I want a highly tailored and clean looking shirt. Something that doesn’t scream out “I made this!” No matter how much experience you have, to grow, you have to take the time to learn from others. I wanted to learn to make a classic white collar button-up shirt for myself. It needed to be highly tailored and look clean. No hack job today!

I started, as many of us do, with hours of YouTube videos on making a button down collar shirt. I also watched the 1980s School of Islander Arts sewing VHS tapes on making the classic shirt. It was great for a ton of skilled shortcuts.

I thought I would try indie pattern maker Grainline Studio’s, Archer Button Up. I absolutely love how detailed all the directions are. Pictures are clear and concise and the end product is always what it says it’s going to be.

I wanted to make sure I did everything right with this pattern. I took my time to enjoy the process. I’m going to hit up all of the high points and sewing details that I am striving for.

Cutting. I like to break big projects up into a couple days. Day one is washing, pressing, measuring, cutting and marking all of my pattern pieces. I also clean my machines, get them threaded and test them. This makes me feel like when I sit down to do the sewing someone has already done half of the work.

Cut and Mark



The best thing about this pattern’s directions are if they use professional terms and you do not know what they mean it has a glossary in the back to help you.

Here is a gallery of some of the cool things this pattern included that make this shirt so perfect.

Professional Plackets

Flat Felled Seams

Pockets Sewn with Precision

Boxed Pleats

Clean Detailed Back Shirt Yokes

Continuous Loops (also known as sleeve plackets)

A few professional tools that helped me through the process.

Pressing ham for pressing the shoulders.

Point turner to push the collar and pocket corners out perfectly.

Seam gauge to make sure I was following all of the directions correctly.

Behind the scenes~

It’s my two year anniversary sewing for Dayton History also known as Carillon Park.

My T-shirt quilt class was a huge success! Look for my winter classes to be released soon.

I had a fun little halloween photo shoot just outside my studio.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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