Category Archives: Megan Nielsen

Sewn: A Pentalogy of Briars

T-shirts are often something I come back to when I need a palette cleanser. Or when I need a t-shirt. After inevitably catching Covid at the end of January (which, in my case, omicron variant, was in line with a mild flu) I wanted an easy project to get back to the sewing machine, one that didn’t require a lot of thinking or complex techniques, as the project I’m otherwise working on at the moment is a bomber jacket.

I had found a fun piece of viscose jersey in the remnant bin at Selfmade (formerly Stoff och Stil), which was enough for a t-shirt. After looking through my collection of t-shirt and other knit top patterns, I eventually settled on Megan Nielsen’s Briar. Viscose knit are a bit of my Achille’s heel, I like the look of them, but for me they very easily can fall into nightgown territory, especially the more light weight ones, and they can lose shape with time.

Since I’ve made 5 Briars in total, I figured I could present them all in order, as I honestly don’t have a lot to say about each one.

Number 1 – The Yoga Briar

This one was sewn as a layering piece in a very soft cotton jersey from Ohlssons tyger. It’s the cropped top, but lengthened, I found the original length of the cropped version way too short and it would probably end up cutting off my breasts in a weird and unflattering way. I wore this over dress shirts and t-shirts, for work and for leisure, however after some rounds in the washing machine the fabric began to pill and lost its finesse. It has since been regulated to yoga wear, and it’s a great layering piece for yoga, providing warmth without getting in the way of poses.

Number 2 – The linen Briar

Linen knits were heavily discussed in my FB wardrobe planning group and when I found some in the remnant bins at Ohlssons I picked it up. For this Briar, I straightened the hem. The fabric was too see-through to wear on its own, which is, to be honest, not what you want in a t-shirt. The fabric was very delicate and after a while I got some runs in, delegating it to the trash. Sad, but true.

Number 3 – The Faux denim Briar

For this one I sized down, since the grey version felt a bit too big and made the shoulders a bit wider. I used a denim cotton/lycra knit from Stoff och Stil. However, when cutting the pattern I didn’t consider which way had the greatest stretch, so the greatest stretch runs lengthwise. It makes for a very tight t-shirt, also the neckline binding became very lumpy. Also I’m not sure about the pocket placement as is, though I’m not sure what would have been a better one. This square pocket is an odd shape on me, I prefer the semi-circle pocket of my grey Briar. Sadly, due to the aforementioned reasons, I don’t wear this Briar a lot.

Number 4 – The Pleated Briar

I needed to replace my grey layering Briar and this time I went with colour! A cotton/lycra mix, with pleats, purchased at Bernt I Lund. I like the pop of colour this sweater adds to an outfit.

Number 5 – The Covid Briar

The most recent one! In the end I think I cut off 15 cm from the long-length version. With these normal-waisted trousers my tummy does do a bit of peek-a-boo, so it might not be office appropriate. But the t-shirt is very comfortable and I do like the length, I think it will look good over high-waisted shorts.

So, if I had to pick a favourite… Well, it’s not that hard. The emerald green Briar!

Sewn: A Grey Brumby

This weekend past was a long weekend here in Sweden, Ascension Day is a public holiday and at my office we always get the Friday off ass well, so Woo-hoo, four day weekend!  We had grand plans, well grand to be in the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, we meant to meet people. Friends on the Thursday and Friday was my sister 40th birthday so she invited us to a picnic. On Wednesday night my son started sneezing, which was a full-blown cold by Thursday and thus all plans were cancelled.

Love the skirt paired with my denim jacket

Luckily, I had planned to get my car inspected on the Wednesday (mandatory in Sweden), so since I had to leave the house, I also decided to go do some fabric shopping. During April I’ve made a big dent in my stash (11 metres out, nothing in. Still had about 70 metres, though), but I wanted something new and fresh to work with. I picked up four pieces and one of them hardly spent any time in my fabric box, it’s already made into a skirt. Imagine that!

Exposed zipper in the back

I spent last year’s black Friday money with Megan Nielsen, purchasing the Briar and the Brumby. I’ve made several Briars already, but this was my first completed Brumby. With some stashed jacquard, I’ve made half a Brumby, but decided to put it off until colder seasons, I mean I need to take the opportunity to make some warm weather clothes, right?

Please note that I put on pretty shoes for these photos

This is version 2, midi length with many gathers. The hem is a bit deeper than designed, both because I liked it so and to shorten the skirt a bit. I also failed at realizing how a zipper is measured so it sits a bit low and I had to add a hook and eye at the top. Other than that the pattern is sewn as intended. It was a nice pattern to work with, I probably could have drafted something similar myself, but I don’t want to and I’ll gladly pay for someone else to do it, if I think it’s a pattern I’ll use a lot. I liked that the Brumby is not an ordinary rectangle into dirndl skirt, but there is some shaping in both the skirt panels and the waistband. Also, the tutorial for inserting the exposed zipper really helped.

The fabric is a linen/viscose blend, which, once you get over the fraying, is lovely to work with and it was perfect for this skirt. I see this skirt being a summer staple piece and besides the jacquard version for winter, I’m also envisioning a cupro Brumby for winter events. Conclusion: It’s a nice little pattern!

 

Me-Made May, the first half

While I do share my outfits every day on Instagram, I want to share them here too. To really make myself think about my outfits, what I like and what I don’t like.

Day 1: Meeting people. At a distance, of course. Wearing Checkered Chardon, a Megan Nielsen Briar in linen knit and a double gause Simplicity 8610 jacket.
Since I was actually leaving the house this day, I tried to combine things in a new way. It kind of works. I’m still debating whether or not I should add a button to the jacket.

Day 2: Staying casual at home in Waffle Patterns Pinda pants and Burda 11/2019 hoodie.
Casual and comfy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Day 3: Wearing Waffle Patterns Pinda Pants, RTW tank and Megan Nielsen Briar. And thrifted pink Converse.
I had to rush out as soon as the store opened as we were out of toilet paper (we’re so not hoarding!) and something for the kid to bring to scouting. Tired, but comfy and I had those pink shoes to cheer me up!

Day 4-6, all working from home in knit tops.
On 4 and 5 I’m wearing a wrap top from Burda 02/2020, thrifted trousers on day 4 and my Olga skirt on day 5. I love the colour of the top and the details of the skirt. And look at those lime green leaves in the background! Day 6 is a meh outfit. Both pieces are from Allt om Handarbete (top, trousers) and I need to make so many adjustments to get them to fit, both in terms of sizing and other alterations, that I think I’m done with that company. The colour scheme is nice, though, and the top is a bit better with a belt.

Day 7-9Day 7: I won the Hey June Lane Raglan in an IG giveaway and after six weeks of travelling from the US it arrived and I already had a fabric dedicated to it. A nice and comfy t-shirt, I like the fit since the pattern came with a built in FBA and I like the paint effect of the blue stripes.
Day 8: I went all out with blue shades today! This dress is so comfortable, but still with a nice shape. The fabric is pique and the free pattern is from Swedish designer Jenny Hellström. Rest is RTW. While in theory I would want a me-made denim jacket I don’t see the point as this jacket is perfectly fine. Once it’s worn out, we’ll talk.
Day 9: I went on a pre-breakfast bikeride and while waiting for the family parkour with my daughter I threw on some old sweat pants and a t-shirt. They served their purpose for keeping me clothed, but not sweating on anything precious

Day 10: Lane Raglan again. Handstitching a hem on a dress in one of my favourite fabrics.
Day 11: Pinda pants, a slouchy cardigan in linen knit (refashioned from a me-made warp cardigan) and an Allt om handarbete knit blouse. This knit blouse is OK, despite my complaining of the company earlier. And, while not shown, I like to think my sleeves are better matched than their own example.
Day 12: OK, so I wore the same outfit as yesterday, but got around the issue by wearing a me-made top for the gym. This is a nice airy top, but it’s quite tricky to put on, and it does show off my efforts at the gym.

Day 13: Olga skirt and grey MN Briar. I like the silhouette of this outfit, but, as can be seen in the two Briar outfits above, the neckline is very wide on me. And then I’ve taken in the knit one!
Day 14: These trousers have so many cool details (that I effectively hide) and I love the colour, but the fit is off as they are Allt om handarbete. Their block and I are just not compatible! The linen knit works like this, a bit slouchy (in the best way) over a tank. It was an experiment and while OK, not great.
Day 15: It was grey, windy and raining, so I decided to wear some blue skies and flowers. Clothes can help elevate your mood! The pattern is New Look 6301 and it’s comfortable and put together. A great dress!

The Megan Skirt

My first sewing project for the fall was a simple and quick project, in fact it took me about an hour to whip up.

The skirt is a gathered skirt in a navy twill, found in the scrap bin, and with a wide elastic in the waist. So, after attaching the waistband there’s just one seam to sew and then the hem. That’s it.

By stretching the elastic as I sewed, the skirt got perfect gathers. I’m willing to bet that this skirt will get a lot of wear in the upcoming fall and winter season.

Project Summary: Pattern: Tutorial from here (if the name of the skirt hasn’t led you on, that link will be a hint as to what I will be working on this fall) Difficulty: Simple. One seam, one hem and attaching an elastic. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Alterations: Mine is longer. Fabric: Navy twill from Stoff och Stil Notions: Wide elastic, thread Price: Fabric 42 SEK (€4.86). Elastic 25 SEK (€2.90),  Thread 1 SEK (€0.12). Total 68 SEK (€7.88).

Project Rating: Last time I was pregnant I lived in two pairs of maternity jeans. This time I want to change things up a bit and this skirt is my first step, and I think some more skirts are in store for me. I can’t wait to try this out when I’m a bit bigger.

(It’s a bit scary since I won’t do my ultrasound scan until late October, until then I can just believe that everything is OK)