Completed: Silk Chiffon Archer Button-Up

30 Aug

So I guess we are now officially in that time of the year again – when the shops are screaming FAAAAAALLL (Wool caps! Corduroy bottoms! Pumpkin spice everything!) but our temperatures are still firmly stuck in summertime. While I’m not ridiculous enough to pull on my Ugg boots when it’s still 100 degrees outside (LOL JK I don’t own Uggs hahaha) (but seriously, Ugg-watching in 100 degree weather at the ritzy mall is absolutely my favorite pasttime during these months. Bonus points if they are wearing a wool hat, too.), I still want to at least look the part of the changing seasons, which still complying with the temperatures outside. For me, that means colors and silhouettes that give a nod to fall – but sticking to lighter-weight fabrics so I’m not sweating my arse off.

So anyway , with all that being said – here’s another button-up shirt! HAHA

Silk Chiffon Archer

I used the Archer pattern to make a fall-inspired button-up, but with a twist – instead of the traditional plaid flannel (which I lurrve, but again – HOT!), I used a light and breezy wide silk chiffon from Mood Fabrics for the main, and woven silk crepe de chine for the collar, collar stand, button band, pockets, and bias facings. Mood Fabrics carries tons of colors of both of these fabrics, but I went with boring ol’ basic black. In the future, I might go completely insane and try this with a PLAID silk chiffon. Maybe.

Silk Chiffon Archer

Silk Chiffon Archer

If you are feeling some major dΓ©jΓ  vu about right now, you are absolutely correct – I totally and completely 100% shamelessly ripped off Kendra’s silk Archer from the Grainline blog. I don’t ever think I’ll look as chic as she does, but that doesn’t stop me from trying! πŸ™‚ I followed Jen’s instructions for making the Archer sleeveless (basically shortening the shoulder drop and adding some contour to the back armhole, nothing crazy here) and shortened the length by about 2″. I sewed a size 0, which is what I normally make for this pattern.

Silk Chiffon Archer

While I have made my share of button-ups in tricky fabrics – silk georgette, silk crepe, crazy plaids, and a rayon challis that has yet-to-be-blogged – I did worry a little that this one was going to be a beast to sew. My last experience with chiffon did NOT go well (you didn’t miss anything – this was several years ago), but I think a big part of the problem was the quality of the material I was using (it was pretty cheap poly chiffon). Using a high-quality fabric makes a big difference in the ease of your sewing when it comes to tricky fabrics like this – you know they’re already on-grain (or it’s easy to straighten the grain if you need to) and the natural fiber content means you can actually press them (which, again, makes a world of difference during construction – especially for a pattern like this). With all that being said – I only used a yard of the chiffon to make this sleeveless version, which at $20.99 per yard isn’t really that expensive. I got a yard of the crepe de chine as well, but only used a fraction of that (I use silk bias on everythingggg so I have tons left over for other projects). Even having been made out of silk, it’s fairly economical! And you definitely cannot get a silk button up shirt for less than $50 in retail, at least not new. Plus, I machine-washed all my fabrics before cutting – so my silk is machine washable now πŸ˜‰

Silk Chiffon Archer

Silk Chiffon Archer

Silk Chiffon Archer

Silk Chiffon Archer

So anyway, about that sewing! I didn’t do any sort of prep before getting into cutting – in the past, I’ve used fabric stabilizer to stiffen the fabric so I’d have an easier time cutting and sewing (and yes, it does work – see the aforementioned silk georgette button-up post for my full review on that), but I didn’t bother with any of that this time. It certainly would have been easier if I had, but obviously it was doable without πŸ™‚ I did trade out my scissors and use a mat and rotary cutter to cut this, which was tremendously helpful.

Sewing was really easy and straightforward – I used a sharp 70/10 needle, polyester thread, and a lot of high heat from my iron. All seams are enclosed – the yoke and collar cover most of that, but the side seams are French-seamed, and the arm holes are finished with silk bias facing. The hem is just a simple rolled hem (I usually use bias facing there as as well, but I was afraid the crepe de chine would be too heavy for the silk chiffon). I used a super lightweight interfacing (which comes in black!) for all my interfaced areas – it gives some stability without making them weirdly stiff, which is important when you’re dealing with silk chiffon. The buttons are some vintage glass buttons that I’ve had in my stash for ages. The only thing I’m not thrilled about is the pockets – the crepe de chine sags a bit on the chiffon, so they’re not perfectly smooth when I’m wearing it (or when it’s hanging on the wall, for that matter). And also – they are a bit lopsided! Whoops! I hesitate to unpick them because I am afraid it may damage the delicate chiffon, but thankfully no one notices it – even when I point it out. Of course, that may be all you see now πŸ™‚ Sorry πŸ™‚

Oh, and in case you were wondering – I am wearing a black tank top under this, and I did not make the shorts (I WISH I did, though! Because then that would mean that I had found awesome fabric like that!). They are from Express, but the shape is quite similar to the Rite of Spring shorts. The fabric is a nice rayon challis. I pretty much never buy clothes these days, but these were given to me by my boss while she was cleaning out her closet in preparation for her cross-country move (she also gave me a pair of Jimmy Choo’s. Um, I WIN.). Speaking of which, I will be flying up to Rhode Island this week to orchestrate all the unpacking and whatever else you’re supposed to do when one moves cross-country (I’ll be staying here in Nashville and working remotely after that). I’ve never been to RI before so I’m excited to check it out! Wish me luck!

Silk Chiffon Archer

I don’t have much else to say about this pattern that hasn’t already been said to death, so I’ll keep this post reasonably brief. Yay for silk chiffon button-ups! Once we get into full-on winter mode, I think this top will continue to be useful as I can wear it under my cozy sweaters for an extra layer of warmth.

**Note: The fabrics for this project were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

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42 Responses to “Completed: Silk Chiffon Archer Button-Up”

  1. Deborah Penner August 30, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Looks lovely! We are in the middle of KS and it is hot here as well. Will often stay that way until November. Like our idea of light fabric in fall-like color and pattern. Have never tried chiffon but it looks great.

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:06 am #

      It’s worth the pain to sew it! So fun to wear πŸ™‚

  2. Deborah Penner August 30, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    What is the super light interfacing? The link did not work for me.

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      That’s weird! I just checked and it seems to be working fine on my end. It’s from Fashion Sewing Supply, and the type of interfacing is Pro-Sheer Elegance Couture fusible in black πŸ™‚

  3. runningcuzican August 30, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    The shorts look exactly like the reef shorts by Megan Nielsen patterns.

  4. Tracy August 30, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    Oh, Rhode Island is super super awesome. Have fun!

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      Thank you! I’m excited to go, even if I’ll mostly be working while I’m there πŸ™‚

  5. Wendy August 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    You should check out Lorraine’s in Pawtucket. It’s a fabric warehouse with a whole floor that has everything priced $1.99/yd! It takes some digging to find quality but isn’t that half the fun?!

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:08 am #

      Aw, that sounds awesome! Unfortunately, I won’t have access to a car – and I’m going to be working most of the daylight hours (trying to get everything done in 4 days haha) so I don’t think I’ll be able to go out there. But if i have some free time, I may look into it! Thank you for the recommendation! Digging for fabric is my faaaavorite πŸ˜€

  6. Carolyn Norman August 30, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Cute top Lauren! And you are right about RTW and their prices…

  7. TinaLou August 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

    If you have any free time, I would suggest a field trip to Apple Anne Fabrics , just over the RI line in Swansea, MA. Welcome back to New England, if only for a while! Tina from MA

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:10 am #

      I don’t think I’ll be able to make any fabric field trips (I wont’ have access to a car, and my daylight hours are pretty full with work), but if that changes,, I will definitely check it out! πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recommendation πŸ™‚

  8. ellegeemakes August 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    So cute! I have also found chiffon to be crazy to sew, but it’s so beautiful I will try again using stabilizer as you suggested. Wish I’d known about that sooner, lol

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:10 am #

      Oh yeah, do try the stabilizer! It’ll make it handle more like silk organza, soooo much easier to deal with!

  9. Natasha August 30, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Holy guacamole, this shirt is 10/10 on point amazing. I am also very excited to know that somewhere out there in the world, someone else has lopsided boob pockets just like me. I used a very slinky crepe de chine for my sleeveless archer and, just as you said, I am too afraid to unpick it and redo. It is good to know I am not alone! haha.

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:11 am #

      Lopsided boob pockets unite! (Imagine me high-fiving you with my boob pocket, ok) hahaha! πŸ™‚

  10. Marguerite August 30, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    Hello from Rhode Island! Wendy and TinaLou are right on with their selections. Apple Annie’s is 10 minutes from Providence and about 20 from the airport which is in Warwick RI. Annie runs sewing camps and often is featured in Threads testing patterns. She’s a small indie store but has some nice stuff. You can check out her website Loraine is in an old mill in Pawtucket also 10 minutes from Providence ( we’re not the smallest state for nothing!) It been there for decades and is loaded with finds. The costume people from local theater groups love to shop there. Hope you get a chance to check them out. Actually Apple Annie’s is just the kind of store that might be a good location for one of your workshops. Annie has lots of sewing classes.

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:12 am #

      Apple Annie’s sounds pretty awesome! I don’t think I will be able to get out and do any sort of shopping during the day (I’ll be pretty busy with work, as I’m on there a short time and have a LOT to do – and I don’t have access to a car up there!), but if any of that changes I will definitely check it out. It seriously sounds amazing!

  11. Lodi Srygley August 30, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

    B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L!

  12. Anonymous August 30, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    Hi Lauren, this button up is so sexy! Will look great with a black or jewel tone mini skirt or pencil skirt! When you have a sec can you talk more about “silk bias binding on everything?” Like give examples of when that would work as a treatment even if it isn’t called for in a pattern? Maybe some pics? Thx, Robyn

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      Ha, well the “everything” part is a slight exaggeration (I tend to do that! And I keep getting called on it lately, so maybe I should stop haha). I generally swap bias binding/facing on anything that has a facing piece – so necklines, arm holes, and occasionally hemlines. It’s easy to sew and uses less fabric, also doesn’t have an option to flip to the outside like a traditional facing – the downside is that you can see the stitches from the outside (if that’s an issue. It usually is not for me). Here’s a tutorial on how I do bias facing – it’s toward the bottom of the post (another thing I need to work on – a new tutorial for this!). Hope that helps!

  13. mertxelasierra August 31, 2016 at 2:19 am #

    Good job! Gorgeous piece of clothing, it will be a key wardrobe piece, I think. I cannot see how you can wash silk, Lauren… I would use it often for lining or facing my clothes but I don’t because I thought it couldn’t be washed, and less in the machine!!! Enjoy your RI trip!

    • LLADYBIRD August 31, 2016 at 8:16 am #

      Nope, it can totally (and safely) be washed! You just need to make sure you wash it before you cut the pieces, so you get all the shrinkage out. I’ve been machine washing my silk for years (I do cold and hang to dry – but I know people who put it in the dryer too. I just don’t like to iron if I can avoid it), and a lot of what we sell at Elizabeth Suzann is also machine washable. Never had a problem with it πŸ™‚ Try it!!

  14. Regina August 31, 2016 at 7:02 am #

    What a fabulous Archer, Lauren! Have much fun in Rhode Island.

  15. sewnbyashley August 31, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    I love this so much. I’ve never actually sewn with silk before, because I’m cheap, but I think you’ve totally convinced me. I’m completely inept when it comes to using a rotary cutter, so that’s frightening.

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

      The difference in ease of sewing is worth the price difference, I promise! (Spoken as a major cheapskate). And I’ve always been bad with rotary cutters too! I think the most important things to remember is to go slow (it’s not a race – yet haha) and make sure you lock the blade when you’re not using it. Accidentally slicing yourself open sucks!

  16. Ebi Poweigha September 1, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Great top, and yay for a trip to New England! As a Massachusetts resident, I’m greedily making note of all the RI fabric shopping recommendations you got. :-p

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

      Haha I don’t think I’ll have time to do any fabric shopping while I’m here, but I will report back if that changes!

  17. Europa_66 September 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Now that’s one yowza shirt! Beautiful! Off topic question, Lauren. Do you know why pant pattern instructions always have you assemble pants inseam, outseam then crotch? I’ve just been staring at the innards of my RTW pants, (yeah…weirdo. I can admit it) and all of them are sewn crotch seam first then the leg seams. Seems to me this makes sense from a comfort standpoint. Just curious…

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

      That’s a good question and I’m not sure if I truly know the answer. From a production standpoint, it may make more sense to sew the crotch first (RTW is always trying to find the most efficient way to sew things and thus reduce their costs), especially if it is getting top stitched or flat felled. Sewing patterns tend to lean toward the easiest order to write instructions for, although not all patterns have you do the in and outer seams before the crotch. It also depends on what’s getting pressed – from a home sewing standpoint, seams tend to be pressed open (not everyone has sergers), which would make more sense to do those inner and outer seems first. I don’t know the answer for sure, and I’m totally guessing/talking out of my ass at this point, but that’s my assumption! If anyone actually does know the answer, I’m curious to hear it!

  18. Tash Cleeton September 12, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    Your hair is looking absolutely fab Lauren! πŸ˜€

  19. Meagan September 13, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    Gorgeous shirt!
    I have a completely unrelated question but I trust your judgement on this – I have a shirt that’s 85% acrylic 15% nylon. It says dry clean. Don’t wash. Don’t dry. Don’t iron. What would you do with that material? I haaaaaaate going to the dry cleaners and I know that sometimes washing suggestions for materials are not exactly true/necessary. Thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD September 14, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      I mean, if it’s acrylic/nylon – I don’t see why you couldn’t at least handwash (or cold delicate wash) that thing and hang it to dry. However, a lot of RTW has a dry clean only tag because the fabric wasn’t pretreated before sewing, so you do run the risk of it shrinking or possibly water staining. I would say maybe test an inconspicuous area of the shirt – if there is one – and see how it reacts to water. Or if you’re ok with potentially ruining it, you could just try a cold handwash and see what happens. I definitely wouldn’t put it in the dryer, though.

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