Completed: The Lady Renfrew

12 Nov

Question: What do you get when you combine the Lady Skater with the Renfrew??

Lady Renfrew

Answer: The awesomest, snuggliest, Lady Renfrew dress, of course!

Lady Renfrew
Lady Renfrew

There’s not much to say about this dress – I basically just summed it up in the first sentence. This will be a relatively short post, ha (is that even possible for me to accomplish? Time will tell). Anyway, I used a combination of the two patterns to create this Frankenpatterned dress. The bodice, skirt and sleeves came from the Lady Skater, which after much careful testing, I’ve decided is my favorite favorite favorite knit dress pattern. The bodice fits me really well, the sleeves are a good fit/length (all sleeve length options, I mean), and I love the flared-but-not-costumey-looking skirt. Everything about this pattern is exactly what I like in a knit dress, so it was the obvious choice for the base of this dress. To get the cowl neck, I left off the neck binding and instead used the cowl from view C of the Renfrew tshirt. I compared the two patterns to see if I’d need to make any modifications, and the necklines were surprisingly similar (fwiw, I use the size 2 Lady Skater and the size 0 in the Renfrew). So similar, that all I did was just sew the pieces together and that was it. I don’t remember what seam allowance I used to attach the two (Lady Skater is drafted for 3/8″, and Renfrew is 5/8″), knowing me – probably 1/2″ because it’s in the ~middle~. Or something dumb like that. Whatever, it worked out regardless! πŸ˜€

Lady Renfrew

The real bitch part of making this dress was cutting the dang fabric. I had 3 things to pay attention to while I was cutting this – matching the print horizontally across the seams; being mindful of fabric usage (I barely had enough!); and actual print placement. I cut it so the darker stripes cross my waist, and the lighter stripes cross my bust. I think that’s a flattering look for me, plus, I love the way the white print kind of frames my head (that’s a bonus, because I totally cut it that way with the intention of it making my boobs look slightly bigger hahaha). I didn’t do any print matching on the cowl. I ran out of fabric and actually had to cut the underlayer with a seam. It worked out, though!

Lady Renfrew


Lady Renfrew

I think the fabric is what really makes this dress! And by makes, I mean it’s slightly over-the-top – I’m almost afraid to wear it before Christmas season, ha. It’s like a giant, awesome black and white Ikat Christmas sweater. I bought it from The Fabric Studio here in Nashville; it’s the same fabric I used to make my Ooh La Yoga Pants. While it wasn’t 100% ideal for yoga pants, it’s pretty freaking fabulously good for this sort of dress. The fabric is nice and stable, cozy, and works really well for this sort of pattern.

Lady Renfrew

I especially love how the cowl looks. Yay cowls!

Lady Renfrew

So, what do you think? Lady Skater+Renfrew – do we have a perfect partnership here, or what?

Two more things:
1. Giant thanks to everyone who attended my class at The Sewing Party on Saturday! I had so much fun chatting with y’all (although I’ll admit – I kept my video on mute! Can’t handle the sound of my own voice blaring at me ahaha) and I’d love to do more video-related stuff if the opportunity ever arises again πŸ™‚ Y’all are the best! Just wanted to give all my students (and future students, for those of you who will be watching the class sometime during the next 90 days) a head’s up – I forgot to remind you to download the handout for my class! I know, bad teacher! Anyway, it’s a little PDF document with all the class info written out – along with photo tutorials for each zipper insertion. You can find it to the left of the video, under handouts and chats.

2. The big closing sale at Sweet Little Chickadee is still going strong! Juli has upped the ante a little bit – now use the code SHOPCLOSINGSALE to get 35% off your entire order! This code is good until all the stock runs out!

3. I recently found out that I was named one of the top 50 sewing blogs in Budrastyle‘s Best of Blogging contest. COOL! I’ll be honest – I had no idea I was even nominated (or that this contest was even a thing) until I got the congratulatory email. Big huge thank you to whoever nominated me, and even bigger huger thank you to everyone who voted for me! Y’all are seriously the best! I’m not worthy! πŸ˜‰


50 Responses to “Completed: The Lady Renfrew”

  1. tialys November 12, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    This looks great. I’ve made the Coco dress with the funnel neck and that’s super cosy but, like you, I do like the fit of the Lady Skater and the swirl of the skirt so I might give this hybrid a try. Perhaps with some ‘simpler’ fabric though – I don’t like making life harder than it has to be!

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      I love Coco, but the Lady Skater truly has my heart. With the cowl, it’s my perfect dress! And yes, I’d definitely recommend it with a simpler fabric – don’t make your life hard if it doesn’t have to be πŸ˜›

  2. Michelle Rushford November 12, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    This dress looks awesome especially with your blue hair!

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Well, to be fair, blue hair looks good with everything πŸ˜‰ haha! Thank you!

  3. Jessica November 12, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    This is everything I’ve ever looked for or wanted in a winter dress. I’ve had both these patterns staring at me from my stash for forever, but I never get around to sewing for myself. . . . Might have to change that now and copy you! (though who am I kidding–the knitting wins out EVERY. TIME.)

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Well, on the flip side – this will be MUCH faster than knitting! Right, right? πŸ˜‰ haha!

  4. Megan November 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Wow, this turned out awesome. I love this dress a lot and I think it’s more winter-y than Christmas-y. I can’t wait to make a Lady Skater.

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      I think you’re right! Maybe everything winter just reminds me of Christmas πŸ™‚ You should try the Lady Skater, it’s a great pattern!

  5. grace November 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Oooh this would be perfect for London, its getting proper chilly here now!

    • Anna November 12, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      I was just going to say that! This dress looks *perfect* for the weather in London right now.

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Arghhh I wasn’t going to bring it with me because it’s too unique looking (since I’ll be wearing the same stuff over and over during this trip, ha), but now I’m wondering if maybe I should throw in a dress wild card??

  6. Nickey Robo November 12, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    So cute! I may have to make a copy in wool jersey, this looks like it could be a killer dress for Minnesota winter.

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      In wool jersey?! Absolutely! I feel so snuggly just thinking about it πŸ˜€

  7. Dorien November 12, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    YES Renfrews are AWESOME! I made one too and you can see it here:
    Also, you can vote for me – first prize is a BERNINA SERGER. I’m so close I can almost hear it humming… πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      Love Renfrews! ;D Good luck with your contest!

  8. Regan November 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    This is a match made in heaven! I am so going to make this! Beautiful job πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Do it! It’s my new favorite winter dress πŸ˜€

  9. helen November 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    It looks great and love the fabric. I made a ‘Lady Renfrew’ a couple of weeks back and I love it! It really is the best winter dress ever, it is so cosy. A colleague at work who also sews took a look and said ” you can tell a quality handmade…”

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      That’s quite a compliment! I’d take that and run with it, haha! πŸ™‚

  10. Dawn -The Winter Queen November 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    This is just AWESOME!!! I want that fabric!! :)x

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Go get you some! I’m pretty sure there’s still more at The Fabric Studio! πŸ™‚

      • Dawn -The Winter Queen November 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

        I’m in the UK…. might be a problem lol :/
        Couldnt find it on the link you posted either boo hoo 😦

        • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

          I’m pretty sure they will ship internationally, it’ll just cost a little more πŸ™‚ The fabric might not be listed online yet, but you can contact them to inquire about purchasing. Just reference this post so they know what fabric you’re talking about πŸ™‚

  11. Lou November 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Love this!!! Perfect winter dress! I’ve just made my first winter knit dress (colette moneta) and had the same idea for adding the Renfrew cowl to the next one!!

    • LLADYBIRD November 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Ooh, I’d love to see that combo!

  12. catdoesit November 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    This fabric and pattern combination is WINNING.

  13. Stephanie November 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    I feel my sixth Lady Skater coming on! Love your dress. I know I won’t be able to rest until I have a Lady Renfrow too.

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      It all works out in the end, because the Lady Renfrew is so cozy, you’ll be able to rest IN it! Amirite? Amirite? haha!

  14. Kayse November 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Wow wow wow wow! This dress is fabulous!! It’s the perfect winter dress!

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Thank you! I think so too πŸ˜€

  15. Janet November 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    This dress is fabulous, especially in that fabric! I love love love the Renfrew – it was my first make & I’ve made several since then. A Renfrew dress is next & this might be the one! I always love your makes so thanks for all the inspiration

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      The Renfrew is one of my top favorite patterns ever released – and I think there’s good reason why it’s sold so well since. It’s so simple, but absolutely genius at the same time πŸ™‚

  16. thenerdyseamstress November 13, 2014 at 2:09 am #

    This dress is perfection. I’m not much of a knit person, but I do have these two patterns. I loved that the lady skater is not a gathered skirt. I love mixing patterns, but I never thought of these two patterns together. Genius!

    Way Back in time I had this RTW grape cowl knit dress that I loved, but it short so I had to wear leggings under it. Some how it was lost. I have this gorgeous eggplant merino wool that I’ve been holding on forever. I think I’m going to turn it into lady Renfrew! So I can have a cowl knit dress in my wardrobe!

    I’m not that much of a fan of knits. I know! after seeing this dress, I want make it just so I can recreate my old dress.

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:10 am #

      I think my favorite part of the Lady Skater is the lack of gathered skirt, too! I think gathered skirts look great on everyone else, but I always feel so dumpy in them.

      Um, your eggplant merino cowl dress in the making sounds FABULOUS. And way better than the original RTW – especially with the correct length and the fact that it is MERINO (be still, my heart!). I love duping my old favorite/not-quite-right RTW. It always makes me feel like such a sewing badass, ha!

  17. Kelly November 13, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    This looks awesome, and definitely not too Christmassy πŸ™‚ I’ve just made another lady skater and remembered how much I love that pattern. I love the idea of adding a cowl but I haven’t got the renfrew one to work for me yet – I thoughtI’d love it but it just wasn’t quite right when I made it :/ need to revisit that one!

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      Oh, that’s a bummer! Hope you can figure out why it’s not working so you can fix it soon – every girl needs a good cowl in her arsenal πŸ˜‰

  18. sallie November 13, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    This is just lovely!! It’s cold and blustery here today and seeing this dress makes me wish I had my own cozy knit cowl dress to curl up in!! Also, these lady skater dresses are some of my favorites on you – definitely (one of) your pattern soulmate(s)!

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:13 am #

      I think you’re right about that! Ah, so lucky to have found my pattern soulmate β™₯ haha!

  19. Patricia November 13, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    Cute dress Llady!!! I love the style, fabric, and fit on you. I totally enjoyed your Zipper class this past weekend!!! Keep up the good work. I expect we will teaching more classes in the near future.

    • Patricia November 13, 2014 at 7:17 am #

      excuse the typos. It’s early! Hope to see you teaching more classes soon!

    • LLADYBIRD November 13, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed the class! Hoping in the future that there will be more where that came from πŸ˜€

  20. Tasha @ By Gum, By Golly November 13, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Oooh that DOES look snuggly! The Lady Skater skirt is so perfect, and I remember you saying awhile back that circle skirts weren’t doing it for you, so it’s kind of a nice swishy without being too full full swishy (I can never really get a handle on circle skirts myself). Love the mashup!

  21. Emmely November 13, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    This lady skater modification has been on my to do list for a while. Great to see that it works like a charm!

  22. Evie November 13, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    I’m pretty sure you have made the world’s perfect dress. Love it!

  23. geekyseamstress November 13, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    LOVE this print! I recently made a Lady Renfrew dress as well, and it’s definitely one of the coziest dresses in my wardrobe! And congrats on the nominations πŸ˜€


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