or the Twilight shirt… it reminds me of how Edward’s skin in the Twilight movies sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight.
This is yet another project that has taken me forever to blog. I finished this shirt just after Christmas. The threat of rain inspired me to get out late this afternoon & get some shots! My kids love this shirt.
I’ve been obsessed with sewing some more shirts. I really enjoy shirts, shirtdresses… all those little details and pieces really appeal to me.
I sewed the Archer several years ago – my first shirt… in silk no less!
I’ve always wanted to return to this pattern but there have been many distractions since then.
Last month I picked up some ‘foil’ crinkle cotton from The Fabric Store in Brisbane. I would describe it as fancy cream-coloured cheesecloth – that lovely, soft cotton, crinkled fabric – coated in a light silvery foil. It seemed appropriate to sew my own Shining Archer – as knights in shining armour are a bit thin on the ground these days.The texture of the fabric had put me off. I was concerned that it might stretch and distort as I sewed. My concern was misplaced as it proved to be very easy to work with.
I opted to make the Grainline Studios Archer in View B with the ‘ruffle butt’ feature.
I sewed size 0 and while it’s oversized by nature, in this shining fabric I feel like that over-sized fit looks more exaggerated. Any folds or excess fabric catches the light and highlights them.I decided to leave the pockets off as the fabric is so light and delicate that the pockets felt too large and heavy.
I often sew with a similar RTW garment beside me – to check details, techniques and so on. I noticed in all the RTW shirts in the house that the sleeves has been set-in with flat felled seams. I also wanted to do this as the fabric is quite sheer and I didn’t want to seam allowances to shift about and look untidy. I think those little details really irritate me.
Unfortunately I realised this after I had cut out all the fabric – and I hadn’t allowed enough in the seam allowances to accommodate this… so I just faked them by top stitching down the seam allowances. I’m a little disappointed however the outside finish is still quite nice. It’s our little secret.I also attached the collar using the Four Square Walls method. I always hand stitch the lower edge of the inner collar band in place before I top stitch the band. I had a little giggle when Handmade by Carolyn posted about how she does this too – I had always wondered how many others couldn’t achieve a neat collar finish without the help of a little more hand stitching than a pattern dictates! I think it results in the neatest finish and as I tend to sew a shirt over several shorter sewing sessions, a little more time spent hand stitching really isn’t onerous.
I will also confess that I often machine baste a line of stitching along the finished stitching line of the collar band and then press a crease along this before I sew the collar. Then when I do go to turn the collar band edge and hand stitch it in place, it is precise. Pedantic I know.
I also hand stitch the inside of the cuffs closed before top stitching the cuffs as… I guess I can just be a little obsessive about the strangest little things. I’m a little bothered by my cuffs rather ‘flappy’ ends and thinking about putting a second button on them to keep them neat against my wrists.I know some replace the Archer plackets with tower plackets, I opted to stick with the pattern. This fabric is so light and sheer I preferred the original more delicate plackets of the Archer pattern.
Really there is not much more to say about the Archer. It’s a nice reliable staple shirt pattern.
I uncovered my David Coffin Shirtmaking books during my sewing room clean-up and I can see more shirts in my sewing future.
Pattern: Grainline Archer
Fabric: Foil Crinkle Cotton, The Fabric Store (Brisbane)
Also see: my all-time favourite Archer…. True Bias. And just Google Grainline Archer – this has been made over and over and over again!
Random: I’ve been running 5km a week for the last month, just on Saturday mornings. It’s a bit of a new year’s resolution that I haven’t ignored. While I hate ‘times, ‘weighing’ or anything that numerically tracks my progress, today I took another 96 seconds off my time. I’m not fast or pushing myself too hard but I’m doing OK for starting at ‘ground zero’.