In Which The Blogger Is Late To The Party

The Archer party, that is. 😀

Hi, everyone! Before I get to the Archer part of the business today, I want to do a quick shout-out to Pattern Review and Creative Publishing International: I won a giveaway at PR!!!!!!! I am the lucky winner of a copy of The Shirtmaking Workbook by the aspirational AND inspirational David Page Coffin–can you hear me “SQUEEEEEEE”ing from here? My very cool and professional reply to PR’s email informing me that I had won began with a solid row of exclamation points. #nochill So thank you, PR and CPI, for offering this giveaway. I will try to do you proud with this resource by my side!


I’M A WINNER!!!!!!

And appropriately enough, the news of my random victory came during the final stages of finishing up my Archer shirt!

I know that almost everyone else with the internet and a sewing machine has made this pattern, but I’m just now getting to it. I mostly bought it for making flannel shirts for myself, but decided to take a crack at using it for at least one summer shirt when the vintage pattern I was working on proved to be too much of an annoyance. (Seriously, fuck those camp collar/ridiculous facing combos.) I recently bought several stripey fabrics at Mood (who clearly knew that a stripes sale on a Friday the 13th would bring your pal Mads out of the woodwork) and immediately knew which one I wanted to sew first: a denim blue/natural striped cotton voile, which can be found here (for right now anyway).

And now for the big reveal–my favorite part!

Striped Shirt-36


Striped Shirt-38

Pocket + Buttons

Archer Collage 4

Side views

Striped Shirt-26

Back view, plus nature

Striped Shirt-49

A perfect shirt for Puppy Playtime, obviously!

Archer Collage 2


Striped Shirt-10

Artful front view

Striped Shirt-8

“Oh, funny seeing you here!”

What do you guys think? I’m really happy with it. It will definitely get a lot of wear this summer!

I took a lot of time to work on stripe matching for this shirt, but it’s fair to say that we had some do-overs before the end, LOL! I had a very specific idea in mind for laying out the stripes (of course) and everything more or less turned out just as I had hoped! The sewn-on right front placket was tough to keep lined up and while it’s certainly not perfect, it’s damn close. Apologies for the styling otherwise: it rained a tiny bit on Saturday night (we did pictures on Sunday) so I wore my big-ass boots for our photo “shoot” to ensure that I could get to any part of the park we wanted. Those boots may not be much to look at, but they are among my favorite things; I got them at the Eddie Bauer outlet like, 5 years ago. $25 for $150ish Le Chameau boots = #winning. And the shorts? I have no good excuses there…making better ones is on my sewing “short” list (HAHAHA GET IT?!?) for sure. 😉


  1. I used muslin for my bindings (armholes and hem) and the yoke facing and inner collar stand; voile fabric is light and the show-through from the blue stripes is no joke. (Although shockingly, the shirt isn’t see-through on me; I am not wearing a cami under it in any of these!) I bit the bullet and made my own bias binding from muslin.
  2. This was my first time doing the “burrito method” for the yokes (haven’t dealt with a yoke and yoke facing before now) and it’s everything it’s cracked up to be!
  3. I also used the often-referenced construction order from four square walls for my collar and stand, and I’m never doing it any other way if I can help it–my stand and button bands are perfectly aligned!
  4. I put the pockets on the cross grain for maximum style points. The pockets are my 2nd favorite part of the shirt visually, topped only by my brag-worthy placement of the back pleat, which I can assure you was 100% intentional:
Striped Shirt-27

Attempting to use both pockets at once. #nailedit

Striped Shirt-41

Seriously. LOOK AT IT.

See that?!? Perfectly centered to feature a blue stripe IN THE CENTER of the pleat. BOOM! I’d like to thank my cutting mat, masking tape, clear grid ruler, and obsessive/compulsive tendencies for making this not-at-all-humble brag possible. 😀

Finally, I topstitched the side seams, collar, hem, and armholes; I did edgestitching on the collar stand, shoulders, and back yoke seam. My undercollar is on the bias, which looks AMAZING, but I did not get a great picture of that for you. Seriously you guys, I feel like I could wear this shirt inside-out if it weren’t for the buttons. (Fabric with no “wrong side” makes cutting out and matching things a bitch, but boy does it make the insides look spectacular!)

You probably noticed how few buttons this shirt has (6) vs. the pattern’s recommendations (9). I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want my summer shirts to button all the way up to my larynx. Once I decided on which buttons to use, I opted to start from a decent-but-still-casual location at the pockets and space the buttonholes 2″ apart until I ran out of buttons or made it really close to the hem. The buttons I used are vintage; a friend gave them to me from her late MIL’s stash and I am so thrilled to have found the perfect use for them! I was thisclose to using Size 16 pearl snaps but felt they looked too puny against the 1/2″ stripes on an oversized shirt.


I followed Grainline’s own recommendations for sleeveless alterations, which worked perfectly. The only other alterations I made were:

  1. Added 1″ of length at the lengthen/shorten lines
  2. Took a slightly smaller hem than recommended (somewhere between 1/4″ and 1/2″)
  3. Increased my side seam uptake below the underarms.

With respect to that last part, I ended up with about 1″ seam allowances at the waist and 5/8″ at the hip. That’s why the stripes get a little different as you look down the sides. I could have taken more at the underarm as well, but didn’t want to make the shirt uncomfortably snug or create drag lines once the buttons were added later. I don’t think it made much difference though, so I either need to be more aggressive or just surrender to the “wearing a rectangle” thing entirely next time.

For next time (and there will be one), I will omit the cut-on button band on the left front and do it as a sew-on. In a perfect world, I would have had the button band stripes going the same way as the pockets; I just didn’t want the extra annoyance after dealing with the failed vintage pattern (2 muslins and still not right–ugh). I plan to make lots of plaid flannel versions of the Archer, and will definitely want bias button bands for those! 🙂

That about wraps up the details on this one; it was a very simple project apart from the stripe matching! And now for outtakes!

Striped Shirt-12


Striped Shirt-15

Classic Mads. The camera isn’t tilted, btw: that’s the angle of the slope and tree!!

Striped Shirt-17 (1)


Striped Shirt-23

Having a Narcissus moment

Striped Shirt-29

Poppin’ the collar so you guys can see the bias effect…kinda.

Striped Shirt-34

Messing with the buttons

Striped Shirt-50

Mulder learned to levitate for this picture.

Striped Shirt-55

Puppy kisses!!!

What’s on your sewing table for the new season? Have you made an Archer? Would a sale on striped fabrics be enough to get you to hit “Add to Cart?” 


1.5 yards Cotton Voile, from Mood
~1/2 yard cotton muslin, from stash
6 x 5/8″vintage buttons, from a friend
80/12 Universal needle (should have gone down one size)

36 thoughts on “In Which The Blogger Is Late To The Party

  1. I have made the Archer- a long sleeved one a few years back… usually I am late to a party but I guess I was on the ball with this one! I love the stripes and how you placed the pockets and back yoke horizontally. Adds interest! Nice job on this and I can see lots of summer wear!

    • Thank you so much! I thought about doing camouflaged pockets, and then thought about piecing the pockets on the bias before deciding to do sideways stripes. Definitely happy with that choice, LOL. And look at you, making the Archer before everyone else had already done it! The rest of us are all just copying off you first-wavers. 🙂

  2. Your Archer came out great! I am also really loving your photo shoots “on location.” You’re amping up your photo shoot game and it’s flipping awesome! It’s making me want to wander farther from my backyard and front walkway…

    I don’t have the Archer pattern but I’m dipping my toes into Grainline Studios with a couple of Tiny Pocket Tanks (completed, unblogged), a Scout Tee (just cut the fabric), and the Maritime Shorts (just traced the pattern). I have a massive sewing queue now… I’m currently working on another McCall’s 6696 shirt dress and along with that Scout, have a Catarina from Seamwork cut out. I’ve been wanting to CUT ALL THE THINGS but I need to actually get some sewing done, lol! Good thing our summer lasts until November!

    • Ooooo I can’t wait to see your Maritime shorts–those are on my list of summer sewing must-dos! And thank you so much for your compliments on the photos! I am lucky that Tom enjoys taking photos so much, especially since my selfie game is sh!t, LOL.

  3. Amber this looks amazing!! Those stripes are perfect! I’m so glad that you have discovered what all the fuss is about – hooray for more Archers!! I totally want a vertically striped one now too! And your You’re a monkey, Derek comment really made me laugh (a lot)! Also Mulder is so talented with all that levitating.;)

    • Your Archers have been quite inspirational–you make that pattern look GOOD. =) And yeah, that photo came right after Tom kept telling me where to stand; I yelled that phrase and then did the monkey dance, which made me burst out laughing, and then he got that picture. I had to use that one, LOL!

  4. Stripe placement perfect! Shirtmaking seems so complicated to me, and your immaculate details reinforced it :p. Love the styling, cool boots!

  5. It looks beautiful!!! I never thought how nice the Archer would look in a stripe or linen with no sleeves for the summer…need to keep that one in mind. Diggin the outtakes 😉
    I bought Archer, Cascade, Portside and Linden as part of the black Friday sales, though I haven’t sent my Archer off to the copy shop for printing yet. I’ve had the same idea as you–flannel shirts–for about as long as the pattern has been out, with some soft sale flannels sitting in my stash since then as well. After the T shirt issue gets solved, and some projects for others are completed, I think I am leaning towards trying it out….it should be winter by then and flannel appropriate lol

    • Ooooo linen sleeveless shirt…curse you and your good ideas that require fabric shopping!! 😉 I still seriously love your Portsides–someday I’m going to break down and buy that pattern because of you. And YES to flannel Archers for everyone! I have wayyy too much Kaufman flannel hoarded for myself; maybe once it isn’t 85 and humid I can face cutting into it!

  6. Great make, and thanks for all the LOLs in your post too. I personally love the styling and can’t see anyway that you could have styled it better. I haven’t tried this one yet, but seems like I should – late to the party or no.

  7. I have never made an Archer, but only because I don’t own it. If it was in my pattern box I’d be contracturally obligated to sew it and/or throw it.
    Yours looks great. All the playing with stripes is fantastic and bold and fun.
    I agree re: not doing buttons all the way up. Wasted summertime effort!!!

    • Ah yes…you can’t sew something and not pronounce your verdict! =) Thank you for your kind words–I take that as a very high compliment indeed. And seriously, I do not want to know what sort of people are comfortable buttoned up to their necks in the heat of summer. That’s just not okay!

  8. Okay, this is going down in your ‘makes’ hall of fame! I have a serious case of shirt envy here as those stripes and your clever placement are spot on (ha). I have never made the Archer myself so you are not alone but now I am because you have made it so I guess I am the last man standing. How could they possibly fit nine buttons on that shirt (lol)? Love your bargain boots too…more envy!! The weather here has been so bad, I could put them to good use:)

    • LOLOL at your “spot” joke–too funny! And it’s funny that you mention the buttons, because when I look at the line drawings, there are 8 on the shirt front; if you factor in the cuffs, that’s 10 buttons total, right? But the notions section says 9, so who the heck knows! All I know is I had 6 of these buttons and was glad the shirt looked good with that many–kismet, for sure. 🙂

  9. Cute! You just may have given me the inspiration I need to get a sleeveless shirt made up. I’ve been wanting one for a while, but….it’s just remained a thought 😕 You’ll get lots of wear out of this too. Such a great basic made special with the stripes.

    • Thank you, Rhonda! Like you, I had needed a sleeveless shirt in my wardrobe but didn’t ever get around to it; now I am thinking that I need a few more to round out my summer wardrobe! I am sure yours will be chic and beautifully made, as always. 🙂

  10. You do look so cute in this outfit. With wellie boots, and doggy. I am so glad you won that shirt book as you will use it and your already very talented precision will go up another notch and before long you will be wearing shirts every day with different variations on collars, cuffs, buttons – the full length one, the fitted one, the stretch one, the embellished one…. I can see a whole wardrobe of shirts and blouses coming together.

  11. GAH…what an awesome post! Ermmm…maybe all your posts are this awesome…it’s my first visit here. In that case, what an awesome blog!

    I love your Archer, and your attention to the details. I mean, that’s the point of stripey fabric, right?

    I’ve never made the Archer shirt, but Heather loves the pattern, and you’ve nailed it, so maybe it is in my future.

    And…OH YEAH….congrats on the book win. I would like that in my library too!

    • Bahahaha well I can’t vouch for the awesomeness of any blog posts around these parts, but I try to make them at least slightly better than an average math textbook. 😉 And YES, I love the detail potential of striped fabrics! I was *thisclose* to piecing those front pockets on the bias to get one more direction in there, but I loved the sideways pockets too much…but there’s always next time! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  12. I too am late to the party and have yet to arrive. Something about a true button up shirt is deeply intimidating to me, but I am always tempted by the Archer!

  13. Pingback: Top Fives, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights! | Life in A "Mads" House

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