Now that I've been sewing for almost two years, I finally feel comfortable enough to try a button down shirt and jumped on the Archer bandwagon--almost two years after it came out. The Archer is designed as a casual shirt, described as a "loosely fitting button up shirt." Why do some people say button down and others say button up? Somebody should do a study on that...
Since this is my first real attempt at a button-down shirt, I decided to make a muslin to test the fit, and hone my techniques. I've previously made a flannel button-down, but this is a much more precise make. The fabric I used here is a little stiff. It was a thrifted sheet, intended to be used on a test make. For my next version, I'm using a lightweight cotton with more drape. I think this will help with some of the minor fit issues and will look more natural.
This fabric isn't the most versatile for a shirt. With jeans, it has an 80's denim-on-denim vibe, at least to me. It does look better in these pictures than I expected, though. To tone it down a little, I've mostly been wearing it under a sweater or with my puffy vest (that I've had since before college! I'm trying to work on a quality over quantity ethos when it comes to clothes).
There are definitely things that I need to improve for my next version, but I'm pretty proud of this shirt. I mean, check out that collar. That is one area where my previous practice on the flannel shirt came in handy. A lot of people don't seem to like the instructions for the collar that come with the pattern, but I found them very easy to follow and execute.
For my next version (currently in progress), I want to:
- Improve the precision of my topstitching
- Make sure my back pleat is right-side-out (doh!)
- Make the cuffs slightly larger so it is easier to fit my hand through
- Use French seams for all of the seams. This will allow me to roll up my sleeves, plus it just looks pretty on the inside.
Overall, I'm very happy with this make. It's certainly not perfect, but it is a very wearable muslin.
Pattern: Grainline Studio's Archer
Fabric: Thrifted sheet from Goodwill
Cost: $2 for the sheet + $3 in buttons = $5 ($17 if you include the cost of the pattern)
Time: ~8 hours