Me Made May ’15: the halfway point

Grainline archer work in progressHalfway through Me Made May already? That’s bananas. I’m feeling pretty smug that I’ve managed to stick to part of my pledge and wear at least one me made garment every day. Apart from one, but in my defence that wasn’t intentional, I was just a bit stressed and flustered that day and grabbed any old thing from the closet. And I did put on some me made pyjamas when I got home! But I didn’t just pledge to wear me made clothes, I pledged to challenge myself. So on Sunday I cleared the diary and the sewing table, and set to work.

Our alarm went off at 7am on Sunday. Chris was off to Silverstone for the day to razz around the track in a single-seater race car, which required an early train to Milton Keynes. I burrowed back down into the duvet and carried on snoozing for another hour, but eventually the lure of a new project drew me from between the sheets. I rustled up a coffee and a plate of nutella toast, popped series 2 of Buffy on Netflix, and set to work.Cutting out pdf patternsHonestly, cutting and sticking pdf patterns is my number one least favourite sewing job. There’s always one bit that just won’t line up, no matter how hard I try. I’ll go to great lengths to avoid all that cutting and sticking, including paying extra to get it printed professionally on A1 paper. But this time I forgot to go to the print shop, so had to resort to coaxing our temperamental printer into action.White cotton fabricI won’t lie, I was seriously intimidated by this pattern. At a conservative estimate there are about four million pieces, not including interfacing, so rather than add a tricky fabric to all that complex geometry I decided to buy something classic, crisp and easy to handle. Namely this white cotton poplin from Cloth House. It was a little on the pricey side, at around £8 per metre, but I figured that spending a little more would curb my natural impatience and encourage me to take my time and focus on being really precise.

For once, I actually remembered to take pictures during the sewing process! Normally I get serious tunnel vision and only come back down to earth when the garment is finished. But in the interests of going carefully I took regular breaks to take the occasional snap.Grainline archer work in progressActually, I almost gave up at this point (step 2) because I didn’t quite understand the instructions. There was a lot of pinning, folding, re-pinning and re-folding before sewing, so I could be sure I was sewing the right bit. But once I had figured out this step, the rest started slowly to fall into place. In almost no time I went from having a confusing pile of pieces to having a recognisable shirt, albeit without any sleeves, side seams or buttons. I forgot why this project worried me so much; I mean sure, there are a lot of steps and a LOT of pieces, but it comes together so quickly and looks so good, that within about half an hour my shirt fear had completely subsided. I mean, look at that back box pleat!Grainline archer work in progressOk, so it’s not very well pressed and little lopsided, but it’s my first one and to me it looks so pro. And all that top stitching makes my heart sing for joy, even though it is a little wonky in places.

Next up are the sleeves. I’ve only ever set in one sleeve before, and it was a total disaster, so we shall see how that goes. Before I even get to that point I’ve got the sleeve plackets to handle, which I can see being a bit of a nightmare. But this time last week I was terrified of making a shirt, and today I already have 1/3 of one lying on the cutting table. I reckon I can handle this… in theory…

Got any top Archer tips for me?

What do you think?