Grainline Archer in Yarn-Dyed Voile

Like the fabric for my Seamwork Jane dress, I had my eye on this yarn-dyed voile for a while before I bought it. I knew right when I saw it that I wanted to make a Grainline Studio Archer shirt that played with the stripe direction in the different elements.

First, a bit about this fabric. It’s an amazingly light and slightly sheer 100% cotton voile. It must have been a designer end because it was only $9/yard, when usually voiles of this quality are $13+. I love that it’s yarn-dyed, which means that the stripe pattern comes from how it’s woven, not from printing. This makes cutting on grain a lot easier!

I had been wanting to try the Archer shirt pattern for a little while because I really like wearing slightly boxy and oversized button down shirts over leggings. I thought in this fabric it could be easily dressed up or down and would be a nice light sun cover in the summer.

I did a bunch of Archer googling before deciding on the size to cut out. It seemed like a lot of people had problems with the sleeves being too long and I didn’t see any versions where the cuffs sat how I would like them. I kind of hate any sleeves that go over my hands, so I decided to shorten them by 2″ and grade to a size 4 in the sleeve and cuff. I cut a size 8 for the body, which is pretty much exactly my size. I find that Grainline’s sizing is a bit on the large side, so I figured the 8 would be perfectly oversized.

The final modification I made was to change the cuffs to have tower plackets. I used this tutorial, which I found immensely helpful and now I love tower plackets! I was so pleased with how these came out with all the different stripes.

All the stripe directions!

Except…the sleeves and cuffs are still too freaking big! I’m pretty mad, because now I will never ever wear this shirt without the sleeves rolled up. Which means those pretty tower plackets will never show! I don’t think of myself as having short arms, but I guess I do? Or Grainline thinks people have really long arms? Next time I would shorten by another two or three inches and grade to a 0 at the cuff. And if I want a non-oversized shirt I would maybe have to make a 4, judging by how oversized the collar and shoulders are too. I don’t know how actually small people make Grainline patterns! And actually, these pictures were taken after this shirt accidentally went through the dryer, so it was originally even a big larger!

Despite all this, I really like this shirt. It was great to have while traveling as my slightly “nicer” dinner wear and it might be one of my more RTW-looking makes. I like how sheer and floaty this fabric is and because I French seamed the inside and burrito-ed the yoke, the guts are rather pretty too. And eventually I’ll get the fit right and have a shirt with sleeves that end snugly at my wrist bone.

I feel like a common theme of my blog posts is “I’m disappointed, but I still like the result!” which I think is pretty apt for how most of my sewing goes. It’s often a struggle, but usually in the end I’m still pretty happy with how things come out because of the time and care I’ve put into them. Do you ever feel the same way?

Tell me what you think!