achievement unlocked: glittery black Renfrew sweater


This is a long-time dream finally realized. I have been looking for the perfect black glittery sweater knit forever. I wanted something that showed obvious sweater loops, was opaque, & it had to be soft & wearable. I thought I hit the jackpot with the glittery wool I bought from mood last winter, but the finished sweater stretched completely out of shape & was way too itchy for me to wear. I wound up donating it to a thrift shop.

This sweater is much closer to what I had in mind. It’s a true black (not charcoal like the Mood fabric) with glittery threads woven into it. It’s stretchy but held its shape amazingly well through construction & wear. It’s some kind of synthetic that is amazingly soft & non-itchy to the touch & can be washed without any special care. Construction-wise, it came together flawlessly. I told Jared that I think it’s the first truly perfect garment I have ever sewn.



These photos are kind of washed out, intentionally, in an attempt to show the detail of the black fabric.

This is the Renfrew by Sewaholic, which I have sewn so many times before. This is the pattern I altered with a 2″ FBA blended into the waist, since Sewaholic drafts for pear shapes, which isn’t me. These alterations make the pattern a little looser than I think Tasia intended, but the fit is exactly what I like. I re-drafted the hem band to accommodate the extra width in the waist, & I had to re-draft the neckband because I somehow lost the original pattern piece. Luckily, my neckband came out perfectly. I kept admiring it in the mirror after I was finished sewing because I couldn’t believe how flat the neckband was.

The one bummer thing about this fabric is that the weave is just loose enough to be perfect for snagging on cat claws. Biscuit has snagged several threads so far & I don’t know what to do about it because I don’t know how to darn. I guess I will have to learn? I’m trying not to be too sad about it because it cost less than $2 a yard (thank you, Hancock Fabrics Spot-the-Bolt sale table!), but I really love how this sweater came out & would like for it to last for longer than two months.

As I do with most knit projects, I serged the edges before I started construction, & did all the construction with the zigzag stitch on my regular machine. I also staystitched the neckline instead of stabilizing with clear elastic, & that worked out great for this fabric.

As for the outfit at the top of the post…I let Ramona pick it out. She is really into skirts & dresses over pants. She chose the blue knit dress I made a couple of summers ago over my black ponte di roma Vogue pants, & the sweater for warmth. I had been thinking about getting rid of both the dress & the pants, but she’s making me reconsider.

Is it weird that I was thinking about getting rid of things I have made? I’ve already gotten rid of some other things I’ve made that never got worn. Sometimes the ideas are better than the execution. I was listening to a podcast recently & the host talked about making a goal to get rid of ten things per month. That seemed like a pretty good idea. I feel like so much stuff accumulates in this house because I have two stuff-intensive hobbies (sewing & miniatures), plus a toddler. & Jared has always had hoard-y tendencies. I decided to also try to get rid of ten things per month (as big as a garment I made myself, or as tiny as a bottle of nail polish) & I’m into it so far. I have finally gotten rid of a few things I had been holding on to for way too long, including a shrug/sweater/scarf-y thing bedecked with three-dimensional knit roses that I bought six years ago & never wore even once because I had no idea how to wear it, really. But I really liked it so it just sat in my closet. Time to let it go to a new home & a new owner that can figure out how it works.

All right, more soon, must go now because Ramona fully just dumped an entire sippy of milk over her head. This kid. It’s always something.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

3 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: glittery black Renfrew sweater

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