Friday, 28 August 2015

Briar Briar Briar by Megan Nielsen

I realised that I was absolutely craving a loose cool feeling tshirt.  This culminated in buying the pattern on Thursday literally as I was running out the door for the bus that was taking me away towards Copenhagen.  Naturally I spent my birthday weekend in Copenhagen buying amazing viscose knits for Briars!  

Briar 1.
Green viscose from Stoff 2000 in Copenhagen.
Added 2" to the bottom all the way around. I cleverly decided on my size by reading that Lauren of Lladybird cut a size XS. So I cut a small.  The size chart would have told me otherwise! The looseness makes it kind of ok that my belly shows, but I will definitely lengthen. This was totally a great start and I love the neck binding, however was surprised how heavy and dense it is.  This is serious binding!  I ended up shaving about 1.5" off the center back bottom, tapering to nothing at the sides.

My friend Meike took these nice pictures in Zurich, that's why there are so many.

Note on the label: So my friend Martin gave me some of his grandmother's sewing supplies when she recently passed away. I got her button collection and a bag of dusty thread...and this one label from Martin's grandfather was among the thread.  I adore it and I am trying to track down more!  I have been wishing for cool labels but none magically appeared until now : )

Briar 2.
Grey-purple viscose from Skipper Stoffer in Copenhagen. By Marni.
Size XS. I added now 3" to the front. I shortened the back by the amount I had shaved off version 1.  I forgot to add those 3" to the side back and got this cool feature...

So I made a creative hem. I am not too happy with it but cutting it straight across would involve yet more work.  Also, the neck binding seemed too short.  I got all those wrinkles along the neck.  This is all because I was sewing this in a rush while I had a guest and I wasn't paying close attention - the snips don't go at the side seam, they match up snips along the neckline - so my back neck is too loose and my front neck is too tight.  I was very disappointed by this version.  Felt like I made a bunch of changes that obviously, in retrospect, wouldn't work.  Then I wore it to show off at work and everyone loved it.  Really??  I admit I love the fabric.  But I am also irritated by the fit at the shoulder.  I revisited my changes.  And wished I had bought more of this fabric.

Briar 3.
Dark teal shiny viscose, also from Skipper Stoffer in Copenhagen.  By Prada.  This is the stuff that doesn't have that cottony feel but is cool and heavy against the skin.

I corrected the sides on my XS pattern pieces but I really didn't want to mess this up so I traced another version, just lengthened the entire pattern, this time 4 inches, figuring it is easier to cut off when it's on me, than to have cut too much too early.  I also shortened the front of the armhole, what would be raising the shoulder on a dress - but only the front, by 1cm.  The back, in purple, sits fine but the front has pooling fabric at the armhole. Similar, actually, to the effect I get in *all wovens*. Ugh, armscye problems, I will never conquer you.

This fabric was not too fun to work with - very slippery, and my machine and the IDT are absolutely not wonderful with knits.  The theme of my Briar obsession has been Ohhhh if I had a thingy-machine with those four needles I would be getting such better results...if only I could pick a country and live there so I could justify more machines for my obsessive hobby.  Instead, I am gearing up to sell my Pfaff prior to my departure.  It would otherwise live in someone's attic for over a year and I don't have enough friends with attics.

But I paid so much detailed attention to this shirt and it absolutely shows.  This is the platonic ideal of a Briar!  It took three tries, and I have arrived.  I am happy.  I cut about 2" off the back tapering toward the front (I tapered through the side seam a bit).  I even pulled out some labels that I bought in Paris.  Adding a label to something makes it seem downright professional!  I wish I had more cool labels.

Taking a (short) break from Briars now : ) 


  1. The teal shiny viscose is sexy! You look great!!!

    1. Thanks! these three shirts are totally what I live in lately : )