The beginnings of a Grainline Archer

The beginnings of a Grainline Archer

I've had my eye on this Prada shirt for a while, I think its absolutely gorgeous...

and as I downloaded the Archer pdf almost a year ago, I thought it was time to finally use it, as I just kept hearing such great things about it.

I've made a couple of muslins this week, and the fit is really very good right from the initial draft, but because I am planning on using unstructured lace for the body, and as I want to be able to wear this shirt both with jeans and for dressier occasions,  its been a little trickier getting the silhouette I have in mind.

I've been working towards removing all the excess (including the back pleat) while increasing the upper back width to compensate, as I personally think there is nothing worse in a lace garment than to much detail in the design...

I've also increased the stand and collar slightly and tapered in the sleeves for a closer but still loose fit, as well as lengthening the body by 2" and exaggerating the curved hem, so I can tuck the shirt in for a formal fit and leave it out for weekend wearing.

and so this week,  I am going to make a wearable muslin using a lovely cotton lace from Mood that I must have bought years that I can experiment with which techniques will work best.

As, I want to make this shirt by hand if it's at all possible, hand stitched seams, hand over cast my ultimate aim is to use my Sophie Hallett lace I bought in Paris to make a handmade Couture shirt....and I have absolutely no intention of cutting into that or any other $$ lace until the wearable muslin is perfect!!




After I declared my intention of making pants all year, I went through all the patterns I have picked and realised that each and everyone will have its own very different set of fit issues..

and I lost momentum,  as I realised that I have no desire to spend the first six months of this year trying to fit myself, especially after the experience of my last dress.

But, then I remembered a recent email from Kenneth King where he announced that after some classes Norma and I took with him last year, he had decided to offer more of the Sit and Sew - buddy edition format at his studio in NYC, which we had loved.

and so I emailed him, and asked if he would consider me booking him for a day, so that I could bring a number of pre-made pants muslins for fitting and fit discussion and have a set of his famous slopers made..

and of course,  because he is simply lovely, he immediately said yes.

So, we are all set for the second week in February, which means I also need to be making at least one trouser muslin a week, in as many different styles as possible to take with me.

and because pants are part of this years blog plan, I asked if he would mind me sharing what I learnt over a few posts and he is absolutely fine with hopefully this will be useful to lots of us!!



The Black House - Peter May.   I've lost sleep this week reading until late into the night, I absolutely loved this.  My Grandmother was as Scottish as they come, and so I have very fond memories of Edinburgh and Glasgow...but of The Outer Hebrides... no knowledge at all.

This is a mystery with historical culture and traditions woven in, beautifully done, easy to read, and highly recommended.


and that's about it for this week... 

I'm off to make some pants muslins, a lace cotton shirt ......

as well as some more sewing with my youngest, who has decided she wants to make skirts.... she does make me laugh as she starts off full of enthusiasm and within a hour :-(

and as I finally cleaned my sewing room (look how squeaky clean it is!!) I thought I'd share, as I get asked often where I sew...

We live in a (almost!) converted barn which has become a labor of love over the last three years, and are slowly slowly renovating it, this room is at the back of the house, away from almost everything and was part of the original 120 year old barn (the wall of windows were the doors) and was used for many years as the family room we think as they added a fireplace, while the previous owners used it as a makeshift study/office.

but now with good lights (there is no sub-floor above, so everything had to be mounted)  a deep cream paint and updated windows and doors, its one of my favorite rooms ever.  I love being in here...with the dogs under the table and the kids wandering in and out.

Have a great week everyone!

Back Monday,

Leisa :-)

Grainline Archer Lace Test...

Grainline Archer Lace Test...

Shopping in Paris for fabric and notions...

Shopping in Paris for fabric and notions...