Monday, March 6, 2017

An Absurd Arctic Archer

I cannot claim responsibility for the choices behind this particular shirt. While home for the holidays, my little sister fell in love with this Robert Kaufman flannel featuring cartoon polar bears in Santa apparel. She begged me to please please please make her a flannel shirt out of this fabric, she would love it forever, she would wear it every day, pleeeaaaase. Who am I to say no to that?

Collared button-up shirt in aqua flannel printed with cartoonish polar bears wearing Santa hats and scarves


While I had my doubts, she loves it! She might look like she's wearing jammies all the time, but it's worth it to be swathed in cuddly adorable polar bears, right?

Pattern: Grainline Studio Archer
Size: 10
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Jingle Flannel Polar Bears in Glacier Blue
Modifications: None
Notes for next time: When I make one for myself, I'll probably still make a size 10 for the fit in the shoulders, but trim down the arms a bit. Or, if I'm feeling industrious, make a broad back adjustment. I heard a few people mention that the arms are too long, but I didn't find that. I like my flannels to cover my wrists completely, though. They are, after all, winter wear.

Because they only had two yards left at the store, I bought it all, promised I would do what I could, and it just barely worked! I cut the inside yoke out of a scrap of cotton lawn, but it all fit, albeit with pretty much no pattern matching. I tried to make sure that the rows of polar bears were roughly aligned on each side of the shirt front and that's it. At the end, the biggest scraps I had were maybe 8 inches on the long side. If you were trying to use something in stripes or plaid with this amount of fabric, you'd be doomed.

For someone who's never sewn a collared shirt before, the Archer Sewalong was immensely helpful, especially the section on assembling and attaching the collar. I followed it pretty much to a T. The only place I went off-book was on the seam finishes. I finished the armscyes with a flat-felled seam (increase the seam allowance if you want to do this!) and the sleeves/sides with a French seam. Between that and the burrito-method yoke, there are no raw edges!

The fabric, one of those Robert Kaufman flannels that's brushed on one side and more like twill on the other, was surprisingly soft after washing, even on the non-brushed side. I would definitely use it again if I wanted, say, a set of pajamas covered in jingle birdies. However, I think my next flannel will be some slightly more reasonable choice, like a Robert Kaufman Mammoth plaid.

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