the totally awesome archer button up

i know the archer sew along was supposed to start monday (sadly, postponed!) but what can i say… i’m impatient and decided to sew mine up over the weekend. we still didn’t have the heat working in our house (though we do now thankfully) so i moved my sewing stuff to the dining room table. it’s a large table so i wasn’t too disruptive to the family… it’s a wonder sometimes that they put up with me. i cut a straight size 4 of view B. i have to admit, when i first saw the butt ruffle version my reaction was a bit like “ew. really? hmmm…” but i have to say the more i looked at it the more i thought it was “interesting” and somewhere along the way “interesting” turned into “really like” which turned into “MUST HAVE NOW!” you know how it is.

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still loving the contrast last buttonhole thing!

reasons why i thought view B would work: for one the fabric i bought is a steely greyish blue. not exactly over the top girly. then i like how the shirt in general is quite boxy and has that “i stole this from the boyfriend’s husband’s side of the closet” look, then you turn around and BAM! butt ruffle. to quote the much overused phrase from project runway, i like how it combines the hard and the soft. no seriously, i gag every time they say that. call it a hangover from my college literature studies where the most intelligent thing you could say in class was how two dissimilar things were juxtaposed and suddenly became interesting. i digress.

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i’m sure any of you who plan to make this shirt want to know about sizing. what i learned from sewing my moss mini is that grainline patterns are not drafted for one with a curvacious backside. hips seem to be taken account for, but le boo-tay? not so much. if i were making view A i would probably slash and spread, much like suzanne from Beau Baby discussed HERE just the other day.

also, i consider myself to have slightly wide shoulders. maybe i don’t, but even though this shirt has a dropped shoulder i would prefer it be dropped a smidgen less. it may help if i just go down a size in the bust/shoulder then slash and spread for my lower half. if i brought the shoulder seam in by 1/2″ or so it would still hang off my shoulder slightly. speaking of shoulder seams, the instructions have you press the shoulder seam toward the sleeve. since i wasn’t making a classic button up per david coffin i decided to follow the pattern on this one. when you press the SA toward the sleeve you get a slight puff at the sleeve cap. when you press the SA toward the body, you get a flatter cap. my gut was to press toward the body, however i did not go with my gut thinking: oh, i’m using a blouse-y material (rayon challis) so i’ll go the more feminine route as per the directions. this would be fine if the shoulder seam sat closer to the shoulder, but since the design is to hang off the shoulder the cap just looks a little confused. i would go back in and change this, but i frenched the side seams so it would be a lot more work than it’s worth. sorry if you’re wondering what the heck is wrong with me, i’m just a perfectionist.

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since i’ve made a few button up’s lately, i have to say that i think her method of inserting the collar is now my favorite. last time around i followed david coffin’s and while that turned out well, i think i like this way even better. the only thing i would add, is to stay stitch around the entire neck edge, then clip close to your stitching so you can lay the neckline virtually straight as you attach the collar stand. it is INFINITELY easier to attach the collar stand when you clip those curves first.

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one note on the collar construction: it wasn’t entirely clear at first whether the instructions have you put the interfaced collar stand to the outside or inside. it should be toward the outside, the un-interfaced collar stand should be to the inside. later on in the directions this is more clear, but by that point it would be too late to go back and change it if you did it the other way around. minor detail, but i just wanted to point that out.

another thing i really like about this pattern is how the front button placket is done. the left and right shirt fronts are different so that the under-placket is folded under twice then topstitched and the over-placket is a separate piece sewn on. this is how you see it in RTW and how i’ll be doing my (and my husband’s) shirts from now on.

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i love how the cuff is sewn on. makes it so easy to get the edges lined up properly. what i don’t like is that the cuff is one piece that is folded in half instead of cut as two and sewn together at the cuff edge. the once piece thing feels a little weak at the edge, so next go i’ll cut it as two pieces. i went with the continuous placket as instructed to go with the overall blouse-y feel. if i did view A i probably would have done it with a tower placket. for women’s wear i think either is acceptable, so i wouldn’t get hung up over it. what… you don’t get hung up over these things? oh. okay.

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PS i added 1/2″ to the sleeve length because i have monkey arms

sorry to be all detail-y with my opinion on this pattern. since most button and collar shirt patterns are super lame, this one gets my vote for being AWESOME. the directions are not of the “hold your hand” variety if you need that; since i’ve been studying the techniques and construction of shirts lately i had no issue. that said, if you haven’t done a shirt before this one at least has all the right pieces to give you a nice professional finish. also with the sew along happening, it’s probably a good place to start. if you havent’ bought this pattern already… what are you waiting for?! i’m crazy in love with mine.

—lisa g.

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19 thoughts on “the totally awesome archer button up

  1. crab&bee

    I so appreciate the detail you’ve gone into with your shirtmaking posts! I’ve learned so much. Your Archer looks wonderful, great top-stitching!

    Reply
    1. lisa g Post author

      i was definitely skeptical and even hesitated to try it on as i sewed… but surprisingly i really love it! it’s fairly subtle and feminine. so glad i went for it!

      Reply
  2. liza jane

    Love it. I appreciate all the details. I really like the look of that placket and it seems to solve the issue of which side goes over which. I almost always get confused and do it backwards. And I love the contrast buttonhole!

    Reply
  3. Susan

    Lisa, thank you *so much* for this excellently thorough review… I’m just about to launch into this one and your tips are great. I know exactly what you mean about those weird “features” — skeptical initially, then they become your favorite part. I have one version of this planned with rayon challis as well. Thanks again!

    Reply
  4. Marie F.

    Great post! And great shirt! I have to say that I like the amount of detail and informations you put in your post. I find it really helpful. I can’t wait to start the sew-along, and have my own Archer. :)

    Reply
  5. Kathi Giumentaro

    I have been going back and forth trying to decide if I want to make this blouse. I do now after seeing your version. I just taped my pattern together. Thanks for the inspiration. I can’t wait to make mine.

    Reply
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