It's been a while since I purchased Megan Nielsen's mini wardrobe pattern pack, and as of last month, I'd only made my daughter one pair of Tania's (which she still wears a year later, by the way) despite my best intentions to fill her wardrobe with garments from all three patterns.
I had actually attempted to make her a Mini Briar a few months ago, but the fit was all wrong (I went with the smallest size in the cropped version, and it just looked weird on Louisa, who's very tall and lean). Plus, the collar was a complete disaster, so she never wore it again after the initial fitting.
The whole experience kind of deflated my sewing confidence actually, but luckily it was re-ignited in June when I was gifted a pretty high-end sewing machine from my cousin. I knew the first thing I wanted to make with that machine was a successful Mini Briar, with perfect collar and all!
I made Version 3 in a size 4-5. It's a little big on Louisa, but it will fit her perfectly by next summer I'm sure.
This fabric is re-purposed - it used to be a maternity maxi dress, so there was a lot of fabric at my disposal for the (relatively) large pattern pieces. The fabric is really slinky though, which, compounded with my terrible old machine, probably accounts for my failed first attempt. It stretches four ways and is nice and soft, so Louisa loves having it on and it doesn't impede her at all.
Because I'd wasted so much of the fabric on my first attempt, I had to cut the back with a seem down the middle, but I don't mind the effect at all.
I added the Kitty Elbow patch as a pocket, and did a little satin stitch for the nose. I like the finished pocket, though I have to reinforce the top of the seams at the ears.
I realize now that the collar is just too long for the neck opening, so it doesn't stretch and lie nice and flat as a result. Also, it's really bulky for some reason, and my stitch line isn't close enough to the edge of the collar, so now that it's been worn and washed several times, the edge of the collar permanently curls up at the front. I may attempt to replace the collar once I get more practice in, but for now it was a great learning experience and I already feel a lot more confident tackling sleeves and collars.
So, can I take a quick minute to talk about my new sewing machine?? It's a Singer Quantum CXL, and I love it. It's twenty years old, but like I said it's a pretty amazing machine and a DEFINITE upgrade from my 35 year old Kenmore. I never realized what sewing on a decent machine could be like. The motion is smoother, the feed dogs work better (game changer), and it makes the whole process so much more pleasant. I'm really lucky that I have a cousin who just offered it to me (she was an accomplished seamstress back in the day, but has since moved on to other crafty endeavours) and it's rejuvenated my love for sewing like nothing else.
Since this Mini Briar, I've made some shorts for my son, fixed my doomed Kasia skirt, and made plans for many more projects. So hopefully all of this sewing will trigger my blogging mojo and I'll actually get those projects up on here in the next few weeks!