Welcome to part 2 of my stashbusting briars. If you want to make your own, order the briar pattern here.
Version 2: 3/4 length sleeves
For this version, I added 3cm to the length. I had added 2cm to the long sleeved one, but I wanted to make the hem a bit wider, thus the extra centimeter. I’m not crazy about the neckline facing in this one, not the facing itself but just the way it drapes on me. I like the one on the long sleeved one better, which I did with a needle.
The unflattering but necessary back view.
I think I was channeling Amanda from Bimble and Pimble in this one.
I am sitting on the couch in a ray of sunshine and I can barely see my computer screen but I don’t care! Even though the temperatures are low, the sun offers a promise that spring is around the corner if I’m just a wee bit patient.
Briar is definitely my favourite pattern at the moment. I only had time to make one in February for the sewalong, but now that I have a bit more time, I’ve been whipping them up like nobody’s business!
They probably take about 2 hours in total (a little more than two episodes of your favourite show) to make, including cutting out the fabric. There are only 4 pieces: a front, a back, and two sleeves, and because it’s made of jersey fabric, there’s no need for zippers. The only zipping you’re doing is zipping through this project!
I don’t have a serger, so I used a zigzag stitch for the seams and then trimmed them down to about 0.7cm (half of the seam allowance). And the hems were done with a twin needle. This is a must for sewing with jersey/knit fabric in my humble opinion!
The only other thing I’d say is to PRESS THOSE SEAMS AND HEMS. It’s recommended in the instruction booklet, and you should take it to heart. I kept coming out with wavy hems, for example. I stretched them out a bit, then pressed them, and the tops look just like they came off a rack.
I’ve broken this post into 3 parts, one for each version of the briar. The other two are 3/4 sleeve and short sleeves.
GET READY FOR LOTS OF PHOTOS!
Version 1: long sleeves
For this version, I added 2 cm to the length of the top and I finished the neckline with a twin needle, just like with the hems.
So here it is finally! I have a few things left to do on the inside, but it’s pretty much done.
First, I promised to tell you about how I attached the peplum. Since Tasia from Sewaholic did not reply to me, I decided to ask the lovely Trisha from Made by Trisha because she made a great version of the Cordova jacket in purple. Here was her reply:
I’m at work, so I don’t have the pattern in front of me, but if I remember correctly, I think I had a similar issue. If memory serves me, the back of the jacket needs to be a bit longer than the peplum so you can fold it under slightly for the hem. Does that make sense?
So I had to fake it to make it. I ended up pinning and sewing the peplum 3.5cm from the back edge. It turned out pretty well, but I probably should have made it 4cm. I hope this helps some of you who want to make the jacket.
I’m pretty happy with this jacket. I like the contrasting fabrics. Don’t ask me about this silly pose.
I’m not sure aout the size. Once I saw this picture, I kind of think it’s a bit too big on me. Although, that would make it easy to wear a sweater under it.
I love the sleeve pleats! They look so cute! I also didn’t realize how terrible these jeans look from the back! I shall only wear them with tunics from now on.
Well, as a wearable muslin, I think it turned out pretty well. What would I do differently?
- Maybe I need to cut out a smaller size.
- I would use a thinner fabric like a canvas.
- I will definitely line the next one.
- And attach the peplum 4cm from the lower back bottom edge.
I decided not to line the jacket, except for the sleeves, so I’m using two finishing techniques for the seams: for the boucle-type fabric, I’m finishing the seams using bias binding; for the wool, I’m just pinking it because it doesn’t fray anyway. Maybe it looks a bit strange, definitely incongruent, but with my track record, it’s pretty good. I’m not one to finish seams at all, but I’m trying to change that. My recent purchase of these new pinking shears shows my commitment to that goal 😉
Here’s a couple of photos of what I’ve done so far. It’s basically step 1 in the instructions, which is to sew together the front and back and sides. I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock with adding the peplum because it’s not supposed to match up at the back. The bottom of the center back acts as part of the facing. However, mine does match up, and there are no markings or measurements for me to follow.
Sure, I could figure it out by measuring the facing and stuff, but that takes time. And I’d rather be working on my thesis or my blog than figure out a pattern. So I wrote a quick message to Tasia of Sewaholic patterns to get some advice, which I will share with you in my next progress report.
On a side note, that bit of blue showing through on my dressform was a failed attempt at a Roxanne tunic from Victory Patterns. I was making a wearable muslin from an old voile curtain. But curtain voile is a terrible fabric to make something fashionable out of! When I tried it on, the sleeves were pulling in the back, which totally wrecked the fabric. I think, I mean, I know I have to make it out of a different fabric, and maybe add a little bit extra around the shoulder. So it was not in vain. But I am not ready to part with it yet, that’s why it’s still on my dress form.
The first thing that struck me about this pattern was the fact that I needed to cut out one size! I knew that Sewaholic patterns are designed for pear-shaped women, but it still surprised me that I didn’t need to flare out the pattern at the hips. It took me a whole episode of Bunheads to cut out, but then my scissors were dull, so that didn’t help.
I ‘finished’ this sack dress from a burda download recently and when I tried it on before hemming, I realized that it didn’t fit correctly. It was too tight around my thighs and too huge around my waist. It literally looked like I was wearing a potato sack made from fashion fabrics. I made the dress out of a remnant of black wool coating and a heavy knit for contrast at the sides. I tried to take it in a bit at the waist, but it still looked terrible. So I’m going to selvage the wool to make a wearable muslin for the Cordova jacket.
I don’t think it will be enough, so I shall take this really cool black and white checkered fabric I bought to make a purse and use it as contrast and maybe a sleeve. I’ll have to see when I lay out the pattern pieces. I’m not going to line the jacket. Maybe the sleeves. Instead I’m going to finish all of the seams with seam binding. I’ll save the work of adding a lining to the other Cordova jacket project I have in mind.
A quick google search of the Cordova jacket has yielded no process photos from any bloggers. Would anyone like to see my process? I’ve never really taken a lot of photos while I’m sewing, but I could try. Well, I’ll leave you with a photo of me getting ready to cut out the pattern. And yes, that’s the sack dress.
So, I was able to cut out all of the pieces from the dress and the checkered fabric except for the front facing. So I might cut up an old pair of black treggings for that.
I think this goes well with the stashbusting challenge theme for March: Impending Seasonal Change. I am really looking forward to summer so I can wear all my pretty dresses. In the meantime, I might be able to get away with that if I have a warm and stylish jacket to cover up with.
This month has been super busy. The first weekend we had a family outing to Drenthe. It was quite cold, but that’s ok because we had a sauna and bath to keep us warm! It was great to see my niece and nephew for longer than a few hours. Then the second week, my sister and her boyfriend came to visit for a whole 9 days! I hadn’t seen my sister in a year, and even then it was only for a little over a day! Not that we had much sister time the last week; we were mainly hanging out with the four of us. Plus, I don’t think my sister likes being away from her boyfriend for more than a few minutes 😉
So in between, I was able to sew up a briar top for the sewalong. I cut out the fabric on one day and sewed it up the next. It’s a very easy pattern, as it only has 5 pieces (or 6 if you count the pocket). I thought I had 2 spools of grey thread, but I only have one, so I’ve yet to hem it. Although, I think I will only hem the sleeves anyway because it’s already the perfect length for me. That’s the nice thing about knits, you can leave them unfinished and it won’t unravel.
Here are a couple of black and white pictures from my instagram feed. I finally got my tripod back, so you’ll see me modeling it pretty soon.
- I left out the pocket because I’m not a huge fan of pockets that are not functional
- Sleeves and bottom are unhemmed (will hem sleeves once I get another spool of thread)
- Will add 2cm to the length for future briar projects
- made from 1m of lightweight knit fabric from my stash, unknown fiber content
- used the neckline band (as opposed to neckline binding)
This is the Vogue 1152 dress, designed by Rebecca Taylor. The fabric I chose for this is a navy cotton with white polka dots. I love the design. There are a lot of beautiful elements without it being over-designed, like the piping and gathering.
This project had a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I did any piping. It was the first time I did knife pleats (in the tops of the sleeves). It was the first time I put in an invisible zipper. Of these things, the invisible zipper was the least successful. I don’t have an invisible zipper foot, so you can see the zipper a little bit. But the zipper colour matches the fabric almost exactly, so it isn’t very noticeable.
The back looks a little bit like the front, but it has elastic instead of gathering. Very comfortable!
Using regular cotton may not have been the best fabric choice for this dress. Something softer with a bit more drape would have made it look even more fabulous. But it’s a very comfortable and cool dress, and washable!
Sorry for the incongruency in the photo edits. I’m playing around with photoshop to see what I like, and I’m just trying out new techniques as I go along.
Thanks Mr. Livana for taking the photos!
Belladone, how do I love thee? Let me count the gorgeous ways.
One, its design. That back cut out is sexy with no hint of trashy. There are pockets too! It is designed for non-stretch, woven fabrics, which are the easiest types to sew. Two, the instructions. The instruction booklet (also gorgeous, by the way) contains concise, but clear instructions on how to make your garment. There are also great diagrams. But if you’re like me and you usually only look at the diagrams and don’t read the content, think again. Not every step is diagrammed! Thank goodness the instructions are not long-winded, so I skimmed everything and didn’t miss anything. Third, the pattern itself. It is printed on good quality paper so you don’t tear the pieces, and you can use them over and over. (Actually, I want to make one for my sister too, so I ended up tracing the pattern to tissue paper anyway). And all of the pieces fit together beautifully. There was no bunching in places. The curves matched each other perfectly, even with my pattern adjustments to account for my small bust and large hips.
Simply a dream to cut out and to sew!
I used stretch denim from my stash, and standard orange bias binding. I even had blue thread left over from a previous project still in my sewing machine. The only thing I didn’t have was a zipper. So I sewed up the top part of the dress, ordered a zipper, then two days later started sewing up a storm again when I saw the zipper in my mailbox. Yay!
I didn’t make a muslin for this garment. In fact, I confess that I don’t make a muslin for anything! Although, I am definitely starting to see the light. I think I may have to start doing them on projects where I use expensive fabric and want a great fit.
I was a little bit apprehensive that it wouldn’t fit. This is my second time sewing with an indie pattern (my first being Megan Nielson). And I already know from experience that out of the big pattern companies, only Vogue tends to be true-to-size for me.
Well, I was right to be nervous. As you can see from this picture, the bust darts are much too high. The waistband hits my lower ribs instead of my waist, so it fits almost like an empire-waisted dress. But I must say, even though it doesn’t fit correctly vertically, the width fits quite well, and it’s very very comfortable! It’s great to wear with a turtleneck and a pair of leggings in the winter and I think it will be great in the summer as a dress because the cutout in the back will keep you cool.
Thanks Mr. Livana for taking these photos!
I love the detailing on the denim, don’t you?
Next time I make this dress, in addition to lengthening the bodice, I shall NOT use stretch fabric. You can see from the picture above, the upper back does not lay flat. Also, although I matched my seams and the top perfectly for my zipper, it stretched and shifted when I sewed, so the waist band doesn’t match perfectly, nor does the top of the zipper. aaarg.
I love Angels Never Die. It’s a clothing company based in Turkey. I have a few of their dresses, but they’re quite expensive. Well, maybe not expensive if you compare it to other designer brands, but still, out of my price range. I’d like to try to recreate some of the looks if I can. I already have something in mind. I made up an inspiration board, which I’ll share with you a bit later.
This one’s a bit vampirish without being too over the top.
I love the topstitching on the bodice. It makes it look corset-like.
I bought this one
I really want to make one like this, but I have no idea how to ruche the sides like that while keeping the front panel smooth. I feel an experiment coming on…
Warm, yet stylish. Yes, please!
So sweet. I love the ruffle detailing. It’s darling, but not too cutesy, like you’re wearing kid’s clothes.
So get on over to angelsneverdie.com to check out their full collection.