Friday, April 12, 2013

Briar love

With the weather finally cooling down here to more autumn like temperatures I've had a hankering for some in-between clothes, something comfy and easy. So I got out my Megan Neilsen Briar tshirt pattern, which has been waiting patiently for me to try it. I bought it a while ago after falling in love with this version by Sophie at Cirque du Bebe (there's also a post by Sophie here on True Bias about why the Briar is her favourite 'tried & true' pattern). And while I plan to buy some metallic jersey knit fabric to do it justice I thought I'd make a (hopefully) wearable muslin to check the fit.

I used a navy jersey from my stash to try it and was really pleased with the result - the drape is really nice, quite heavy for such a thin fabric. I think there must be quite a bit of whatever the stretchy stuff in there is. I don't remember where it came from but to date I've never paid much for my knits (though that may change when I find something with a metallic content, I'm guessing!).
If you're not familiar with the pattern, Megan provides several options for length, sleeve length, pocket options and neckline binding options. I find it amusing that I chose the cropped version... as an 80's teen I loved my crop tops, though they will definitely be worn with a layer underneath at this stage of my life! (worn here with a jersey knit camisole - I like to have these to layer in winter and find hem fantastic to add a bit of warmth without bulk). And even though I'm sure I will look back in years to come and laugh at the 'mullet' aspect of these tops (high at the front, low at the back), for now I like it :-)

And look at that beautifully curved hem - Megan's got it just right.

I must admit that I was hesitant to buy this pattern at first as it's such a simple design, just a tshirt really, but I'm so happy with the fit that I'm glad I did. And I learnt some more about sewing with knits from this pattern - the neckline binding works really well and is a joy to do, rather than a chore as I thought it may be. And I love the fact that you can start with a simple pattern and subtly change details and fabric to create different looks. Of course there will be more versions!

Now I'm dreaming of a lovely crumpled metal knit fabric with a pocket, teamed with a long top and my metallic leggings for a girls night out ;-) ... And wondering how long I can get away with wearing the cropped mullet!!


** For anyone interested here are a few sewing notes:

- I made the XS size (34" bust) and the fit is good, though I'm sure the size up would be fine too

- for the sleeve length I went halfway between the provided options of short sleeve and 3/4 length. I think it creates a nice balance as they sit around the length of the front hem. It's also a comfortable place to sit on the arm. Megan has a blog post on making this adjustment here

- on my lovely old sewing machine I don't have zig zag or any sort of stretch stitch (and I don't think there's a twin needle available) so I'm always a little nervous about sewing knits, but this worked fine, and I was glad of Megan's reminder on the pattern to make sure you press the seams along the way - this made it sit so much better. I did finish the seams with my overlocker (serger) but I certainly don't think you'd have to have one to make this pattern

- I opted out of the pocket option as this was made really just to test the fit but I love Megan's suggestion of using a contrasting fabric for one

- I chose the 'binding' method for the neckline, which I like but I'd consider making it narrower next time, particularly if I go for a slightly less casual look.

Joining in on my creative space over here today - check it out!



  1. Great shirt Jo - really suits you and looks very professionally finished!

  2. This is adorable! I love the cropped length on you! I'm with you-- my belly-baring days are over, so I need to make a couple of tanks to go underneath a cropped version. :)

  3. Super cute! Easy, comfortable, but with a little "mullet"-y style. Love it. I've been eyeing this pattern as well, but wondering if it was worth it just because it is so simple. I was more interested in the longer length for myself ... I might have to give it a shot!

  4. This look great! I love this pattern too, it has such a nice fit to it. I am totally with you though, I always wear a layer underneath the cropped version :)


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