Phew, finally a non-jersey and non-stashbust make! For this month’s Minerva project, I picked a beautiful peacock-feather printed navy satin to make my first Grainline Archer shirt. (Weirdly my next three upcoming Minerva makes are all varying shades of blue, but unlike the last three months this is the only patterned one.) This satin has a lovely sheen and handle but sewing with it was a new challenge, especially for a shirt. It’s super slippery and slid off-grain at any oppurtunity. Luckily I’d read a tip to cut such fabrics through a layer of tissue paper or newspaper, and this made it much more manageable. I also used thin silk pins to avoid marking the delicate fabric. The pieces were much easier to deal with once interfaced, and a liberal helping of Aqua Glue was my saviour whilst sewing the button placket and collar.
The Archer pattern itself was a breeze. It probably helped that I’ve made two shirts for Josh already so the construction steps were very familiar to me. I also cut some big corners by leaving off the pockets and sleeve plackets/cuffs; I just couldn’t imagine getting them remotely accurate in the satin without having a nervous breakdown.
Instead I went for an above-elbow length sleeve with a deep cuff to try and mimic the look of the sleeves being rolled-up (how I always wear a long-sleeved shirt anyway). I like how this gives the silky shirt a more laid-back look – almost like that dressy-pyjama trend of last year – and it’s easier to layer up with a cardigan which is pretty essential in February. I tried to do that two-by-two button effect but my spacing’s a bit off, they just look a bit uneven.
The size I picked was pretty perfect out of the box and I love the dipped back hem: I want to try the ruffled variation sometime too. I’m glad I persevered with the fabric as I love the final shirt and it’s seen a few wears already.
As ever, you can buy the kit for this make – containing fabric, thread, buttons and interfacing – for just £18 from Minerva here.