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!