Archive for the ‘MN2303 Briar’ Category

Cecil / the cat Briar

October 24th, 2013

Cecil, the cat briar

This has to be one of my favourite makes ever! If you follow me on instagram you’ve probably seen this piece pop up over and over.

How it started is kind of a long story, and as always, has to do with me being just a tad crazy crazy hehe.

So when i was a kid my mom had a rather ridiculous knitted cat sweater, it had three cats on it, and one had a mouse hanging out of its month. And when i say hanging, i mean it, the mouse was a separately knitted piece, that hung off the sweater. It was both awesome and crazy. And for that, i’ve always loved that sweater.

So of course, i got it in my head to make myself a cat and mouse jumper in homage to my mom’s. But you know, a little more wearable :) And this is what i came up with!

Obviously i started with the Briar pattern, my darling, and i did all the work on the cat and mouse before constructing the sweater at all, it made it much easier to  handle. The cats body is appliqued fleece, and all the details are embroidered. I think Chris almost died laughing when i was finished, and this little Briar has been my favourite jumper all winter. My go to for days when i don’t know what to wear – “oh, i’ll just put Cecil on over that! done!”

And yes, i did name the cat – his name is Cecil. He’s obviously a bit of a cheeky troublemaker. Cecil don’t play with your food!! hehehe

Then things got really fun, when one of my dear friends daughter caught a glimpse of Cecil and fell in love too. Her favorite colour being purple i made her one exactly the same as mine, except in tween size.

We’re going to take over Perth one Cecil at a time hehehe

liberty back briar

October 8th, 2013

Megan Nielsen liberty back Briar tshirtSometimes i will end up with a special fabric that is so special to me, that i’m paralysed. I can’t use it. Fear of cutting into it and ruining it takes over me and somehow i just.can’

It’s completely stupid, but i have a growing pile of special fabrics like this. That’s the story of the fabric for this Briar. Many years ago, back when Chris and i first moved to the USA and there were no little kiddies yet, and i couldn’t find any good fabrics locally, my mother in law gave me this gorgeous floral Liberty of London fabric from a Perth shop. It was so pretty, so precious i couldn’t use it. In the end i cut off little pieces, “just a bit” here and there to use in special projects – and before i knew it there wasn’t enough of it use for anything actually substantial. I was furious at myself for the stupidity of it.

But after i saw Louise’s silk backed Briar – and i knew EXACTLY how i could use my special fabric!

I used a pretty stretchy knit for the rest of my Briar (40% stretch) to try and compensate for the fact that the woven back wouldn’t stretch – but it didn’t really need it. I think that one woven panel doesn’t affect the fit too much.

I really love how this turned out – and i think it’s such a great way to use up those small pieces of fabric i have lying around! This has pretty much turned into my go to top this winter, so i think i need a few more woven back Briar‘s in my life now!

Liberty backed Briar // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

[Make this look]

Top: Megan Nielsen Briar tshirt // Pattern
Jeans: Gap // Similar pattern
Shoes: Dolce Vita
Necklace: vintage family heirloom

sophies briar

August 15th, 2013

A few months ago my super wonderful sister in law Sophie told me she wanted a Briar.

I’m going to give you a moment to visualize the happy dance i did. I love making things for friends and family, it’s such a fun rewarding thing! Mending NO, don’t you dare try and give me your mending, but making something special for someone i love, that’s awesome.

She wanted something navy or black, and she wanted a version with shoulder patches that she could wear as a sweater.

And don’t you know it, fate stepped in, and i had the perfect thick navy jersey in my stash and just enough black to make some patches. I used the exact same method that i shared in this tutorial - and BOOM Sophies Briar was done!

It was a nice quick sew and I’m really happy with how this piece turned out. I think it’s very Sophie – and i like that it’s quite a transistional piece too – good for layering and good for summer nights or spring/autumn days.

Then… it took me a month to mail it to her. Story of my life hehehehe.

new sewing kits

May 6th, 2013

Megan Nielsen sewing kits

WOW you guys – i am so so blown away with the reactions to my Breakwater collection. I quite literally started crying from all the tweets, emails and comments – you are all so amazing, and i’m beyond thrilled, actually i’m overwhelmed with how much you like my new patterns. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!!! All the hard work is worth it for that kind of response! It’s been ridiculously hard to keep tight lipped about these for so long, because i adore them so much :)

And as promised last week, new sewing kits are now available in store!!

I’ve been so excited about this that it’s taken all my energy not to spill the beans! Every time i release a collection the emails flood in asking me where to find the fabrics i used – SO this time i planned! I’ve created sewing kits for every look from my Breakwater collection lookbook – so you can make the exact garment you see!

Awesome right?! i’m pretty ridiculously thrilled!!

But not only are there kits for Cascade, Crescent, Tania and Eucalypt, but there are also two new kits for Kelly, Briar and Banksia! Check them out here! They’re in limited quantities, and some actually sold out right away when i listed them yesterday- so i’d be quick if you’re interested.

As per usual, my kits include all the elements you need like fabric, interfacing, buttons, bias, the pattern etc – but i also add in fun extras like Megan Nielsen patterns clothing tags, a tote bag for carrying it all and a pretty inspirational image of the finished garment. It’s pretty rad :) It almost makes me sad to part with them hehehe

I hope you love them as much as i enjoyed putting them together for you!!


Briar Variation : Ruffle Hem

April 9th, 2013

When I was in design school at FIT, ruffles were my thing. Seriously, my classmates always knew which garments were mine, because they ALWAYS had some sort of ruffle in the design. So it was a no brainer for me to add a ruffle to the Briar top. In fact, I kind of want to make another one on a longer version, too.

Read on to see how I did it….


Briar Variation tutorial: Pocket full of gold with Miranda of One Little Minute

April 5th, 2013

Todays tutorial comes from one of the Briar pattern testers AKA my dear friend and all round awesome gal Miranda of One Little Minute. She is such a honey, and a really wonderful creative seamstress. I love how this variation has just enough sparkle to make it appropriate for day time and night time – i think you’re going to love it too!

When you’re done, don’t forget to check out Miranda’s blog One Little Minute, follow on twitter and instagram.

Take it away Miranda!

As the weather slowly warms up here in DC, I’ve been pulling together some comfy, summer basics. At the top of my list is several versions of my very favorite tee shirt, the Briar Tee! I think I’m up to five, and I have a few more yards of knit set aside for additional Briars. The shape and hemline are super flattering and hip, and I love how easily this tee sews up. I can make one in about thirty minutes, which leaves plenty of time for reading a book and making chocolate chip cookies during the rest of nap time.

Today, I want to share a simple variation that give the Briar tee a fun detail: sequins inside the pocket! I call it my “pocket full of gold” tee. The simple pop of sparkle makes me smile, and is so easy to add. Click through for the full tutorial!