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!
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.
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!).
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?