Briar and Espresso - A match made in heaven

11.20.2013

Sometimes a fabric tells you what it wants to be. Sometimes it also yells and screams "Just sew me already!!!" Here's the mouthy fabric in question, a 2 layer knit from Waechter's. The color is a tad off here as the top layer is a true black. Everything else is just as awesome in person.
I really shouldn't have been surprise that it wouldn't sit mutely in the corner.  It's all "Let's party with the young folks." It also told me to ignore my misgivings about giant butts in high/low hems and download that Megan Nielsen Briar pattern.  You want be to buy a new pattern? Well you don't have to twist my arm casue I got to keep my rep as "All the patterns Heather" to keep.
Upon completion of the Briar I released that it's the kind of shirt that allows one to commit the "sin" of wearing leggings as pants. But I had no leggings.....so I bought the Sewing Cake Espresso pattern. MOAR PATTERNS! The serger and coverstitch were both threaded to black anyway. One must take advantage of that and sew more black clothing. I can feel Katie nodding her head in agreement.
This time I could have the superior feeling of using stash neoprene fabric bought from Gorgeous Fabrics last year.  Confession time.....I like buying new types of fabric just to see what they're like. When GF started stocking neoprene some HAD to be purchased even though I wasn't sure it would result in a wearable garment. This stuff is about the weight of a ponte but has a lot more recovery both in the horizontal and vertical stretch.  One side is matte rib and the other has a shiny satin look.  The greatest amount of stretch was in the vertical direction and I was lucky the fabric was 58" wide, my drafted leggings pattern just barely fit. The plan was to go with the conservative matte side but I said, "Screw it, let's make shiny leggings."


I sewed the neoprene with my serger and used the coverstitch for the hems/casting just as I would any other knit. The satiny side was a little slippery but since the fabric is so stable I had little trouble sewing it together.

Patterns
Megan Nielson Briar and Sewing Cake Espresso Leggings.  I bought PDF versions of both these patterns and found them easy to assemble.
That was easy!
Fabrics used
For Briar a Polyster/lycra knit, still available.
For Espresso a thin neoprene knit, sold out.

Pattern changes/alterations
I made zero alterations to either of these patterns.  For the Briar I combined the med and large sizes as is my habit. Since it's a loose fitting style it needed no other tweaks.

The espresso is drafted to your measurements so they fit well right out of the gate.  I did add extra to the back rise and then found that it wasn't needed. Better to be safe than sorry!  I might add some extra length to the leg, just for personal preference, on any future versions.

Confessions/Advice
No advice per say, just a note that I used a plain black jersey for the neckband of my briar.  That worked a whole lot better than trying to serge a thin strip of the self fabric to the neckline.
Husband Comment
"Do you make those shiny pants! Cool!"  He made no comment about the shirt which probably means he doesn't care for it.  Or maybe it's awesomeness rendered him speechless.

My Final Thoughts
Briar - I still think the high/low hem looks best on women with regular/small sized backsides where is drapes in a pleasing manner. My backside just fills the available space but I like the complete coverage that the style provides. There are plans to make more, the first in some stashed sweater knit.  Hey I'm still "Stashbusting."

Espresso - Never thought I'd like leggings but my fellow sewcialists seemed to have changed my mind about them. This pattern is excellent for us ladies with more junk in the trunk, since the self drafting means you don't have to worry about short back rises and bending over. *Shudder* We've all had that problem with RTW, am I right? Never again I say!  Now let's rock out in our leggings as pants. WOOO HOOO!

35 comments:

  1. Nice outfit, Heather! I love it and I think Briar looks awesome on you! Ok, you know I'm gonna comment on the shiny pants and how much I love them! Cos...SHINY! I love shiny!

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  2. Fab outfit x

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  3. Sara and Bitty ChickletNovember 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Love this outfit! Really need to give these leggings a try... Sara

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  4. Aaah! The old Briar and leggings (in my case Virginia leggings) combo. It's AWESOME! And you look so cool. Especially with the jacket, you look like the no nonsense cool kid in school. Like Julia Stiles in '10 things I hate about you' and she got to make out with Heath Ledger, which is ubercool.

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  5. love the briar, that fabric is so awesome! and well evidentaly my mind has also been changed on the "leggings as pants" debate... as i decided this morning whilst pulling on my own me-made leggings. however i hate my mccalls pattern so i may have to try this one out!

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  6. Awesome outfit! Love this look on you!

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  7. Very cool Lady!! I love that shirt fabric and you paired it with the perfect pattern.
    I just brought a legging pattern and am so scared to make them...but now that I see yours maybe I just need to choose the right fabric.

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  8. you look so hard core in these pics, and I mean that in a good way. Throw an oversized flannel shirt on top, jacket style and you have completed the grunge sew along challenge too!

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  9. Your posts always crack me up--love the outfit, the commentary, and most especially, the hand gestures. ;-)

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  10. I love the fabric for the Briar top and I adore neoprene, I love sewing with it! Great new outfit, looks like you're ready to party with the young folks!

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  11. I had the same thought about the grunge vibe!

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  12. Hehe, Fun outfit. I noticed with the leggings depending on the fabric you choose the ones with more vertical stretch do grow longer and cover the bum better without having to add extra.

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  13. Love the whole outfit. Love the longer Briar (don't care for the shorter version at all).

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  14. I'm loving this outfit!

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  15. You are so hilarious and totally rad, I'm pleased I found your blog. Glad you like the Espressos, they look great with your Briar! I might have to take a second look at textured fabric like that, really stitched up well. :)

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  16. Your Briar fabric is awesome, makes me think of the amazing work of Alabama Chanin. I really want to try the Espresso pattern, especially after your rave review - oh what I wouldn't do for an overlocker & coverstitch machine!

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  17. Looking good!

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  18. Thanks Amanda. I love that Alabama Chanin stuff but I'm not sure if I have the patience to do it. But I'm tempted.

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  19. Thanks for the info on the vertical stretch in the leggings Em. I didn't think of that but it makes perfect sense.

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  20. Thanks Leila, I channeled my inner you and went shiny side!

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  21. Thanks Rachel, it's a bit out of my comfort zone but I like it.

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  22. Thanks Sara! And yes give these leggings a try, you'll like them.

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  23. Heath Ledger boyfriend? Sweet. Briar and leggings is pretty awesome and comfy too, but then you know that. ;)

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  24. I think leggings are slowly brainwashing us. ;) But that's OK because we'll be comfy.

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  25. Thanks Ginger, I think your briar sold me on this pattern. It just took me awhile to get to it. :)

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  26. Thanks Margo. I think as long as your knit has decent recovery then your leggings will be a success. Try it, try it. :)

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  27. LOL, I did have over sized flannel shirts in the 90's but let's not talk about that.

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  28. Hee heee Thanks! Making a mental note for more amusing hand gestures.

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  29. Thank you Wendy! I'd certainly sew with neoprene again, it's pretty cool.

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  30. Thanks Candyce, couldn't pass it up.

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  31. Thanks Jean, I'm with you about the shorter version. Probably cause the waist area is one I'd rather not expose.

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  32. Comfy immediately comes to mind :-) The fabric and Briar just had to go together, totally!

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  33. I love them both!! And they are perfect together.

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  34. Dude, Heath Ledger would totally have made out with bad-ass Heather!

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