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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grainline Archer--What took me so long?

Holy cow, am I the last person on the planet to stitch this up?  I feel like it after reading so many reviews and seeing so many adorable versions!  

Here is my review of the uber popular Archer from Grainline Studios.  

From Grainline's site here is a description of the pattern.  Doesn't is sound sort of yummy?  
"The Archer Button Up is a loosely fitting button up shirt with long sleeves. View A has angled cuffs and a back pleat at yoke. View B has straight cuffs and a gathered lower back detail.  Techniques involved include sewing a straight seam, setting sleeves, continuous button plackets, adding a shirt collar and buttons & buttonholes. Pattern is nested to facilitate cutting between sizes if needed."  

So I obviously made the view with the cute little peplum out of a linen blend which was quite nice to stitch up and sew.  The only drawback to using anything with linen in the name is how much it ravels and how careful you have to be cutting, sewing and finishing as any little mistake can wreck havoc on your sewing.  Ripping out is disastrous but you do what you need to right?  

So I had about three yards of fabric from Hancock I think since I have a moratorium on purchasing from JoAnn's.   Yep, burned too many times and I am just sick. of. it.  And, I've had pretty good luck with this linen blend from Hancock.  

Cutting out was really straight forward and so was stitching this up.  Although there were a few steps I think needed included in this top just to make sure you don't have any mishaps.  For example, I didn't read anything about staystitching the neckline.  I did this step because it is so ingrained in me and if you've ever skipped this step and ruined your garment or made one with a weirdly stretched out neck, you'll know never to ever skip it again, ever.  Ask me how I know....

The remainder of the instructions are super easy to read and follow and if you are a beginner or have made at least one or two shirts you shouldn't have any issues.  

With that said, I didn't however follow the construction process as I think that woven fabrics should have set in sleeves not sleeves sew in flat and followed by the side and underarm seam.  I just don't think it looks quite as nice.  

My other beef with this pattern is that you only sew on one button band, not two.  Maybe I am just being picky?  The end result is quite nice but still, I know that there is only one button band sewn on, not two.  I am wondering if I am way to particular or a sewing snob. 

I do LOVE the collar with the undercollar cut in two pieces on the bias.  Super cute, super results, and very upscale if you ask me!  Yes, this top is boxy and loose fitting.  I knew that going in a DD1 advised me to cut a size smaller but I didn't simply because I am between sizes.  What I did do though is to take 3.5 inches off the side seams at the waist level and taper above that and below.  It is just the perfect amount of loose fit for me and I don't feel like I am swimming.  Another suggestion of DD1's was to make a larger than normal swayback adjustment.  I followed her advice and made closer to one inch rather than 1/2 inch.  I am glad I did, although I think I could have even gone a little more....I'll have to think about that for next time.  

I used my KAM snap pliers and yellow snaps simply because I could--the snaps matched great and  I couldn't resist the ease and cuteness factor of the yellow. 

Also, you'll notice the trim I used at the inside collar stand.  As I was stitching everything together I thought about the detail of adding this so I grabbed some bias tape from my stash and added an embroidery stitch from my machine down the middle.  
I like the detail of it and plan to include that on many more garments in the future.  

I hand sewed this on at the end but ideally you'd sew this on prior to putting the collar stand together.  It's a fun detail, at least I think so anyway.  I do thank you for reading and I really like my new top.  I think it looks very fall like and I almost made it into short sleeves but decided against it.  I am so relieved to be part of the Archer club and can see why so many people make so many versions.  In fact, I ordered some Kaufman Chambray for my next go and can't wait for it to arrive! 

Thanks for reading!


  1. No you are not the last person on the planet to make this shirt. I have shied away from it as I don't like plaids and that has tainted my view of this pattern. I don't find the green shirt all that appealing either. Now having seen yours I think I will have to give this a try. Your version is very flattering and love the fabric. I have some fabric similar and can see how it would make up into a nice shirt from this pattern. I like the bias trim idea also.

    1. Thanks Linda and yes, I agree with your thoughts on the green and plaid being sort of blah!