Raise your hand if you remember Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus… don't fret, I'm definitely going somewhere with this :) If you remember Ms. Frizzle, then you remember how each dress she wore was a perfect match for whatever crazy awesome field trip the class was about to go on. My husband and I have been watching it again on Netflix and seeing her in those colorful, loud, and quirky outfits made me want to create and customize a wardrobe that would fit me perfectly.
I made my first Archer a wearable muslin and sewed up a size 0 as is, in order to get a feel for how to construct the shirt and to see how it fit. Archer #1 was very straightforward. I used a cotton fabric from Joann's and followed Jen's sew-a-long on her blog. As the shirt was coming together I grew less and less fond of my fabric choice (the color…not the actual fabric). I can't even remember what made me pick up that color… wait… I think it was because if the shirt turned out horribly then I wouldn't be too upset. Therefore the lack of attachment was purposeful, but i digress. It came out great and the only alteration that would need to be made for my future Archers is to shorten the sleeves a bit. I actually find myself reaching for this version a lot which is a nice surprise.
Archer #2 is a sleeveless archer (following her Archer Variation #1 directions) with french seams and is my version of color blocking. First off let me say that I absolutely love the finished product, but my fabric choice proved to be a huge pain. There was a lot of yelling coming form the sewing room that day. I used a brown linen fabric from Joann's and a stunning Dahlia cotton fabric from Fabricworm. The linen was not the smartest choice. It's too light and stretchy to be paired with the more structured cotton, so i had to do a lot of seam ripping and re-adjusting. Not to mention I cut the right front button band wrong not once, not twice, but three times! Both fabrics were leftovers from previous projects, so it's a miracle I had enough to get it done.
I used the Dahlia fabric to add some awesome accents, as well as a way to stabilize the linen.
Now we come to Archer #3 made in the dreamiest Robert Kaufman Chambray. The sleeves are shortened in this version and I also took the sides in a half inch. Everything was gong smoothly until it came time for me to french seam the side seams. This fabric, as amazing as it is, is the same on the right side of the fabric and the wrong side. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that about this chambray, but I ended up doing the first step of the french seam on the wrong side of the shirt and didn't realize until I had graded my seam allowance. That led to a double french seam (which i'm sure I just made up haha) and a lot more yelling.
On a brighter note, because the fabric is double sided I was able to do the alternate archer pocket. Yay!
All in all the pattern is amazing and I'm already cutting out my fourth Archer :) don't be surprised if I end up with twenty of these.
My husband was kind enough to take these pictures for me. If you want to see more head over to my flickr.