I was recently at the Met with my friend Becca checking out their latest, rare, textile show. Because the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume wing has been closed for renovation for, well, forever, the costume exhibits are few and far between, it’s always very exciting when they have something going up that has a costume slant, and this particular exhibit was pretty amazing, it was a really cool look at European trade in India, Japan and China between 1500 and 1800, and the ways that European tastes effected Asian textile production, and visa versa. Really amazing objects and cloth, and if I had been able to take photos inside I would have to show you, but you will just have to trust me on this one.
Now, I don’t know if a ton of that trade made it to Ireland, but I can personally attest to the fact that one piece of Indian cloth recently say Ireland’s emerald shores, and that’s because I brought it there, in shirt form. Check it out:
Just about a year ago now, what’s his face brought me a bunch of amazing spectacular fabulous fabrics from India, and this was the last of them, and my personal favorite. The other two projects can be found here and here, if you are curious. All of these fabrics were wonderful and a joy to work with, but this was the one I was most excited about and, typical of me, the one I wanted to deal with last, because I wanted to make sure I could make something good enough for this awesome fabric. So once I nailed down my Archer skills on my last jaunt with Grainline Patterns delightful shirt pattern, I thought, there it is, do that thing. This fabric is nice and a good shirt weight, and I thought that the lovely little figures dancing all over it might like being on an Archer. I only want to sew something the fabric also consents to, you know?
The cutting of this made the repeat a little off, but you know what, whatever with that, I kind of like it, and my mom liked the asymetrical look. In fact, these photos were taken in the National Gallery, a nice small museum with THIS amazing painting (WORTH GOING FOR THAT ALONE), and a very sweet Irish woman came up to me during our imprompteau photo shoot to tell me how much she liked my shirt! How nice is that? The Irish are a kind kind people, it almost makes me sad I’m not one of them.
This shirt was very easy to put together, especially because I had already used the pattern once and remembered Jen’s amazing tutorials. I love this pattern. I’m a true convert. I want to go to China or the Amazon and preach about it. I want the Crusades to come back in style so I can go and tell the world about this pattern and, and this part is important, NOT KILL ANYONE. The ONLY thing I would change for next time would be to make it a little smaller but that is literally it. Nothing else. It’s so good I could cry. So comfortable. So flattering. Tell your friends. Spread the message. Get the good word out there. Archer for life!
What else is there to say that has not been said, shouted from the mountaintops about this blessed pattern? I love the cuffs, and the placket looks so good and is SO not hard. I’ve seen a bunch of versions where people have been topstitching the cuffs, I’m going to try that next time. I used white thread on this which I think was a nice look, a little nerve wracking but I had faith in the great and powerful Archer to see me through. The buttons were vintage ones I got for free. They are some kind of shell or something, not plastic. A little collar shot for you so you can see my collar stand. I hope it’s nice enough that it makes YOUR collar stand. HEYo!
Oy, weird grimace. What is the deal with my face? Okay, ignore that, look at the shirt! Look at the shirt!
So the point is, I made my own little textile exchange happen, through my love of this fabric and the Archer. Now I’m back on US soil, having waved a fond goodbye to Ireland after a lovely trip. In a little over a week I’m off to San Francisco but before then I promise there will be a plethora of sew-along updates as soon as I get back to Brooklyn, and some treats and giveaways! Now, wont that be fun? Not as fun as this shirt, but then, what could be?