Thursday, January 28, 2016

Still in Time for Winter

I've been wanting a plaid flannel Archer ever since I made my first Archer almost two years ago. What took me so long?

Partly it was hunting for the right fabric. Most of the flannel in the world looks to be intended for pajamas for tiny tots. I had a heck of a time finding something that didn't involve yellow duckies or mermaids or Jedi.

I finally found this fabric in Irvine while visiting my son last year. He very sweetly took me to his local Jo Anne's and patiently waited while I selected a couple of pieces of flannel and then stood in a ginormous line to have them cut. Twenty-five years ago he would have gotten a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle out of the deal. Poor kid, this time all he got was a grateful mother's thanks.

This isn't the best quality flannel, but it is dense and warm as toast.

It took me another year to move from inspiration to finished product because: plaid. I got some extra fabric because I knew I'd have to figure out some pattern matching. I think I got three yards and it was just about enough.

I don't think it ended up too bad. I did the button band, cuffs and back yoke on the bias to save myself some headaches. I kind of knew I should cut the thing out in a single layer to make sure my plaid would line up just right, but I couldn't make myself do it. Sure enough, it was the pieces cut on the fold that screwed me over. They were off by just a squidge, but it was enough to make my eye twitch. I did end up recutting the collar in a single layer so that the pattern matching right by my face was more even.

Not the pleat the pattern asked for, but needs must when the devil drives
And I fudged the back by taking two little knife pleats rather than the box pleat the pattern asks for. I hope that makes it a little less obvious that that central line of plaid isn't really quite central after all.

Cuff detail

The only modification I made from Archer #1 was to shorten the sleeves one inch. Now they feel juuust right. I used the angled cuffs again. I think that's such a cute feature.

Practice must really make perfect because I didn't have many issues sewing the shirt up this time around. I did have to re-cut the upper collar. And I did fuse the interfacing to my press cloth rather than the pattern pieces. Twice. And I'm still not sure I understand how to work that bias band on the sleeve slit, but my fabric was so beefy I had trouble jamming the things under the presser foot so maybe I couldn't have done much better. I was really worried about my machine being able to punch through all those layers to put in the button holes, but my Babylock came through like a champ.

So glad I got this made up while we're still slogging through our damp and chilly El Nino winter. Though here in California, all rain is good rain and we'll take what we can get.

My pattern review is on here.


  1. Very nicely done! Enjoy your snugly shirt!

  2. Yes, we are grateful for the rain and can use even more! I always enjoy visiting here; you do such excellent work and you are most inspiring. Thanks again for another winner.

  3. That looks an excellent, warm and snuggly shirt. I love the wristband details. And what a nice son, to take you fabric shopping! He must have appreciated the teenage mutant ninja turtle pyjamas! TS

  4. This is a beautiful shirt! And your sewing is impeccable. Like you, I found some nice plaid flannels at JoAnns. Go figure!

  5. You can't beat a toasty flanno (as we call them here in Oz) in winter! This pattern looks great in a plaid.
    "All rain is good rain" - yep, we'll take that for a motto, too.

  6. Great job on plaid matching! Your shirt looks great and flannel makes it even better!