Floral voile Archer – finished!

Floral voile Archer - finished

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!

Continue reading

Floral voile Archer: sneak peeks

Floral Archer in progress - under collar

I think shirtmaking is my absolute favorite type of sewing.  I find so much peace and satisfaction in all the precision and details, and I love the endless possibilities for customization.  Also, there’s nothing like wearing a crisp button-down shirt, especially one that’s light and airy on a warm summer day.  I suspect this shirt will get a lot of wear once the weather warms up, and I can almost feel the warm breeze of the harbor on my face…. almost.  It’s still snowing around here.  🙂

Floral Archer in progress - sleeve placket

This weekend I indulged in some super-slow sewing — my favorite way to sew.  Tower plackets, collars and collar stands, grosgrain ribbon along the button band.  Lots of precision topstitching.  A handful of pointy corners.  Does it get any better than this?

Floral Archer in progress - collar

The combination of this floral voile and striped shirting is divine, and I’ve been enjoying the feel of the light and soft fabrics against my fingertips.  I tried to minimize the use of interfacing on this shirt to maintain the light feel, but I did use some lightweight fusible in the collar.  A floppy collar is too sad a thought to bear!Floral Archer in progress - sleeve cuffI keep petting my creation-in-progress as I walk by, admiring my work and imagining all the summer adventures I’ll have in this shirt.  At least the sun was out today — a promise of warmer days to come.  I’ll be ready with a new shirt when spring decides to finally show its face.

Until then, I’ll remain chained at the hip to my puffer coat.  At least my prison is warm and fluffy.  🙂

Where are they now: Archer edition

Where are they now - Archer edition

Do you ever wonder what happens to handmade garments after their initial blog debut?  I do!  It’s one of the reasons I always enjoy Gillian’s year-in-review series where everyone confesses which garments didn’t quite live up to their expectations.  We all put so much work into our garments… but then what?  Are we still wearing them a year later?  Did our tastes change?  Did the garments survive the wash?

And why am I talking about failed garments and my beloved Archers in the same post??

Well, I have a confession to make.  As the long winter drags on, I’ve realized that I haven’t been reaching for my Archers anymore.  It’s not that I don’t love them.  In fact, I’m actually kind of sad that they haven’t been making the rounds lately.  So what gives?

People, IT’S COLD.  So cold, in fact, that a loose-fitting woven top just doesn’t cut it in the warmth department.  I’ve been layering with close-fitting tops and sweaters that hug my body and keep in the heat.  The lightweight cotton of my precious Archers combined with the generous cut (read: plenty of room for cold air to seep in!) are just not a good combination for winter.  There, I said it!  I’ve come to the conclusion that my Archers are 3-season garments.  Perfect for transitional weather in spring and fall, and even great for summer in all those air-conditioned buildings.  But winter?  Not so great.

Some of you may recall my grand plan of sewing Renfrews to match my Archers, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  It turns out that getting a long cotton sleeve to fit into another long cotton sleeve produces almost enough friction to start a fire, and if you do manage to squeeze into those sleeves, it’s pretty uncomfortable to wear all day.  Womp womp.  I am crying a single tear.

So where are my Archers now?  Hanging in my closet, being neglected, and waiting for warmer days when I can wear them with a tank top.  Until further notice I’ll be living in my huge puffer coat and covered with a down blanket.

Do you have any handmade garment confessions to make?  It feels good to let them out.  🙂

GeoPop Moss mini – finished!

Grainline GeoPop Moss mini - finished

Some sewing projects are all about the fabric.

A few months ago I sat down with my morning coffee and my laptop, opened the Hawthorne Threads newsletter, and saw this colorful geometric print staring me in the face.  I HAD TO HAVE IT.  I immediately clicked on the link, only to find that it had already sold out!  The horror!  I guess I wasn’t surprised though, since it really is a truly awesome print.  It lingered in my brain for a few weeks as I lamented my bad timing, until one day when I stumbled upon a bolt in my local shop, Gather Here.  Yes!!  I scooped up a yard, and this awesome skirt was born.

Project Stats:

Pattern: Grainline Moss mini, size 8.

Fabric: 100% cotton canvas.  The print is GeoPop by Emmie K for Robert Kaufman in the “chevy in sorbet” colorway (currently on backorder).  The lining is Bemberg rayon in cerise, and I used leftover pink Oxford shirting for the pocket bags and waistband facing.

Modifications: Same as last time (removed some waistband gaping at the center back, and added a bit of length to the hem).

Level of crafty satisfaction: LOVE!  🙂

Continue reading

Denim Moss mini – finished!

Denim Grainline Moss mini - front

Second skirt, same as the first.  🙂  Immediately after I finished my Coral Moss, I started working on a second version in denim.  This was my first time sewing with denim, and it was no big deal at all.  What was I waiting for?  I used a heavy needle (not a jeans needle though) and yellow topstitching thread, and once again the skirt is fully lined in Bemberg rayon.  It’s a simple skirt, but hopefully one that will become a workhorse in my winter wardrobe.

As many of you in the Northern hemisphere have been noting on your blogs, getting decent photos has become nearly impossible these days!  We are nearing the shortest day of the year, and natural light in my apartment seems to fade only moments after it arrives.  These photos are a little blown out, but I tried to capture the details of the skirt as well as I could.  On a positive note, this dry winter air is great for my hair.  🙂  All right, back to the skirt!

Continue reading

Coral Moss mini – finished!

Coral Grainline Moss mini - front with hands in pockets

My first Moss mini skirt is complete!  I really like the simplicity of this pattern and the streamlined silhouette, not to mention the endless possibilities for customization and embellishment.  As this was my first time sewing this pattern, there were a few hiccups along the way, but overall I’m pleased with the final product.

Continue reading

Coral Moss mini: in progress

Coral Moss mini in progress - fly zipper with lining

Finally, progress on my first Moss mini skirt!  This project has been in the works for a while, since September actually.  I always find that there’s a decent amount of prep work to be done when trying out a new pattern.  For the Moss, I wound up tracing the entire pattern twice (!) and making two muslins, including unpicking the first muslin to re-use the fabric for the second.  Oh, the joys of fitting and pattern adjustments.  🙂  After going down from a size 8 to a 6 and taking a 5/8″ wedge out of the center back waistline, I was finally ready to cut into my fabric this weekend.

I’m using Robert Kaufman Hampton Twill in “charm,” a warm coral color.  The twill is a light- to medium-weight cotton and seems to be behaving well so far.  I drafted a full lining in hot pink Bemberg rayon, which I had leftover from my navy Beignet.  The lining is actually a total stash-buster!  I used pink Oxford shirting for the waistband facing (leftover from my Flamingo Archer) and coral shot cotton for the pocket bags (leftover from my Spring Archer).  Hooray for using scraps!

Continue reading

Everyday wardrobe: four Renfrews with coordinating Archers

Four Renfrews with coordinating Archers by Allspice Abounds

The image above is the culmination of a grand sewing strategy.  Are you strategic with your fabric and pattern purchases?  I’ve been trying to get better at planning ahead with the goal of creating a wearable, everyday wardrobe.  The idea is to create comfortable, easy-to-wear pieces that are functional in my daily life, and to create new pieces that work with existing pieces.

I had identified a few problems in my existing wardrobe:

  • I needed more long-sleeved t-shirts for layering in cold weather.
  • Wearing an Archer with a tank top underneath doesn’t keep me warm enough.
  • My existing knit tops don’t match with my Archers.

The solution: Buy some jersey in colors that match my Archers, and sew up a bunch of Renfrews!

Continue reading

Weekend WIPs: Renfrew, Moss mini, and a 10-year-old quilt

Quilt in progress

It’s been forever since I finished something!  Sometimes that’s just how it goes, though.  Life and all that.  🙂  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy sewing and serging and – gasp! – even quilting!  Here’s what’s been going down in my tiny sewing studio:

Continue reading

Chambray Bird Archer – finished!

Grainline Chambray Bird Archer - finished

One last Archer to round out my Summer of Archers!  This rich burgundy/aubergine combo is pretty dreamy and looks fantastic in this golden hour light.  The main fabric has a slight sheen to it in the right light, which hopefully you can see above.  I love the subtle woven dots combined with the whimsical birds on the pocket and back yoke.  This project was quite a roller coaster, but I’m really pleased with the finished garment.  Read on for all the details.  🙂

Continue reading