I washed the silk on a gentle 30 degree cycle as I wanted this to be a garment which I could wear often and not need to get dry cleaned. I like to think about how I want to be able to wash the completed garment when deciding how to pretreat and if I am particularly worried about shrinkage I give it a good couple of washes. It held up beautifully and took a medium heat from the iron too. Clean hands and concentration are a must when working with this silk as any mistakes will leave their mark, including any stray pins. I used a size 70 microtex/sharps needle in my machine and silk pins which I endeavoured to keep within the seam allowances as much as possible. I eliminated most of the topstitching as I wanted to keep the overall look clean but for the mandarin collar it was essential and the front placket needed some to help it lay flat.
With no sleeves, pockets or turn down collar I only needed one solitary yard for this variation and it felt like a much quicker process than my first Archer shirt. I used binding to finish the armholes but used some scraps of plain cream crepe I had in my stash for this as dealing with silk binding is tricky enough without trying to work around those embroidered dots! I made some effort to line up the rows of the polka dots evenly across the front, back and yoke pieces and I think the dots ended up pretty well spaced. The buttons were left over from a project some time ago and I'm so pleased I still had them as I'm really enjoying how they imitate the dots!
I'd ordered myself some of Mood's Organic Cotton Twill in Plum to try out after reading fellow MSN blogger Lauren rave about it on a couple of occasions. That girl has some seriously good taste in fabric and was not wrong when she said that this stuff is great. It's so enjoyable to sew with; it just does what it's told and presses beautifully. The colour is wonderfully deep and vivid and the good news is there are a huge range of hues available. It does attract fluff like nobodies business though, my photographer (read boyfriend!) was constantly picking stuff off me during these photos and I have no idea where it was coming from!
I've had a lot of wear out of both items already, both are perfect fabrics for the summer heat we've had here in London recently. The skirt has even been worn for a game of tennis...although I'm not much of an athlete so the biggest test it was really put through was a bit of wind and bending over to pick the ball up repeatedly!