Thursday, August 29, 2013

Archer, Done and Tested

It's hot and humid today, and I have no business wearing a long-sleeved shirt, jeans and flats.  But I really wanted to try out my new shirt!


I'll be honest - after I finished it, I was a little deflated.  The fit is OK, but just OK:  not the hit-the-nail-on-the-head straight out of the box perfect fit I was hoping for.  (Yes, I know that's a pipe dream.  Partly because I haven't really even decided yet what my perfect fit is.)  It looks good enough on, but it's not awesomely flattering.

While I was getting dressed, I got out my Pattern Runway blouse (which I'm a little embarrassed to admit I've not worn yet - because I love it so much) and tried that one on too, to do a little comparison.  The Pattern Runway blouse has bust darts but no side shaping; the Archer has side shaping but no bust darts.  On my Pattern Runway blouse, I did a broad back adjustment; on this Archer, the only adjustment I made was to grade out 2 sizes at the hips.  They both fit well, and I can move my arms forward comfortably in both.  This morning, I would have told you I like the Pattern Runway blouse fit and style slightly better.

But then I wore this outfit to go do my grocery shopping.  I didn't feel at all constricted in the back and upper arms while driving or reaching for things on top shelves.  And this fabric is so luxuriously soft and silky.  The more I wore the shirt, the more I liked it!


And then the deli guy said  (unsolicited), "Nice shirt!"  And when I told him I'd made it, he was super-impressed - in fact both deli guys were impressed enough to start sounding me out to see if I'd make them some shirts!   So that was a very nice pat on the back!

So, I think I'm liking the Archer.  But there will have to be some adjustments made.  For instance:


I certainly need to do the swayback adjustment.  (I actually need to do that on the Pattern Runway blouse too, on my next version.)   And I'm not digging those diagonal lines that radiate from the tops of my shoulder blades to my underarm - I have NO idea what kind of adjustment that requires and will have to research it, so if any of you have any tips or insights, please share!


And this really surprised me:  despite a whopping 7" positive ease in the bust, I get gap-osis when I put my hands on my hips (a fairly common stance for me).  So I'll have to reposition the buttonholes next time.

Also, in the first two photos you can see diagonal drag lines extending from my shoulder points to my bust apex, so I'll have to figure out how to deal with that.

Still, it fits and feels better than any RTW shirts I've tried lately.  It's perfectly acceptable as is, and a layperson wouldn't notice any of these fit issues.  But I know that with some effort, I can make it better.  So while I ended up liking it, I probably won't be making another until I can figure a couple of these things out.  Or maybe I will, because I have a paisley voile I've been dying to make a relaxed-fit shirt from.



I neatened up my hem by trimming the back, but I ended up keeping the length as is - I didn't remove any more.  Length-wise, this shirt is the same as the Pattern Runway blouse.  Although I made the View A shirt, I used the View B cuff - I just felt it went better with this fabric.


The deli guy especially liked my buttons, and I do too:


They're just cheap plastic shirt buttons, but I like this shade of brown and the fact that they're a little bit pearly.

I have a little bit more to say about the construction of the collar, but I'm going to do that in a separate post.  This is getting long, even fore me!


26 comments:

  1. This looks so cute on you! The deli guys were right! :) Isn't an unsolicited compliment just the nicest thing ever?

    The fit really looks good! The wrinkles you mention are barely noticeable! You're really getting good at obtaining a perfect fit.

    OK, here's a question for you: how do you tell when you need a swayback adjustment vs. a full hip adjustment? I've been thinking all along that I need swayback adjustments, but on a shirt I made recently, I got the impression that the extra fabric at the small of my back was caused by it riding up over too-tight hips. Are these two adjustments interchangeable?

    Do you ever feel like the more you know about fit, the LESS you really know? Ha!

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    1. I definitely feel that way! It's all a journey, isn't it?

      And while I sound like I know what I'm talking about, I really only think I need a swayback adjustment here because it has worked for me on a couple of other things recently. I did adjust my hips, and on this shirt I don't feel like it's pulling too tightly around my hips (you may notice that the bottom button is undone, which helps).

      I think it might depend on what kind of silhouette you want? If you keep extending out from the waist to the hem edge, at some point you'll add so much that you will have more of an hourglass shape then the relaxed "boyfriend shirt" shape this one is meant to have. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not what this design was meant to be.

      I also think that there are different ways to solve the same problem. And different problems that can be solved the same way. For instance, when I'm doing a swayback adjustment, I think what I'm really doing is a "less prominent derriere" adjustment, which is solved the same way - my back doesn't really curve in all that much, it's just that my bum doesn't curve out that much, and it's the same fix for both, according to the FFRP ladies.

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  2. You are well on your way to a perfect fitting shirt. It's awesome that it fit pretty well with little to no adjustments. And how do you get your button holes to look so neat. Mine look like so ragged. Is fray check the way to go?

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    1. I agree - I'm pretty close! Much better than that horrible pink Burda blouse I made this spring!

      I can't really take full credit for the buttonholes - my Janome makes really fantastic buttonholes all in one step! I literally press a button and it does it for me! But then I cut them open with a buttonhole chisel - it makes a huge difference in how tidy it stays. I do sometimes use Fray Check, but I didn't this time - this fabric is pretty stable.

      chisel:

      http://www.amazon.com/Brewer-7246-Buttonhole-Cutter-Set/dp/B002K4IAEC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1377811903&sr=8-2&keywords=buttonhole+cutter

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    2. My Janome does the one-step action too. But it's hit and miss if the buttonhole looks tidy. I'm guessing the fabric is sometimes to blame for inconsistency. As for the fraying I experience after the buttonhole is cut open, I may need to use a chisel.

      Thanks Gail!

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  3. i like how this came out! and really, i wouldn't futz with the fit too much. for the back diagonal lines under the arm: possibly the top of the back piece toward the armscye (where it joins the yoke) could be curved down a tad to lift out those wrinkles. you would possibly have to lower the armscye on the back piece to compensate. can you really do a swayback adjustment on a shirt like this? i would think you would be better off slashing and spreading the back piece a tad, starting at the waist, so it will settle over the hips better. i have a feeling that would give you the result you're looking for. but, i'm just splitting hairs really--enjoy the shirt, and welcome to club archer!

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    1. No, I appreciate any and all advice! I don't know - are there times when it's recommended not to do a swayback adjustment? I assumed you could do them on any shape, but what do I know? I knew you were going to do the slash and spread, so I may wait til you try that out before I make my decision.

      Meanwhile, what's the secret handshake?

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    2. i guess i'm thinking you would need a waist seam for the swayback to be effective, otherwise what you pinch out horizontally you would have to add back at the hem to keep that even. and i think on my last one i didn't even bother slashing/spreading per se, just graded out to a larger size on the back piece to accommodate le bootay. i'd have to go dig out my pattern to see!

      secret handshake-- haha! we need one!

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    3. I'm not sure. Do you remember Pattern-Scissors-Cloth? She had a pretty thorough analysis of sway back adjustments, and she did include garments with no waist seam, as well as garments with no waist seam and vertical back darts. I think in my case, even if I give myself more bootay room, the extra fabric would still be there at the small of the back. I have fabric in my stash for about 6 more Archers, so I'm thinking of trying some different stuff on each of them, because really, it's OK as it is - you wouldn't believe how much time I've been spending lately scoping out people on the street to see how their shirts fit! And mine is as good, if not better, than a lot of them.

      Here's something I've been thinking about a lot lately: if I'd purchased this shirt, I would actually be pretty happy with the fit - it fits better than a lot of RTW shirts. But since I made it, I put pressure on myself to make it PERFECT. It might be time to lighten up a little :-)

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  4. I do really like this print and I'm glad you decided to wear it out and about to see how you felt about it. I, too, wonder what would happen if you pinched some fabric out at the point where your shoulder seam hit the sleeve. If it makes a difference, you'd likely have to figure out where to take the 1/2" out since the shirt has a yoke. And I wonder if this is a common issue for you???

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    1. You know, I'm not really sure! I don't think I have any other "relaxed fit" shirts, and certainly not with yokes - I usually tend toward very feminine blouses. But you've got me wondering now!

      Meanwhile, I've enrolled for the new Craftsy class on fitting back, neck and shoulders, so I may find some of my answers there.

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    2. Oh, I've got my eye on that one - let me know what you think!

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    3. Will do. I've actually started watching this already, instead of waiting a year like I usually do!

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  5. This shirt has nice lines on you. I really like the print. How funny the deli noticed. You're just too cute and they couldn't resist.

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    1. Thanks, Stef! I thought it was kind of funny too! But it turned out that his ex was a fashion design student, so he's tuned in to that sort of thing.

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  6. This looks great! So proud of you sweating it out in this weather to try your new make :) It really fits well - the wrinkles are barely noticeable!

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    1. Thanks, Sally! I only had to brave the heat for a little bit. You know how it is - go from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned grocery store, as quickly as possible!

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  7. Oh, it turn out a really nice shirt, the fit is good and the this green color suits you so much. You have an eye for interesting fabric prints. And that unsolicited compliment - what a pleasure :)

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    1. Thanks, Carmela! I wasn't sure about this yellow/green/turquoise, but I think I do like it!

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  8. You nailed this shirt ! I think it looks awesome on you and the deli boys were right to be agog at your mad skillz :) I too think the fabric is gorgeous on you. Excellent work :)

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    1. Hehehe - agog! I love that word! Thank you, lady!

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  9. It looks really professional!

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    1. Thank you, Sabs! I'm definitely pleased with the quality of construction :-)

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  10. It looks awesome! I think you've had some good comments on the fit. I'm thinking maybe the shoulders could be narrowed since it looks like the seam is dropping off the shoulder hence the strain lines? But it's hard to see the pictures on my phone lol.
    Also maybe those folds on the back armscye are pointing to prominent shoulder blades? You could pinch out a dart there and rotate it into the back yoke seam? It would change the armhole fit though which would affect the sleeve...
    Anyway let me know what you think of my ideas. I think you're shirt is wonderful and you totally don't notice the fitting stuff unless you look :)

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    1. *your shirt not you're. My phone did it I swear! :p

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    2. Wow, you get extra points for typing that long comment on you're (hehehe) phone!!

      I know - I think the details are hard to see even on the computer screen, LOL! Combination of a crappy camera and a busy print. But I think the shoulders are supposed to be a little bit dropped in this style, and I sort of like it because it's different from all my other shirts. That said, they're probably not as dropped on me as they would be on somebody else, because of my broad shoulders.

      I've been wondering if I have the prominent shoulder blade thing! Hubby says no, but he doesn't have the "fitting eye" LOL! I'm really hoping this new Craftsy class will have some of these topics!

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