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.)

 

 

 

In Which The Blogger Is Late To The Party

The Archer party, that is. 😀

Hi, everyone! Before I get to the Archer part of the business today, I want to do a quick shout-out to Pattern Review and Creative Publishing International: I won a giveaway at PR!!!!!!! I am the lucky winner of a copy of The Shirtmaking Workbook by the aspirational AND inspirational David Page Coffin–can you hear me “SQUEEEEEEE”ing from here? My very cool and professional reply to PR’s email informing me that I had won began with a solid row of exclamation points. #nochill So thank you, PR and CPI, for offering this giveaway. I will try to do you proud with this resource by my side!

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I’M A WINNER!!!!!!

And appropriately enough, the news of my random victory came during the final stages of finishing up my Archer shirt!

I know that almost everyone else with the internet and a sewing machine has made this pattern, but I’m just now getting to it. I mostly bought it for making flannel shirts for myself, but decided to take a crack at using it for at least one summer shirt when the vintage pattern I was working on proved to be too much of an annoyance. (Seriously, fuck those camp collar/ridiculous facing combos.) I recently bought several stripey fabrics at Mood (who clearly knew that a stripes sale on a Friday the 13th would bring your pal Mads out of the woodwork) and immediately knew which one I wanted to sew first: a denim blue/natural striped cotton voile, which can be found here (for right now anyway).

And now for the big reveal–my favorite part!

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“ALL THE STRIPES” Archer

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Pocket + Buttons

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Side views

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Back view, plus nature

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A perfect shirt for Puppy Playtime, obviously!

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Insides!

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Artful front view

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“Oh, funny seeing you here!”

What do you guys think? I’m really happy with it. It will definitely get a lot of wear this summer!

I took a lot of time to work on stripe matching for this shirt, but it’s fair to say that we had some do-overs before the end, LOL! I had a very specific idea in mind for laying out the stripes (of course) and everything more or less turned out just as I had hoped! The sewn-on right front placket was tough to keep lined up and while it’s certainly not perfect, it’s damn close. Apologies for the styling otherwise: it rained a tiny bit on Saturday night (we did pictures on Sunday) so I wore my big-ass boots for our photo “shoot” to ensure that I could get to any part of the park we wanted. Those boots may not be much to look at, but they are among my favorite things; I got them at the Eddie Bauer outlet like, 5 years ago. $25 for $150ish Le Chameau boots = #winning. And the shorts? I have no good excuses there…making better ones is on my sewing “short” list (HAHAHA GET IT?!?) for sure. 😉

CONSTRUCTION NOTES

  1. I used muslin for my bindings (armholes and hem) and the yoke facing and inner collar stand; voile fabric is light and the show-through from the blue stripes is no joke. (Although shockingly, the shirt isn’t see-through on me; I am not wearing a cami under it in any of these!) I bit the bullet and made my own bias binding from muslin.
  2. This was my first time doing the “burrito method” for the yokes (haven’t dealt with a yoke and yoke facing before now) and it’s everything it’s cracked up to be!
  3. I also used the often-referenced construction order from four square walls for my collar and stand, and I’m never doing it any other way if I can help it–my stand and button bands are perfectly aligned!
  4. I put the pockets on the cross grain for maximum style points. The pockets are my 2nd favorite part of the shirt visually, topped only by my brag-worthy placement of the back pleat, which I can assure you was 100% intentional:
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Attempting to use both pockets at once. #nailedit

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Seriously. LOOK AT IT.

See that?!? Perfectly centered to feature a blue stripe IN THE CENTER of the pleat. BOOM! I’d like to thank my cutting mat, masking tape, clear grid ruler, and obsessive/compulsive tendencies for making this not-at-all-humble brag possible. 😀

Finally, I topstitched the side seams, collar, hem, and armholes; I did edgestitching on the collar stand, shoulders, and back yoke seam. My undercollar is on the bias, which looks AMAZING, but I did not get a great picture of that for you. Seriously you guys, I feel like I could wear this shirt inside-out if it weren’t for the buttons. (Fabric with no “wrong side” makes cutting out and matching things a bitch, but boy does it make the insides look spectacular!)

You probably noticed how few buttons this shirt has (6) vs. the pattern’s recommendations (9). I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want my summer shirts to button all the way up to my larynx. Once I decided on which buttons to use, I opted to start from a decent-but-still-casual location at the pockets and space the buttonholes 2″ apart until I ran out of buttons or made it really close to the hem. The buttons I used are vintage; a friend gave them to me from her late MIL’s stash and I am so thrilled to have found the perfect use for them! I was thisclose to using Size 16 pearl snaps but felt they looked too puny against the 1/2″ stripes on an oversized shirt.

PATTERN NOTES

I followed Grainline’s own recommendations for sleeveless alterations, which worked perfectly. The only other alterations I made were:

  1. Added 1″ of length at the lengthen/shorten lines
  2. Took a slightly smaller hem than recommended (somewhere between 1/4″ and 1/2″)
  3. Increased my side seam uptake below the underarms.

With respect to that last part, I ended up with about 1″ seam allowances at the waist and 5/8″ at the hip. That’s why the stripes get a little different as you look down the sides. I could have taken more at the underarm as well, but didn’t want to make the shirt uncomfortably snug or create drag lines once the buttons were added later. I don’t think it made much difference though, so I either need to be more aggressive or just surrender to the “wearing a rectangle” thing entirely next time.

For next time (and there will be one), I will omit the cut-on button band on the left front and do it as a sew-on. In a perfect world, I would have had the button band stripes going the same way as the pockets; I just didn’t want the extra annoyance after dealing with the failed vintage pattern (2 muslins and still not right–ugh). I plan to make lots of plaid flannel versions of the Archer, and will definitely want bias button bands for those! 🙂

That about wraps up the details on this one; it was a very simple project apart from the stripe matching! And now for outtakes!

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“YOU’RE A MONKEY, DEREK!!!!!”

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Classic Mads. The camera isn’t tilted, btw: that’s the angle of the slope and tree!!

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Flailing

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Having a Narcissus moment

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Poppin’ the collar so you guys can see the bias effect…kinda.

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Messing with the buttons

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Mulder learned to levitate for this picture.

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Puppy kisses!!!

What’s on your sewing table for the new season? Have you made an Archer? Would a sale on striped fabrics be enough to get you to hit “Add to Cart?” 

SUPPLIES

1.5 yards Cotton Voile, from Mood
~1/2 yard cotton muslin, from stash
6 x 5/8″vintage buttons, from a friend
80/12 Universal needle (should have gone down one size)
Thread