I had a bit of a slow start to my sewing projects this year. After taking time off over Christmas, then helping out in the shop following the sale and then just generally being caught up in the admin/paperwork side of the business, time flew past and my sewing machine wasn’t getting much of a look in.
Then we received delivery of the new Atelier Brunette diamond viscose fabrics and all of a sudden I was sewing again. Isn’t it funny what you can make time for when you really are that motivated!?
My original plan was to go for the pale blush colour but when they arrived and I saw the orange/chestnut colour I quickly changed my mind - it’s gorgeous!
This fabric is so silky and floaty I knew I wanted to make something that was loose fitting and would allow all the movement in the fabric to happen so I choose the Grainline Archer Shirt.
To see it in action checkout my latest Youtube video, or read on to find out all the details of my project!
The Archer is a loosely fitted button up shirt with long sleeves and cuffs. It has a traditional collar with a stand and simple button band. You can opt for a back pleat at the yoke or a straight back bodice with a gathered lower back detail - that’s the option I went for.
I made a size 4 (they are in US sizes ranging from 0-18). It does come up pretty loose so if you are between sizes it’s worth looking at the finished garment measurements.
Tips on construction
- This fabric is super soft and silky and does move around all over the place as you cut and sew. To make things easier I used the diamond pattern that is woven into the fabric to help ensure it was laying straight and square as I cut. I made sure that the same part of the diamond design was on the fold of the fabric and lined up the diamonds along the cut edge of the fabric too - a bit like you would if you were working with a striped fabric.
- I used my Prym Micro serration shears for cutting. They have little teeth along the blade that helps to grip the fabric as you cut and means you have more control.
- When pinning I used my Prym super fine pins and lots of them! They glide so easily into the fabric and don’t snag at all, which is otherwise easy to do on a delicate fabric like this.
Details I love
The collar comes out so crisp and satisfying with a fabric like this as it takes a crease really well. I added one of the Kylie and the Machine woven labels in too!
I also love that the under-collar is a separate pattern piece and is cut on the fold, it’s little things like this that add an extra professional touch to a garment.
The oversized patch pockets are also lovely and although pretty un functional I think they really add something striking to the shirt.
The ruffle at the back didn’t come out as ‘ruffley’ and gathered as I thought it would but I like it all the same. It also cam out a bit longer than I thought it would so I cut about 1.5” off the section before I hemmed it.
At the cuffs, instead of cutting a small bias strip to make the placket, I used some of our atelier brunette viscose crepe bias binding.
I also did a mock flat felled seam on the lower half of the sleeve as I quite often wear shirts with the cuffs rolled up. I had overlocked the seam allowances and didn’t want to see that stitching when I rolled the sleeves up, so I pressed over the seam allowance and top stitched it down up as far as the elbow.
Once I had finished I really felt the sewing vibe flowing and decided to make a pair of Closet Case Patterns Sasha trousers in some of our new Liberty stretch cotton gabardine. I had been thinking about making another pair in either the Tiger Lily print or the diamus print but my decision was made when the chestnut archer went so well with the tiger lily!
The sashas are a polished wardrobe staple. They have classic tailored details including a fly front, a flattering mid-rise with a contour waistband and optional belt loops. They are cut to have a slim tapered leg and a comfortable stretch fit.
You can opt to have slashed hip pockets with a slimming pocket stay at the front and single welt pockets at the back or have none at all for a sleek, clean silhouette - that's what I went for. I wanted a pretty quick make and I knew the print on the fabric would be the main feature of the garment anyway!
I made a size 6 despite being in between a 6 and an 8 (all sizes are US and range from 0-20). This is actually the third pair of sashas I’ve made and the others were a 6 so I know that it fits me.
I made my standard trousers adaptations which are a flat bottom adjustment where you slash the pattern from the back rise and take out a wedge of fabric.
Once I had sewn them and tired them on to fit, I also took about 2cm out of the centre back seam from the waist tapering down into the curve gradually. I usually have to do that but it can depend on how stretchy a fabric is as to how much which is why I don’t change it on my pattern piece.
I also wanted the leg to be a little slimmer below the knee to once I had basted the trousers together I sewed the inside and outside leg seams about 0.5mm bigger - so that meant I took off in total about 2cm from the circumference around the lower leg. It took me two attempts to get that right as the first time I took it in too much and I just knew they would end up sitting funny.
The instructions that come with the sashas are really good so don’t be put off by the fly front, it’s really not that bad! Just take it step by step, trust the instructions even if you don’t fully understand why you are doing a particular step, make sure all your pattern markings are accurate and you’ll be fine!
This fabric was also really easy to work with. It pressed well and was easy to cut, pin and sew.
I added bias binding on the inside waistband (some lovely gold stuff that I got in Annaka Bazar in Paris last year). My only niggle with it is that I wished I had cut the inside waistband down before putting the binding on as it does hang lower that I would have liked. I also wish I had though ahead enough to put the button on before topstitching the inside waistband down. I didn’t want the stitching to show on the outside waistband. Of course I could have just unpicked it but I just wanted to wear them ASAP!