I don't buy indie sewing patterns very often, not on principle, but mostly because I tend towards getting more for my money and the Big 4 pattern companies are so, so cheap. However, my wardrobe has become quite small, as I gravitate towards items that are lasting, timeless and that I will wear over and over. Something has shifted in my style and my closet and I have less these days, but wear what I have more often. And I love it ALL. I don't keep things I don't love (I let the kids cut them up, ha!)
Anyway, I committed to the 2017 Make Nine challenge and purposefully chose nine indie patterns that are basics and hopefully that I can sew over and over again. I started with the Grainline Archer. Before I launch into my thoughts on the pattern (I had issues!), here is my end result, which I really do love.
I've had this great plaid fabric for over a year, knowing I wanted to make a long sleeved button down, but not really needing one here in Hawaii. Now that we're moving back to the mainland soon, I thought it was a perfect time to make it happen. I also love that I can use this here in place of a cardigan or sweater (because, you know humid states and their air conditioning).
You can read my entire review of this on pattern review, but let me just tell you that I had some issues. First, the sizing chart is not accurate. My measurements fell right into the size 10, but I ended up taking a full inch out of the shoulders AND a full inch out of both side/sleeve seams! It was huge. Also, the instructions on this pattern are severely lacking. I had to look up the sewalong on the Grainline blog to figure out the placket application, only to find out it's the same application I've always used with other button down patterns, just horribly explained. The instructions have very few pictures and the wording is just confusing. I have made many button down shirts, but if I hadn't, or if I were a beginner, these instructions would have been seriously frustrating. I didn't even use the instructions after that, I just did it how I know to do it and it looks great. But somehow I doubt they got better. I'm not sure why no one is talking about these poorly written instructions.
So, my question for you is: Do you think we give indie designers more of a pass because they have faces and are real people who might see what we have to say and be hurt? What are you thoughts on this? I feel bad even asking this and posting these semi-negative points, so I think I've answered my own question.
That said, in the end, now that I have the fit right, I will make more. I already have another one planned. But first, I have eight other patterns I'm committed to making this year! Here is my Make Nine list:
- The Kelly Anorak Jacket. Moving to Utah will mean I really need to beef up my outerwear collection and I really love this pattern! I intend to hunt for the perfect fabric soon.
- Style Arc Rae Tunic. Looking at this again, I think it might get replaced. Haha. Not sure what I was thinking that day.
- Style Arc Josie Hoodie. I'm seeing this in a French Terry!
- Wonder Unders. I need some good slips in my life and this pattern is versatile so I think I'll get a lot of mileage out of it. Looking for a good silk and a silk jersey for slips!
- Archer Shirt. Check!
- Morris Blazer
- Knotmaste yoga set. Love those pants!
- Jalie Hooded Tunic. I've had great luck with Jalie Patterns. I'd do this in a French Terry.
- Sew Over It Heather Dress. This dress will fit my lifestyle nicely, I think. I enjoy her Youtube channel and I'm eager to try one of her patterns.
You can find many, many other lists like this by searching the #2017MakeNine hashtag on Instagram! It's fun to take on a challenge like this. I don't usually plan my sewing, but now that sewing is also my business in many ways, I'm finding it's neccessary to schedule in my personal projects, which are really what I love sewing the most!
Cheers and Happy Sewing!