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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. :)
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!)
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!