sewaholic renfrew again & simplicity 2368 skirt

purplejerseylondonwye39This is another Cathy & Frances adventure! Actually, adventures. With cameos by the sewaholic renfrew and simplicity 2368, which you shall see plenty of soon. Get ready!

purplejerseylondonwye01This is the end of the Susan and Miss Lulu care package. They sent me some fancy elastic (Benin elastic is awful…) which I had to use before leaving.

purplejerseylondonwye02They also sent the last remaining fabric I have from them – thankfully not very cruel – a solid knit. No matching woes here!

purplejerseylondonwye67 I made view E of Simplicity 2368, a pattern sent by my mom from my stash in TX. They key to sewing with knits on a treadle is to go simple. So a 4 piece skirt with an elastic waistband sounded pretty perfect to me. I french seamed the insides so they’re all pretty!

Back CameraI don’t have a good photo of this but when I made the pink striped top I did a simple fold over hem with a straight stitch, but it ended up with a ton of ripples in the hemline. So aside from the bagginess, this is the second reason why I don’t wear it out in pubic – that hem drives me nuts. However I don’t have the wavy hem issue with renfrew tops as the pattern is designed in a way to avoid fold over hems. Win!

purplejerseylondonwye69I have a different issue for the renfrew though – what’s up with those drag lines near the top? I think it’s part of my broad shoulders/back, so I will be learning how to correct this in my next renfrew make. Any links or leads to tutorials or chapters in books for how to fix this are greatly appreciated!

purplejerseylondonwye03Anyway, as usual, the top was sewed in Benin, but I left the skirt unhemmed because I didn’t want a hem with ripples. I waited until London, where the dining table at Frances’ home is also the sewing table.

purplejerseylondonwye04Look at her beautiful machine! It’s so shiny, so beepy (machines can BEEP! my treadle never did that) and lights up! And has a ton of buttons to press!

purplejerseylondonwye05AND Frances pulled out the twin needle just for me!

purplejerseylondonwye06Which meant I could successfully hem my skirt (look, a smooth hem) and we could enjoy our pancakes. AND OMG my glasses tan line on the side of my face. Is that not the most distracting thing ever???? I’m working on getting rid of it but it’s taking its sweet time to fade away!

purplejerseylondonwye07For an outfit that is purple head to toe, it calls for one thing: gold accessories. Frances lent me a bracelet, but that’s all she had that was gold and that I liked.

purplejerseylondonwye08A perfect outfit to hug the stairwell with.

purplejerseylondonwye09Also the perfect outfit to make phone calls with.

purplejerseylondonwye10Time to head out. Oh, gray London skies, surprise surprise.

purplejerseylondonwye11We went to a street food market. I forgot the name, but it was underneath some train tracks and just packed with good food left and right. We had a difficult time deciding what to eat. (Yeah yeah, I know we had just had breakfast… but there was no way to resist at this place.)

purplejerseylondonwye12Also, I decided I don’t like photo shoots with a ton of people around. It’s crowded, I block foot traffic, and just plain awkward.

purplejerseylondonwye13We found a place to sit down and eat.

purplejerseylondonwye14Mmmmm just look at the bread on that burger… Oh Frances is looking good as usual too!

purplejerseylondonwye15We found some red seats (?) that we thought would make a perfect photo shoot location… but meh, no.

purplejerseylondonwye16Frances found some dress forms.

purplejerseylondonwye17And made me squat. Not my best pose, but at least it shows how flexible this outfit is.

purplejerseylondonwye18Remember how I was on the hunt for gold accessories? I FOUND THEM. Giant golden balls.

purplejerseylondonwye19Exactly what this outfit needed.

purplejerseylondonwye20Double selfies in the mirror, why not?

purplejerseylondonwye21 Then we went to a fashion museum, but meeeeeeeeeh again, many of the things were from the 90s, so not too interesting.

purplejerseylondonwye22We did find an orange wall right next to it. Win! Also, my scarf covers up those neckline drag lines and it keeps my neck warm. Perfect.

purplejerseylondonwye23Photo booth fun.

purplejerseylondonwye24Film, not the digital kind – There’s a locator online at if you want to see if there is one near you.

purplejerseylondonwye25Frances then had a stare off with a cat on a car.

purplejerseylondonwye26Well more like Frances stared at a cat who slept and kept his eyes shut the entire time.

purplejerseylondonwye27Still no reaction.

purplejerseylondonwye28Then we went to go pick apples in her friend’s backyard.

purplejerseylondonwye29My hemline is still nice and flat and beautiful. I spent the entire day admiring the results of a twin needle.

purplejerseylondonwye30Frances, by the way, even though it is winter, is selling her bike! So if anybody in London wants to do some winter pedaling, Frances is your girl.

purplejerseylondonwye31After that busy day we went home to rest. Sort of. Frances worked on her kimono muslin. Which sleeve do you prefer?

purplejerseylondonwye32Oh, it’s not over yet. Part 2! The next morning as soon as I woke up Frances was as giddy as a kid on Christmas Day. Wye oh wye? Wye, after a few days of rain and depressing gray skies, we had been given a glorious day with blue skies and full sun. Frances thought that going to Wye to visit the English countryside was the perfect thing to do. Also, how can one turn down a trip to a place with so many potential awful puns? Wye not? Into the Francesmobile we went!

purplejerseylondonwye33Glorious it was.

purplejerseylondonwye34Some stormy looking clouds came, but we warned them to not rain, and so they didn’t.

purplejerseylondonwye35Taking a break… there was a lot of (slight) uphill walking.

purplejerseylondonwye36Oh what’s this? The renfrew paired with pants! As much as I loved the skirt it wasn’t going to work on this walk.

purplejerseylondonwye37Frances let me borrow her shoes. So I did a little dance… or something.

purplejerseylondonwye38I’m not a fan of jogging. If you jog the landscape is too rushed and you can’t look around and admire or photograph anything.

purplejerseylondonwye40So glad Frances is a walking buddy and not a jogging buddy.

purplejerseylondonwye41We tried to take some remote photos, but the camera was beyond the range. Then we tried self-timer photos, but I couldn’t make it to Frances in less than 10 seconds for the photo.

purplejerseylondonwye42Nope, perhaps I should try jogging a bit more often…

purplejerseylondonwye43Scratch that, it’s easier to just move closer to the camera so the remote can be used. Hah! See, there is always a solution to avoiding jogging.

purplejerseylondonwye44Time for a snack. Malt bread I think. It is… chewy. And not the first British food I’d crave. I’m more of a cornish pasty person or salt and vinegar chips when it comes to UK snacks.


purplejerseylondonwye46We also are not very good in the synchronized jumping thing. But we tried our best.

purplejerseylondonwye47Full blast of SUN.

purplejerseylondonwye48Can you spot me?


purplejerseylondonwye50There were quite a few caterpillars (?) hanging out on the grass trails.

purplejerseylondonwye51Another break.

purplejerseylondonwye52And… woah!

purplejerseylondonwye53Time to do some stretches! Beautiful background + sun = soak up as much as possible.

purplejerseylondonwye54A little skip toward the end.

purplejerseylondonwye55But… what did I run into?

purplejerseylondonwye56Take it slow, he warned.

purplejerseylondonwye57I waved, hoping to let him know that I was harmless.

purplejerseylondonwye58…he could have cared less. I think the cows up here are used to seeing people oooohing and aaaahing over everything so they just ignore all these strange two-legged creatures.

purplejerseylondonwye59Happy march.

purplejerseylondonwye60I know I said I don’t jog. But short distances with a camera in an endless field is an exception.

purplejerseylondonwye61We also walked by a horse unwilling to be photographed. Probably because we didn’t have any apples or treats to bribe him with.

purplejerseylondonwye62We made our way back into town, but not with the help of this confusing signpost.

purplejerseylondonwye63Back to town.

purplejerseylondonwye64Then back home, where Frances began cutting into her actual kimono fabric ooooooooooooooooo.

purplejerseylondonwye65I used the internet and did some slipstitching…

purplejerseylondonwye66To end the day Mr. Frances cooked us dinner! In the end it’s shirts like the renfrew and simple skirts like simplicity 2368 that see the most action from me – they’re just too easy to wear and move around in, not just physically but also mentally as well. I know that rain, mud, and greasy crumbs won’t destroy my garment so I don’t spend any time fretting or worrying about the weather or what I’m eating or what I’m doing and how it might damage what I’m wearing. Just need to learn how to correct the fit for the draglines and I think I’ll be turning into a renfrew factory. Thanks again to Susan and Miss Lulu for the care package – this marks the end of all the fabric they sent me, all made on a treadle in Benin but finished and modeled elsewhere in the world.

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew

Fabric: Purple knit courtesy of Susan & Miss Lulu

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