Grainline Archer refashioned

Unless my memory fails me, this was the second Grainline Archer I ever made. I think I ended up getting the fit right on my third try. I still wore the original version of this shirt, but it’s become way too tight across my shoulders since my return to the pool.

It was time to put this shirt to better use. I was lucky enough to have a decent sized remnant of the original fabric in my stash which meant I could go to town with my flounces. As beautiful as they are, flounces are very big fabric hogs!

I wish I took photos of my refashion during the process. I didn’t. However, I’ve drawn a few diagrams to help. It wasn’t a complicated refashion. I started by cutting off the sleeves of the shirt. Then I pencilled my intended seam on the remainder of the shirt. The diagram below shows the new seam I created. The front seam is red (on the front shirt pieces) and the back seam is green (imagine it on the back shirt pieces). Both are connected at the shoulder seam. I wanted the diagonal seam to be wider at the shoulder yoke seams and more medially placed towards the shirt hem. I brought the seam closest to the CF in the front of the shirt. The scariest bit was cutting along this seam and keeping both sides exactly even! After cutting, I then had three shirt pieces that I needed to stitch back together, taking into account the new seam allowances that would be eating into my shirt size!

For the flounce, I simply measured the entire length of the new seam and used that as a reference for the curved edge of a flounce. A flounce pattern piece is basically a big circle. I made mine a bit wider at the centre point (the area covering the shoulders). I also added an extra four inches (approx.) to the length of my flounce as I knew I wanted to add a couple of pleats over the shoulder region. The diagram below is an approximate representation of my flounce piece. Imagine it trued and smooth in real life!

I faced the flounce with self-bias-binding before I sandwiched it between the pieces of shirt. And once the flounce was attached and the shirt was in one piece again, I tried it on. I used 1cm seam allowances with my new seam so I knew that I lost exactly 8cm in shirt girth by inserting the flounce (2cm on each front and back seam). To compensate this, I decided to add contrast white panels down the sides of the shirt. This alteration in turn, would eat up another 2cm on each side of the shirt. So, I measured 8cm wide panel pieces to attach to the sides. The panel width is 6cm (incl. 2cm of seam allowances). These side panels returned the shirt to the same shirt-fit as before. I then bound the armscye and hemmed the bottom a little straighter and shorter than before.

I’m not joking when I say that this is my new favourite skirt. I’ve already worn it a lot. It pairs beautifully with skirts for an elegant evening look. But I also love it with jeans when I’m aiming for polished casual.

A Spring romper three ways

I really, really love fashion. I love designing. I love making. I love forcasting new trends. And I especially love dressing up. My preference is to wear my own handmade clothes, but I’m not averse to mixing it up with a little RTW, which is why I was happy to partner with Tobi.com recently and spend a little time playing around with some of their styles.

There’s something to be said for keeping aquainted with ready-to-wear clothes. In the bubble of home-sewing, it can be easy to fall into a rut when it comes to exploring different construction techniques and design features. I know this is something that I’m very aware of with my sewing. I get some of my best ideas and sewing inspiration from RTW.

I’m not saying that this little TOBI romper is particularly unique, but it is super cute! I’ve made several playsuits and rompers in the past, including my all-time favourite silk version. However, a few great details attracted me to this one. I love the diagonal (very slightly flared) inset on the base of the shorts. It creates a very flattering shorts shape, without adding unneccesary volume to the hips. It’s a design feature that I’m keen to try out on a pair of shorts myself this Summer.

I was also intrigued by how the front of this romper was put together and how the extremely low neckline would work in real life. Leaving the neckline open (as designed) is an extremely sexy look. Twenty-something-Debbie would have rocked this look, but current-Debbie needed a little fix. I added a small hook and eye above the front tie to close the neckline a bit and it works perfectly for me now!

I think this little romper looks great on its own, especially when paired with a subtle nude heel. However, I love it even more when I add my own personal touch. You can’t go wrong with a pop of colour on a cool Spring evening. I made this wool crepe trench a while back by modifying a vintage pattern. It has been the perfect transeasonal coat for me.

And for my final look, I paired the romper with my favourite vintage, leather skirt. The romper fabric is a lovely, silky rayon, so it’s smooth enough to layer with a skirt. I’d wear this look to work. Whoever knew a little old romper could be so versatile!

Disclaimer: I was sent the TOBI romper and shoes for free in exchange for creating a blog post. All content and opinions are my own.