Girl’s ‘Renfrew Style’ Cowl Neck Tee

A few weeks back when I was sewing the orange striped Sewaholic Renfrew my 8 year daughter saw the fabric and expressed an interest. I had fab some of the single jersey fabric left over so I said I’d make her a top and to which she added ‘with that neck bit’.

girls renfrew.jpg

Girls Renfrew style top using the Girl Skater Dress pattern


For the pattern I used the Kitschy coo girl skater dress as a base. I’ve made two of these dresses for my daughter, long sleeved in this great Russian doll print and a red spotted short sleeve one. The pattern only goes up to age 7/8 which is the size I used to make the dresses. The width of the dresses are still fine but I did add an extra 1cm to the width and dropped the underarm by 1cm. The bodice pattern for the dress only goes to the waist so I needed to add length. With the sleeve pattern I needed to drop the underarm point to match the changes to the bodice and add length.

adjusting pattern

Pattern adjustments


For the cowl pattern piece I measured the front and back neck and added together. For the depth of the cowl I made it 2/3 of the adult pattern piece and followed the shaping of the bottom edge.

I used the same banding technique for the cuffs and hem as the adults style.

It’s a great little top and I’m amazed that I got the two garments out of 1.8mts of fabric!

My only issue is that it is more polo neck than cowl neck. I left the front neck line as the original girl skater dress but to get a better cowl I should have scooped out the front neck more. It could have been a little bit longer in the body but I was limited by the  amount of fabric available. So a few pattern adjustments and it should be spot on for next time.

Just to add…we will not be wearing our tops at the same time in the same place, I’d think she’d like to but it’s not going to be happening!


‘Dorothy’ For World Book Day

For World Book Day last Thursday my 8 year old chose to go as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz. In the end I gave myself two evenings to make up this outfit but luckily it was quite straightforward.

dorothy (1368 x 1824)

I started with a plain white tee shirt. I was hoping to use some narrow stretch lace for the blue trimming but I’d left it too late to order any online so I was left with the choice from my local fancy dress / haberdashery shop. I got some ric-rac braid to use around the cuffs but the neck line needed something stretchy. There was nothing suitable then it came to me, use a machine stitch in contrast thread. I chose one of the stretch stitches and stitched around the neck seam.

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The pinafore isn’t completely accurate. The real Dorothy dress had a back with straps cut on the bias which came across the front and buttoned at the waistband. Time wasn’t on my side so I made a basic pinafore but did cut the waistband on the bais to break up the gingham.

dorothy 2 (1368 x 1824)

It turned out fine and teacher was impressed with my sewing skills!