Ginger Made (Finally): Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt

Oh, wow… this is kind of embarrassing.  I started this shirt wayyyyyyy back in March during the Archer Sew Along, annnnnnnnd… I just finished it now.  Let’s back this truck up for a minute, though, before I explain why it took me so long.

This is the Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt, and if you haven’t already made this pattern, I HIGHLY recommend it.  When Jen released the pattern, I went crazy– this is exactly the style of shirt that I like to wear every day!  I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Sewing this was actually really fun.  I was nervous to deal with all the fiddly bits like the placket and collar, but everything went together really smoothly.  The photos and videos Jen posted for the sewalong were really helpful.  I had a little trouble keeping my topstitching neat, and since you could see the thread very clearly on the portions of the plaid that weren’t blue, it was extra necessary to keep things straight.  I did LOTS of seam ripping and worked really slowly.  Even so, it’s still not perfectly even.

Unfortunately, things really went sour when I decided to use pearl snaps instead of buttons.  I bought pearl snaps from Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy, and a pair of Dritz snap pliers to set them with.  Sadly, the pliers never lined up the two parts of the snaps correctly, so the prongs kept tearing little holes in my button placket.  After a couple of VERY frustrating evenings trying to fix this, I finally lost my cool and tossed the shirt to the side in a fit of rage… whoops!  It sat unfinished in my sewing area until a couple of nights ago– I just couldn’t stand looking at it any longer and had to finish it!  This time, I just set the snaps with a hammer.  It’s tough to hammer hard enough to get the snaps on firmly without cracking the pearl or flattening the other half.  Ugh!  So I’m not sure how long this shirt will last– there are little punctures in the button placket all over the place, and the snaps will probably rip out eventually as they just don’t feel very secure.  Oh, well. [EDIT: Lou and Liz suggested that, with the loose fit and stretch fabric, I could get it over my head without unsnapping it, saving lots of stress on the snaps!  I can!  Win!]

I used a cotton shirting that I bought for $5/yd in the Garment District (from It’s A Material World, I think) during my epic shopping expedition with Lauren and Oona.  I was so excited and over-caffeinated that I didn’t even notice the stretch content of the fabric at the time!  It’s not really noticeable in a shirt this slouchy, though.

Since the fabric was inexpensive and the fit seemed pretty forgiving, I didn’t bother making a muslin.  I thought the pattern pieces looked a little short, so I lengthened the shirt by 2″.  Other than that, I didn’t make any changes and I’m happy with the fit.  I might narrow the shoulders on the next go-round so they sit in the proper place.  I think the shoulders are supposed to be slightly dropped, but I prefer a more fitted shoulder.  I did spend a fair amount of time matching the plaid, which was a bit of a brain boggle and not 100% successful, but I’m OK with how it turned out.

Overall, I’m really happy with this shirt, and hopefully I will make the time to sew a few more versions!  I’ll be sure to use extreme caution when I snap and unsnap this to extend its shelf life as much as possible!  It’s a little bright (and possible even circus-y), but I love it anyway.  I’m so glad I finally finished this shirt!

Alright, now it’s confession time– what’s the oldest UFO in your collection?  Have you ever finished up a long-term UFO and immediately been sorry you didn’t finish it sooner?  Anything in your to-be-finished pile that’s just begging to be worn?