Archer button down - Fitting process


Back to button down March!  Both Archer and McCall's 5138 are making some progress on the old sewing machine. You won't see McCall's 5138 till it's done, it being a TNT there's nothing much to talk about.  But today I'm going to "lift the veil" on my half hazard fitting process.

When picking your size know that Archer is drafted to be roomy, so pick the size closest to your bust measurement.  This fact would have been clear to me had I measured that pattern.  But that would be a smart thing to do, so I naturally skipped over it and guessed what size to make.  I started off with a size 14 bust/shoulder and a 16 through waist/hip. (Blending two sizes together like this is pretty standard for me since I'm pear shaped)  On to the pics....

Muslin #1
A 14/16 size combo with the following adjustments - standard FBA that added a dart and 1" additional bust ease on the half (so 2" total), 1/2" extra width in the back on the half (1" total), 1/2" sway back adjustment and a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment. 
Archer muslin 1

Findings -  Shirt way to big every where. I like a lose shirt but not one that looks like a smock. I also forgot to move the notch for the sleeve head so the forward shoulder adjustment was not successful. 

Conclusion- Need to go down a size, add only a bust dart but not extra width, move shoulder notch, remove back width adjustment and slim sleeve down.

Muslin #2
A 12/14 size combo with the following adjustments - Bust dart added but without full FBA, 1/2" sway back adjustment and a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment with sleeve head notch properly moved.
Archer muslin 2

Findings -  Shirt much closer to the size I'd prefer.  Bust dart was properly pointed at the bust apex but visually looked too low on the side seam.  Decided that the back was too tight without my standard width adjustment.

Conclusion-Add 1/2" additional upper back width to the pattern again, pivot bust dart further up side seam, gently curve side seams for a trimmer look.

I'm currently sewing muslin #3, which will be in some navy cotton inherited from my grandmother's stash.  Felt like the fit was close enough in muslin #2 that I could risk some free to me fabric.   If the fit of that shirt is to my liking then archer will get an upgrade to some  fancy shmancy silk. Oh Boy!


  1. Sexy smock, there. But, hey, really looking good there.

    1. Heeeey Baaaaby, Nice smock. Things you don't hear on the street. LOL

  2. I am in awe. I have never made such beautifully finished muslins! Can't wait to see it in real "fashion" fabric! (WHat a strange term, btw. It always sounds wierd when I type it...)

    1. Wow, I thought everyone made muslins the same way. Though I'll admit some of the topstitching is not needed. :) BTW fashion fabric does sound strange.

  3. How do you move the sleeve notch?

    1. Since I did a 1/2" shoulder adjustment I moved the notch 1/2" forward from it's original position. Just measured and marked a new placement.

    2. ah! gotcha. so simple but it sounds so hard. thanks B!


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