FO Friday: Rayon Archer

FO Friday: Rayon Archer

Pattern: Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio

Fabric: Gemstone Pink from Frock by Cotton and Steel

I sewed my first Archer Button Up this summer and felt so impressed that I was able to sew such an advanced garment. At the beginning of the fall I sewed my first project with rayon and really struggled with it. But neither of those projects scared me off from tackling this Archer in rayon and I am so glad because I love it. Putting on this shirt feels so good – it is cool and smooth and soft. The project didn’t go smoothly. It was my destressing sewing last week and I had to redo more than usual – cutting the back bodice, cutting the undercollar pieces, interfacing the undercollar pieces, sewing the entire right sleeve. But I didn’t let any of that derail the project, I just assessed the problem and did the work required. I figure it’s good practice for what lies ahead.

I made a couple modifications from my first version – I shortened the sleeves by 2″ to get them closer to my actual arm length. I also added sleeve tabs, following this tutorial from Dixie DIY. I really like the detail they add to the shirt. Next time I would place them slightly differently. I think they’d be better about .5″ lower on the sleeve based on how I like to roll mine, and also somehow I lined it up incorrectly on my right sleeve, so I’d be more careful there.

I made an effort to do better at pattern matching this time. It went okay, but I still need practice. When I was discussing this shirt with my friends Laura and Ysolda at Rhinebeck they gave me the best advice on pattern matching the pockets – leave them off! It made me laugh but also turned out to be a great styling choice for this version.

I used rayon thread based on the advice in an article I read earlier this year when I wanted to learn about sewing with rayon. It sewed beautifully. It has a lot of shine, so make sure your topstitching is on point because it will stand out, even if you color match it to your fabric perfectly.

My biggest triumph in sewing this shirt is that I fixed how my machine sews buttonholes. I kept getting an error with my buttonhole foot when I sewed my last Archer and fiddled my way through grumpily. I ordered another buttonhole foot after that and was so sad when I realized it didn’t solve the problem. After going down the rabbit hole of googling for sewing machine repair manuals I did that thing you’re never supposed to do: get out a screwdriver and take apart the inside of my machine. Thankfully it worked and with my working buttonhole foot and new button foot finishing up the shirt was a breeze.

Have you ever done any ill-advised repairs on your sewing machine? How have they worked out? Let me know!

5 thoughts on “FO Friday: Rayon Archer

  1. My machine is so BASIC and mechanical, that I wouldn’t be afraid to take it apart if I needed to… thankfully, the need hasn’t arisen yet. this blouse is perfect. I love the vent in the back and the shirttail hem.

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    1. Yes, luckily my issue was with a screw needing to be adjusted and I felt confident I could do that and not damage my machine. Thanks for the compliments! I love that hem, too!

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  2. That looks GREAT! Congratulations; it’s a very pretty shirt and obviously very well made.
    As for tackling your sewing machine…good for you. Now me? I wouldn’t do it, but then my machine is one of those electronic combination sewing/embroidery machines that makes me itch to so much as turn it on. Applause for your courage, and congratulations that it WORKED!

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    1. Thank you. It feels amazing that this is within my sewing abilities now. I am glad the pattern author includes such detailed directions to put it within my abilities.
      Oh, I bet you love your machine, it sounds lovely. I understand why you’d be wary to go at it with a screwdriver, though!

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      1. (grin) I have been sewing since I was eight, and got pretty good at it, too, using my Mom’s old Singer-that-could-have-been-made-a-treadle-in-case-of-a-power-outage. Made my own skirts and tops…and then I took a ‘Home Economics" course in junior high (yeah, I’m old. Sue me…). That teacher made me do it HER way. All the way. I couldn’t do it! That thing was a cap sleeve monstrosity that had one sleeve higher than the other one…and that’s hard to DO when there aren’t any, y’know, actual SLEEVES.
        I asked her if I could choose another item to wear in the ‘fashion show’ at the end of the class, and she said sure–as long as I had a letter from two people assuring her that I had done all the work. Erked me considerably…so I made a blouse with puffed sleeves, peter-pan collar and a full skirt with a poodle applique on it, complete with chain and VERY full petticoat.
        I still only got a "C" because I didn’t do it ‘her way." I have NEVER done it ‘her way…’ and yes, I love my machine. Now I can embroider the poodle directly on the skirt and don’t have to applique it. I think I have a niece somewhere who needs a Halloween costume next year….
        I love it when people get adventurous, and do great work, and are willing to share when they do!

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