I’ve been wanting to make Grainline’s Archer button up shirt pattern for quite a while now, because I LOVE wearing collared shirts, but by the time I got serious about it, it was summer, so that was out. If you’ve ever been to NYC in July you understand why.
Fall finally came around, and my sewing mojo just got up and went. So this pattern still didn’t get made. But now, I’m thrilled to announce… (drumroll please)… I’m officially the last sewing blogger on the planet to sew up this pattern. (Thank you. Thank you all so much for the applause. Wow, thank you. You’re too kind. Really.)
I’m not gonna say much about the pattern itself, since it’s already been talked to death in the blogosphere. But I LOVE the fabric I chose. It’s a lovely cotton plaid from Mood Fabrics…not quite a flannel, but more like a medium weight brushed cotton. But almost flannel. I doubt “almost flannel” is a thing actually, but there you have it. It’s still in stock actually… I just saw it the other day and was halfway tempted to grab the rest of the bolt and run. I’d pay of course. I’m no criminal. I just really love this fabric. Although, I gotta say, I don’t know what possessed me to make my first button up shirt in PLAID. Matching plaid is definitely something I should have mentally prepared for a little more. It mostly worked out ok, except the button bands warped a little bit.
I put the yoke on the bias, because with the pleats in the back of the shirt I wouldn’t have been able to match anything. And I cut the cuffs on the cross-grain. That was just out of sheer laziness, because at that point I couldn’t be bothered matching up any more plaid stripes. I decided to cut my pocket on the grain and I’m really happy that it totally disappears into the shirt. Although…now that I think about it, what’s the point of even having the pocket if you can’t see it? It’s not like I’m gonna use the pocket for my pens or something.
The metal buttons are also from Mood. I bought them when I had Sadie with me, and I had made the mistake of stopping for donuts before popping into Mood. Sadie ran around that place like a banshee on a mission. Not sure what the mission was, but oh Lord. Trying to keep her contained in the button area for even 90 seconds was an almost impossible feat. I had let her run freely through the place for fifteen minutes, thinking that would wear her out and then she’d let me shop. Nope. Those fabric stores are terrifying places to bring little escape artists. They just manage to completely disappear. So learn from my mistakes, and remember: donuts AFTER Mood.
Anywho, since finishing this top I’ve made a second one, and am halfway through a third, each one with a few more fitting tweaks, but this version is almost straight out of the envelope, which is pretty great, considering that I’m a true petite. I shortened the sleeves by 2 inches, and made the pocket quite a bit smaller than the pattern called for. (I copied the size from a store-bought button up shirt pocket that I like.) I followed this tutorial by Andrea for the collar construction, just like I did when I made my second Alder Shirtdress, and still love this method. So much less finicky than the instructions included with the pattern. The only other change I made was removing about 1/2″ of ease from the sleeve head. Because the slight drop shoulder of this pattern is a little more dropped on me than it’s intended to be, the ease in the sleeve looked totally crazy, so I followed this tutorial to remove some of it.
Here’s the shirt!
I’m still futzing around with the pattern, taking a little volume out of the sleeves, shortening the shoulder seam a little, and dealing with the excess fabric pooling on my back, where it then catches on my hips. I’ve also lengthened the shirt by about a half inch on the one I’m working on now, just to see what that looks like.
Oh, and wanna know a secret? There’s no top button on this shirt. Or buttonhole. I hate stitching through that crazy thick fabric up on the collar stand, and I never wear it buttoned up to the top anyway. The way I wear it, you’d never really notice there was no button or buttonhole way up there. Unless someone told you. Like I just did.
Sssshhhh…secrets of a lazy sewer. You can totally steal this tip by the way, and I won’t tell a soul.