Handmade Wardrobe / Inspiration

liberty back briar

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

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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10 years ago

Beautiful! And your hair looks gorgeous. Miss you!

10 years ago

I just finished my first Briar this past weekend (with leather patch pocket and leather patches at the elbows – woohoo!) and I kid you not, I was thinking that for my next version I want to use a precious piece of Liberty fabric for the back! I’m so glad to see your version and read that the woven back does not make the shirt ultra constrictive. That Liberty fabric you used is awesome, and your Briar pattern is even better!

10 years ago

LOVE this, looks gorgeous :-)

10 years ago

This is so cute and what a great stash busting option too!

10 years ago

I absolutely know what you’re talking about! I have this great drapey coloured muslin I just can’t bring myself to cut out. I always fear that I’m taking away the possibilities a fabric has when cutting.
Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet. 2 metres of fabric won’t do much to our wardrobes as they are…

Did you have to go extra slow to sew the side seams because of one stretchy and one none-stretchy fabric? Or was that no trouble at all?

I would imagine puckering if I did it…

10 years ago

Ohhh so pretty!
Must get my mitts on this pattern!!! stat!!!

10 years ago

This is a great idea, i love it! I get that way with certain fabrics too. Question for you (possibly stupid,I’m new to this), how can you tell what percentage stretch a fabric has, is there an easy way?

10 years ago

Love this top. Sometimes the projects we sew from “leftovers” turn out better than the ones from unlimited yardage…it forces creativity!

10 years ago

Oh, this is cute! But I know what you mean about precious fabrics– I have a piece of Liberty lawn that’s been in my stash for over two years (right after I started sewing) and a yard of Liberty silk that a lovely lady sent me about a year ago, and I’ve been too paralyzed with fear to cut into either one!

10 years ago


10 years ago

Wow this is just lovely! And a great idea for fabrics you want to showcase or that you may not have enough of. I get ‘fabric paranoia’ sometimes as well. Especially if it’s fabric t I got out of town or out of country and I know I e getting any more of it.