Monday, December 16, 2013

archer appreciation pt. 5

I made this Archer before I even knew December was Archer Appreciation Month. Yeah, I've been that behind on blog reading and that sugar-high on pumpkin pie lately. But since I pull out this pattern every month or two when I realize I have hardly anything else to wear on Casual Friday, the chances were good that I would accidentally stumble my way into this bloggy sew-along led by power duo Rochelle and Erin.

This is my fifth time making the Archer shirt by Grainline Studio. If you know me in real life, you've most certainly seen me wear this stripey version. A lot. It's my favorite so far, because the fabric is made from rayon, which I lurv. I think this pattern is well-suited for crisp shirting fabrics like cotton (see Amy's), linen (see Lori's) and flannel (see Lauren's), but also works in more fluid fabrics like rayon, chiffon or silk (see Jen's, Lizzy's, or Stevie's). It means my collar stand doesn't actually stand up and the collar won't roll to save its life, but the general style of this pattern is pretty relaxed anyway so I'm fine with the pancake collar.

Sewing a button-down shirt with vertical stripes makes it laughably easy to neatly cut and sew those button plackets and line up buttonholes. Okay, maybe not laughably easy. The only time I "laugh" when making buttonholes is in maniacal rage after ripping them out for the thousandth time. But as I recall, I had no such issue with this shirt. 

I changed nothing about the pattern except lengthening it to cover my bum and omitting the cuffs because I always wear my sleeves rolled up. Always! From the looks of it, I should have added another button on the bottom, but, uh, I've gained some weight recently (see: pumpkin pie) so I don't think the shirt would close at my hips anyway. Ouch, that hurts to admit. 

I haven't really seen too many striped Archers around, so I'm glad I'm contributing unique content to the world even though I feel like I'm constantly blogging about this pattern. I love playing with stripes but didn't want to make it too dizzying in this case, so I only added one feature with horizontal stripes. I guess it's effective because people are always like, "I like your pocket" and I'm like, "Aw shucks."

There's not much left to say that hasn't already been said about this pattern. If you still haven't made an Archer shirt for yourself, December is the time to do it... when you're not too busy sitting in traffic in the mall parking lot or whatever. ~ 'TiS tHe SeAsOn ~ 

Jen, Grainline Studio's fearless head honcho, did a full sew-along for this shirt awhile ago, so check out those posts (in reverse order) here. And if you want to get neater results on your collar stand, check out my own tutorial about that here. I've loved hearing success stories from those who tried it out! 

Read more about #archerappreciation here or here.

In knitting news, I've finished a hat (that I've already lost, dear god), cowl and sweater since I took my beginner knitting class. If you live in Philadelphia and are interested in learning the basics and more, I'd definitely recommend the beginner knitting class at Rosie's Yarn Cellar in center city. It's a six week class and we learned how to cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, knit in the round, use double-pointed needles, cable, read patterns and charts, bind off, and -- most importantly -- fix most of our mistakes. We got to use the beautiful yarns in their shop to work on a ribbed hat and cabled fingerless mitts. I do feel like I can tackle a lot of patterns out there now.

The pattern above is Lara's Cowl in bulky Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn (from Joann's, not Rosie's, gah). Quick, easy and warm. I wear this cowl because the color complements my plum coat as well as my navy Minoru jacket.

Duh, this is the Owls Sweater by Kate Davies. I've finished it since I took this photo but I honestly don't really like it because of the high crew neck, bulky shoulders and the super fuzzy roving yarn I chose. And after blocking the sweater, the yarn now seriously smells like a sheep's ass. So, it makes me look like an adorable owl-clad linebacker who smells like I slept in a barn all night. Such a bummer.

How's your December making going?