The weather has been so strange this year but it is officially Winter now. A couple of weeks ago I finished up my Grainline Archer which has already gotten a ton of wear.
I shortened the arms by 1/2 inch. I also cut a size zero at the top and graded out to a size six at the hips. I could have taken out some length in the torso but I wanted to wear it with leggings so I decided to leave it a little longer than I normally would have.
The problems started with cutting. I was attempting to follow the instructions on matching plaids on the Grainline blog but it was a huge struggle. I figure out that this was because my fabric was off grain. I attempted to fix this by pulling the fabric back in to place but it only sort of worked.
I cut the pockets, front button band, cuffs and outer yoke on the bias. This was primarily to reduce the amount of plaid matching that I would have to do. When I did have to match plaids I used many pins and the walking foot on my sewing machine.
I spent a lot of time finishing my seams. I chose to use flat felled seams – which ended up looking nice. For the sleeve cap I followed Handmade by Carolyn’s blog post on flat-felling a curved seam. That worked out pretty well but I spent a lot of time ironing and pinning. Then for the side/sleeve seams I wasn’t sure how to go about flat-felling with all the sleeve. I wasn’t confident that it would be possible to sew the entire shirt sleeve without catching sleeve fabric. I found Sew Much Fashion’s post about flat felling sleeves which basically just said to bunch it up in to a nest and only sew 2 inches at a time. So I went for it! The first sleeve was a huge struggle – to the point where I went back and re-read the blog post because I just didn’t think it was possible. I finally, slowly,finished the sleeve. For the second sleeve I switched from my walking foot to my regular foot and it went a lot more smoothly. When I was sewing the first sleeve the fabric wasn’t moving through the machine. It was getting stuck on the bulky walking foot and the walking foot wasn’t pushing the fabric through. Lesson learned – don’t use a walking foot when flat felling your seams.