Monday, November 19, 2018

Archer Button Up in White Linen

This one has been in the in-box of my mind for quite a while. I cut it out and took the pieces to NH to visit DS and family. No real sewing occurred there. DGD and I retrieved the sewing machine I've stashed there and made some scrunchies she wanted. I will cheerfully sew anything with her!

When I arrived back home, I decided to take my time making this Archer Button Up. What a pleasure it was.

I made one other Archer, the view with the back peplum. I like it quite a lot and picked up some ideas for improvement.

The view I selected this time is almost a classic shirt. It contains a double layer yoke with forward shoulders as well as a collar with a collar stand, though it's not at all obvious from their line drawing. The back contains an inverted pleat and no peplum.

The line drawing looks like a Peter Pan collar. The pattern contains a collar band and collar.
The not-so-classic characteristics include separate right and left fronts. The left front has a cut-on front placket and the right front has a separate placket pattern piece. This could be quite handy if you're working with a plaid and want to position the front placket on the bias, or if you want to highlight a second fabric down the front.

It's not handy if you're trying to match a pattern because you have an extra vertical seam to match. I cut two left fronts - there was no need for a separate button placket piece. In this solid white, the top-stitching makes it almost impossible to determine if the front band is a separate piece or not, IMO.

Another not-so-classic characteristic is the continuous bias sleeve placket.

Although this is faster than a typical menswear shirt placket, I don't think it is quite as sharp-looking. I have fun making conventional menswear shirt plackets every time I don't screw up. This time the sewing goddess was watching over me and I got each completed in a single try. Hooray!

I do like the notched corner of the Archer shirt
I used my modified collar stand from my previous make of the Archer. It's a little deeper than the collar stand included in the pattern envelope. I'll make another version with the classic collar and stand at some point in the future.

I shortened the sleeves per my notes from version 1 of the Archer shirt. My arms are not proportionally short. Reviews over on pattern review indicate this is an issue for lots of people.

It's worth noting that the sleeve edge has a lovely curve where it attaches to the cuff. It is such a nice draft. It has just the right amount of poof and looks better on the body, I think.

I made one other teeny-tiny change in the pocket, something no one will ever notice. It's the little things that make sewing fun for me. I top-stitched each pocket onto the shirt in what is mathematically a continuous loop. That is, I started and stopped at the same point. The appearance is just 2 rows of top-stitching. It secures the top corners nicely.

I used flat-felled seams throughout the process. The seam allowances are only 0.5" so a mock flat-felled seam was tricky. Midway through I realized this was an opportunity to make real flat-felled seams by positioning the back seam allowance below the front seam allowance.

Of course, it's a bit anxiety-producing to sew that flat-felled seam from the shirt hem, under the armpit, finishing at the sleeve hem. It's like a journey to the center of the earth. Woot! when I successfully arrive at the center.


I made a change in the order of completion. I prefer to finish a shirt tail hem before sewing the side seams. This reduces the size of the wings at the hips, I think. Otherwise the shape of the hem tends to flare out at the side seams when the hem is finished.

It was fun to press it this morning and look at it, all crisp and white on the dress form. That won't last but I will definitely enjoy having this basic in my wardrobe.


  1. What a lovely shirt. Your collar and sleeve placket modifications elevate it, IMO. Roberta Carr once had a video where she spelled out how to add that "pouf" to the sleeve, a real couture feature but glad it is built into this pattern.

  2. LOVE it! I really need to get a few more white shirts into my closet and nothing beats white linen. BTW, some way through the Wiksten kimono. I think I rather like it. Thank you for the inspiration on that one too!

  3. Gorgeous, as always. I love a good white shirt, and this is certainly one of them. I need some more white shirts in my closet of various styles and weights. You may have provided the inspiration I need.

  4. Really lovely. I had no idea the Archer has a collar stand! kept me from purchasing it, so this is good news. Great plackets and finishing. Cute button treatment.