Saturday, February 8, 2014

I am pulling my hair out!

I am desperate.
I need help!
Last year I purchased the Renfrew Top pattern.

All the reviews were great and everyone raved about the ease of sewing this top.
I attempted to make the Renfrew Top soon after I received the pattern in the mail.
I say attempted  because - that was as far as I got.
As I started sewing the neckband, I am realizing I have done something seriously wrong.
No matter how much I eased, stretched, pulled and pinned there was no way I could get the neckband to fit.
I didn't blog about it at the time because I was sure it was something I had done wrong and certainly didn't want to bash the designer.
I thought maybe my knit was not stable enough and was causing the issue so I e-mailed Sewaholic patterns for help.
Here was the answer I received:
Having a stable knit is pretty important, but it shouldn't have caused that much of a problem. Do you think your neckband piece stretched out before you managed to sew it on? Which view did you choose? I would suggest double checking that you cut the correct band "view" and in the correct size for the band?

Let me know, and I'll see if I can help further! The neckband definitely should not have posed such a problem, but I can't imagine what went wrong aside from a mis-cut.
I went through all the suggestions...
Nope, don't think my fabric stretched out before sewing on - I was very careful not to stretch too much because the pattern doesn't call for stay-stitching - which I found odd.
Double checked the correct band "view" and size - cut the correct view and size.
(I was making view A with the rounded neckline.)
Needless to say, I became soooooo frustrated - it ended up in the trash!
I consider myself a fairly seasoned sewer and decided I was not going to let this simple pattern get the best of me.
For round two, I purchased a much more stable knit, made sure I had chosen all the correct pattern pieces and attempted again.
For some reason I just can't seem to get the neckband to fit - no matter what I do.
Since the pattern calls for basting stitches on the neckband itself I find it hard to ease or stretch the neckband to fit.
I know there are many bloggers out there that rave about this pattern and don't seem to have any problems with it.
 Help me............ pleezzzz......
What in the heck am I doing wrong????
What am I missing???

I've sewn invisible zippers, button holes, piping, shirt collars, waistbands, pin tucks, inserted elastic, made ruffles, quilted, made and sewed bias tape, etc.
Why am I making such a simple pattern so difficult?
I have sewed slipcovers for furniture and never had this much trouble.

 I know I can measure, cut and MAKE something myself to fit, but I didn't want to go there.
I wanted to know what I am doing wrong with the existing pattern pieces and instructions.

Any suggestions?

Linking today to:


Terri said...

I am of no help because not only am I not a "seamstress", I have never even heard of this brand, but I can sympathize with your dilemma.

I have a Simplicity apron pattern that I have used multiple times but I could never get one piece to fit correctly...I had to revamp the piece and "make it work"! It still haunts me to this day as to why I could never get it to be made the way it was supposed to be!

Good luck...hope someone can help you figure it out!

Debbie said... sounds like a conspiracy ;-o

Anonymous said...

I know it's only making a frustrating situation even more frustrating and difficult, but if you could take pictures of each step, that would really be helpful in being able to give you feedback.

It's odd, I've made the Renfrew quite a few times, and I've never had this problem. Once you get this figured out, it'll be a great basic pattern to have, so I definitely want to help you out, here. Can you take pictures of the pattern pieces you used & cut, as well as the actual process of fitting the neckband to the neck?

Meigan said...

I was very intrigued by your issue with the neckband. I measured my pattern piece and for the size 0 (measured along the dotted fold line), I measured it to be 24 1/16". For the size 8, I got (just about) 25 3/4". Compare your pattern piece to those measurements to see if the problem was with the pattern itself. Otherwise the only thing I can think of is to make sure you cut your band on the cross-grain which is stretchier than on-grain. HTH :)

Meg the Grand said...

Darling! Let's see if we can't tackle this one together. Sometimes I have had this problem when my jersey fabric doesn't have a ton of stretch in it. I bought two huge bolts of cotton jersey and neither of them stretched very well. I ended up cutting out the largest neckband piece and aligning it that way, and when that didn't work, I just cut out a very long strip (same width as the neckband) and starting at the left shoulder seam, pinned with equal tension around the neckline until I reached my starting point. I then stitched the strip ends together at that point, basically making my own neckband from scratch. I tend to revert to this anymore, as I usually don't have anough fabric to cut things out on the bias. Let me know if this works for you, or if you have any questions. Good luck!!!

Also, worse comes to worst, try using ease stitches about the neckline to try and make the neckband fit,but you may risk making it too tight for your head to fit through.