Striped Parisian Dress (Sewaholic Renfrew)

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Well, I’ll just start by saying that I really love this fabric, and the top half of the dress came out as I had planned. The bottom half, however, proved to be a bit of a headache! Chalk it up to poor decisions on my part. More on that in a bit…

For this creation, I took the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern and extended it to make a dress. Pretty straightforward. The fabric is a favorite purchase from when I was in Paris in October 2013, and it’s just occurred to me that I bought it exactly two years ago today!

And then I made this dress about a year ago today.

And then I finally wore it out of my apartment a couple of weeks ago. For this photo shoot. The only time I’ve ever worn it. Oy.

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The bottom-half of the dress is, eh…comme ci comme ça. I’m not even sure I’ll wear it more than once without turning it into a shirt.

When I use patterns from Sewaholic I’ve typically gone with a size 4 at the bust and waist (as I’ve done here) and a size 0 at the hips (to “de-pear” the pattern). Here, I decided to cut a straight size 4, thinking that going two sizes up from usual at the hips would give me a skirt with some positive ease.

Suffice it to say I was surprised to find out how fitted the skirt was – doh! And, alas, the hem isn’t level (slightly higher at the front) and the side seams angle towards the front. You can see that best in the photo above. Double doh!

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What the heck happened? When I extended the size 4 hip line downward I guess I should have angled it out a bit. I guess? Just goes to show I don’t often know what I’m doing when it comes to winging it. 😀 The fabric (a viscose knit, according to the tag) is pretty thin and clingy, which doesn’t help. Drats. 

Oh well, at least my stripes match across the seams and the neckband came out neat with those two white stripes. 

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“Hmmm,” she says, “maybe this is destined to be a true Renfrew tee after all?” I just don’t think I can save it as a dress.

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14 thoughts on “Striped Parisian Dress (Sewaholic Renfrew)

    • That’s a good suggestion! I think it looks better in photos. If the fabric were thicker I wouldn’t be as self-conscious. At least I’ve sewn one up from our Paris fabric buying excursion! 🙂

  1. I think this dress looks nice on you, but like you, I don’t like anything that’s too clingy, so I understand why you might want to whack it into a shirt. I recently used McCall’s 6886 to make a few dresses that have a similar shape, and I really love how they turned out.

    • If I had used thicker fabric I think it wouldn’t have been as big a deal. Funny you should mention that pattern because I had considered it a while back, but then figured I could just modify the Renfrew. Well, McCall is having a sale so I decided to gobble it up!

  2. Hmmm. Well, you definitely have the figure for this dress as it is, but I totally get the clingy conundrum. If you’ll love it as a tee, then chop away and make another small project from the bottom half.

    • It’s the thin fabric that’s making me feel slightly self-conscious. It’s interesting to hear other people saying it looks fine though. Wondering if I should give it another shot…

  3. Just a thought on why the hem looks uneven. You probably cut the fabric to be the same length front and back. However, the length of your body, if you follow the contours, is always unequal from front to back. This is why most dress hemming is best done when it is on. For example, if you have a protruding behind, it will take up more fabric to go around the behind and make you need more fabric in the back.

    • Ah, thanks for your feedback! Yes, I did cut the fabric the same length (not knowing any better), thinking I just needed to make sure the stripes matched. I was so focused on having the same color stripe match up at bottom that I didn’t pay attention to balancing out the hem, I suppose.

    • That is the truth about city closets! I just removed a few of things that I’ve made but haven’t really worn for one reason or the other. Kind of feels good to clear up space!

  4. I think it looks great! With some of my clingier knit dresses, I wear a slip underneath and it helps with, um, excessive curve-hugging. But I like slips in general. 😉 your stripe matching is amazing!

    Like you, I’m quite a bit smaller on the Sewaholic bottom sizing than the top, but I remember when I compared Renfrew to my knit sloper I was surprised—my sloper was wider at the hips. So, yeah, Renfrew is not overly pear shaped, as far as I can tell. 😉

    • I like the slip idea! I have a Vogue slip pattern that I’ve been wanting to try, so maybe this would be a good motivator to finally sew it up. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

      Really interesting to know about the hip comparison between the Renfrew and your sloper. That makes me feel better actually. 😀

      • Also, I don’t think there’s really any way you could’ve made the front and back hems even and still had that exquisite stripe matching. 😉 I’m glad you like the slip idea—I find they come in really handy. 🙂

        • Yeah, that’s what I was thinking! Hard to get the stripes to match and still keep it even. Oddly enough, I didn’t notice the unevenness when I first put it on and it’s even on the dress form/table, so maybe it just shifted as I was taking these photos. Who knows!

Hey, thanks for commenting! I truly appreciate it and always try to respond back. :)

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