Are you loving the Archers that are showing up around the traps for Archer Appreciation Month? Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all the details on Rochelle’s blog over at Lucky Lucille, or on Erin’s Miss Crayola Creepy blog, or of course, on Jen’s Grainline Studio blog. OK. Now that I’d worked through my first Archer, I was ready for a second go at it, and wanted to be able to share a “good” shirt for #archerappreciation month. I’d seen a gorgeous J. Crew shirt made using 3 different Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics…
and I was so smitten with how it looked, that I spent a bit of time going through my stash looking for the possible fabric combos to make one just like that. Here’s what I came up with, my Butterfly Archer shirt. I’d been saving that piece of Alexander Henry Fulham Road Eton Butterflies in cream for ages, waiting for just the right pattern. I squealed when I realized it would be perfect for this shirt. I’m so delighted with how it came out. I wear it every opportunity I get, and when I look down at my sleeves, or catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or glass, I feel so happy and proud. This shirt came out exactly how I wanted, and with virtually no mistakes or bits I’d rather you wouldn’t see. Know what I mean?
I used Alexander Henry’s Eton Butterflies voile for the front and back pieces, as well as for the undercollar.
The beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn Hera in pink for the button band, cuffs & plackets, upper collar, and yoke, purchased at Odette (a.k.a. Patchwork on Central Park)
Alexander Henry’s Fulham Road Blue Bell for the sleeves and collar stand
Did I mention that I love button-down shirts???
I picked up some pretty pink shell buttons from Tessuti in Melbourne
How pretty does that collar look!
Again, like with my first Archer, I chose the angled cuffs.
My pretty yoke. Ah! Could I tell a story about that! Tip: when ripping out a seam you’re not happy with, don’t do it when you’re angry with yourself, and be careful how far your rip goes! ie. down the newly attached, beautifully finished and topstitched yoke is too far!!! Luckily, a bit of fancy footwork on the machine with carefully placed scraps managed to hide the blunder pretty well, don’t you think?
It feels so good on. I love it. I don’t want to take it off. Ever.
I’m already planning my next Archer. Either a chambray, or linen. Or possibly a white batiste. I guess I could do all three, yes? Helene xo
I feel rather embarrassed that I haven’t posted since before I attended The Craft Sessions - over two months ago! I’d fully intended to write all about it immediately after the weekend, to share with you just how amazing it was. But I want to share my Grainline Studio Archer shirts I’ve made first, before December is gone. It’s already the 30th! Nothing like leaving it to the very last minute!!! Anyway, I’ve started a whole “nother” post about the Craft Sessions, and I promise I’ll get to it in the next couple of days and share with you just how ridiculously good that weekend was, but for now, I’m so excited to blog about this…
This fabulous blogging event is collaboration brainchild of the fabulous Rochelle of Lucky Lucille, the wonderful Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy, and of course, the inimitable Jen from Grainline Studio. I had decided way back when I’d first seen the Archer that I’d sew myself up a few gazillion of them. I have always loved a good button-down shirt, and for some reason, the past few
years decades have not seen many – if any at all – in my wardrobe. So, pretty much as soon as I’d returned from The Craft Sessions, where I’d restored my sewing confidence enough to fire up my brand new Husqvarna Opal 670 and, with my foot firmly planted on that pedal, I floored it, sewing my first shirt in, like I said, decades! I can’t tell you how happy I was, finally, to be sewing again.
My darling daughter Sarah had brought home some fabric from Mood that I just had to have, including a superbly light-as-air Marc Jacobs voile. This became my first Archer shirt, a very “wearable toile”.
I followed Jen’s easy-to-follow tutorial. Even though the instructions that come with the pattern are great, there’s nothing like and audio/visual!
Look how the pattern matches up across the button tab!
Looking sharp on the dress form
Once I’d sewn on the button band and pockets, I just stood back admiring my pattern-matching feat for ages! Couldn’t believe I’d done such a good job, after all these years away from sewing!
Love the instructions for sewing on the yoke on the video! Jen’s a genius!
I’d followed the button placement exactly from the pattern, but it was a little off, leaving a bit of a gaping problem when I wear it. Fortunately, it’s not too bad, especially if I wear a singlet or cami or tank top underneath
I just love the design of the cuffs! I took a whopping 4 inches off the length of the sleeves for this shirt, and the cuffs sit just shy of the wrist bone. Nice for a light summer shirt, but I wouldn’t take that much off again.
Love the collar construction! Having a separated collar stand has the collar sit beautifully.
Tomorrow I’ll post about my second Archer, one I adore wearing, one I’m quite proud of.
I’m so excited! In a few day’s time, I’ll be attending The Craft Sessions weekend workshop in the beautiful Yarra Valley! I’m signed up for both Saturday and Sunday classes with the fabulous Sophie Parslow who writes a great blog called Cirque du Bébé.
Wiksten Tank – line drawing
On Saturday, she’ll be teaching us the ins and outs of making the Wiksten Tank. I probably could sew the Wiksten Tank on my own, in fact I know I can, but I picked this class to learn how to do a really nice rolled hem “worth bragging about”, as Sophie promises. Somehow I’ve lost a little confidence as a dressmaker, and I’m looking forward to the kick-start this weekend will give me.
Sunday will be equally amazing – we’ll be learning all about sewing with knits. I never had the courage to try sewing with knits on my 37-year-old Husqvarna, so I’m really looking forward to this one, learning how to use my new Husqvarna on knits. Hopefully my grandson will end up with a fabulous little Figgy’s Banyan t-shirt. Do you read Sophie’s blog? If not, you really must! She’s such an inspiration to me and so many others. I can’t wait to meet her at the weekend!!!
You know, I do keep wishing there was at least one more day of classes available, just so I could also do the half-day embroidery class with Melissa Wastney from the gorgeous blog Tiny Happy. I love to embroider, as you can tell with this and this quilt, this coverlet, and this pillow case, and I’m always wanting to learn more. I also would have loved to do the block printing on fabric half-day class with Leslie Keating of the truly inspiring blog, Maze & Vale. Not to mention the indigo blue dyeing class, and…. well, you see what I mean. Do you think I had a little difficulty making up my mind about what to sigh up for? You bet I did! So many great instructors and great classes! Oh well, next time I guess.
So now I’m dealing with having to decide which fabric to use for my Wiksten Tank top class. Here are my options. Which would you choose?
No.9 – Denyse Schmidt – Greenfield Hill Mrs Aster in Cranberry
No.4 – Valori Wells – Wish Voile – Andy in Dream
No.5 – Silk crepe de chine
No.6 – Anna Maria Horner Little Folk – voile – Coloring Gardin in Citrus
No.7 – Alexander Henry Fulham Road – Martine in aqua
No.3 – Valori Wells – Wish Voile – Andy in Grace
No.2 – Liberty Tana Lawn – unknown
No.1 – Liberty Tana Lawn – Mitsi
No.8 – Denyse Schmidt – Greenfield Hill Mrs Aster in Blueberry
I hope to be tweeting/instagramming/blogging (maybe) throughout the weekend. I hope you’ll follow me.
My weight, that is. I’m on the (hopefully) last phase of my detox diet, and, in somewhere between four and five weeks’ time, I’ll be done. Woohoo! When I lose all the remaining weight and reach my target, it’ll put me in a size 8, the size I wore when I got married. Wanna see?
I’m 21, he’s 24
How cute a couple were we! And how pretty is my Norma Tullo dress! It’s not that long ago. Only 36 years. Anyway, before I get too carried away with thinking those thoughts that’ll invariably lead me down a dark and gloomy path as I contemplate the passage of time and of my life, that’s what I’m aiming for. For the size I was then, not the actual weight. That might be at least a kilo or two more (read: up to 8 kilos more!), since I am just a smidgen older. All my 5 foot nothing (152.4 cm) height weighed was an itty bitty 48 kilos on my wedding day! Shame you can’t see my tiny little waistline in those photos that my beautiful white tulips are hiding.
I still have my dress of course, and the last time I was my ideal little self was in 2008, before the stressful years of my late father’s cancer, before Moshe’s kidney cancer, before my surgeries on my shoulder and foot. I’d tried on the dress, and it was only the eensiest bit tight across my chest. I could do up the zipper at the back, which was amazing. It didn’t look half bad! I really do have a small frame, which is why when I carry excess weight, no-one realizes just how much extra I’m carrying.
It’s only a matter of weeks now, somewhere around four or five perhaps, and I should be down to that size, and when I am, when I finally get there, oh boy, am I going to start sewing up a storm! I have all my fabrics and patterns on standby. It’s all so exciting. But I realized the other day, it dawned on me that now, with my goal almost nearly in sight, I don’t have any idea where to start. I mean, what I should sew first!
So over the past few days, I’ve begun to create a plan and I’m going to share with you my first cut at it. Since we’ll be smack in the middle of winter, with several good months of cool, if not downright cold, weather still coming our way, I’ll begin with some lovely wintery numbers, then move through to spring, and finally summer. Here’s what I’m thinking.
I want to make a couple of dresses. Possibly even three, but I’ll start with two. Then I’ll want two skirts, with blouses or shirts to wear with them. Also, two pairs of pants, including possibly a pair of jeans. And a few tops to go with. Oh, and then of course there’s my coat. OK, so now, I need to get to the specifics. What fabrics with what patterns. So here’s the beginning of my plan…
1. Vogue Patterns – V1328 Kay Unger
I have a boiled-wool jacket that I love to wear (when I’m small enough to get into it!) The colour is one of my favourites. I love the offset cut of the front pieces, and the pretty embroidery embellishments on the front. I like the way the button draws the jacket in ever so gently across my waist.
The dress fabric is a ponti I bought from Tessuti a couple of months ago, and how great does it look under this jacket! I’m not sure that ponti is really a winter-weight fabric, but I think this can be a fabulous cross-season, pretty much all-year-round dress. I have it in another colour-way, in blue, but they’re all sold out now I think. Might be worth calling the Melbourne shop just in case. I think they may still have some in red, which is to die for.
The pattern is Vogue Patterns V1328 by Kay Unger. I seem to have a lot of her patterns. I really like her designs!
2. Burda - 10/2011 Knit A-line skirt #104
||On another recent trip to Tessuti‘s, Courtney introduced me to the wondrous world of Missoni knits. I’ve always steered clear of knits, convinced that my 38-year-old Husqvarna couldn’t handle it, what with its limited stitch selection. But, thanks to Courtney who spoke so inspiringly and with strong conviction as she showed me the stunning collection, telling me that my little zig-zag stitches would be just fine, I dove in, as I’d fallen head-over-heels in love with this blue beauty. How’s that delicious selvage! I won’t be turning that under! You can take a look at what they have left of this collection in their online shop here. (Also, see below for another Missoni project I’m going to make.) Rather than going with a straight skirt, I think this Burda a-line skirt pattern will be great for this fabric. I prefer more fabric than less with this one, and if I cut cleverly, I could even have enough left over for a scarf! Happily, I have this mag, so I can trace out the pattern.
3. [find a top for the skirt above]
4. Vogue Patterns – V1247 Rachel Comey
||I have loved this little skirt pattern the minute I set eyes on it. It’s Vogue Patterns Rachel Comey V1247 pattern, and I adore the front in-seam pockets! I’ll make it a little longer though. I don’t feel shorty-short skirts are flattering on me anymore.I bought this piece of linen at one of Tessuti‘s amazing sales where you really should just put up a tent and camp out for a few days, because they just keep bringing out new items on sale over the duration, and you never know when the thing you’re going to want most is put out!I have a couple of lovely cotton lawn pieces to make some tops for this fabric.Actually, the lawn tops came first, and I dug around in my stash cupboard looking for something to go with them. This red is perfect, as you’ll see.
5. Vogue Patterns – V8878 tunic
||I love this top! I’ll be able to tuck it into the skirt above, or wear it out. Think they’ll look good together, what do you think?Isn’t this butterfly fabric divine? It’s one I’ve had in my cupboard for a few years now. It was originally destined for a quilt of some kind, but luckily I didn’t get to make it, because I think it’ll be superb as blouse.It’s one of Alexander Henry’s Fulham Road Cotton Lawn range, Eton in Cream. I actually only had one metre of it, but after extensive searching on the internet, I found another metre and snapped it up!
6. [another warmer top for red skirt]
And that’s as far as I’ve gotten to date. It’s late, and I can’t think anymore. I’m off to bed with my iPad to search for more ideas. G’night all.