Grainline Archer / Simplicity 2862

From here on out I’ll pretty much just focus on things I’ve just finished, i.e., not past makes from before the blog. But let’s start with something I finished recently just to get the ball rolling. This is two items, actually, but I planned them to be a pair. The shirt is Grainline Studio’s Archer and the waistcoat is Simplicity 2862, which appears to be out of print.

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This was the first time I’ve made Archer, and the second time I’ve made the waistcoat (although for some reason I have never taken pictures of the first one.) I usually sew a lot of knits, so doing all the fiddly details of a classic button-down shirt was a big change of pace for me, but I love the results.

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It’s not perfect, but it certainly passes the “muggle” test (that is, non-sewing people don’t see problems with it.) The fit needs some tweaks—the sleeves are about an inch too long and too wide at the cuff end, and the collar is about an inch too big. I like to wear ties with button-downs, and while loose collars are more comfortable, they can’t be that loose if you are also wearing a tie. I wouldn’t mind if the fit were slimmer on this. I’ve already bought the new Sewaholic Granville shirt pattern, which is designed to be more fitted, and I’m going to make that soon. The topstitching on this shirt is also less than perfect, but as it’s in white thread it’s quite difficult to see. Also, I prefer a regular box pleat instead of the inverted one as written in the pattern. Still, those are minor tweaks, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

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The fabric is a gorgeous cotton lawn from Fabric Mart that I bought a few summers ago. It’s very thin and lightweight, and will make a great summer shirt. It’s slightly sheer and definitely requires an undershirt.

The vest was a fairly quick make compared to the shirt. I’m not entirely happy with the fit; it probably needs to be taken in about an inch on either side seam. Also, obviously, stretch cotton poplin (also from Fabric Mart) was a terrible choice for this, as it shows some really terrible pulls and puckers. Something with more body and weight would be a better choice. I made the first version in a heavy silk brocade with a much smoother result, and I think it would be lovely in wool. I used polyester lining fabric in black from Joann for the lining, and heavier poly bridal satin for the back.

Despite all the flaws with this project, it does give me this sweet back view, which is a thing I love about waistcoats.

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Overall I love the results despite their imperfections. There will definitely be more button-downs and waistcoats in my future! I’ve got some gorgeous turquoise chambray just waiting to be cut into… but before that, I’ve got some other things on the docket. Hoping to post those soon!

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