I’m trying to whip myself up some basic summer clothes in between orders and last week I fell hard for this pattern by Megan Nielsen, the Briar Top. If you google image search Briar Top you’ll see all kinds of beautiful tops, but this version by Ginger Makes specifically was my inspiration for my top! I love how this t-shirt looks in the burnout jersey and thought it would be a great basic but still dressy top for summer, so I ordered some fabric and decided to give it a bash – I bought the pattern here from Ray Stitch, based in the UK and received next day delivery, they still have this pattern in stock if you fancy whipping yourself up one, I would highly recommend it!
The burnout jersey was a bit fiddly to work with to say the least, I’ve sewn with jersey quite a bit, but this jersey is a rayon / cotton blend – a bit thinner than I’ve worked with before and is totally unforgiving, my sewing machine doesn’t really like it and my overlocker isn’t that keen either… my machine skips stitches and I ended up making that cute little pocket three times! But it was worth it!!! The only thing I would say is that using a seam ripper on burnout jersey is a bit tricky, it’s very hard not to snag the fabric, so if you decide to use burnout try not to make mistakes
Now for the coolest thing about this fabric, it’s see through – so I became an ultra lazy seamstress and rather than tracing the pattern I just cut the t-shirt on top of the pattern, I was a bit concerned it might all go wrong, but it worked and saved me a bit of time tracing and cutting!
This pattern comes with LOTS of options, I went for the short sleeved, rounded pocket, full length version – as I’m quite tall I cut my top in size small but used the length of the extra large – I’m pretty happy with the length but might even add one inch to the next version I make as I do like my tops long.
Check out all those lovely options! It’s nice to see them displayed in this way to give you a bit of a visual to think about while you’re selecting fabrics… this is my favourite page in the pattern booklet!
Here’s a front view of my top, it took about an hour and a half to make, but most of the time in that was purely struggling with my machine a bit on the hem, pocket and neckband. I’m debating buying a walking foot for my machine and thinking that the extra set of feed dogs might help with my next Briar…
This is the back, that little pleat is a happy accident, one of my pins came out while I was sewing the neck band and I realised I hadn’t pulled it quite tight enough, as I mentioned before this fabric is VERY unforgiving, so I added a little pleat detail to make it work. I love that this top has a curved back hem, it is great for extra coverage and looks fab with jeans. No builders bottom here.
This shows the curved hem at the front gently slopping in to the back curve, totally love that!
I honestly think this might be my favourite ladies pattern I’ve purchased to date, for a variety of reasons – it comes in a nice envelope, on thick paper, with a pretty booklet (which details lots of ways to create different looks!), it’s well written, it’s quick and you can achieve different looks so easily by using the different pattern variations, but most of all it’s wearable – there’s nothing worse than spending hours making something and not being able to use it or only wearing it for a “special” occasion. This top could be made in roughly an hour (maybe less with practice!) and I’m sure I’ll be wearing mine a lot! I think for my next top I’ll make either a pretty floral or maybe something black for a night out… hmmm.
Anyway, time for the super duper cheesy photo… my Briar Top gets a big thumbs up from me and I would highly recommend adding it to your pattern library if you’re looking for a knit top pattern – also Megan Nielsen has a stunning and extensive range of maternity patterns (the best I’ve seen) if you’re looking for maternity wear. <3 Nicole x