there’s-a-baby-in-there Renfrew top

This is my second-ever attempt at sewing with knits and first-ever attempt at matching stripes. This is the Sewaholic Renfrew Top with 2″ in length added to both the front and back to give some extra room for my ever-expanding 5-month baby belly.

completed there’s-a-baby-in-there Renfrew pictured below:

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impatience = seam ripping:
This fabric is a super stretchy bamboo jersey, and in hindsight, I could have cut the pattern two sizes smaller than I did. Since it was too late to re-cut the whole shirt, I decided that re-doing the baggy arm and waist bands would at least gather in the loose fabric and give it an overall nicer fit. In addition to picking out (tedious!), and cutting 1-2″ off the arm and waist bands, I also narrowed the sleeves to a tighter taper. Which led to a somewhat obvious lesson learned: I should aways hold something up to myself/try it on as I go. Also, you can see that in my first attempt (below), the waist band stripes are on a crazy angle due to the way I cut the last lengths of the super stretchy fabric. Re-doing the waistband also gave me a chance to re-allign the stripes to a horizontal level.

first attempt, baggy sleeves and crooked waist band pictured below:

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matching stripes and letting go of perfectionism:
I got the stripes to mostly match down the side seams, but a 5/8″ seam allowance meant that even though I lined up the stripes at the edge, they stretched and moved a bit further in where the needle was actually hitting the fabric. It was definitely tricky matching stripes where the arm and waist bands met the main part of the shirt (since the seam is tucked inside and the cut edges weren’t perfectly straight). So, I basically stopped trying. I’m deciding to see this as a positive life lesson in giving up perfectionism!  

the cowl:
I’m a fan of the cowl! I was on the fence about whether or not it would look good in stripes, but I’m happy with it in the end. I found the Sewaholic tutorial on making the cowl neck useful.

sewing room hazards:
As I was cleaning up after finishing the Renfrew, I managed to tip over and break my water glass. Sigh. Then as I was in the middle of mopping up the water and throwing out the broken glass, the sharp pain in the heel of my foot signalled to my brain that I must have stepped on a piece of the broken glass. But no. As I peeled off my slipper and sock it looked like a staple, but it was much worse and longer – a mangled silk pin that had been hiding in the cracks of our hardwood floor. Evil hiding pin! Which resulted in this pregnant lady hobbling carefully back through the water and broken glass disaster to the first aid supplies. Who knew sewing could be so hazardous? Regularly vacuuming the sewing room will be a necessity, especially in a year or so when baby-on-the-way starts to crawl.

I know the Renfrew is a favourite in the sewist community. How have you altered this top for pregnancy? Any tips for matching  striped fabric parallel with the stripes on arm cuffs and waistbands?