Thursday, 22 May 2014

Grainline Archer First Go

Dear Blog Readers,

This post is brought to you from La Casa del Flu. I Can Not Believe I Have The Flu again. I won't go into theories as to why. The good thing is I have time and (just) enough energy to finish my first Archer, take some snaps and blog, some of my favourite things to do ..

The Archer is my first Grainline pattern but probably not the last. It is beautifully drafted, well thought out, has a very cute collar and slimline feminine styling, unlike baggier Vogue or Burda shirt styles that I have made in the past.

Front, not so bad .

I agonized over what size to download not realizing all sizes from 0 to 18 are included, nest style. Then I wondered what size to cut. I was tired of making thngs too big so I went for fitted.

From my own flat  measuring of the pattern I did a 12 body and sleeves with a 13 (cutting between 12 and 14) neck and shoulders but there's nothing like a muslin to show you the real thing.

All the sizes are nested within each other and the length and shape of the shirt does not change. Normally larger sizes are graded with a bit more ease built in. These aren't graded that way but it does stay true to the shape.

I had heard the instructions were good and I wanted to try them as written.

It took me a while to note that 'white is right' and dark is the reverse side as I followed the instructions. The collar construction instructions are very good, but tricky!

More back ease needed and the pleat will be either eased in or become two little pleats or darts above the shoulder blades.

Here's all the problems in one shot. On the next shirt I am also thinking of doing a trick I read about of swinging the the centre  front out slightly which takes it off grain, which makes it hang straight. The button band has to be cut the same way. I'll describe it more when I do it.

So, how to do proper adjustments? I considered adding a dart to the front, but as most of the problem is at the back and can, in my case I think, be fixed with more body ease and going up a size. I downloaded another print, (it's so good to be able to do that) then adjusted as I taped.

For the body I cut Size 14 and a bit  extra at the sides, which I can take in if it goes too big. There's only half a cm between sizes on all the main seams, as you can see above. I wanted to incorporate some neck and shoulder ease too.

The red vertical lines are a .5 cm gap and the red horizontal lines are a 1.5 cm adjustment to length. I put it in where the print out pages overlap. Handy ! I  added .5 vertical line of ease to the back yoke and to the collar and stand. I cut the armholes a scant 3mm deeper. The sleeves will have a bit extra at the armscye width to correspond to the deeper yoke and widened body. 

What you do to one piece you have to do to every corresponding piece. Been caught out on that one before. 

I am using a lovely blue and white voile (it's in my new header above) and have another go. 

My fit needs vary from most bloggers and reviewers that have made this pattern but the pattern itself is a quality product.

Sew something soon,



  1. You had my attention with 'beautifully drafted' Val. I have a pile of shirt patterns from all the big brands, all being disappointing to some degree: too slim, too generous, bad fit all round, poor instructions - you name it! I'm looking forward to hearing more about the off-grain front and what it achieves. So sorry you have the flu, which is a rotten version this year. I finally got my flu needle this week - phew! Happy sewing!

  2. Love your new haircut! My older daughter has the flu as well with fever over 40°C.
    I would say: more shoulder width, maybe a sway back adjustment and I would do a small fba looking at the wrinkles on the side shot

    1. Hi Tini. I hope your daughter gets well soon. The sway back adjustment is a very good idea. I will go implement it now..I always forget. Re the small FBA/dart option I want to try a straight shirt with my other adjustments first. I think for me in this case it was not my bust but my big shoulders/broad back that is really the issue. but I will bear it all in mind. p.s Great to hear from you!

    2. Tini, after researching the issue I decided to put in a dart after all. It's more a regular bust adjustment than a full bust adjustment, but I've done it properly. Will blog about it soon.

  3. I have a Grainline on my list of patterns to make. Interested to see more about the off-grain front adjustment, that's new to me.
    Hope you are feeling better soon.

  4. So sorry about the flu.. Hope you feel better soon.
    Love that pattern..Hope you get the fitting issues done soon..

  5. Thanks Paola and Judy, I'm already feeling much better.

  6. Everyone is onto the Archer except me. I really like the style, but just seem to go for my TNT shirt. The thing I like about this pattern is the back joke and ease pleat.