Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gingham Archer

I made a brown shirt, and while it may not seem like much, I am going to share it with you because it is an important step toward a button up shirt that fits me like a glove. This shirt does not fit me like a glove, but in the evolution of button up shirts it has brought me from button-up-shirt-homo-habilis to button-up-shirt-homo-erectus. We are well on our way to button-up-shirt-modern-man. This is the Archer View A from Grainline Studio

I am rather curvaceous (i.e. pear shaped). My bust is two sizes smaller than my hips by most sizing standards. As I know that standard is as standard does, I don't let the discrepancy bother me. I own one ready to wear button up that I like and is relatively flattering. My first Archer was a view B which eliminated the tricky fit at the hips issue. But I find that Archer to be a bit large in the shoulders. This Archer view A is a 4 at the shoulders, graded to an 8 at the hips, then let out as much as possible at the bottom edge of the hem. Spoiler alert, I should have graded to a 10 at the hips. The worst part is that I made a 4/6/8 Archer View A last winter, made the exact same alteration at the hip, and didn't learn a thing from the experience. It would seem impossible to sew between those sizes and not end up with a proper triangle, but as I have that ready to wear shirt that I like (and an oversized dose of self confidence), I'm going to persevere. 
I bought this fabric from Mood over 2 years ago, so I'm sure its long gone now. It's cotton shirting with a subtle purple undertone to the darkest squares of the gingham. I bought it with the Archer pattern before I had the guts to actually take on a project this complex. The fact that I no longer consider this a complex project gives me warm fuzzies about my journey up the sewing learning curve. 
I've made 6 to 7 collared button up shirts, and this is the first one with a legit top buttonhole. I usually fake it in some way because my old sewing machine just wasn't capable of a buttonhole on such a narrow stretch with varied layers of fabric. Let's face it, a collar stand is rough terrain. New sewing machine, no more faking. 

While we're on this picture may I draw your attention to the perfectly matched pockets (used the Alder pocket). I may not impress you, but I sure impress myself. (Please accept this as sarcasm rather than narcissism.)
This top button gem is lifted from a ready to wear shirt. When faced with the vast expanse of brown and tan I felt the need to add a little something. So I added one teal buttonhole and button thread.
I'm gonna be reckless and say this plain brown shirt will look great under the Snoqualme Cardigan just out from Brooklyn Tweed. Every knitter with a pulse just reconfigured her must-knit list to accommodate this sweater, and I am no different. I hate to lead anyone to believe I will actually make the sweater (I know too well how I operate, and that sweater is a serious time investment).  If I do, this top will be faded and thread bare by the time I finish, but a girl can dream. 

The End.

13 comments:

  1. We all have to feel comfortable in our clothes but just seeing the pictures, the Archer looks great.

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    1. Thanks you! I realize at this point I'm slitting hairs. Part of the fun of sewing is the possibility of getting it exactly right. It rarely happens, but it's fun to try. This top is perfectly wearable, and still better than most I have purchased.

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  2. That Archer looks fantastic. From one pear to another, do you have a favorite way to do grading? I'm wanting to make some shirts and I haven't tried grading yet. Definitely afraid of ending up with a triangle.

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    1. Hi Sue! I usually just connect the two points with a ruler and draw a line, then use that line as a guide to make a freehand curve. In this case I'm a 4 at the bust and 6 at the waist so I connected size 4 corner under the armhole to the size 6 line at about the waist. I go one size at a time rather than trying to grade straight from size 4 under the armhole to size 10 at the hem...this may call for a tutorial.

      I'm happy to hear from a fellow pear! :) it's so helpful to find a few people who have a similar shape (if not exact size) so you can anticipate what changes you'll need to make if you're sewing the same thing.

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    2. YES PLEASE to a tutorial! One of the best reasons to sew is to fit my pear shape, but I'm nervous to try it.

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  3. It looks great, and as I said on IG I do love that button! And those invisipockets are amazing! I've got the Archer but not made it yet. Have you considered trying the Sewaholic Granville? It's got a pretty good hip allowance, so much so that I actually grade down a size for the hips (I think I made an 8 shoulder, 10 bust, 8 hips and straightened out the waist shaping a little). My checked version I deliberately made more relaxed than my first. And it has bust darts.....

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    1. Good tip Fabric Tragic! I have been thinking about trying a new button down pattern. Bust darts would be a nice addition. I know what to expect from Grainline patterns so I just keep making them. Will look into Sewaholic.

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  4. I made my first archer a few months back, and am pearish myself. I found the pattern to be a bit voluminous in the mid back, but not roomy enough in the hips. I'd like to make another, to try and work on the fitting, because I love button-ups, but they take so much more time!

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    1. Exactly! Too much at the mid back, not enough at the hips. I think I'm going to try curving the side seams a bit more next time. The RTW one I am comparing the Archer fit to has the exact same construction, pleat at back yoke, no bust darts, and seems to have more of a curve at the side. Button ups are extra work to get to the side seams. I guess I should make a muslin w/o the inside yoke and the collar to save time...

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  5. I think it looks great on you, but fit issues get so personal, even a tiny bit feeling "off" can taint my view of a project. Anyway - love those invisible pockets! Such neat sewing! I really want to make another Archer soon too - they're my go-to weekend shirts.

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    1. Thanks Kristin! I will definitely wear this a lot...but next time will be perfect. :)

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  6. Love this shirt on you! Your post was especially interesting to me, because I've owned the Archer pattern for about a year now. I have narrow shoulders and hips that are usually 2 sizes bigger - basically a triangle shape. I haven't tackled it, fearing disappointment in the results after all that work. But looking at your beautiful shirt proves it can be done!

    I kind of wish I had bought the Sewaholic Granville shirt pattern instead, because it's made more for my body type. anybody want to trade? LOL!

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    1. Thanks! I've heard the Granville is a good one, but i haven't tried it yet.

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