The Archer of many details: in progress

Gray Archer in progress - cut pieces and ribbon

The latest project on my sewing table is my third Archer, which I’ve affectionately dubbed “The Archer of Many Details.”  I’ve been meaning to try out a bunch of new-to-me shirt-making techniques, and I figured I’d give them all a go in a single project.  Two birds and one stone, you know how it goes.  🙂

The main fabric is Robert Kaufmann pinpoint Oxford, a chambray with a crisp hand that presses like a dream.  It’s the same fabric I used for my first Archer, which I love (and actually wore today!).  It makes a really crisp, professional-looking shirt, which is exactly the vibe I’m going for.  I saw it at Grey’s Fabric and immediately scooped it up in a whirlwind of spontaneity.  I’m sure you can relate, ha.

Ok, onward to the “many details.”

Gray Archer in progress - pocket

Contrast pocket in a black and white dotted quilting cotton from Gather Here (my local fabric shop).  As usual, I only added a pocket on one side.

Gray Archer in progress - ribbon on button band

Cotton grosgrain ribbon down the button band.  I think the white buttons I picked out (shown in the top photo) will pop nicely against the black background.  I pre-washed the ribbon and topstitched it in place with black thread.

Gray Archer in progress - tower placket on sleeve cuff

Tower plackets on the sleeve cuffs, shortened a bit from my previous Archer, in which they were too long and gaped open during wear.  This time, I cut the slit 3.5 inches long (down from the original 5 inches).  Check out Pam’s amazing tutorial for all the tower placket how-to.

Gray Archer in progress - contrast inner sleeve cuff

Contrast inner sleeve cuffs.  This is such a fun detail!  It won’t be very visible from the outside, but I’ll know it’s there!

Gray Archer in progress - false French seam at armhole

False French seams to finish the inside of the armholes.  I just read about false French seams in my new copy (yay!) of Claire Shaeffer’s “Couture Sewing Techniques” and figured it would be perfect to try on my latest shirt.  Check out this tutorial for a mock French seam, which is the same thing.

Gray Archer in progress - false French seam detail

Although I machine stitched the armhole seams themselves, I chose to hand stitch the inner seam that finishes the edges.  I used about a million pins to hold everything together and then whipstitched the edges closed.  A little bit of couture for my crisp button-down shirt.  I think Claire would approve.  🙂

Gray Archer in progress - sleeve and hem unfinished

I still have to attach the second sleeve cuff and hem the shirt, but I have another detail planned: contrast bias binding for the hem.  It won’t be visible on the outside, but it’ll peek out when the shirt moves.  I got the idea from one of Rochelle’s recent shirts and loved it.  (BTW, that girl has been making some awesome shirts these days!)

Gray Archer in progress - no collar yetAnd I’m still missing a collar.  Maybe one night this week?  I’m not planning on using any contrasting fabric in the collar, mostly because I don’t want anything to kooky around my face.  🙂

I have to say, the Archer is one of my absolute favorite patterns to sew.  I love taking my time on all the precise stitching and fiddly details, and there are endless possibilities for customization.  Even better, I LOVE wearing them.  I may have even purchased more pinpoint Oxford for another one.

Stay tuned for a finished shirt sometime soon… maybe by the weekend?  Until then, happy sewing!

6 thoughts on “The Archer of many details: in progress

  1. Beautifully constructed, Carolyn! I love all your fun details and it’s so great to see you make this shirt uniquely your own. I look forward to your next post 🙂 PS – I’ve been reading all your posts so far but haven’t been able to comment due to WordPress funniness – but all fixed now 🙂


    • Thanks Kat! Hopefully the finished shirt will be coming relatively soon. 🙂

      So sorry that you weren’t able to comment – I had no idea there was an issue!! How annoying. I sent you an email about it – hopefully you can tell me what was wrong so I can ensure it doesn’t happen again.


  2. I just saw someone on TV wearing a shirt with ribbon trim under the buttons and made a mental note to think about it whenever I get to my first Archer. I love all of your details and can’t wait to see the finished product.


    • Thanks Teri! Yeah, I’ve seen the ribbon in nice RTW shirts and wanted to give it a try. I think it worked out quite nicely and was so easy to do – just topstitch it in place. I’ll be curious to see how it holds up in the wash – hopefully no strange puckering!


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