Two Very Different Renfrews

I love Bolt fabrics. They have the best selection of knit fabrics and such nice ladies working there; it’s a joy. It’s also a bit of a budget buster – nice knits cost a bit more than the Mill End discount tables!

I bought a couple yards of a peacock blue bamboo knit and a purple/lavender reversible double knit. Two very different knits in weight, texture and drape. I didn’t have a plan for them when I bought them – I was thinking a dress maybe for the purple and a top for the bamboo, but then I bought the Renfrew pattern and threw both knits at it. I was thinking the cowl neck but it’s hot and summer, so opted for the scoop neck. I did mid-length sleeves to cover tattoos so that I could wear them to work.

Enter, the bamboo. OMG, yummy.

blue renfrew front
blue renfrew front

The fabric is light weight, but quality, and oh so buttery soft. It washes great, no pilling so far, and is very easy to work with. The flash accidentally went off in this next photo, but I’m glad – you can see that even thought it’s super light weight, there’s no peek-a-boo factor:

blue renfrew flash
blue renfrew flash

The seams are only top-stitched down around the collar and you can see it’s fine on the arm and waist bands: no bulk.

blue renfrew seams
blue renfrew seams

I used the size 10 without any adjustments. The knit keeps its shape with the tiniest bit of cling.

blue renfrew back
blue renfrew back
blue renfrew
blue renfrew
blue renfrew side
blue renfrew side

I’m really happy with the blue bamboo knit. I’ll wear this until it wears out. I’m not gonna lie…I’m planning on some bedtime boy shorts out of the leftovers. I’ll spare you the photos, but yes, it’s that yummy.

Now, the purple double knit makes an entirely different shirt. It’s, well, twice as thick to be reversible, has a wrinkly texture to it after a wash in cold water and a toss on medium and takes a bit more patience to sew.

purple renfrew 1
purple renfrew 1

I’m still undecided on it. Right now, it’s a fairly expensive, albeit comfy, sweatshirt. I reversed the color for the neck/arm/waist bands.

purple renfrew 2
purple renfrew 2

There’s a lot, LOT more bulk on the band seams…

purple renfrew 3
purple renfrew 3
purple renfrew armband 2
purple renfrew armband 2
purple renfrew arm band bulk
purple renfrew arm band bulk
purple renfrew waist front
purple renfrew waist front
purple renfrew waistband
purple renfrew waistband

I dunno. I thought about top-stitching down the seams…but I’m not sure that will have the desired effect…it will still have droopy bulk. I could chop out the arms and had a more kimono style sleeve without a hem and chop off the waist band…

OR just leave it as a ridiculously comfy shirt? It doesn’t hold its shape as well as the bamboo…It would make a great, tiered and raw edged autumn skirt for someone with a more Bohemian style than I…but much else, I’m afraid it’s…frumpy.

It’s a no-can-do for work, though. Too casual and the neckline sags…

purple renfrew back
purple renfrew back

I have an American Apparel sweatshirt I’ve worn into the ground just out of spite (you will find no AA love here), so I think I may just have a good replacement. A reminder to keep a better plan in mind and to respect the material a bit more.

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