Embellished Mini Briar

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Embellished Mini Briar

Well, it’s official. Megan Nielsen’s Mini Briar is definitely the staple in my daughter’s wardrobe. I’ve used this pattern as a dress, a woven top, a simple striped bamboo jersey tee and now a sweatshirt. As we prepare for the cooler weather that’s to come here in Virginia, I’m gradually adding warmer garments to all of our wardrobes. I really wanted to sew up a long sleeve version of the mini briar for my daughter and thought a quilted knit would be perfect to add a little warmth.

Embellished Mini Briar

I’m also wanting to make more of an effort to add little embelishments to the pieces I make, so I thought a little added embroidery would be a fun addition to this Mini Briar. Originally, I was thinking of adding the embroidery by the shoulder seams, but because of the placement of the quilted diamonds by the shoulder seams, I decided that wouldn’t look very good. The obvious next choice was at the front center, but I wanted something a bit more subtle, so I decided a small area on the back center would be the best option. This was a super simple addition to really add somthing special to this sweatshirt. It did take quite a bit of time, because embroidery takes time and I’m probably pretty slow at it anyhow. However, the good thing about embroidery is you can do it anywhere. I would embroider outside while watching my kids play, or while watching a movie at night with my husband.

Embellished Mini Briar

Here are the materials used on this garment:

Embellished Mini Briar

I know I posted my son’s sweatshirt earlier this week in this same charcoal quilted knit, but I actually purchased this fabric just for this Mini Briar. I had the pieces cut out and was busy doing the embroidery when I got the opportunity to test for the Jolly Roger Raglan add-on. The rib knit for the cuffs and neck band isn’t a perfect match, but it’s extremely close. I don’t think you can even tell it’s off at all in the photos. In person if you look closely you can see the rib knit is slightly darker than the quilted knit. A pretty close match though, especially since I purchased the fabric online not knowing how close it would match!

Embellished Mini Briar

My daughter is super sensitive to seams and anything that might be scratchy. Because the backside of the embroidery would be sitting on her upper back, I wanted to find a way to make sure it wasn’t scratchy on her back. I ended up cutting out a slightly larger diamond shape to be sewn on the backside of the embroidery. I used the black and white striped bamboo jersey I used on the last Mini Briar I made her. It adds a great design element to the inside of the garment and fixes the scratchy issue. Eventually, I would like to add some twill tape on the back neck seam, but I currently don’t have any on hand. Luckily, it’s easy to add that later.

Embellished Mini Briar

Embellished Mini Briar

So, what are some ways you embellish your hand sewn garments? Embroidery, trim, piping? Hopefully, you’ll start to see more added details to my work. My theory is, if I’m going to take the time to sew something why not take the extra time to make it extra special. We can buy plain and simple in the stores. I don’t know about you, but I want a wardrobe filled with simple, but unique pieces. Embellishments add that touch of uniqueness.

Happy Sewing,

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Embellished Mini Briar

Embellished Mini Briar

Embellished Mini Briar

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P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add-On

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P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

As you may have noticed I sew a lot for my daughter and myself. I really need to make more of an effort to sew for my boys. They get so excited when I do take the time to sew for them. I recently got the great opportunity to test for Patterns for Pirates and their new add-on for their old pattern, the Jolly Roger Raglan. They did this add-on in time for their Raglan Week (starting today, September 19th), so if you are in need of the perfect raglan pattern for your kids, yourself or even your husband, this is the week to purchase those patterns. The add-on pattern gives the options of adding a hood (lined or unlined), cross-over funnel hood, kanga pocket, inseam pockets, cowl, funnel collar, thumb-hole cuffs and a bottom ruffle option. So many options! My oldest boy was so excited when I told him I would be sewing up a special hoodie for him.

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

I used the Jolly Roger Raglan pattern in a size 3 with a 5 length. My boy lies somewhere between the size 4 and 5 in height and I figured it would be better to be a bit long, so this can last him through the winter. You can see the extra length in the bunched up sleeves and the longer length in the bodice. I tested the new basic lined hood and kanga pocket and LOVE the way this sweatshirt turned out. The hood pattern has slightly changed since I sewed up this one, with a little extra height and a smidge wider. I think the new hood will be perfect, although this one really isn’t too small, but a slight bit more height would be preferred. P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

I’m really happy with the fabric I chose for this hoodie. I purchased the charcoal quilted knit at fabric.com. I bought it for a Mini Briar sweatshirt for my daughter (that you should be able to see later this week), but I had plenty left. The lighter grey is a french terry I picked up at my local JoAnn Fabric store. 

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

I don’t sew up knits too often and every time I do, I’m always telling myself I need to do them more often, because things go together so quickly. This pattern fits together perfectly and I was able to sew it up in no time at all. I also really love how Patterns for Pirates PDF patterns don’t need to be trimmed. It saves a lot of time and I feel like the pages fit together better. Now my daughter, my youngest and even my husband are requesting hoodies. Patterns for Pirates has me covered for my kids and even myself, but there isn’t an add-on option, yet, for the men’s raglan. I say yet, because I’m hopeful P4P will someday create the add-on for the men’s raglan.

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a photoshoot of my oldest boy and I was so every time surprised how excited and cooperative he was the entire time. I’m pretty sure a big part of it had to do with the fact he loved his new hoodie, but it was also a reminder that he’s getting older and more grown-up. Luckily, we were able to get the shots I needed in 10-15 minutes, because soon after we hit the trail thunder started rumbling and then the torrential downpour started. These pictures definitely have a darker, gloomier air to them than my usual photos due to the cloudy weather, but I’m actually really digging this look. I love the richness of the green landscape and the moodier shadows. I’m still discovering my surroundings here in Virginia and trying to find more natural locations for blogging photos. I know there has to be some good hiking trails close by, but whenever I search online it seems like everything is hours away. I’m sure I’ll find them in time. Until then, I’ll keep checking out all the interesting historic sites around here.

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

P4P Jolly Roger Raglan Add on

Happy Sewing!

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Harper Pants

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Harper Pants Hack

As most of you know by now, my family has made the cross country move from California to northern Virginia. We are taking in the east coast, enjoying the green landscape and the rain and humidity that come with it. Although it is currently crazy hot and sticky here, I know the cool weather is upon us. I haven’t experienced a true fall or winter in about 10 years now, so I am beyond excited. But, with that excitement comes a huge gap in my wardrobe I desperately need to remedy. I know if I wait until the weather cools down to start sewing clothes for cooler weather, I’ll be forced to buy an entire wardrobe of ready to wear clothes. I don’t want that to happen, so I’m getting started now. I’ve started with Megan Nielsen’s newest release, the Harper shorts. “What, shorts aren’t for cold weather!” you may be saying. Well, I took her pattern and extended it into a pair of more fitted tapered pants. I went ahead and created a tutorial with detailed graphics to explain the process I took to achieve the look I made. The tutorial is available for you on Megan’s blog, Design Diary. Let me know if you attempt to make a pair of Harper pants. 

Harper Pants Hack

I’ve got a lot of ideas brewing for fall and winter clothes, but I’m certainly open to some ideas! If you have a favorite pattern you like, especially any for those garments you wear day in and day out, I’d love to hear them! My kids start going back to school this week and I will actually have more time to sew again. I’m just a little excited.

Happy Sewing!

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