The Summer of Basics fun continues with my modified Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio! Karen also made an Archer for one of her SoB projects, and the pattern is incredibly popular among the sewing community. With all of the amazing versions on Instagram, it is not hard to see why.
This isn’t my first Archer, but it is definitely my most successful and will be my most worn. The fabric is a classic button up fabric, Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Denim. It has a nice weight to it, and I’m really looking forward to wearing it in and seeing how it ages and softens up.
As with my Birch Bay, I made some modifications to my Archer. The biggest (and most obvious) is the woven back yoke. I originally started with finished strips that were 1/2″ wide once finished, but their small size made for both an incredibly time consuming process and much too heavy and stiff finished woven fabric. I ended up switching to 1″ wide strips and also stopped turning the pieces inside out, instead just ironing the seam to the back, which reduced the whole process by at least 10 hours.
Once the woven portion was complete, I basted around the edges, and then followed the instructions in the sew-along for the burrito method (a must do on any yoke!) to attach the yoke to the shirt back. Once the yoke and back were assembled, I then basted the outer yoke to the inside yoke, and trimmed the edges so that it was one solid piece. It was a little finicky, but well worth the effort. The back yoke is still a little heavy – it is 4 layers of fabric total instead of just 1 of a “typical” yoke, and you can see it pulling a little bit at the shoulders due to the weight differences, but I think the chambray is going to wash and wear well and it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly heavy or stiff.
I also made a few other really small changes – nothing too major, just personal preferences. I love the look of the tower placket as featured on the Archer Popover, so I did that here instead of the continuous sleeve placket that is in the original pattern, and I also added bust darts from the Alder Shirtdress pattern to give it a little bit more shape.
For this Archer, I sewed a straight size 8 and am really happy with the fit. As mentioned above, it pulls ever so slightly at the back shoulder, but I do think this is due a bit to the weight of the yoke. I definitely plan on cutting out a flannel one in the next few weeks, so as soon as I sew that up, I’ll be able to see if the pulling really is an issue that needs to be tweaked.
I also used the button foot on my machine for the first time and it was magic! Pure magic! Since I picked 4-hole buttons, there were a bunch of ends to tie up and weave in, but the time that took was nothing compared to the time I would have spent hand sewing them on. Time is of the essence with my life right now (surely I’ll have more than 15 minutes a night to myself when I am fully awake enough to use sharp needles and scissors one day ….right?) and this little time saver is a definite win.