It’s no secret I love my Grainline Archer Shirts (I think I am upto 6 so far….you can search for them using the search facility on the right hand side of my blog), but I fancied trying a new, more fitted shape, and bought Butterick 5526 in the recent 50% off sale. Before I talk about the shirt, let me mention the trousers. These are my second pair of Simplicity 1167 (first pair can be seen here). I really like the first pair I made, and having spent some amount of time fitting them I decided I wanted to make a second pair from some olive stretch cotton sateen but in a longer length.
Verdict: love them. On Instagram I mentioned I had a bit of a nightmare making these trousers (you can also see a shot of the guts inside the trousers from the Instagram link – I bound the waistband seam on these). They were, after all, supposed to be a simple sew with no modifications from the first pair. But I messed up my zipper shield and my welt pockets are not perfect (again), although I have now figured out what I am doing wrong. Nonetheless, I do really, really like these trousers. Or maybe it’s just the novelty of wearing trousers that fit me after a very long time? I think you might see another pair of these trousers at some point.
On to the shirt. BTW, in case you weren’t aware, this month is shirt making month over on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog. I didn’t plan for my shirt to coincide with their shirt making series, but it is full of useful resources on shirt making techniques, as well as lots of shirt patterns to consider.
Check out my full review below but there are a couple of things I wanted to mention. First of all, the sleeves. I found there was a lot of ease in the sleeve caps. Which has resulted in a puffy effect and I think is causing the vertical drag lines that you can see in the middle picture above (sleeve fitting experts please chime in). I measured the armhole on this pattern (for reference my shirt is a straight size 18), and it measured as 19.25 inches. I then measured the sleeve cap and it measured as 23.25 inches: that’s 4 inches – 4 inches! of ease. In this tutorial, Sallie says that the sleeve cap should be 1.25 – 1.75 inches larger than the bodice armhole. So I have gone ahead and removed 2 inches from the sleeve cap on my pattern ready for next time.
Secondly, I think I messed up on my button placement. It doesn’t look that apparent from these photographs, but the button at the bust point and the one below kept popping open. So I have gone back and added in two press studs. I don’t think it is a size issue. For my next version I will alter the button hole placement (on this version I went with the pattern placement).
Some inside shots. I went ahead and added a yoke to the back piece because it makes finishing the shoulder seams much easier and neater IMO (I like to use the burrito method to finish). I also flat fell seamed all the other seams, including the princess seams and the sleeve shoulder seams. With the afore mentioned amount of ease in the sleeves this wasn’t easy but hopefully on the next version it will be smoother.
Fitted shirts A, B, C, D, E have collar band, shaped hemline, three-quarter or long sleeves with pleats, button-down placket, button cuffs, front-button closing, topstitch trim and narrow hem. A: Button trim on pleated pockets, long, rolled sleeves (wrong side shows) and button tabs. C: Tunic-length. A, B, C: Mock-front bands. A, B, C, D: Collar. D, E: Front bands and princess seams. E: Ruffles and stand-up collar
I made view D with full length sleeeves.
6 – 22
I cut a straight size 18.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t really use them, prefering to rely on my own shirt making methods.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the princess seams for a more fitted look. I am happy with the fit through the back of the shirt. I dislike the amount of ease in the sleeves. I measured the armhole on this pattern (for reference my shirt is a straight size 18), and it measured as 19.25 inches. I then measured the sleeve cap and it measured as 23.25 inches: that’s 4 inches of ease. I read that a sleeve cap should be 1.25 – 1.75 inches larger than the bodice armhole so I have removed 2 inches of ease from the pattern for next time.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- Lowered bust point by 0.5 inches.
- 1 inch full bust adjustment.
- 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to hems.
- Added 0.5 inch to side back seams at high hip.
- Added 5/8ths inch to length at hem.
- Modified back piece to include yoke. I cut two yokes and attached them using the burrito method to conceal the shoulder seams.
- Removed 3.5 inches from length of sleeves.
- I found the sleeve measurements to be quite generous and there was no need to do a full arm adjustment, although this could also be because I have lost some width from my arms.
- Only interfaced half of the cuff and button band.
- Flat felled all seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It’s nice to have an alternative shirt pattern with a more fitted look. If I can sort the sleeve issue (and I also want to adjust the button placement for next time), I could see this becoming a TNT shirt pattern. I do recommend, but with the warning that to make any garment which is close fitting to the body expect to do some fitting alterations.
I really want one in a check plaid. How would you tackle checks and those princess seams?
Have a great week ahead. Back soon!