Oh. That isn't what you were expecting to see? Well, that is Archer, and it's under construction!
I snapped these last night when I went over to Chinatown to pick up a few of my favorite grocery supplies. You see the lengths to which I go to bring you the funny? Oh, and you can see Big Willie in the background there.
OK - back to crafting content. I started on my Grainline Archer shirt on Sunday. Man, it took For. Ev. Er. to tape those 39 pages together and then trace them all out. I didn't even trace the back pieces for the "Butt Ruffle" version, because I knew I'd never use them. While I was tracing, I was kind of begrudging having to trace out pieces for cutting interfacing too, but honestly, when I got to the point of cutting out fabric and such, I was glad I had them. So thank you, Jen.
I made only two changes to my pattern pieces - I traced a size 2 at the bust, based on my measurement there, but graded out to a 6 from the waist down. My waist really falls into size 6 territory, but I did some flat pattern measurements and figured I didn't need to go any bigger in the waist for this relaxed-fit shirt. My hips are actually in Grainline's size 10 range, but I scaled back to a 6 because I didn't want it to be too blousy. But now that the shirt is mostly put together, I'm wishing I'd given myself a little more room there.
My other change was to convert the cuff pieces from fold-over one-piece style, to two pieces which are sewn together. I traced down the middle and then added 1/4" seam allowance to the former fold edge. Previous experience has taught me that fold-over cuffs feel too flimsy to me.
This is basically a test garment, but I decided to use this Amy Butler Laurel Dots voile in Cilantro instead of muslin or gingham. I bought this a couple years ago in my first order from Hawthorne Threads just because I loved it, but it just doesn't float my boat any more so I didn't mind risking it with an untried pattern.
This is a super busy print, so I decided to do foldover plackets on both sides of the shirt instead of doing the sewn-on placket on the buttonhole side. I thought it would be better not to break up the print too much with a separate placket, but now I'm thinking I was wrong. I did take care to line up the dots both horizontally and vertically, and cut both fronts as single layers, but I didn't quite make it. I'm hoping my buttons will distract from that a little.
I did a much better job, matching-wise, on my pocket. I decided to just go for a pocket on the left side, to masculinize the shirt a little.
I have to admit that I'm using Grainline's instructions only as a guide for which bit comes next. A lot of the construction techniques I'm using are those I learned from David Coffin's book when I was making shirts for my boy. Key among those is always sewing from the center out - on the sleeve caps, collar, collar stand and cuffs. It really does make a difference in how things line up.
I did do the cuff placket her way though instead of creating a tower placket, because I wanted this shirt to be soft and drapey. Also, I just like this placket treatment - I think it's very feminine.
And because I wanted this shirt to be mostly soft and feminine, I didn't do felled seams like I would on a man's shirt. After sewing the sleeve head to the body, I serged the two raw edges together, trimming at the same time, and then pressed that seam toward the sleeve. Then I sewed the side and sleeve seams all in one go from the bottom to the cuff as the instructions recommend and serged that as well. For some reason, my back ended up being about 1/2" longer than my fronts, so I'll have to trim the back hem. I'm pretty sure I traced wrong - I was very tired on Sunday! But initial try-on has revealed that this shirt might be way too long for me, so I may trim an inch or two off the whole thing, and maybe even give myself more of a curve at the sides to allow for those 40" hips.
I'm going to try to finish this thing today. I only have the collar, cuffs, buttonholes, buttons and hem left to do. (Interesting . . . when I just typed "hem" it came out "meh" . . . twice) I'm super tired again today and the weather is gloomy, but I'm going to try to power through.
Or take a nap.