Megan Nielsen Briar Tee

A gorgeous, sunny day in Toronto!

And several days later (finally sitting down to finish this post) and it is an awesome, grey and rainy day in Toronto!  Most people will not agree with the awesome statement but what can I say…  I’m a little homesick and the rain reminds me of the Coast.

I’ve been mildly obsessed with knits now that I have gotten over my silly fear of them.  A common occurrence amongst my fellow sewists, I think.  We all dread them until we finally take the plunge and realize how easy and satisfying they are to work with!  No need to worry about finishing seams?  Sign me up!  I’ve been having some Renfrew and Scout knit fun but have been hesitant to try Megan Nielsen’s Briar.  It’s adorable and I love the kajillion versions I have seen out in the blogverse but I wasn’t so sure I could pull it off.  A mullet hem?  Ummmm…  not so sure.  But I do so love a versatile pattern and with all of the awesome ideas and tutorials found on Megan Nielsen’s blog, I went for it.  And ladies, this pattern is everything you said it would be!

red briar autotone correct 2013-07-26 14.23.52

I’ve made a few versions but am showing you a cropped and a long version.  The cropped tee didn’t appeal at all but I had a short cut of this red cotton knit so decided to give it a try.  I kind of love it!  This sucker shall never see the light of day without a longer base layer but it’s been so fun to try and style!  Perhaps not surprising, it works perfectly over the Eucalypt and Banksia.  And given how often I wear it over this RTW button-up that I picked up at the Loft for a song, I will have to make an Archer or two to layer with my cropped Briar tee’s this fall.  I didn’t modify the pattern at all but I think that next time I might lower the front a touch as it is quite cropped on me!  And I could definitely stand to take some width out of the shoulders. Otherwise, I love it!

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The version below was actually my first attempt at this pattern.  I used a super slinky rayon jersey that is a treat to wear but was not the best choice for this pattern.  At least not on me!   Too much drape with the long hem at the back so it tends to pool on my ass.  Perhaps not the best look.  Sure doesn’t stop me from wearing it though!  The fabric feels far too awesome to worry about anything else!

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No close-ups on this pocket!  My sewing machine was a grumpy bitch with this fabric so the pocket looks less than perfect!  But so far no one has pointed at it in horror so maybe only I care that I made such a mess of it.  Anyway, this tee is LONG, peeps so be warned.  I took a solid four inches off of the back and maybe an extra inch off the front hem.

I’ve also been working on getting better pictures of my finished knits for my ravelry page.  Below is a striped shawl that I made last summer out of a fingering weight alpaca (project notes can be found here).  This sucker was a total dream in the winter!  Cozy, warm, and soft.  A winning combination if I do say so.

shawl hang shawl 1

However, in the crazy hot Toronto summers, this thing feels a little ridiculous!

 shawl face

And on a fun, sister-related note…  Bitty’s Hawthorn peplum made the Top 20 in the Hawthorn Sewalong hosted by Colette Patterns.  So hop on over here to see some lovely dresses and blouses and maybe vote for Bitty should you feel so inclined!




Indie Pattern Month – A Sunny Sewaholic Renfrew

Hello again and many apologies for the silence!  Life has been a tad hectic, to say the least!  But it’s Indie Pattern Month so you’ll be seeing more of us on here in the next couple of weeks!  I know, right!  So exciting!  Well, at least you should all be excited to see what some very fab pattern designers have to offer…  Bitty and I keep saying we’re going to take a break from sewalongs and yet we keep coming back for more!  They’re just too much fun!  Though this one is not exactly a sewalong…  more like a month long feature.  And as usual, we’re only making what we or our friends and family will get a lot of use out of.  I need summer shirts. And to conquer my fear of knits!  So first up that fits the bill perfectly is the Sewaholic Renfrew!

Renfrew front croppedThis pattern calls for stable knits so it seemed like the perfect place to venture into the world of stretch fabrics.  This is a medium weight slub cotton knit that I picked up at the last customer appreciation event at my local Fabricland.  I kind of love it and wish I had bought it in more colours while it was 50% off!  Oh well…  I (obviously!) opted for the cowl neck version (C) with 3/4 length sleeves.  Not too much to say.  I followed the pattern with no problems.  No variations this time around but it’s a versatile pattern so I can see some future fun with it!  I am still serger-less so this all came together on my sewing machine.  I found that the stretch stitch worked nicely on this fabric (the lightening bolt-esque stitch).  I used my pinking shears to trim the seam allowances but should you feel lazy, this is an unnecessary step.

Renfrew cowl close Renfrew evil eye

LOVE LOVE LOVE this shirt!  I made this on Thursday night and have been living in it since! It is already a permanent fixture in my bag as a quick layering piece for excessively air-conditioned buildings.  I want more of these!  Many, many more!

Renfrew cowl Renfrew full

As always, I hate posing for pictures…  my way of dealing with this is clearly to be a dork!

Back again soon with more from our favourite Indie Pattern Designers!


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