Today I’m excited to finally share my finished Floral voile Archer! I sewed this up a few weeks ago but had to delay the photo shoot while I recovered from a slew of various aliments, but thankfully I’m (almost) all better and have a new shirt to model for you. 🙂 It’s no secret that the Archer is one of my favorite patterns, and this is the 6th one that I’ve added to my wardrobe. This one is made in a blue and white printed voile that I think is perfectly light and breezy for the summer, topped off with some striped details on the collar and cuffs. Simply put, I love it!
Pattern: Grainline Archer button-up shirt
Modifications: I used my previously modified Archer pattern, which is roughly a size 8 in the shoulders, 0 at the waist, and 4 at the hips. The sleeves have been narrowed and lengthened, I added length between the shoulder and bust, and I added width to the center back pleat. You can follow my detailed modifications here. I had also changed the sleeve placket from a continuous lap to a tower placket, which you can read about here. The only new things I changed for this version were adding some additional width across the upper back and straightening the sleeve cuff hem, both of which I explain below.
Level of crafty satisfaction: I’m thrilled with my new summer shirt! I can already feel the cool ocean breeze on my face… 🙂
Check out my face in the photo above – I wasn’t quite ready for this shot! John had graciously offered to take some photos for me, and we’re still working out our communication system for blog photo shoots. First world problems. 🙂
I really love the fabric combination on this shirt: a light floral voile with a crisp striped shirting. I used the contrast fabric on the under collar and inner collar stand, in addition to the sleeve cuffs and sleeve plackets. Since the under collar is cut on the bias, the stripes wind up going diagonally. I really like this effect! I don’t often wear my shirts with the collar popped, but I feel like I have a good excuse to be a little edgy when wearing this shirt. Watch out, Boston!
Like I’ve done with my Archer of Many Details and Flamingo Archer, I used a cotton grosgrain ribbon along the button band, simply topstitched in place. I specifically chose white buttons so they would pop against the ribbon. I always hand sew my buttons using the toothpick method, which works like a charm.
It’s hard to see from afar, but there are actually two pockets on this shirt. I didn’t bother to pattern-match the print simply because I couldn’t care less about it (ha), but I could have paid more attention to the placement. Do you see how one of the pockets is slightly higher than the other? OOPS! They’re not even close! I don’t know what I was drinking while sewing these pockets, but clearly I had too much. 🙂 I think the only thing that saves this shirt is that the print is so busy that you can hardly see the pockets at all unless you’re right in front of them.
I promise, next time I’ll measure more carefully. 🙂
New pattern modifications
I mentioned above that I made two new tweaks to my Archer pattern. First up, an armscye alteration based on my ongoing journey to fit my broad shoulders and broad upper back. Based on my sloper back bodice, I straightened the back armscye of the Archer, extending a line straight down from the shoulder notch to the underarm curve.
You can see above that I overlapped the back yoke and back bodice pieces along the seam lines before adding the new wedge. In the photo below, I separated the modified pieces and added seam allowances. Easy!
I’m not convinced that this modification actually resulted in a better fit, but I do have plenty of room to extend my arms forward and move around comfortably. Behold:
Glorious full arm extension! I’ll be curious to see if this newly-modified Archer is any more comfortable in the upper back than my previous versions. It feels good for now, but wearing the shirt for a full day of work will be the real test. I’ll have to report back on this.
Next up: I straightened the sleeve cuff hem. The original sleeve hem is curved so that the finished cuff angles toward the front, in line with how the arm naturally hangs. That’s great, but since I like my sleeves to be really LONG, I don’t really need them to hang properly. (My sleeve cuffs just bunch up at my wrists, which is how I like them. I hate cold wrists!) Anyway, I drew a straight line across the bottom and just chopped off the curve.
While I was at it, I moved the slit 2 inches toward the front of the sleeve — in this case, to the left. Once I changed the sleeve placket from a continuous lap to a tower placket, I noticed that the plackets tended to sit along the bottom of my forearm, instead of on the outside. The buttons clicking and clacking below my wrists while I’m working was getting a little annoying, so those plackets had to be moved! I also moved the 2 pleats toward the front to go along with the new slit placement.
The finished sleeve pattern is above. This was a little change that made a big difference in how the sleeves feel during wear. No more buttons clicking against my desk all day!
And here’s the finished sleeve cuff and placket, in all its stripe-y goodness. I don’t know what it is about this fabric combination, but I just love it! One of the great joys of shirtmaking (and sewing in general) is the ability to customize a garment and add special details. I could never, ever find a shirt with these details that actually fit my long torso and long arms in RTW. Goodbye forever, ill-fitting RTW shirts!
In a floaty voile, this shirt is light and summery, just begging for some warmer weather and walks by the harbor. Although it’s not *quite* warm enough here in Boston to wear this shirt yet, we’re definitely getting there. I saw the first flowers and leaf buds this weekend! PEOPLE, WE HAVE BUDS!! Good thing too, because I had almost forgotten what green plants look like. 🙂 Happy spring, everyone!