February 18, 2015

The Archie Tailored Shirt

I'm jumping on the blogging tour for One Thimble ezine today. I have been a follower of One Thimble right from the beginning. I am a big fan of Jen Kennedy's - the brains and talent behind One Thimble and Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns.  I look forward to each new One Thimble ezine release - not only is it full of wonderful pattern, many of which I would probably not know about without One Thimble, but I have learnt so much from the brilliant articles.

The latest addition was released on Friday (Valentine's Day) and it is brilliant. I have found a few articles already that I have printed and highlighted because they are full of some really good information, and I tested for a few of the patterns, so I've had a bit of a jump start on sewing a few of them.

Today I'm going to be reviewing the Archie Tailored Shirt. This pattern is from Jen herself - and carries her brand - Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. I've long considered Jen to be the queen of girls party dresses and I love her patterns, so I was delighted to hear she was branching out from dresses and including a tailored button down shirt. The pattern is available in sizes 2-10 and features a two piece collar, buttons down the front, long cuffed sleeves and the option of a pleat in the back. It is suitable for both boys and girls and includes both metric and imperial measurements.

I chose to sew for my biggest fella Austin. Austin is 9, and his measurements fell right on the size 10 measurements provided in the pattern. I rarely sew for my boys, Austin in particular is very picky about what he wears. He is a highly athletic boy who excels at a wide range of sports and lives pretty much in his school uniform, and then whatever attire is suitable for the sport that he has on after school. Most clothes need a nike label on them to be considered cool, or need to be part of his rugby, basketball, running or swim club uniforms to get worn. Lately though, I've noticed a trend toward dressing like his father. Scott is definitely taking over as the parental role model at the moment and Austin follows him everywhere like a little puppy dog when he is home. Scott wears business shirts to work everyday, and casual button up shirts on the rare occasion that we are not at a sporting event and go out together as a family, so I knew Austin would love an Archie Shirt and that it would get worn.

As you can expect from this pattern, the sizing is absolutely spot on. It fits perfectly and this is one of the reasons that I love Jen's patterns. I know she works like a trooper prior to a pattern release to make sure her pattern is as perfect as possible. Patterns in One Thimble generally have condensed tutorials, but Jen's are always clear and easy to follow, and she is always available in the One Thimble Sewing enthusiasts group (join here) to help anyone who is struggling.

This pattern produces a tailored piece of clothing, which means it is important to stick to precise seam allowances when sewing, and to not skip steps such as interfacing and ironing. This is reflected by the fact that it has been given an intermediate rating. Fabric choice is always important, and whilst smaller sizes may not mind a shirt being made from quilting cotton, I would recommend something a little lighter weight for the bigger sizes. I used a top quality cotton shirting that I picked up locally from my favourite fabric store in Sydney. It is lightweight and has a soft silky feel and Mr Picky has worn the shirt an awful lot, so he likes it too.

For those who are experienced at sewing and have made a shirt before, Jen mentions other options available to finish various aspects of the shirt. They are not included in the tutorial, but she mentions where to finish them so that you can go ahead and finish it yourself if your prefer a different method to the one in the tutorial. If you have never sewn a shirt before, I highly recommend you stick to the method in the tutorial. I have found that Jen's methods are pretty much always the best ones and have learnt quite a few good ways to do things using her patterns.

I have to admit, it was nice to see how excited Austin got over the fact that I was sewing something for him and not someone else, and I've felt a little smile come over my face every time he's walked downstairs wearing his Archie Shirt. He is growing up so fast and my role as a mother is really changing in his life as he grows and becomes confident with his own identity. I miss (at times) the days when he was with me always, and he walked along with his little hand in mine, and it is nice to know that even though he won't always hold my hand anymore, he will wear something that I have made him!

I would highly recommend this pattern for anyone looking for a shirt patterns, and encourage all sewers to jump on the One Thimble Band Wagon because it's awesome. Here's one more picture of one of the patterns available in the ezine - this is The Penny Dress that I also tested on my daughter.

So pop on over and see what your missing out on and make sure you join the Facebook group to see all the One Thimble loveliness, and get inspired to sew today!!!
Thanks for reading along,



  1. I'll have to give the Arvhie a go after such a great wrap, Master D is in need of a new shirt!

    1. It's a good one Leonie. and thanks for commenting. I was very excited to see a comment...

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