Made by Me!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt - Finished!

The Archer Button Up Shirt by Grainline Studio is a much blogged sewing pattern but this is for a very good reason. Its awesome. It's the shirt I have been looking and longing for, and I admit it was love at first stitch. By far the easiest thing that looks hard to sew that I have made for a long time. People think you are clever if you can sew a collar stand and collar...but I know the reason isn't my sewing brilliance its the amazing pattern, which is clear, concise and easy to follow. It makes me come across as a seamstress twice my skill and really I have to ask myself why have I not made something from Grainline before? Crazy....Crazy but rectifiable.

This shirt has taken some time to make - about 3 - 4 slow days of sewing - not that any of the stages were particularly difficult but I took my time, enjoying every moment of the process. Its not often I feel a project from start to finish is so pleasurable. The only bit I found hard and is probably not the best part of my shirt are the sleeve plackets. It was just tricky to sew and catch the fabric of the shirt in the placket. I had to re-do one of them just before putting on the cuffs as it kind of came apart.... Now I understand the process though I think the next one will be better.

I chose a chambray as I have wanted, lusted, desired a denim style shirt for AGES!! But alas all of the shop bought ones I have tried seemed to be awful, not my style, too dark, too light, not right. I never found a sewing pattern that fit the bill either. And I have looked for years for the right type of shirt. Now I have to admit the thing that really swung this shirt for me is the party behind. Looks like a shirt from the front, funky and frilly at the back. Its a little more girly, a little bit different and I just thought that it adds a little something to a plain shirt. I didn't even realise that I was missing this feature from all the other shirts I have tried on.

The one thing you do have to be careful of on this pattern is to be slow and steady with your topstitching as there is a load of it to do and dodgy topstitching is an obvious give away that it is a homemade garment. I have been building up to make a pair of jeans but I still feel nervous about the amount of topstitching involved. This shirt helped me to practise that's for sure! It also helps if you press the hell out of everything as well so you get lovely crisp edges. This fabric was just perfect for that and so easy to sew with as well, especially in comparison to the last project!

To add a little colour to the shirt I decided to embroider a few little triangles on to the pocket. I chose bright colours, red, yellow and blue, and then just went for it. I did a couple of practises beforehand and although they aren't perfect I think they look quite nice. I am thinking a lot about embellishments on clothing - I love good embroidery, and no I don't class this as anything like good but it was fun and it added another element to my top. I also added a few little triangles on the button band and may or may not add some on the cuffs. Still thinking about that. But I think I may want to practise something a little bigger and better. Flowers, leaves, something summery...I will have to see if I have the patience!

I am so happy with the results of this shirt and I think I will be making this one again. My only issue with it is I wish I had done French seams on the sleeves as you can see the overlocking stitches in white when I roll up the sleeves. I am not sure I will worry too much about this but it means it isn't perfect. Plus the sleeves are probably an inch too long to wear them down and buttoned but I would rectify that next time. Since making this I have been spying how other people interpreted this and there are some lovely versions out there! Maybe a dress version or a floaty silky version next time. Who knows! Have you made the Archer Button Up? Be great to know how you would sew this one up. Happy sewing to you all.

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