Friday, July 4, 2014

country road/grainline archer & some leggings

pattern: combination of rub-off of my favourite RTW Country Road blouse & Grainline Archer
fabric: cotton navy/white gingham, spotlight

this is the make that i bought the Grainline Archer pattern for many months ago (? I think i picked it up in last years thanksgiving sale!). I think it also started #thegreatsewingbinge - it was the creative challenge that really got me & my sewing machine reacquainted in a big way. And I've finally made it! My favourite RTW shirt is a few seasons old from Country Road (Australian). It's the perfect length for leggings or jeans, with rolled up sleeves & a small stand-up collar. I knew the Archer pattern would get me half-way there. There were just a few mods to make.

the original

 my version

Here are some notes

  • I used the pins/paper/cardboard rub-off method that seems to be a popular technique. 
  • The modifications basically involve - a yoke which continues to the front of the shirt, using both collar pieces but sewing the outer collar down into the seam creating a cute little feature, but basically looking like a mandarin/collar stand only, added length to the back with curved side seams and a little extra triangle of fabric where the front/back side seams meet. Also, there are subtle gathers at the CB where the yoke and back piece meet, and some gathers where the front of the yoke/front piece meet.
  • To check my rub off, I compared it to the archer pattern (which I have made several times although never with sleeves). I also used the Archer method of construction completely, including all those fabulous sew along videos (yoke burrito, I'm looking at you).
  • This was my first sleeve placket and it really ain't pretty. But i knew I would be rolling these up so didn't worry too much.
  • I added a little bit to the side seams to account for the (almost half-way) baby bump. I will take the side seams in post baby & still have a great fitting top! (good for feeding).
  • I wish the check of the gingham was a bit bigger like the original. But you can't have everything!
Now for some more pics...

Here I'm wearing this top with a pair of self-drafted leggings. I was too frugal to pay for a pattern so used the self-drafting tutorial from Etsy, then compared them to a RTW pair to check. I made the front rise lower to account for the baby bump & I'm really happy with the fit. 

 strange little collar feature. I like it!

 extra little "patch"? where front/back hem meets at side.

A little story: when I went to my local sewing store to buy the buttons I took my whole shirt with me so I could make sure the overall effect of the buttons wasn't too noticeable. The lady behind the counter then proceeded to critique all the little things she didn't like about my construction & then started bad-mouthing .pdf patterns! I know she was an older generation than me but I really credit indie-designers with encouraging a NEW generation of sewers to get their machines out (and go to fabric stores to buy the fabric) and it really was just such a frustrating outing having something I love (indie patterns, sewing and my actual sewing construction!) totally dismissed. Just wanted to put this out there that a little bit of encouragement can go a long way! And also: Long Live Indie Patterns :)