A day in the sewing room, a new shirt to show for it (and a video!)

DSC_0654_editHaha, after my triumphant return to blogging I then managed not to write anything for several weeks. I’m still adjusting to a new working routine and over the last few weeks I’ve been prioritising hanging out with Chris and watching Suits on Netflix over spending time online. My new role involves a lot of writing, blogging and social media, and sometimes by the time I get home the thought of spending any more time on WordPress is horrifying!

Generally I like to have a routine and a plan for blogging, but I suspect for the time being I will write and photograph as the muse takes me. But today is different. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve just had a lovely bubbly bath, we’re catching up on the Grand Prix, and it seems like the perfect time to put some thoughts on the internets.

Anyway, let’s time warp for a moment – how was your Bank Holiday last week? In true UK fashion it rained solidly all day, so I spent the day making chaos in the sewing room. Well, guest room with a desk in the corner, but let’s call it a sewing room. I’ve been wanting to make another Grainline Studios Archer shirt for a while now, and this time instead of a classic white cotton I pulled this rather special blue chambray out of my stash and set to work on that.DSC_0636_editI also kept my camera to hand throughout the day and filmed the process from start to finish. Not all of it, because that would be long and dull with occasional PG13 outbursts. So I hope you enjoy my little sewing day vlog!

I made one modification to the pattern, which was to lengthen the body by 4cm – I’m all about the loose, long shirts! And that, as well as lengthening the main pattern pieces, I also remembered to lengthen the button bands and interfacing. This may be obvious to you, but is usually the kind of thing that forget.

While the magic of cinema may have you thinking I made this shirt in one day, it actually took me three to finish. By the end of the holiday I had the sleeves and collar attached, with only the lower collar facing to attach, along with the cuffs and the all tiresome finishing. It took one evening to polish that nightmare off, and then another evening sewing on buttons with Netflix for company.

I just want to cut in here and say how much I hate cuffs! Give me any amount of sleeves to set in, only spare me the nightmare of cuffs. I still haven’t mastered how to make cuffs that look as good inside as they do outside. My top-stitching always fails to pick up the bits at the edges, and they’re always a little drunken-looking. But I nearly always wear my sleeves rolled up, so their ugliness doesn’t matter too much! And neither does their lack of buttons or button holes, mwahaha.

DSC_0628_editRight, we got a pile of plums in our veg box this week, and that obviously means making a Sunday night apple and plum crumble. With maybe just the cheekiest suspicion of a cocktail…

Have a wonderful week, and I shall see ya when I see ya! xxx

What do you think?

  • That video’so quite a motivator – I’ve got the pattern pieces for my first Archer all traced and ready to go, but now my Morris Blazer pattern has arrived, so it’s a toss-up for which one I do first. I’m more scared of the Archer, a lot of new techniques for me to learn.
    Oh, and I love the fish mug!

    • I was terrified of the Archer – to date it’s probably the most complicated pattern I have attempted. The best advice I can give is to take it very slowly – it’s so easy to loose track of which piece is which! There’re no particularly challenging techniques in there apart from setting in the sleeves and doing the cuff plackets. Everything else is straight stitching, and topstitching. Press everything multiple times, it really helps! Some of the steps didn’t immediately make sense to me, so often before sewing I would pin everything together to see how it would turn out first. Good luck! The Morris blazer is a much simpler pattern and makes a lovely garment, but the Archer is so satisfying.

  • Ah the Archer shirt looks great. It’s such a great pattern. I bought it a while back, measured between two sizes and traced off the smaller, worked through a toile then found it was much too small for me to wear it while staying decent. It was a really hard shirt to make too, so I’m yet to go back and do it properly. But a slow summer sew might call for this again.

    • I think this is a style that works quite well as ‘oversized’ – the size I like is actually a bit too long in shoulders for me, but I really like that larger, more relaxed feel. Good luck with having a second go at this! It is a tough pattern, but definitely worth the pain! xx