Briar Sew-Along – Week 1

Hi Everyone!  Sorry for being MIA the past week or so, I’ve been über busy working on all my February projects.

Last week, I spent some time working with the Briar pattern as part of Megan Nielsen’s sew-along.


I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this pattern.  But I knew I would.  It’s exactly the missing piece(s) in my wardrobe.  Since my closet is made up of mostly cardigans and leggings/skinny jeans, loose-fitting tee’s complete these outfits perfectly.

Even though there are plenty of options to choose from in this pattern, I wanted to follow along with what was going on in the sew-along posts, so I chose to make the short sleeved, full-length version.  I have quite a few knits that I’ve been collecting in my stash, so it was very easy to pick a few that I thought would work well with this pattern.

For the first version, I cut the fabric in size small (which is odd because I’m never small, but that’s what the pattern measurements told me I was).  I didn’t make any alterations because I wanted to see how the pattern was designed and intended to look.

I picked a striped jersey from my stash (originally from Joann’s red-tag clearance section) and off I went.


For this version, I chose the rounded pocket and the neckline band (the most popular way to create a neckline finish for knits).

Normally, I don’t use a zig-zag stitch for knits.  Is that wrong?  I usually use straight stitches for all the seams (as I normally do for wovens)  then I finish the seam edges with my serger.  I didn’t hear or feel any thread breakage as I was trying it on, so hopefully it’s not an issue.  I did, however, use my twin needle for the sleeve and bodice hems.

This is how it looks on me!


I like the fit a lot!  But I did feel that the hi-low hem was a bit exaggerated (although I think that is the point), so for the next version I altered the pattern a little bit – shortening the back hem and lengthening the front.

My second version, I chose an ultra (almost too) stretchy basic white knit from my stash.  I wanted to try the square pocket (this time on the left) and the neckline binding (the other neckline option in the pattern which completely encloses the neckline).  As I said earlier, in this version I took out some of the exaggeration of the hi-low hem.  I also decided to follow the pattern and use a zig-zag stitch for all the seams, as well as, use twill tape to stabilize the shoulder seams.


It’s so interesting how much the extra stretch in the fabric totally affects the drape/fit of a garment.  This was the exact same pattern, yet the stretch of the fabric made the fit so much looser!


Regardless of the fabric choices, I still absolutely love this pattern (I can’t say that enough)!  It really is the perfect basic pattern that I’ve been waiting for and I can’t wait to sew up a few more this week.

Now that week 1 of the Briar sew-along is over and us sew-along-ers all know how to sew up the basic version of this pattern, this week is all about additions and modifications.  Megan provides so many cool ideas on her Briar Pinterest page that it’s so hard to choose what to try next.  For the building of my wardrobe,  I think I want to make some solid-colored, long-sleeved versions.   I also want to make some revved up versions and maybe add leather pockets, shoulder or elbow patches, or use a sheer or lace fabric for the back bodice. Today, Megan highlighted her Valentine Briar!  It’s just too cute, I just might have to make a version of that, too!

I’ve also been working on my Fearless February Sew-along blazer.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a WIP to put on display just yet.  A blazer is definitely super time-consuming and I’m really just working on perfecting the fit right now.  Simultaneously (thank God for working with one color of thread and just switching up needles), I’ve also been working on my RTW contest piece for the pattern review website.  I’m really excited to show you this piece when it’s done.  Right now I’m still in the process of making muslins (I’ve made 3 wearable muslins so far!), but I’m hoping to post the big reveal before the end of the month so that you can get a sneak peak before the voting begins.

I’m sooooooooooooo busy right now.  But I’m having a great time and I’m definitely in full inspiration-mode and I can’t wait to share the results of all the finished garments with you soon.

Until then, I hope all is well with all of you!  Have a faboo Valentine’s day everyone!

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10 thoughts on “Briar Sew-Along – Week 1

  1. gingermakes

    Oh, yay, what fun projects! I haven’t started my Briar yet (had to get my Watch This Lace project done and now I’m buried under my next Mood project), but I’m dying to! It’s such a great pattern! And a blazer sounds way fun– can’t wait to see it! I would say that you should probably be careful about using a straight stitch with knits– it might not give enough if you make something more fitted.

    1. Eleyna Post author

      I love your Sorbetto top! And I don’t think you come across as a tomboy at all with your feminine dresses and bold colored jacket.
      Yes! The Briar is such an easy, instant gratification sew! I can’t wait to see your versions when you start!
      Hmmm, okay, I will try to use my zig-zag stitch more. I have no idea why, but I’m a bit scared of it. I think maybe because it seems less stable? I only have a 3 thread serger, so I’m not sure if that is stable enough for seams?

      1. gingermakes

        3-thread is perfect for knits– I have a 4-thread, and the user manual recommends using a 3-thread stitch for knits as it’s stretchier. I just use a super narrow zigzag, like 0.5 wide and 2.5 long– you can barely tell that it’s zigzagging, but it’s stretchier than a straight stitch.

        I really can’t wait to make a Briar! I have some fun jersey earmarked for it… just need the time!!!

      2. Eleyna Post author

        ohhhh how interesting! Yes, I was totally using the wrong stitch width and length! I was feeling frustrated because the stitches were so far apart it started to look handsewn! Thanks so much for the tips!

      3. gingermakes

        I just figured that out recently– there’s very little detailed information in books or online about how to sew with knits! Miranda at One Little Minute just had a nice series on her blog that’s worth checking out if you haven’t already seen it.

  2. Gjeometry

    These are so cute, love them! My favourite is the striped, I like the longer back.

    How did you find the zig-zag stitch was for the seams? I’m taking the craftsy sewing with knits course and she uses the narrow zig-zag for the projects, but I didn’t really like the look of it, so I used the triple stretch stitch (2 stitches forward, one stitch back). Problem is, it takes forever and uses a tonne of thread! And also, can you not use the serger to sew the seams together as well? Or only for finishing the edges of them?

    1. Eleyna Post author

      Oh wow, that sewing with knits course sounds awesome! I think I need to figure out how to use the narrow zig-zag on my machine, I only know how to change the stitch length. And I had no idea I could use the serger to sew the seams together. I always thought a 3-thread serger was too weak, but I’ll definitely give a go and let you know how it works because that would be much less time consuming than stitching and serging (like I’ve been doing).


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