Archer + Alder Variation

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Today I have for you the long awaited Archer + Alder variation! I was hoping to get some photos of it on but the weather here in Chicago has not been cooperating at all so here we have it on a form in the studio. Modeled photos to come but for now, click below to see view the tutorial! Please note, all of the photos in this tutorial can be clicked on for a larger view if needed.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

The first thing we need to do is to blend a middle point between the armholes since the Alder is drafted as a sleeveless top and the Archer is drafted to sit slightly off the shoulder. We’re going to start with the yokes. Begin by drawing a center line, then trace the yokes off on top of each other keeping the bottom edges of the two yokes aligned.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

From there decide how much further out from the edge of the Alder you’d like your shoulder seam to sit. For my version I extended the top edge of the yoke out 1″ blending down to an extension of 1/2″ at the bottom.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Next trace the fronts of the two patterns off in the same manner as the yoke. You’ll want the shoulder/yoke edge to be brought out the same amount as you did at that point on the yoke. Again, I used 1″ for this measurement. Blend the armhole down to nothing at the bottom of the Alder armhole.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Again repeat these steps for the back of the dress. I started at 1/2″ along the yoke seam down to nothing at the bottom of the Alder armhole.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Now you’re going to want to check the lengths of the armhole and the sleeve cap to make sure you can properly sew these two together. Begin by measuring the entire length of the sleeve cap seam line.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Next measure the length of the armhole seam line. You want the measurement of the sleeve cap to be slightly larger than the measurement of the armhole, somewhere between 1/2″ and 1″ is pretty good.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder VariationGrainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Now you’re going to need to transfer the notches from the sleeve cap to the armhole. Begin by measuring the front of the armhole from the under arm seam to the notch, then transfer that measurement over to the front armhole and mark your notch. Repeat this for the back double notches.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Next you’re going to need to find where the center notch should go on the yoke pattern. Measure from the front and back armhole seams to the notch on the sleeve pattern and make note of your measurements.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Align the front and yoke seam lines and apply the front sleeve cap measurement to this seam line. Mark where it falls on the yoke.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Next do the same for the back measurement. Your two notches will likely cross each other since you have a small amount of ease in the sleeve cap pattern.

Grainline Studio | Archer + Alder Variation

Mark the center point between the two points you measured in the previous steps. This is your new shoulder notch.

All that’s left now is to cut your pattern and sew. You’re going to follow the Alder pattern instructions to the point where you would typically attach the armhole binding. At that point, you will switch over to the Archer pattern for the sleeve instructions, the only difference being that you’ll need to sew the underarm seam of the sleeve before you set it into the dress.

Please note that these patterns are not related and you may need to do a fair amount of tweaking to get them to fit together properly, as you would when fitting together any two patterns that were not intended to be sewn together. I definitely recommend making a muslin when attempting this variation.

That’s that! I should hopefully have some more photos of this variation soon if the weather decides to cooperate (fingers crossed)!

15 replies on “Archer + Alder Variation

  • Grace

    It’s so great to see how other people do alterations. Thank you!
    Question; why did you use the bottom of the Alder armhole? My instinct would be to use the Archer.

    Reply
    • Jen

      I made a muslin doing both and found that using the Alder armhole the garment fit me better through the upper arms and chest. It’s completely possible that this may be different for other people. This is really a super hacked version since neither of these patterns were drafted to fit together. I definitely recommend doing a bit of experimentation to see what works for you. I probably wouldn’t have done this tutorial if it weren’t for the zillions of emails, comments, tweets, and IG replies I’ve gotten asking for it because it’s definitely not as straight forward as any of my other tutorials.

      Reply
      • Grace

        I think this was marvelously straight forward! I often see bloggers showing makes that have been franken-patterned and I always wonder how they meld patterns that aren’t drafted to go together. It’s nice to see the steps for how you did this one.

        Reply
  • charliewensley

    Brilliant, thank you for posting this. I have a question. I am tall and super long in the chest so added an inch to the chest when making my alder which also added an inch to the armhole and now fits really well. I haven’t yet made an archer – despite having the pattern for a year now (!), so I’m wondering if I can just follow these instructions as they are or would need to add length to the archer first. What would you recommend? Still yet to find my perfect plaid, but at least I’ll be ready to go when I do!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Depending on what size you’re making you may not need to. The Archer has a bit more grade through the armhole than the Alder due to the fact that it’s slightly oversized and not sleeveless so there’s a chance you may be okay. On the smaller sizes you may need to, but on the larger perhaps not. Unfortunately it’s hard to say. I’d recommend making a muslin and seeing how it works out, or at least applying similar changes as above and measuring the armhole.

      Reply
  • Kelly

    Thank you!!! I only recently finally made some archers, so who knows how long it will take me to make an alder, but I’m definitely saving this for when it happens!

    Reply
  • Genya Kulakov

    I will be totaly rude 🙁 and I maybe the only one on the globe that hasn’t purchased the Archer pattern yet.
    Can you please (!!!) make a bundle price for Archer+ Adler.
    Your Adler alterations are beautiful and I want to make them all and Archer is my totaly favorite!

    Reply
    • Jen

      I most likely won’t be offering a bundle price. They’re two completely separate patterns and were not drafted to fit together. By offering a bundle I think I would be implying that you really can just mix and match the two with no additional work, which is definitely not the case. If I change my mind in the future though it’ll be posted here.

      Reply
  • Rebecca Johnson

    I’ve made the Archer and both versions of the Alder. They turned out perfectly – love these patterns! I’d now like sleeves on the dress so it can be used for fall. After several failed attempts at drafting sleeves from Archer onto the Alder, I am wondering how it would be to forgo drafting the sleeves. Instead I would like to attempt adding the lower portion of Alder version A to the Archer, blending in the waist area. Would it be a total misfit or do you think it could work?

    Reply
    • Jen

      Already emailed with you but for others with the same question – the Alder and Archer are not the same pattern, they are completely different, totally separate, not even drafted in the same year, patterns. That said it can take a bit of finagling to get the sleeve to work, especially if you’re of the picky persuasion. Mine worked pretty well right off the bat because patternmaking is my job so I generally know what type of sleeve cap curve will fit into what kind of armhole curve. I personally really prefer the bottom of the Alder stuck onto the Archer, mostly because I like a more loose fitting dress, but it’s also easier since the sleeves already fit into that configuration 😉 You can see an example of the Archer top with the Alder bottom on my Instagram here: https://instagram.com/p/2uOWMtFW8r/?taken-by=grainlinestudio

      Reply

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