Everybody’s favorite shirt

If you’ve been reading sewing blogs for a while, you know that when you’re looking for the perfect shirt – as in: elegant, yet not too stiff, comfortable, but not oversize, as if you had borrowed it from menswear, on sewing pattern seems to rule them all: the Archer button-down, by Grainline Studio.

From my over-planning tendancies…

I had purchased the pdf version a while ago, convinced by the numerous versions I had seen online. Since this shirt fitted very well within my dream of a “grown up, functional wardrobe”, and since I’m definitely more about planning than execution, I immediatly planned no less than 9 different versions in my to-do list… then forgot about it for a year.

… to an unplanned project

When a pattern has been sewn multiple times by everyone, people tend to write great, detailed reviews! Thanks to Camille’s post, I understood that Archer might not be the perfect shirt pattern for me, after all: the lack of darts is rarely flattering on my body shape. Yet, this could be all right for a plaid flanel overshirt. And so I added a tenth version at the top of my to-do list.

Project notes

Following Camille’s feedback, I lengthened both the bodice and the sleeves by 3 cm: I’m very pleased with the new length, which suits my humble meter 68, especially as I tend to wear this shirt over long-sleeves t-shirt. I’ve already sewn many shirts, so I didn’t pay too much attention to Grainline Studio’s sew-along, but it seemed very well-made. I replaced the sleeve packets by my usual plackets, which I prefer. After hesitating a little bit, I did my usual alteration on shirts and bodices and shaved 1,5 cm off both shoulders. The shape is still boxy, so I look like I borrowed my shirt from a woodcutter – albeit a rather metrosexual one, who likes his shirts fitted.

Final thoughts

I’m fairly pleased with this project: If I hadn’t had the pattern in my stash, and read Camille’s review (nor if I weren’t a bit jealous of the many flannel shirts you can find in my office comes winter), I would never have made it, but it makes my winter wardrobe slightly cooler! I like the deep shade of green and the streak of yellow of the flannel as well. Yet, everybody’s favorite shirt is not my favorite shirt, and I don’t think I’ll sew this pattern again. And here, my quest goes on!

The sun-bathed photographs are by my dear friend Noctvrna. She also photographs beautiful landscapes – check out her Instagram account!


A shirtdress amongst the rusty leaves

This was in October, in Paris, before I left for Thailand – with Noctvrna, we couldn’ see each other as often as we would have liked since I had moved to another city, and we had settled to meet for a photo shoot before I took the plane for vacations. Since winter sewing is not really my thing, all I had for her was this shirtdress, reminiscent of fallen leaves and pumpkin spice lattes. Continue reading “A shirtdress amongst the rusty leaves”

Oh hello!

I’m back! Summer seems to be my favorite sewing season. But who doesn’t love summer clothes, so light and so bright? I, for one, since I can’t stand more than 79°F. But when in May, as the days get longer, the flowers bloom and the shop windows are filled with vividly colored clothes at lats, I can no longer resist nature (or, err… my nature?) and I just have to tackle my summer sewing. Anyway, the sun exposure must benefit my productivity, because I can show you not just one little piece, but a whole outfit!  Continue reading “Oh hello!”

Sweetheart variations – 3

Yes, after the pink dress and the red one, there was a third one… I’m not sure I have much to tell about this last one without repeating myself terribly. Let’s just add that I seldom wear any black and white clothes: because they’re so contrasting, I often find they have too much “charisma” to really show me to my advantage: is it the girl wearing the dress, or the dress wearing the girl (a surprising question, really, from a girl whose closet rather looks like a Pantone color chart)? But these lovely flowers were too tempting, in a dolce-vita-this-movie-is-in-black-and-white-anyhow kind of way… Continue reading “Sweetheart variations – 3”

Last days of summer

Woops! I’m late to share this summer dress _ yet summer is late too, so maybe that makes us even. But it’s still summer here till tomorrow! Then this dress will enjoy some vacation time in my cabinets, sadly, because it’s one of my favorites for summer. I pinned a lot of dresses of this kind in my summer-spring inspiration board, because they’re so fresh (it’s sometimes better to cover up than to show a lot of skin in the heat) and elongate the figure quite nicely. Most girls I know are into it, the boys… not so much (I think I heard the words “pregnancy style” a few times. Continue reading “Last days of summer”

Sweetheart variations – 2

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imageI already said so : I’m a creature of habits : re-reading a book, re-watching a movie, re-making a sewing pattern don’t annoy me at all ; quite the contrary : once the first time has passed, I appreciate even more any detail, style effect, or simply the narration. More practically, when it comes to patterns, re-making is often the opportunity to experiment and to get better _ I’m not that good a seamstress. As it happens, I made another version of this sweetheart dress for another wedding : how appropriate _ it also explains my French title for this post, a pun I would have a hard time translating. Continue reading “Sweetheart variations – 2”

Pink & plaid – 1

I never, ever wear any shirt. I’ve owned some of course, but I never got to wear them on a daily basis. It’s mostly due to my morphology: no body will ever fit ready-to-wear standards perfectly, and mine is no exception. Every shirt I’ve ever tried was too large in the back and at the shoulders and had a slight gap at the bust: not really up to my taste – in fact, for a long time, I had been telling myself that I wasn’t built to wear shirts, period. Continue reading “Pink & plaid – 1”