Photobucket Photobucket  photo M1_zpsmeajs2i9.png  photo hs_zpsjdypdbbd.png Photobucket


Three Great Sewing Products, A Mini Briar Top and Playtime Leggings

From the moment I saw the Mini Briar pattern, I knew I wanted to make a version of it with a ruffle attached to the hemline.

Then I saw this version with the heart applique and elbow patches and knew I had to make one like that, too.

So I decided to put the two ideas together and this is what I came up with.

I made this top using a Kaufman herringbone knit from the Gnats Shop.  After I washed it (before sewing with it), it somehow ended up in the dryer with a load of towels and was dried on medium high or even high heat.  It shrunk up a lot.  Maybe by at least a third.   I'm not sure if it would have shrunk that much on a lower heat setting or not, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

This knit was a little tricky to work with.  It would pucker quite easily and I would have to ever so carefully unpick it as to not create a hole (and I did create one small hole, which thankfully was repairable).  Still, I really, really love this print.  The grey herringbone is perfect.  I love the texture that it gives to the gray and it is truly one of my favorite knits yet.  It was definitely worth the extra effort.

I used the heart applique from the pattern (this pattern has so many options!).  This time, I decided to use a knit for the applique, since they don't fray.  This was an Alabama Chanin knit.  They have such an awesome selection of colors, though they are 100% cotton so they don't have great recovery.

I always apply appliques (as well as the elbow and knee patches) using double sided interfacing.  That stuff is magic.  You do have to be careful to get the placement just right, because it's very hard to unpeel once it's ironed on (I'm speaking from experience on that one).  But it keeps the applique so flat and smooth and you don't need to use pins.

Another one of my favorite sewing products is Wonder Tape.  Have you guys used it?  Once you do, there is no going back!  I used it on this top to stabilize the shoulder seams.  This will prevent your machine from eating your knits and will give you a beautiful seam, too.  I also used it to secure the ruffle before sewing it on to the hemline.

Wonder Tape is also great for placing zippers, turning the hems on pockets and placing pockets.  When I can't find my Wonder Tape, I start to panic. ;)  But seriously, it is good stuff.

Because this herringbone knit didn't have the best recovery and because I did not have the right color ribbing to match this grey, I decided to finish the top with the bound neckline method (one of the two pattern options for the neckline).

Megan's method was different than the method I'm used to using, but it turned out perfectly.  I was so pleased and impressed with her instructions and with this way of creating a bound neckband.

This weekend, I discovered Wonder Clips for holding my binding in place and I really can't recommend them enough!  I had read about them before, and I'm not sure why I waited so long to buy them, but they are truly incredible.  I'm definitely not going back to pinning knit necklines in place.  (Also I got all of these products at Jo-Ann's, always using their mobile coupons.  I'm not affiliated with Jo-Ann's in any way, I just like these products.)

I made these leggings for Iris from the Oliver + S Playtime pattern.  I happened to have the pattern already cut and on my sewing table from the last time I had made them.  I really like the fit of this legging pattern as well as the Mini Virginia legging pattern.  (My kids loooove the knee patches and wear those leggings all of the time!).

I cut them based on Iris' measurements - a size 3 in width and a size 4 in length.  I added an inch to the length, just to be safe.  It turned out they were just the right length without being hemmed.  So I left the hem raw, which works with this knit.  Next time I would definitely add more length.

The rock Iris has been playing with in some of these photos is her 'pet turtle' whom she has name Rain. She says his head goes in here:

but it's tucked inside his shell right now.  (Obviously.) ;)  

Four year olds are pretty great!  Especially this one, though I am admittedly biased. :)


  1. Love the pictures and outfit! Wonder clips and wonder tape are life changing! I don't applique much but will have to check out double sided interfacing. Is it similar to wonder under?

    1. I googled it and yes, I believe it is the same thing! Love it!

  2. Oh my! There's so much to love about that top! The details! Personally I love that little bit of satiny ribbon above the ruffle. It looks like I'm not alone. Iris looks smitten with her new outfit!

  3. Ah! Perfect!! Love the appliqué and the ruffle!!! And her pet rock ... Er... Turtle! Cutest! I love how you make simple and tasteful fabric choices more fun and kid-friendly.

  4. Such a fun outfit - especially love that trim and ruffle on the top. I'm excited to try Wondertape. I've used the Steam a Seam tape in the past, but it's very finicky to apply. Perhaps this is better?

    1. So one time, Dan was out running errands and was kind enough to stop by JoAnns to pick up some Wonder Tape for me. But he accidentally bought Steam a Seam (I think) instead. And that was way too confusing for me! I ended up making my own Wonder Tape out of double sided interfacing instead. Wonder Tape is on a roll, like masking or washi tape. One side is sticky. The other side is also sticky, but you need to peel off a layer of paper first. So in this case, I placed the sticky side on the hemline first, sticky side down. Then when I was ready to place the ruffle, I peeled off the paper side and stuck the ruffle to this other sticky side, the side that formerly had the paper. I hope that makes sense. :)

    2. Yes, totally makes sense! I think Steam a Seam is similar - it's been so long since I've used it. I just remember that it would very easily slip out of place and get all bunched up. I will definitely give the Wondertape a try. : )

  5. Such a cute outfit, Rachel! I really am digging the combination of colors - both within the top itself, and paired with the hunter green leggings (Playtime, both components of it, is my all-time favorite pattern!). Are Wonder Clips really that much better than pins on knits? I may have to look into them!

  6. Really really cute!!! I love the color combo of the whole outfit, and your little Iris is such a happy little sprite! Love it. <3 (hehe that's for you Dan)

  7. No bias needed to know that you have a pretty terrific 4 yr old!:) Who happens to be wearing a pretty rockin' outfit, might I add! Rachel - that ruffle! Love your modification, and also your pairing with the green leggings/boots. Hippest 4 yr old in the neighborhood, I'm sure:)
    Glad you've discovered the joy of Wonder Clips! Ironically, I just bought my first set last week as well because all the girls at work were raving about them. However, unlike you, I haven't even taken them out of the packaging yet. I must change that!:)

  8. The ruffle is so cute! My little Liv would love it as well, I think I'll show her (or maybe I won't, since it will definitely make my to-sew-list for her even longer ;-) )

  9. I just added some Wonder Tape to my Amazon basket. I need to give it a try! And I love the idea of using wonder clips instead of pins for knits. I've only used my clips for making bags and baskets. Also, such a great outfit- love it! And it looks like she loves it as well!

  10. I so so love tour street pictures in that evening light... Totally Rachel, if you ask me :-)
    Love the ruffeled top as well, ánd the turtle ;-)

  11. Ryan the turtle is super cute. So are Iris' new additions to the wardrobe :)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I generally respond to comments via email. If your profile does not link to your email account, I try to respond here. :)