Merry almost-end-of festive season friends! Are you feeling suitably stuffed and lethargic? All I can say is that I'm glad I took these photos BEFORE Christmas kicked off..ha ha! I can also safely say that I've been wanting to try the Archer Button Up Shirt by Grainline Studio ever since it was released, so I jumped at the chance to join in with Archer Appreciation Month, hosted by Miss Crayola Creepy and Lucky Lucille.
Normally I need plenty of notice before I can join 'sewalongs' and don't take part in as many spontaneous ones as I'd like to. But for Archer, I had already assembled and cut out my pattern and I had a soft flannel from Cyprus already earmarked for it.
Before going into specific construction details, I'll fill you in on my sizing. I'd heard about the roominess of this pattern and I knew I needed it to be slightly more form-fitting on my shape, so I sewed it up in a straight size 6, after shortening the shoulders by a couple of centimetres and taking off some length both the shirt and sleeves. Overall I'm pretty happy with the fit, but I would definitely grade the hips up to a size 8 or 10, as doing up the last button is tres unflattering at the moment. But I can live with that for this version.
**Full-on gushing alert**
The making of the shirt was such a satisfying and relaxing (yes, relaxing) process. There's a good reason why this pattern has been universally well-received...everything just comes together so beautifully and the time-consuming details I would usually opt out of, I gladly took my time over. Having never made a shirt like this before, I followed Jen's Archer sewalong posts religiously and they are just superb! I don't know whether I was feeling unusually zen during the making of this shirt, or whether Jen's tutorials are just the best thing ever!?! They are so methodical, well-paced and...well...easy! I found her video tutorials particularly soothing as she has such a calm way of speaking. Anyway, I seriously recommend the sewalong posts if you are nervous about making a shirt like this.
I opted to cut my pockets and back yoke on the bias, which I think adds a bit of interesting detail and Jen has a cool tip for a bias-cut yoke. I also love all the topstitching detail which gives the illusion of flat-felled seams, as well as a really professional-looking finish. The collar is just the sweetest little thing, but I think my favourite detail has to be the pleated sleeves and cuffs...too cute!
Oh, and did I mention how soft and snug my fabric is? It literally feels (and looks, my boyfriend assures me) like wearing pyjamas! Not sure that's a look most people would be going for, but I really, really, really love this shirt! Possibly more because I'm proud of the care I took over making it, rather than how flattering it may or may not look on me, but either way...I love it!
I consider this Archer my successful practice go and have very special plans for my next version. I'll be using a luxurious double gauze (Pocho - Metallic Gold Dots, from M is for Make) and making View B with the pretty, gathered back. I've always loved this girlier version and have hight hopes for it doing a better job at hiding my junk ;o) I also plan on grading the hips up, maybe slimming the sleeves down a touch and possibly omitting the pockets, as I'm not sure I need the added volume on my bust.
Have you made an Archer yet? Are you tempted?