Ginger Made: Briar Top!

Hey, guys!  It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had a finished garment to show you!  I finished this up a week or so ago, but didn’t have a chance to take any photos.  And I’ve been feeling kind of tired, sad, and unmotivated the last few weeks, so I haven’t been working very quickly or efficiently (and on top of that, I’ve strayed from my promise to sew one project at a time and am working on four different projects right now, which doesn’t make for very speedy sewing).  But at least I have something finished and I have a new top just in time for spring weather!

Look at the pretty trees! Spring is finally here!

This is Megan Nielsen‘s Briar Top pattern.  It’s a simple, easy pattern, perfect for beginners, but it’s super trendy and cute.  There are two lengths to choose from, one cropped and one longer (I chose the longer), three sleeve lengths (short, 3/4, and long), and two pockets to choose from, one rounded and one square.  Megan also gives directions for finishing the neckline with a band or a binding, and there are photo tutorials on her blog for each style.

Pretend like a giant gust of wind didn’t destroy my hair right before this shot! This shows the graduated hemline and pocket best (I’m posting unflattering photos for you people!).

Here’s where things got hairy.  I bought this super cool burnout tissue jersey from Fabrics for Less when I shopped with Lauren and Oona last month.  I love how it looks and feels (it’s crazy soft), but it was a total pain in the butt to sew with.  I couldn’t for the life of me settle on a tension that made my machine happy, so the hems aren’t as pretty as I would like.  I consulted my Fabric Sewing Guide, which quoted Sandra Betzina as recommending a zigzag stitch with a 0.5 mm width and 2.5 mm length.  I tried this with different tensions, the lower the better, but still didn’t get a perfect look.  Placing paper between the presser foot and the fabric definitely helped, but it was really tough to do that on the curved hems. I don’t recommend using tissue paper, though, unless you enjoy pulling shredded bits of soft paper out of the seams with tweezers.  The plain white banner paper that I use for tracing patterns worked best, although Michele at Mood recommends keeping a roll of cash register paper next to your sewing machine (seems like a great idea to me!).

Line up paper with the edge of your fabric (immediately beneath the presser foot), and sew as you normally would.

Another unpleasant side effect of using really thin jersey is that it rolls like a mother.  I couldn’t keep the edges flat as they were going under the presser foot, so I had to unpick and redo the neck binding several times to make sure it looked even.  Again, it’s not perfect, but I can live with it.  This thin jersey is really rumply and wrinkly, too, so it looks a little messy when you wear it.  😦

Another thing I’m not sure about is this length on me.  For some reason tunic-type tops make me feel like I look like a tube.  Next time I make this I may try shortening the back so it hits higher up on my hips, maybe 5″ or so.  I’ll lose some of the fun hi/lo hemline, but I guess I could always shorten the front a teensy bit, too.

Overall, I like this top.  It’s cozy and pretty, and I received compliments from the first two people who saw me in it at work.  I failed to take into account the fact that it’s too sheer to wear without something underneath, so I may need to whip up a couple of tank tops as I only have one in my wardrobe that works.  I’m really looking forward to future versions of this pattern.  It’s no-fuss and easy to wear, but I don’t feel like a total slob in a t-shirt when I wear it.

What are you guys working on these days?  Any exciting projects?

Don’t mind me; I’m a fashion blogger lost in dreamy, dreamy thoughts.

149 responses

  1. I’m right there with you in the ‘unmotivated’ team, but this top is SO cute!

    I’m not 100% sold on the high-low hem for me, (I have the feeling that the low hem at the back might accentuate my woefully big bum) but I think this looks really great on you! I’m not surprised you got compliments!

    This fabric is so lovely too! I’m glad you persevered with it!!


    • Thanks, Cathy! The blossoms were such a nice surprise– we moved into this apartment last year in June, and the trees weren’t in bloom then, so it was so fun to see the blooms appear this spring!


  2. Lovely! I have made two burn-out tops and I loved the fabric each time, until I had to sew it. Arg. Very frustrating but you have such a great end result here!


  3. It’s lovely! So perfect for spring. The fabric is really pretty. I love burnout jersey. I can relate to what a pain it is to sew such thin jersey. It was well worth the trouble, though. You look adorable.


  4. Pretty, pretty! But I hear you about burnout jersey–so frustrating. I’m having vague memories of recently reading that you can starch the cut edges of your jersey to help with the roll problem. But you have to wash it out, of course, before wearing. Can’t remember where I read it though. . .

    I think the shape really looks good on you–and I’m very tube-conscious! 🙂


    • That sounds like a good solution. I’ve heard about using fabric stabilizer spray on silks, and it seems like it would work well on something like this. Gotta give that a try!


  5. I actually love the length of the back. I think it looks great. If anything I would echo that in front. Thanks for the tip on the register tape. I’ll keep some on hand for when I sew jersey/knit


  6. I think it looks amazing-what an amazing job you did! I like the high low look on you, you’re no tube, LOL. You’re skinny-embrace it girly. Can’t wait to see what you make next, and now I must browse fashion fabric……sigh.


  7. This is so cute on you – not like a tube at all! I really like this top on everyone else, but pretty sure it would make me look dumpy/frumpy. You, however look fabulous. Great fabric too.


  8. I love this top. It seems like something I would pull from the closet at least once a week. Something simple yet a bit of twist is always great! By the way, I have the Drape Drape3 book too! I haven’t made anything from the book yet, but it is just a pretty book that I like to stare at:p


  9. Pretty, pretty fabric! I found the same thing with the length- the long was really long, and the short one too cropped. I cut mine in the middle, I think six inches longer than the short version. Sorry you’re feeling low, hope the return of sunshine helps!


  10. I recently had a problem with a light weight milliskin hem. My far more experienced Aunt admonished me to stop being a wuss about twin needle hemming. I used the narrowest distance between the needles and the thing hemmed up like a dream. I highly recommend it! I didn’t even have to use hand wound wooly nylon on the bobbin.


  11. Rad work, lady! This is all kinds of awesome and I love the colour on you. Bummer about the lack of singlets/tanks in your wardrobe for wearing underneath. I swear those things breed in the back of your closet but when you want them *poof* they’ve disappeared in a haze of smoke.


  12. I like this length, you’d probably like the proportions better if you were to wear heels? Love the fabric and the colour suits you. Another win, go you 🙂


  13. Pingback: Briar T-Shirt – Megan Nielsen | Bobbins Boutique

  14. Pingback: Top 10 T-Shirt Patterns by Indie Sewing Pattern Designers | BASTE + GATHER

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