I’ve been eyeing up the Archers shirt pattern for a while on various blogs so when I was down in Birmingham perusing independent patterns in the Guthrie and Ghani shop, it was the ideal time to finally have a good look at the pattern and of course buy it! It’s made by Grainline, a pattern company I’ve not used before. It’s got a two piece collar, button band, yoke and it’s slimmer fitting than a lot of shirts.
I just needed to decide which fabric to make it up in. The Yorkshire Spoolettes trip to Dewsbury was a good excuse (if ever I needed one!) for a little fabric retail therapy and I found the perfect fabric for my first Archers shirt.
It’s a lovely weight of cotton fabric, with a vintage sewing theme, I love it! It’s got sewing machines, scissors, dress forms, thimbles, lots of vintage adverts. The shop (Pound a Yard Shop) sold it in ivory and coffee, I bought 3m of the ivory.
The pattern calls for about 2.5m, but as I did lots of fussy cutting, I had just enough fabric. I am so impressed with this pattern. It’s a bit like using a Vogue pattern in that there is an individual pattern piece for everything, none of this ‘cut here for left front and here for right front’, there are 2 separate pieces. Interfacings have their own pattern if they are not identical to the fabric piece. The paper is a good quality weight, but you can still see through it for fussy cutting and matching grainlines. The instructions are in a booklet and they are very clear and easy to follow, lots of line drawings too.
The shirt went together beautifully, I made up a size 10 and I think it fits pretty nicely. The collar (always a sticky moment) went together very easily, the undercollar is cut on the bias which I’ve not come across before, I’m not sure if that is the reason the collar sits so nicely.
The cuffs have a bound vent, the instructions made it so simple! Yes, I’m pretty smitten with this pattern! I originally bought some simple shirt buttons but I decided this was the ideal opportunity to use some proper vintage buttons from my button box. A friend gave me his mothers button box a few years ago and there were quite a few mother of pearl buttons, some of them are tiny, but I managed to find six identical ones and three that were similar so the front buttons are all matching and the others are on the collar band and the cuffs.
The only negative thing I can say is that the seam allowance is 1/2″, rather than the 5/8ths that most sewing machines are marked up for. I got round it in the end by moving my needle further right so I could still use the 5/8th guideline, but it stitched a 1/2″ seam. I used my overlocker to finish the sleeve and side seams.
I am so pleased with this shirt, it fits well, it feels lovely, and I’m really pleased with how my fussy cutting turned out; I’ve got a row of embroidery scissors on each cuff and along the yoke with two dressmakers forms either side of the back box pleat, a pair of dress-making scissors at the centre of the collar, a little sewing machine on the front corner of the collar and dressmakers forms on the front either side of the button band. The pattern includes two pockets, but having fussy-cut two out, I decided it was too much.
This is definitely my favourite shirt pattern so far, I’ve already cut the next one out and I’ll definitely be looking at other Grainline patterns. I’m hoping it will look good tucked into the Ginger Jeans I’m planning to make next month, then I can sit and sew in my sewing shirt!