. Sunni January 20, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I’m so excited about this pattern I could cry! Finally a perfect tee for wearing with jeans! Yay! I will be making all nine versions, by the way. In fact, I’ve already started purchasing fabric for it. Oh joy! My palms are plain sweaty with anticipation! Yay! You are a such a genius! You GO Girl!
    xoxo, Sunni

  32. Jill January 20, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Ooooh! I’ve been wanting to try knits! This pattern looks perfect. Can you make this on a basic sewing maching that doesn’t have an overlock stitch?

  33. Suzy January 20, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I love the leopard print cowl version and might have to copy you on that!! :)

  34. LM January 20, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Would we need a serger to make this pattern? Please say we don’t!! i love all the 9 versions and i need one of each but a serger is just not in my near future!

  35. Tasia January 20, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Hey, everyone! So many great questions already. I’ll start on answering them in a follow up post but most importantly, no, you don’t need a serger! Because the hems are finished with folded bands, you don’t need to have a serger to sew a nice-looking top.

    That’s the answer you were hoping for, right? :) No serger required!

  36. ms. modiste January 20, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Congrats Tasia, this looks great! The cowl neck version might inspire me to actually get over my fear of jersey…

  37. Lizz January 20, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Looks great, Tasia!

  38. Anne January 20, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I love the cowl!! And I live along Renfrew st. :-)

  39. Amy January 20, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I have to say, yet again, that I love this pattern. Tasia, thanks for letting me help test out the pattern. Everyone else, you must get this pattern. It’s perfect.

  40. Pauline January 20, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    So glad to see your answer about the serger. I have a regular sewing machine and <i was hoping to be able to make this pattern. It's such a nice, simple yet chic version of a tee-shirt. I really like the cowl 3/4 sleeves lenght one.

  41. Claire (aka Seemane) January 20, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Great! Just ordered my pattern!
    I also ordered some needles from here: – Ballpoint needles as I realised all I had were Universal ones at home LOL :)! I wanna be prepared – already have a lovely range of washed & ready knits just crying out to be made into Tee’s plain black, white, dusky pink, dusty blue, and a navy/white stripe.

  42. Valerie January 20, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Just perfection! Another hit! Great job, Tasia!

  43. Clare January 20, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Another winning design! I love the cowl neck top, especially the fabric you made it up in.

  44. Rachel January 20, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    I am BEYOND reasonably excited for this. I have literally searched EVERYWHERE for a nice tee shirt pattern. I live in tee shirts. I can make some for the gym, for weekends,for layering, for basically all the things. I will be making all 9 of these variations at least a million times each. I may even order a pattern for my sisters because I know they will beg me to make some for them to and I will not. That takes time away from my own shirt making.

  45. Sofia January 20, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    I’ve tried this on, and it fits like a dream. It’s flattering and fitted, yet still super comfy! I always resort to throwing on T-shirts with jeans, and it’ll be so nice to have t-shirts that are classy-looking and properly fitted. Plus, how cute are you hiding behind your cowl? CUTE.

  46. sara January 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Hi Tasia,
    I’ve held back from buying any pattern from you because I’m not pear shaped, but I do love these tops! Woudl they work for an X with square shoulders?

  47. rachael January 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    i always use hem bands like that for my kids! it’s the only thing that made me stop dreading knits :) it will be awesome to have a grown-up sized pattern i can use that way too. yay!

  48. Evie January 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I have been looking around for a perfect t-shirt pattern, and I’m so picky about necklines and things I haven’t found one I really love yet. This one may just be it! I will definitely be buying one.

  49. Salma January 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    You’ve done it again Tasia! I can’t wait for the pre-order sale!!!!

  50. Sue January 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    At last! A basic Tee shirt with all the right options! This will be a great hit, Tasia! I will be ordering this one very soon! It will be the start of the ‘wearable’ wardrobe that I always planned to make!!

  51. Lucy January 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    I was SO excited when I got the email that this pattern was coming out – I really need some more basic tops like this but I object to buying them. I’d been meaning to trace a pattern from an old one, but I like your options much better. I can’t wait to try the cowl neck one – I really hate turtlenecks because I feel like I’m being choked but I also hate having a cold neck so this could be the compromise I need :-)

    Order placed as soon as I got the pre-sale email!

  52. Becci January 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Tasia I was determined that I wasn’t going to buy this pattern (I’m not supposed to be buying new patterns and I have a gazillion knit top patterns). But when Karen mentioned I’d have lovely hems and cuffs without using my dreaded coverstitch I was sold! And then I starting seeing versions of the Rebfrew on blogs. Well I ordered straight away. Congratulations on another great pattern.

  53. Amanda January 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    This is perfect! I am after some sweet and simple tees at the moment to introduce me to knits!

  54. Katy January 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Just ordered my pattern! I love version A of the top.

  55. GretchenH January 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    I am so, so excited about this pattern! I’ve been trying to find the perfect v-neck knit pattern for over a year now, so I can’t wait for this. I just ordered my copy. Thanks, Tasia!

  56. Reana Louise January 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    YAY! I love all of your patterns, and this is no exception :)

  57. Casey January 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    When I got the email about this, I was so, so excited that you’d be offering a t-shirt pattern! I have lately decided I might just have to deal with the fact that I can never find the “perfect” t-shirt and have to make my own. Although I’ve tried a number of patterns in the past, none have contained as many variations and styles that I actually would wear! :) Plus the band idea to finish edges is genius. Am waiting with great anticipation for this!

  58. Montana January 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    So excited! I definitely need a wardrobe basic pattern! Very excited about a long sleeve scoop neck :) These will work well for work!

  59. Monica January 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    What a great pattern, it looks like it will be filling a need for a lot of us! I hate using coverstich, so I’m looking forward to the bands.

  60. Annabelle January 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    I know I have already expressed my delight over this new release, but it is worth stating again. You are awesome Tasia. Looking forward to this pattern and the sew-along to go with it. Now I just need to find a great knit fabric.

  61. Stellune January 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    I was really excited when I saw this pattern, because I wear this kind of shirt all the time! It looks perfect. I can’t wait for the release.

  62. KaoruMarie January 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    oh I love the cowl neck style! I’ve really wanted to get back into learning how to sew clothes that fit me well so I’m looking forward to trying this pattern.

  63. Catholic Bibliophagist January 21, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    This pattern is exactly what I need! I too am scared of knits, but with one of your patterns I’m sure I’ll be able to do it. (Love that cowl necline!)


  64. Amanda January 21, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    Yay! What a great pattern! Please do a sew along with tips on sewing with knits for us newbies! So excited

  65. nothy lane January 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I just bought this pattern. i can’t wait to make it. I bought the jacket pattern too. Its wonderful to see a young woman doing so well in business!

  66. ladykatza January 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Ok, I officially LOVE this! Its the first one I’ve been truly interested for me. I LOVE your stuff on others, but not really for me.Question: what cup size are you drafting for?

  67. Amanda January 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I love how I always recognize the places your patterns are named after, (fellow Vancouverite here!) That is so cool XD

    I saw some of the test versions already and it looks fantastic, I really love the clean simple lines and the way it looks like a couture casual – definitely a must-have :)

  68. aleah January 23, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Another fantastic pattern release! It seems like all the big 5 t-shirt patterns are rather old-fashioned in style and shape, so it’s great to see a nice, modern t-shirt pattern with cool variations – thank you!

  69. Mary January 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    I found your blog tonight while looking for sewing tips. It’s great. This Renfrew top cracks me up,,,it’s perfect. I live IN Renfrew (ON), and this shirt is essentially the “uniform” of all females from 15 to 60 yo! I’m looking forward to making one!

  70. CuriousGem January 27, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    This looks great. You can’t go wrong with good basics. Please please PLEASE can we have a trouser pattern for pear shapes. I have ‘heavy’ thighs and trouser shopping nearly drives me to tears. I’m beginning to think making them is the only choice but I don’t want to spend hours making something that might look rubbish at the end anyway.

  71. Trice January 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I agree with Curious Gem, a pants would be great. I am not a pear shape, but I do have wide hips and thick thighs.

    Got some catching up to do this weekend.

  72. Becky January 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    My pattern came in the mail today–hurrah for pre-sale! I’m quite excited to make it, once I decide which piece of my knit print stash to use on it. My question is, since I’m closer to an hourglass than a pear (and therefore have a bit more up top), would you recommend going by bust size to determine which size to make, and take it in at the waist as needed? Or go by waist size and do an FBA? (I know the usual rule is to go by bust size, but just thought I’d check. Taking it in at the waist is pretty much par for the course with me, so if so, no biggie!)

    • Trice January 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Hi Becky, you should go by your bust size, preferably your high bust at that. The reason is so it fits properly on your shoulders.

  73. Caroline February 21, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I’m dealing with coverlock issues and thinking about going straight stitch right about now! I found this reference post while seeking the fix. It might come in really handy when working with knits and a straight stitch machine!

  74. Ellie March 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    You know that Coats and Clarks threads were both founded in Paisley, in RENFREWshire in Scotland?

  75. Kimberly March 22, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    I just wanted to say I love this pattern! I have conquered my fear of knits! I made version C and a semi-tweaked version A. I practically live in JCrew knit tops and these fit me better since I am able to customize how I want. This is the first pattern for knits I have ever used, and I am so proud of how the tops turned out. Thanks!

  76. Marie March 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    That is so cute…I love your blog and I am checking out your pattern store right now.

  77. Gillian May 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Tasia, I just wanted to say a huge “THANK YOU” for the Renfrew pattern! I made my first version today, and couldn’t believe how easy it was! One hour later, I had made my first-ever t-shirt!!! Squeee!!!!

    I just started sewing clothes this winter, and I’ve already made 4 Pendrells… I can officially say that the ONLY tops I’ve sewn are Sewaholic! I really appreciate that both patterns fit me straight out of the envelope (Yey pear-shape!) Thank you for helping me gain confidence with new skills, and expand my everyday “cake” wardrobe at the same time!

    Much thanks from one Canuck to another!

  78. Katherine November 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I bought the renfrew pattern recently and am wondering where the pust point and the waistline are defined? Thx!

  79. Marianne April 12, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Goodness me…I had to google the Refrew top and now I find I need another pattern!! Love seeing the blossom even though the peaches don’t do much…maybe they will this time?!?

  80. Kathryn August 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi quick question … Should the notch for the centre front not be right at the fold the same as the centre back?


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