Pattern: Archer by Grainline Studio
Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn “Queue for the Zoo” SKU: ZOO-G
Year: contemporary, and classic
Notions: thread, buttons, interfacing
Time to complete: One day to cut, one day to make
First worn: January 2016 between rainstorms
Wear again? It’s my go-to long sleeve shirt
Where to shop?: Fabric and pattern from White Tree Fabrics
I was very pleased with my fabric choice from White Tree Fabrics. I’ve never made a shirt out of cotton lawn before and I love it! It’s a lightweight, almost opaque fabric, that is soft but slightly crisp. The designer of this fabulous fabric is OK David, an illustrator and children’s author that together with the Liberty Art Fabrics Department designed “Queue for the Zoo”. You can read more about OK David in an informative interview on Liberty Craft Blog here.
I used the famous Archer pattern by Grainline Studios that I also received from White Tree Fabrics. I like White Tree’s selection of Indie patterns. I’ve been wanting to try this shirt pattern for awhile so I was pleased to see that Grainline Studio was among them. I appreciate the clear step-by-step instructions and great illustrations printed in booklet form. After ironing the pattern pieces, I anchored them to the wrong side of the fabric with my stone weights. I traced my size using a tracing wheel and tracing paper and cut each piece out one at a time, being careful to match the fabric print on the center fronts, and pockets. I like tracing the pattern on to the wrong side of the fabric so that I can keep the pattern in it’s original form with all of the sizes to use for other family members.
Sewing it together was easy until my sewing machine started skipping stitches. I did all of the troubleshooting suggested by everyone on the internet including: re-threading, new bobbin, changing the needle, checking tension, and thoroughly cleaning the machine, as well as removing the plate, and getting rid of all the fuzz around the the feed dogs. Nothing worked! I almost packed up my machine and took it to the Sewing Store for a service, but decided I’d go through all the troubleshooting ideas one more time.Upon closer look at the plate, which I did with a magnifying glass, I noticed that the hole where the needle goes through was rough and had a tiny snag. I know the cause of the that too. It happens when you are sewing something thick and your needle breaks! So, everyone one, add that to your list for troubleshooting skipped stitches. And how did I fix it? I used a metal manicure file that fit nicely through the slit in the plate, then I filed it smooth. One day I may order a new plate, but for now everything is working fine.
Because of the skipped stitches in my topstitching and because I found the cuff to be too large around my wrist, I actually took the cuffs off my sleeves, altered the length and reattached them. I picked out any topstitching with skipped stitches and re-stitched it as well. I French-seamed the sides, used a buttonhole placement tool, and a buttonhole cutting tool for the first time, and sewed the buttons on with my machine. Sewing the collar, and collar band to the shirt is always the hardest part. I like the method that Grainline Studio explains and it worked out very nicely for me.
I also plan to try version 2 which has the gathered back from the waist over the hips. It may be more flattering through the back because the pleat is eliminated and the fullness is only down where you need it! :)
Thank you, White Tree Fabrics!