I didn’t think I’d be one of those sewists making endless repeats of their favourite patterns, but here I am posting my third Grainline Archer Shirt (and I’m currently sewing my 5th, 6th and 7th versions of the Grainline Hemlock Tee!). When Jen gave me this beautiful red plaid shirting, I had good intentions of muslining a new popover shirt. But when the time came round to sew it, I just wanted something that I knew would work. So Archer it was!
The alterations I made were much the same as my previous versions (fit/style adjustments + adding a bust dart), with the added change of slimming down the sleeves at the wrist. As I’ve mentioned before, the sleeve is drafted to drape over your wrist and sit on your hand, meaning it is both very long and wide at the cuff. I’d already removed 5cm length (and I’m not a small person!) but never got around to narrowing the cuff. This time, I took out 8mm each side seam (1.6cm total), and cut the cuff to match. I think we can agree that it looks much more proportional now.
I’m glad I stuck to a tried and true pattern, because the sewing process was more than enough of a challenge. The combination of sewing technical shirt details + plaid matching + a slippery, shifty fabric that frayed as soon as I looked at it meant it took 2.5 months to complete this shirt. This is mainly because my health was not the greatest, and a technically challenging project was beyond my means for most of that time. Oh, and I used French seams,* because our new washing machine chews up any fabric that is even remotely fray-prone.
Like sewing any button up shirt, it was well worth it for me in the end. The fabric is really lovely to wear – soft and warm. I’m unsure of the fibre content as it came out of the wash wrinkle-free (hooray!) but doesn’t feel like polyester, which is good enough for me. And the colours are just so me!
I’m also happy with the changes to the pattern. I think now that I’ve got the sleeve fit down, I’ve really nailed it. Guess that means I have more Archer shirts to sew! I’d like a white, short sleeve version for summer, if I can find the perfect summer-weight shirting.
What patterns do you find yourself reaching for again and again?
Pattern: Grainline Archer Shirt
Pattern details: “The Archer Button Up is a loosely fitted button up shirt with long sleeves. View A has angled cuffs and a back pleat at yoke. View B has straight cuffs and a gathered lower back detail.” Available as a printed pattern or PDF in US/A0 copy shop and print at home in sizes 0-18.
Fabric: 2.1m x 114cm wide tartan check in light red and green, gift
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing. Buttons from stash.
Mods: Size 10 bust and waist, 12 hips.
– 1/2″ forward head adjustment, added to shoulder point on yoke and taken from front-yoke seam, same adjustment to sleeve cap
– added 4.5cm bust dart, 5cm down from underarm seam, by slashing and spreading, thus adding 4.5cm length to whole front
– approx. 1.2-1.5cm broad back adjustment, cut and moved back armscye out and widened back yoke at armscye to match
– shortened sleeves 5cm so they ended at wrist
– used tower placket rather than continuous bound placket, drafted new cuff to match (based on straight cuff B)
– narrowed sleeves 8mm at each side seam at wrist (16mm total) to nothing at underarm, trimmed cuff to match
– changed right shirt buttonband to 3cm faux separate buttonband, left to 3cm fold under (added 0.5cm to collar stand to match)
– 1 front pocket (instead of 2) with slightly shorter facing due to fabric restrictions. Also cut undercollar, collar stand facing and cuffs against grain for same reason
– own button placement with 2 sleeve cuff and 1 sleeve placket buttons
*Including 5mm x 2 seams at the armscye, where the seam allowance was 1cm. Lack of foresight, there. (I changed the rest of the seam allowances from 1/2″ to my preferred SA a long time ago, as my machine doesn’t have 1/2″ markers and the conversion to metric is really messy.)