Archer the Second

When I made my first Grainline Archer Shirt it was just supposed to be a wearable muslin before I cut into the silk cotton I wanted to make my actual shirt out of. That was in June last year, and the silk cotton still languishes uncut in my stash while the gingham version gets worn all the time! I was worried that my shirt making skills (particularly collar making) weren’t up to a silk shirt, and I kept getting distacted by other projects…like this polka dotted chambray version! Maybe after two shirts and two Alder shirtdresses my skills will be up to the job?


This is exactly the same as my first version, but without the pockets. I’m never sure if I like breast pockets on me, so I find it easier to just leave them off! I would love to say that it was a breeze to sew, but I feel as though I set out to sabotage the entire process from the very beginning…


Spot the difference? Fairly obvious, you would think. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice, and cut out my front pieces with that corner folded under. It wasn’t until I laid out the front pieces to attatch the button bands that I started to think that the armscye looked like it was a bit of a funny shape…thank god I had enough fabric left to squeak another set of front pieces out of! Unfortunately they had to be just a smidgeon off grain, so the polka dots don’t run straight down the front any more, but I can live with that. 

Construction was pretty straightforward after that little mistake, thankfully. I used the burrito method for the yoke, and Andrea’s alternate collar contruction method for the collar. I love her way of putting the collar in, it always goes smoothly! 

It was whist I was putting the collar in that I realised that I wasn’t going to have enough thread to finish the topstitching on the cuffs, or do the hem and the buttonholes. So frustrating! So I had to wait several days until I could get into town to buy more. I hate it when I have to stop a project when I’m nearly finished!
Anyway, I got the thread, and managed to finish the shirt. I used some cotton bias tape from Nana’s sewing box for the hem, because the double turned hem on my gingham version never sits flat and it drives me mental. This one sits much better!

My last (and biggest) disaster came when I was sewing the last button hole. Somehow I managed to completely misread my markings, and sew it a buttonhole length above where it should be. And then I didn’t notice, and cut the buttonhole open, sewed on the button and skipped off happily to try on my new shirt. I’m so annoyed! Not only does it look funny, but now its in the wrong place for where I want to wear the shirt buttoned to.

I know its not massively obvious, and other peope probably won’t notice, but its like a poke in the eye every time I look at it. I’m not likely to ever wear it buttoned right up to the neck (I know thats how the cool kids are wearing their shirts, but I’m not a cool kid, so…) but it would have been nice to have that button in the right place anyway!  

I had forgotten how long and full the sleeves on this shirt are, because I never wear them down! Next time I’ll try to remember to shorten them an inch and slim them down a bit. I really need to get myself a notebook to keep pattern notes and adjustments in, because I never remember what I did last time!

Even after all of the trouble I caused myself during the construction of this shirt, I do like it. The fabric is so soft and lovely, and I can think of lots of ways it can it into my wardrobe. I’m especially looking forward to finishing my Wickerwork pullover so that I can wear it over this shirt! I think if I hadn’t borked up the buttonhole I would love it, but I just can’t get past it being wonky. Any suggestions on how to fix it would be welcome, because I am drawing a blank…