Briar + Mission Maxi

Hello!  Welcome to my new blog- this is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. The technical aspects of it have been a little more challenging than I expected, but I will muddle through!  Let’s get down to business, shall we?

DSC_0039I made this top using Megan Nielsen’s fabulous Briar pattern.  DSC_0038

I love her patterns, they are presented so beautifully with great, easy to follow instructions.  I especially love all of the possible variations on this one!  When I find a pattern that fits well and comes together easily it’s nice to be able to make several versions and not have them all look the same.  (When I showed this shirt to my husband he said “It has a tail on it!  Is that some sort of new fashion thing?”  Yes dear.)DSC_0041

For this version I added 3 3/4 inches to the cropped style.  I previously made one out of sweatshirt fleece, in the original cropped length (you can check it out in my Flickr photostream here). You could make this any length you want, I am planning a dress version soon!  And you could just cut it straight across the bottom, if the high-low hem isn’t your thing.  The fabric is a super soft bamboo/organic cotton jersey, found online here.  I finished the hems with two rows of stitching, using wooly nylon thread in the bobbin to keep it stretchy, it worked great!  I originally tried a twin needle but I couldn’t get it to work without that “tunneling” effect…maybe some sort of stabilizer in the hem would do the trick?DSC_0037 - Version 2

So, about the dress!  I made this Mission Maxi (pattern by Jamie Christina) a while ago, and I wear it constantly.  I like that I can throw this on and feel like I am wearing pajamas, but still look fairly put together.  And the length is great for chasing my kids around, bending down and not flashing anyone!  I usually always wear a top over it, I feel fairly exposed wearing it by itself.DSC_0023

I am planning another one or two of these dresses for summer…along with about 1,000 other projects in my head 🙂  I will get to them all eventually (maybe!)

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  • Suzanne Williams

    I love the dress, and the top! Really looking forward to following your blog 🙂

  • Love both items, I am seeing more and more Briars pop up it’s tempting me to give it a try.

    • Kelly

      You should try it! Crop tops aren’t really my thing (after two kids no one wants to see this belly!), but once I realized how cute it looks with layers underneath I was sold.

  • I’ve had such a crush on the Mission maxi since seeing Very Purple Person’s versions, and I’m adding yours to my dresses-I-covet list. Lovely!

    • Kelly

      Thank you so much!! I really want to get a couple more made for summer, although I have worn this one through the winter with leggings, sweaters and boots- it’s just so comfortable! I can’t recommend the pattern enough, I had to make zero changes and it comes together super fast.

  • Great combination. I wouldn’t have thought to pair the briar with a maxi dress. The pinky/coral colour looks great on you!

    • Kelly

      Thanks!! I tend to stick with more bland colors, but I am trying to branch out into some brighter shades- this coral has surprised me, I really like it! I love all of your Briars as well!

  • I really like your briars and I finally broke down and bought the pattern, I wanted to ask you if you found it easy to sew on a regular sewing machine? Do you have any tips for sewing it? Any words of wisdom would be welcome! Thanks!

  • Kelly

    Hi Elizabeth! When I sew knits I usually test a few things out on some scraps, because it seems like every knit is different. For a first attempt I would try to pick a knit that is a little more stable, and medium weight. When you get into really lightweight and stretchy fabrics things get a bit harder. I use just a regular straight stitch most of the time, maybe a little longer than normal. If you are having trouble a walking foot works really well with knits too. For hems I use a regular straight stitch, but I use wooly nylon thread in the bobbin-it keeps the hem stretchy so you don’t pop stitches there. Sometimes I do two parallel rows for the hem because I think it looks cool 🙂 Megan Nielsen has a sewalong for Briar on her blog, check it out too: http://blog.megannielsen.com/2013/03/briar-sewalong-wrap-up/

    • Kelly, thanks so much for your thoughts/tips, its helpful to know about the weight of the knits and the thread. I’ve wanted to adventure into knits for a while and the briar has convinced me to dive in! I am enjoying following your creations!

      • Kelly

        No problem! Please email me if you have any questions along the way, I am no expert but I would be happy to help out if I can!

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  • Rebecca Headd

    Hi I just found your blog and think you have a great sense of style. I already have some of the patterns of garments you’ve made but often have trouble envisaging how to make outfits out of them, what to wear them with etc so your blog has given me some great ideas. The mission maxi is on my list but I’m not sure what type or weight of jersey to pick – I love the stripes! Any ideas?
    Rebecca, London, UK.