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

Archer Collage 4

Side views

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Back view, plus nature

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A perfect shirt for Puppy Playtime, obviously!

Archer Collage 2

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

Pattern Review 2014 Vintage Contest – I’m Entering! (For Real This Time.)

No, for really real.

Vintage Contest 2014

Exciting news, everyone: I have officially entered my vintage Simplicity 1173 playsuit in The Vintage Contest at Pattern Review! Never have I been more relieved not to have started a project when I meant to: for this contest, fashion fabric work (tracing, cutting, sewing, etc.) can only be done from May 1 to May 31, and except for my muslin, this was an all-May project. Whew!!

I did not even know that this contest was coming up. I posted a review of the pattern on PR because I try to do that whenever I finish something, and a commenter said that she hoped I was entering it in the contest. I went straight to the contest section of the site and read the rules, and realized it was eligible! I was so excited to be able to enter and actually have a finished item this time, since my fitted blouse never made it out of the muslin stages. I’ve gotten so many kind comments on PR since posting and entering my review, which has been so uplifting. I love my playsuit, but I can’t believe so many strangers stopped to comment and say such nice things about it!

If you’re on PR and are eligible to vote in contests, you should definitely consider voting for me. I expect lots more awesome entries though, so be sure to check out what other folks have made!

Pattern Review 2014 Fitted Blouse Contest!

Why does it seem like I can’t get motivated to finish a project unless there is a contest or sew-along or event involved?!? I suppose I shouldn’t complain because hey, it makes me productive, right? 🙂

Pattern Review is having a new contest starting on March 1: sewing a fitted blouse!

2014 Fitted Blouse - Skill Level BEGINNER

I have been signed up for Pattern Review for several months now, and I’m sad to say that I don’t make use of the site as much as I could. (Come to think of it, I need to submit reviews for some of the patterns I’ve sewn…) But what little interaction/experience I’ve had there has been really good, and I’m excited to participate with their community! Apparently this is a new type of contest for them, since competitors are divided by skill level: competitors must classify themselves as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. I appreciate that as a novice, simply because I wouldn’t feel quite so confident going up against expert-level seamstresses, even with my best work! I’m madssews over there–are any of you on PR?? I’ll make sure to blog about my progress here, of course; I’m hoping to do better with my finishing techniques this time around, at least! I’ve already got a pattern in mind, naturally. I’ll be using a pretty shot cotton from my stash, and I’m hoping that I’ll have some buttons in my collection that will work nicely. If not, that should be the only notion (apart from matching thread) that I need to buy–hooray! I’ve got a pretty decent button stash now, but I don’t know if I have anything that will work with the color of my fabric. Looks like I’ll have to go digging tonight! 😉

I’ll have another post today for Sew Grateful Week, but that will have to wait for later. Hope you lovelies can handle two doses of Mads in one day!