Renfrew tie-neck top

ImageOur cat, Travis. Chickens in the background.

ImageHe’s a dumb little man who over grooms himself, resulting in hair loss and scabs. But he’s still pretty cute and knows a couple of tricks.

I’d had my eye on the Jalie Scarf Collar Top for a while (I’m a fan of collars of almost any kind), but held off spending $20 on what seemed like a rather simple pattern. One day I decided to just use my Renfrew pattern and make up the scarf tie.


I was originally just going to overlock the tie directly to the top, but worried about the overlocked edge rolling out and showing itself. Plus, Lladybird’s review on the top suggested that the seam was enclosed inside the scarf. I found this post by Sharon Sews that gave me the secret – you sew the shoulder seams (I reinforced with elastic), attach one edge of the “scarf” to the entire neckline, with the overhang  at the front. You roll the whole top up and wrap the scarf around it, so you end up with a long sausage. You sew from one end of the tie right to the end, making sure you don’t catch any top in the machine; then pull out the top through one end and wa-la! I didn’t take photos during construction, but her blog has great pictures if you’re confused.

After all that and feeling so clever about (sort-of) figuring it out, turns out you can just download the instructions from the Jalie website.

To make it work from my Renfrew pattern (or any t-shirt pattern you have), I cut the back piece on the fold, cut the front with a v-neck and put a seam in the center front (adding a seam allowance) and leaving 2 inches at the top edge unsewn, so that you can actually tie the bow at the end. I then turned the edges under and top stitched – not very prettily but noone can see it.


The whole thing is sewn with my overlocker, then the sleeves and hem is turned and stitched with a double needle. All in all I think it took maybe 2 hours, including cutting.


Unfortunately I didn’t think lining up the polka-dots would be important because they’re so small – but they’re mismatched horizontally by about 2mm, which is surprisingly obvious. fabric is really clingy, without the top being clingy. I’m conscious all day that it shows my belly rolls even standing up; and I didn’t think they were that prominent. It also sticks to my bra in an odd way. So I’m not sure how much I like this top – I do like it, I do wear it, but I don’t feel the absolute greatest in it.


Pattern: Renfrew + ?self-drafted tie – $0

Fabric – 1m polkadot fabric from The Fabric Warehouse, $16

Notions – thread and double needle, stash

Total – $16


2 thoughts on “Renfrew tie-neck top

  1. I love this hack – a tie bow with polka-dots, what could be cuter?! Would a singlet under help with the clingyness? I use a lycra singlet under a rtw-clingy top and it helps…also OMG chickens?! I have seriously been debating getting some chickens, we need to talk! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s