The One with the Megan Nielsen and Rayon Knit happiness combo!

A while ago, after Paunnet’s post about her jersey Banksia there was some talk about how hard it was to find nice jersey fabric. Nice as in, sweet and floral but not childlike or granny like.

Somehow I ended up in a fabric shop yesterday (totally by accident, I didn’t mean to :p) and I decided (for once) to ask the shoplady to help me out. Normally I just wonder around looking at what they have, but this time I asked her if she had any sweet and girly jersey fabrics (without it being childlike or granny like).

We went through the lot (they just had a fresh shipping) and stumbled on this beautiful, buttery soft rayon knit. It was perfection disguised as fabric. Instant happiness. I would have bought the bolt but it was a bit pricey for that.

Without anything specific in mind, I took home 2m. On my way back home it hit me that this was the perfect fabric for a jersey Banksia but also for a Briar… I hated myself for only buying 2m but I decided to give it a try and if I didn’t have enough go back there today and get some more.

cut out

It finally took me a few tries but I managed to squeeze both patterns out of the fabric. You can imagine my happiness! I cut all my pieces and decided to keep the sewing part for today (being tired and wanting to do it right the first time around as this was such gorgeous fabric)

Here’s the result!

fabric

I didn’t change much:

– On the Briar, I left off the patch pocket. The print was enough in itself

– On the Banksia I added a band at the hem because it turned out a bit short for my liking (I actually considered not hemming it, but it felt like a crime to do this to this fabric)

 

I’ve already expressed my love for Megan Nielsen and her patterns but this was just heaven!

(I have to confess I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, oops. But I did press the living shit out of it! Pressing is another thing I only started doing after I got to know Megan Nielsen’s patterns and blog)

Me Made Moose – Shirt

On Thursday it hit me! Planning your outfits and what you’re going to make is fine and all, but in the end you have to do some actual sewing. So I picked up a piece of fabric I’ve been wanting to turn into a sweater for a very long time and made it!

Rendier Briar

Pattern:

Megan Nielsen’s Briar Pattern (She’s also hosting a Briar sewalong right now)

Fabric:

A very soft, very cosy sweater knit with a ice-crystal and moose/reindeer print.

Size and alterations:

This knit was a lot stretchier than the previous one I used for this pattern so I decided to cut it a size smaller. But because I wanted to wear this with a t-shirt underneath I decided to keep the original size for the sleeves. I also opted for the longer version because I wasn’t completely happy with how the cropped version looked on me.

Level and special skills:

Beginner – This is the easiest pattern EVER (it was even easier with the extra explanation on the sewalong)

It does help if you’ve sewn with knits before but if you haven’t just go for it. If you’re scared, you can always take the Sewing with Knits-class on Craftsy.

Time to complete:

About 2,5 hours. It could have gone faster but I had a huge fight with my sewing machine and because it was such a soft knit, it was harder to press the seams so I took a bit longer.

Will I make it again:

If I still had the same fabric I would make a thousand more of these. I just want to live in this sweater. It’s so soft and cosy.

Will I make the pattern again: DEFINITELY! I wasn’t too happy with the cropped version, although I have worn it since and it’s starting to grow on me. But I really do love this longer version and I’m waiting for the pattern variations in the sewalong to see what comes up.

Likes and dislikes:

I dislike the fact that I had a fight with my sewing machine and broke 3 twin needles while doing the pocket and hemming. So my front hem is twin needle, my back hem is triple stretch stitch. But it’s not visible since it’s dark blue thread on a dark blue fabric.

The sleeves could be a bit tighter at the hem but this is just a very stretchy knit.

What I like: EVERYTHING ELSE! I FREAKING LOVE THIS SWEATER!

Overall conclusion:

This is definitely a winner. Too bad it’s so ‘wintery’ and it would be a bit weird to wear in Summer. I would make this again if I could, just to have two of them. In one of my previous posts I complained that my wardrobe was lacking some print and I think this is a very good step towards a more ‘printy’ wardrobe (Yes, I’m inventing words tonight).

Note: I had a fight with my sewing machine because it kept jamming while using my twin needle. It got so bad, I ruined 3 of them (went through my 2 spare needles). I thought it was my machine’s fault. But what I learned today while re-reading a ‘how to sew with stretch’ post on Megan’s blog is that you can separate your 2 threads right above your needle so they don’t get twisted and trow off the tension and break your needles. So partly my fault, partly machines fault as it came with a very shitty manual!

Just couldn’t wait for the sewalong.

On Thursday I got the Briar pattern in the mail! Yay, I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to get started.But past mistakes taught me that I had to carefully plan my garment.

I had this moss green knit for quite some time. I loved it, I bought it… Simple as that! But not as simple as finding a matching pattern. Until I saw the Briar pattern.

collageThis was my first attempt at outside pictures. It’s hard this time of year because I leave home in the dark and by the time my boyfriend gets home to take the pictures it’s dark again. When I asked him to do the pictures today he just took his mobile and wanted to take pictures with that. I nearly hit him 🙂

I haven’t got any “making of” pictures because this was made as sort of a muslin. I had enough fabric to make two and since I didn’t have another fabric in this loose knit I chose to make a muslin out of the final fabric. If it worked out, great! If it didn’t, I had enough fabric for a second try.

I finished this yesterday and I wasn’t really happy with the result. My shoulders looked quite bulky (because of the seam allowance of the leather shoulder patches) and my one great asset (my waist) was nowhere to be found. So this morning I cut out the seam allowance of the leather patches and that made it a lot less bulky. And although I still think the cropped cut is not for me, the Banksia shirt underneath makes it better (I love how those two seem made for each other) . All in all, it looks a lot better than it did last night.

What I don’t like about this top:

  • The knit is too loose for this pattern.
  • It’s quite transparent and not warm (might be better for a Spring outfit).
  • My thread didn’t match the fabric exactly but fortunately it’s not noticeable in daylight.
  • I should have used a twin-needle for the neckline band.
  • I don’t like how the cropped version looks on me.
  • I had no matching serger thread so it’s white on the inside.
  • I think the leather shoulder patches make my shoulders look a lot broader than they are (and I already have quite broad shoulders)

What I do like this top:

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE COLOUR.
  • I love love love how easy this pattern was to make.
  • I used the selvage side of my fabric as a band for the hemming. I had never tried it before but it worked really well.
  • I love how it has an army feel to it.

What I changed:

  • Instead of using Megan’s advice to use the patch pockets as guide for the shoulder patches, I used a suede knee-patch I still had lying around from another project. I cut it in two and sewed it on.
  • I added the band around the sleeves, at the bottom and around the neckline.

Overall assessment:

I love the pattern and I will make more Briar tops, I still have to experiment a little bit. But I will wait for the Briar sewalong to make the next one!

actie