Hot! the “casual mel” top

The Facts:

Fabric: “sherlock” themed t-shirt from
Pattern: sewaholic 1201, renfrew
Year: 2012
Notions: none
Time to Complete: 1 hours
First Worn: May 4, 2012
Wear Again: yes, yes, yes!!
Total Price: ~$30
Challenge Theme: “Mother’s Day”

another challenge that i had a different plan for until i stumbled upon a great photo ripe for a renfrew. i had originally wanted to do my mom’s prom dress, circa 1966-7, a big white confection that was totally mod, and which she can’t quite remember but thinks she made. but a big white mod dress wasn’t really working for me right now, with a pile of other dresses waiting to get done, and i have a slight t-shirt obsession, and it seemed ripe to experiment with refashioning a T using the renfrew pattern.

look at how cute and carefree they are. wasn’t my mom a total betty?

also, when i found this photo of my mom in a casual t-shirt and jeans, a look i would swear i have never seen her wearing in the 30 years i have known her, i was instantly smitten. my mom’s family were always a bit strict, and consequently so was she. a put-on-makeup-to-walk-to-the-mailbox type. as a child, and a teenager, i found this incredibly frustrating because i, as a child of the 90s and an east-cost adopter of the flannel shirt (without ever having heard “smells like teen spirit,” mind you), was always about the most casual, comfortable option. so i consider this photo to be sort of my dad’s influence, a hippie chemist in 1981 in his absurd t-shirt and short shorts. and, to be honest, i have no idea what he may or may not have smoked to get himself mentally prepared for a day at the in-laws’. :-)

unlike my slinky knit from ann on my previous renfrew, the jersey actually had less give than i expected and on future t-shirt refashions i am going to cut a size 2 and use XL t-shirts so i can make the waist band, although on this version i did leave the edges raw on purpose.

some things never change…

…at least i come by it honestly.

also, for those of you just now watching series 2 of sherlock (yes, i was a crazy person, downloading the file on new year’s day here in the US instead of waiting an extra five months) — what did you think of “scandal in belgravia”? i was laughing and loving it pretty much nonstop from “stayin’ alive” through to the pulse-taking scene, but then i sort of lost it. that ending was a bit weird, no? unsatisfying?

but, as i have discovered, it does improve on subsequent viewings. and next week’s “hound of baskerville” is pretty fun and classic. lestrade has a first name!


indiana jones would also not wear pants (or trousers) to buckingham palace. but he would probably leave the ash trays.



Devra is a New York-based photographer and sewer who tries to find time to do her day job in between bouts of crazed sewing.


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  1. Awwww such a cute kitteh! I love your top!! I want one! Husband and I also adore Sherlock. We’re playing by the rules and watching them on PBS though :D

  2. Cute shirt.Also a pretty mama..

  3. Love the tshirt! You have inspired me to try making one. So you just buy an extra large T and use that Sewholic pattern? Enjoyable post and cute kitty.

    • yes, although i imagine StephC’s “Blank Canvas Tee” would be an equally wonderful starting point. i plan on trying hers as well.

  4. Cute shirt! Especially since it features one of my favourite quotes ever! You look so much like your mother. Do people tell you that all the time?

    • thank you! it depends on whether they’ve seen me with my mom or my dad first. apparently, i look quite a lot like both of them. :-)

  5. Cute and casual-I like it! I need to make time for more T’s. My mom doesn’t really wear t-shirts either and make-up and jewelry should be worn at all times!

  6. Great shirt! I’m a Sherlock fan, myself. Definitely of the #2 variety he mentioned… ;)

    I love love love how you used your inspiration to make something so modern and wearable. Very cool. :)

  7. I love your creation! What a brilliant idea and it’s even totally wearable! :)

  8. Great shirt. Great show. Nice to see there are fans here.

  9. Great T and that is one of the largest kitties I have ever scene. He looks like a big cuddly fur ball!