Smells Like Teen Spirit, Looks Like 1994

Hi! This will be a fairly quick post, since it’s a pattern repeat. I meant to have an entire outfit to share, but my trial jeans didn’t work out. (The fabric was the culprit: it was too damn stretchy!)

So that leaves us with this shirt! And thanks to my fabrication, it’s straight out of the High Grunge period of the early 1990s. It’s a Grainline Archer, this time with sleeves. If you’re keeping score, here’s another one for my Fall plans that I can check off! (Fair warning: my hair looks bleh because I had it dyed that morning and hadn’t re-washed it. But the color looks great, at least! 😀 Also, I have had that metal comb headband since, I don’t know, junior high maybe? It is still ridiculously useful if utterly uncool.) Behold:

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Gahhhhhh he is so cute.

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The front; looks like I missed a few threads at the collar stand!

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Full front view, with dog

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Making a stupid face

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Back view–check out that pleat!

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Dicking around

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Clearly I have been watching “Kung Fu Panda” wayyyyy too much.

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Snaps!!

I put the yoke, button band, pockets, and cuffs on the bias to break up the checks and get out of pattern matching. >=D The scale of the checks–3″ by 3″–proved to be really annoying for the duration of this project, but especially when it came to the collar, because no matter which grain or placement I chose I would be getting nothing but partial checks. In the end, I put that on the straight grain and just picked a color distribution that I liked. Like my striped version, I opted for an obsessively-choreographed placement of the center back pleat at the expense of matching one or both of the side seams. I french seamed everything I could, including the sleeve/armhole seams. I wanted to flat-fell but forgot to add more seam allowance before I cut. Derp.

I’d never done a continuous bound placket before, but got them done successfully on the first attempt; the instructions and sewalong post at Grainline were really clear.

Apart from my usual addition of 1″ of length, I didn’t make any fitting changes to this version of Archer. But once again, I used fewer buttons than the pattern calls for: there are 6 front buttons and 2 cuff buttons on mine, but the pattern calls for 8 front buttons. I just don’t like buttoning shirts up all the way OR wasting buttons. And instead of buttons, I used snaps for the first time!

The lovely Heather has made many beautiful shirts that feature snaps from Snap Source (NAYY); she also raved about their quality and ease of application, so obviously I had to check them out. 😀 I am pleased to report that my experience with these snaps very closely mirrors her own: I found the snaps to be of high quality, and after reading the instructions a couple of times, easy to use successfully. I really didn’t have high hopes for that last part, so imagine my surprise when my practice snap (Snap Source includes sample snaps with your tool because they’re awesome) went in perfectly on the first attempt! I went with pearl snaps for this shirt, which requires a separate base that is designed not to damage the pearl domes as you hammer away. Even so, I did end up with one scuffed snap (the top one, OF COURSE) but the installations were all successful. I will warn you though, that this process should not be done while your co-occupants are sleeping: it is LOUD. I did mine at 10PM (I was on a total high after getting home from a “Fit and Sip” event at a sewing store down the street) while Tom was awake, but I felt obligated to keep apologizing for the noise! O_o

I got this fabric at Zinck’s in Berlin, OH. Don’t let the named-after-a-huge-European-city name fool you: this place is in the middle of BFE Amish Country, Ohio, and was a definite pain in the ass to get to from Columbus. (I am a freeway driver: give me high speed limits and at least 3 lanes–so I can get around all y’all–and I’m happy.) Their prices are pretty good anyway, but we timed our visit to coincide with their 37th Anniversary sale; as you can imagine, I made some serious scores. (Like an entire 20 yard bolt of water resistant nylon in The Most Perfect Olive Green for $0.37/yard. 37 CENTS. PER YARD. Seriously.) This buffalo check cotton (which also came in blue/black, which I also bought…) came pre-cut into approximately 3 yard bundles and was $0.75/yard. It’s probably not meant for shirts but the hand and weight are suitable for that application. The buffalo checks, I think, make it seem heftier than just shirting-weight cotton, but it’s actually pretty nice to have a light fall-appropriate shirt hanging around.

I made this shirt back in September, but don’t be fooled: I’ve been somewhat productive since then! I made most of a pair of jeans for myself–I was all the way at the waistband stage–before realizing the project just wasn’t going to work out (the aforementioned too-stretchy-fabric pair), sewed up some more poet shirts for the store where I used to work part-time, and made Tom 2 new pairs of Hudson pants! Here is one pair in, um, “action”:

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A pair of butts.

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This dog tho.

On top of all of THAT, I have been busy dealing with our bathroom remodel. It’s been a slog, but we’re finally getting to the point where there are things I need to do to keep the job moving. It’s been kind of nice to not have to work on it for a short while, since we did all our own demolition to save money. (Note to self [and any other interested/curious parties]: next time, just pay up and let someone else do everything. Seriously.) Now we’re getting to the priming and painting stage (again, we’re doing this ourselves to save money) so I’m being pulled back into the fray! I fully intend to share more about the remodel here when it’s finished: we have been taking plenty of pictures and it’s going to be an amazing transformation, but boy is it ugly in that in-between phase!! We’ve also had our fair share of Old House Problems that don’t make for very enjoyable in-progress reading material! =’D

So that’s my update today! I have a HUGE sewing project in the works (it’s a personal thing as per usual, not a testing/promotional thing, FYI) that I will hopefully finish by my deadline and be able to proudly share with you next month, so look out for that! (And if you’re feeling generous, send good vibes/cross your fingers/make a ritual sacrifice for me–I need all the solidarity I can get, LOL.)

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Smells Like Teen Spirit, Looks Like 1994

  1. 90’s grunge looks rock! I’m in desperate need of cool plaid flannel shirts. I love this one on you! And that Kung-Fu Panda picture is tripping me out… whooooahhh. @_@

    • LOL The pose is on me, but I’m afraid the editing is the result of Tom having a few beers before working his special brand of “magic.” O_O

      Plaid flannel is so quintessentially 90’s! I have plenty of that stuff but still need to use it–hopefully I’ll get to that before Spring!

      • Beer is magical! XD

        I have some plaid flannel I just bought… I need to finish up a couple of quicker projects before making a Granville out of it. I hope I finish before winter’s over, too!

  2. Great work! Snaps, hair, fabric, canine & masculine accessories all working together like a dream!
    I just scored some lightweight second-hand 80s plaid with metallic thread running through. (Does anyone else know what I mean by this description – it was a serious *thing* when I was growing up.) Anyway, I feel a plaid shirt in my future!

  3. Gorgeous shirt! Love the placement of the plaid! I just bought two pieces of plaid fabric to do something with. Love the inspiration here.

  4. I love the plaid on that shirt! It is so nice! And that pleat…sa-weet. I completely forgot those metal headbands even existed…. I think it my subconsious trying to block out specific years TBH. I cannot believe that you got fabric so fucking cheap. Like seriously….$0.37/yd….we can’t even get bargain bin fabrics that cheap here!!!!! Good luck with the reno (we did the same thing a few years ago but sort of just stopped at 80% done the bathroom…meh it is functional lol), and sending all my positive sewing vibes your way!

    • Well I have you to thank for the tip on these snaps: I am a convert!! And you’ve made so many lovely shirts that have inspired me, so thanks for that, too! (PS, really sorry for the late reply: life has left me little time for sewing and blogging of late.)

  5. Yes the pockets and pleat are A1 – makes an “ordinary” check shirt really special. Also the scale of the checks on you. Also love the balletic/Kung Fu poses. Good luck with the big project…..

    • Thank you, Kate! Your kind comments always make my day. =D That big project is…definitely a mixed bag, I’m afraid. =/ Hopefully I will be able to share something about it soon–things have been hectic here with a remodel in full swing!

  6. Pingback: Top Fives, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights! | Life in A "Mads" House

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