I made my first Archer shirt from Grainline Studio some years ago now. I wore it a couple of times before it ended up in a bag to a charity shop. Nothing wrong with the pattern itself, it was more of a combo between my fabric choice (a poly crepe) and the fit which turned out not to really be my style. I wasn’t too bothered about it as I never expect everything I make to be perfect. I kept the pattern though, with the thought that if I ever needed a classic shirt pattern, I’d have one to hand!
Recently, I’ve been hankering after a new classic plaid shirt. I’d always planned to make one at some point but it never quite reached the top of my to-sew pile despite the fact that I had both pattern and fabric as I still had a RTW one that I liked. My current work wardrobe of sweat pants, T-shirt and hoodie/ cardigan/ shirt/ anything vaguely warm (this is what I’m wearing to and from work, I change into scrubs when I get there!), however, has meant I’ve finally had good reason to make a new Archer!
I like an oversized plaid shirt. In fact my current RTW plaid shirt was one I bought from the men’s department and I wanted to emulate that look and feel. To do this, I sized this Archer up from my actual size by one and straightened the curved side seams to create a more boxy shape. I did a one inch big bicep adjustment on the sleeve and kept the sleeve length despite knowing they’d be long on me. I also lengthened the shirt by 3cm.
There was one adjustment that I wish I did that I hadn’t thought about at the time and that was to widen the neck/ collar. I’d forgotten how fitted this shirt was at the neck. Luckily I’m unlikely to want to button it all the way up so I doubt it’ll bother me too much but if I made it again I’d change this.
As I mentioned I already had the fabric – an absolute classic black and white brushed cotton buffalo plaid. I genuinely don’t remember where I got it from as it’s been in the stash for absolutely ages! It’s a heavyweight brushed cotton with a sturdy yet soft hand. It quite possibly has some polyester content but I can’t be sure! Annoyingly with this fabric, the grain and pattern was really off despite the fact it’s yarn dyed (as opposed to printed). It was really difficult to try and straighten and I didn’t do a very good job with it!
I chose to cut a few extra pieces on the bias to create some interest and to minimise any potential areas where I’d need to pattern match! I did this for the cuffs, right button band, the back yoke and pockets. All these pieces (bar the pockets) were either interfaced or had a full facing so I wasn’t worried about anything stretching because of how I’d cut it. For the pockets I added some interfacing to the upper edge to stabilise it but other left them as it wouldn’t matter if they stretched a little.
I kind of wished I had gone up by two sizes as I would’ve liked the shoulders to sit even wider and more exaggerated on me (more like a drop shoulder look) though perhaps to achieve that I would’ve needed a different approach altogether.
I still really like how it turned out. I’ve already worn it more than my previous iteration despite only having made it a week ago! It’s comfy and warm and goes perfectly with the slouchy couch potato look I’m going for right now…