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… Wednesday night is sewing school here. Every week a group of friends come round for a few hours of sewing, usually with a break for soup and cheese at some point in the evening. It all started about 6 months ago when a friend asked if I could teach her to sew, another friend decided she wanted to learn too, and a couple more friends decided to come along. We started off with simple A-line skirts, elastic waisted then zip and waist band, and then moved on to dresses, each person choosing their pattern and me guiding them when they need. Since then they have made baby blankets and baby clothes and pyjamas and tunics… it is always a wonderful way to spend an evening.

… but this week no one could make it, so I found myself with an unexpected free evening. I decided to finally have a go at the Renfrew top. I bought the pattern ages ago, and I have a couple of pieces of fabric that I have picked up with it in mind.

… after the trouble I had with sizing the Minoru, I was a bit worried about what size to make, so I measured myself, and remeasured myself, then I measured the pattern pieces, before finally settling on a size. I traced the pattern and cut out the pieces and was laying them out on my fabric when it suddenly occurred to me that maybe the pattern included seam allowances? I read and reread the instructions but it wasn’t really clear, I went on to the Sewaholic website and looked at the photos from sew-alongs from other patterns… and it seemed like the patterns were being cut out without adding any extra.

… the reason for this confusion? For the patterns I generally use, from magazines, you have to add seam allowances, and on the old “packet” patterns I have from my mother’s collection the seam allowance is drawn onto the pattern as a second outline…

… so now I know why the Minoru ended up quite so big – not only did I chose a wrong size, I added 1.5 cm to every seam! I still haven’t decided whether to unpick the coat completely and start again, or whether I might be able to fit it to myself…

… anyway, in the mean time the Renfrew sewed up quickly and really is a nice fit.