An actual shirt, with a collar stand and cuff plackets and button holes and everything! And even better, it fits! I’m really rather pleased with myself (can you tell?), and I’m even more pleased with this amazing pattern. It is, of course, the Grainline Archer.
Everything you’ve heard about this pattern is true, its awesome. I was fully expecting this to be a total disaster, so I bought some cheap poly cotton blend to have a practice. As I was cutting it out, all I could think was “gee, there are a lot of pieces in a shirt…this is going to be tricky.” And it was, its easily the most complicated thing I’ve ever sewn. But the sewalong on the Grainline Studio blog was brilliant, and I used this tutorial for the collar stand (the construction order just made better sense in my head, and I think it turned out really neatly), and after a weekend of careful sewing, I had a finished shirt! Out of everything I’ve ever made, this is the garment that makes me want to say to everyone “see this shirt? I totally made it.” Happily I’ve pretty much managed to squash that urge, I don’t want to be completely obnoxious!
I cut the pockets, cuffs, outer yoke and button band on the bias, which looks good but definitely gave me a few headaches! Getting the button band and the pockets to stay square took a few attempts and all of my pins. The under yoke is cut on grain, as recommended in the sewalong, and it does feel a lot more sturdy than I think it would have if both were cut on the bias.
The only major stuff up I made was not reading the first page of the instructions very clearly (this is becoming a theme recently, must try harder…) and sewing the yoke and shoulders together with a 5/8″ seam allowance instead of a 1/2″ allawance. I didn’t pick this up until I came to sew on my collar stand, and it was about an inch too long! I trimmed it to fit, and then trimmed the collar down by the same amount so that it didn’t end up too 70’s.
I think I may also have sewn the cuff plackets around the wrong way, I feel like it would make more sense for the buttonhole to be on the pleat side of the cuff, so its on the top when the cuff is buttoned. Not that it’ll matter on this shirt, I never wear shirts without the sleeves rolled up! The only other thing that I wish I had done is centring the plaid on the button band, and making sure that the plaid would be symmetrical either side of the band. But never mind, it hasn’t stopped me wearing it twice since Saturday! Mostly with a merino over the top, because its pretty damn chilly down this end of the globe at the moment!
I hope that those of you in the UK are enjoying your beautiful weather, my facebook feed is full of pictures of my friends over there enjoying the sunshine! I’m very jealous…