Sew Bossy… falling in love with (silk) Archer

Like everyone else, I’ve fallen in love with Archer by Grainline Studios.

It was extremely windy - so this looks way more fitted than it is!

It was extremely windy – so this looks hard more fitted than it is!

We took these photos on the way home from Dubbo Zoo (site of the infamous leopard culottes shoot). Unfortunately it was blowing a gale and getting shots where my face wasn’t covered in hair was challenging. I love driving through this country, the colours are so muted, the hills roll away into the distance, the sky seems closer and the grass is soft and brown. I’ve always wanted to take a blog shot in this area – perhaps next time when the weather is more agreeable!

Archer by Grainline Studio, Sewn by SewBusyLizzy

I’ve chosen this as the back view shot – simply because all the other shots, it’s quite creased as I fell asleep in the car!

This make is courtesy of Leila of Three Dresses. Not only did she get me sewing a ‘proper’ shirt, she also got me to tackle silk – thank goodness for the gelatin bath for taming the slippery beast. This make re-fuelled my love of sewing. I certainly had not fallen out of love with sewing (not possible) but I had been feeling flat and weary about most things for a while.

Leila has made Archer – and has great fitting tips.

Once I pulled out the scissors and cut into the silk, I just went bananas.

Not my favoutire shot - however it's slightly less windy and the shirt is sitting more 'normally'!

Not my favoutire shot – however it’s slightly less windy and the shirt is sitting more ‘normally’!

I did not read the instructions – I used Jen’s online sewalong, which is fantastic.
I did get slightly stuck with the burritoed yoke (you attach the yoke without a single hand stitch – love that!) and hopped between Jen’s tutorial and Peter’s of Male Pattern Boldness which helped me get the concept straight in my head. If you haven’t even sewn a yoke this way – I recommend you try it!

I hit an absolute road block with the collar and collar stand. Not because of the pattern or instructions, just my lack of experience and agility with the machine! I put it aside for a few days, realised it wasn’t as bad as I thought and ploughed on. Next time I’ll be trying Andrea of Four Square Walls method – which popped up post my collar horror!

I so enjoyed making this Archer- I promptly purchased the Tiny Pocket Tank, Mini Moss Skirt and Maritime Shorts from Grainline Studio!



I do love long-sleeved, masculine shirts and I think that I will be making a more Archers (I might have fabric queued for two more…). LOVE.

I’m going to wear this with pencil skirt and heels to work – it looks fabulous like that too… for some reason heels didn’t seem so appropriate in this setting…

Thank you Leila. xox

Pattern: Grainline Archer
Material: 100% silk shot with metallic thread
Location: 10 minutes east of Walcha NSW Australia

Also see: True Bias (this is my all time fave Archer) | Did You Make That | Ginger Makes | Sew Amy Sew | Four Square Walls (adore this outfit) | Notes from a Mad Housewife (love the back of this one – great shots & advice) | Handmade by Heather

As for the holiday – it was ‘rad’ – just ask Miss 8… thanks to all our family and friends!

Apsley Falls near Walcha, NSW

Apsley Falls near Walcha, NSW

And if it’s quiet around here… I’ve been at home for a whole four days – so it’s time for another break – this time with friends at the beach (a different one!).

62 thoughts on “Sew Bossy… falling in love with (silk) Archer

  1. I have 2- unfinished. I am SO BAD! I should take your lead and just plough on! (One I messed up the front and had to remove the whole band and the other- my daughter vacuumed up the sheer sleeve- Then said- “I dont think this was anything important!”) And yours was made with SILK! I would have been terrified. The collar stand got me for a while too. Yours is magnificent. Makes we want to get back and finish mine! .. The pictures are great. Love the colors too. Looks very “old west” in a way if that makes sense! (Except those are eucalyptus trees if I am not mistaken?) ~Laurie

    • I had a huge debate with myself whether to rip off the collar stand and start again. Then I freaked out about how the body of the shirt would take it with the fraying… so I left it for a few days and realised with my hair down and the shirt unbuttoned at the neck you could really see the minor whoops at all. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break and be a bit kinder to your sewing self πŸ™‚

  2. Wow! This looks great, even with all that crazy wind. A silk Archer? You are one brave lady, I haven’t worked myself up to that yet. Can’t wait to see more of these from you and thanks for the shout out.

  3. Gosh – that is lovely! Such gorgeous colors in the silk. Thanks for the links for the collar – I have made a few shirts for Mr. SDSC and do struggle somewhat with the collar. I could also use this technique for the cuffs πŸ™‚

  4. I have been looking for a shirt pattern and a challenge and I am inspired by yours.. I too love this style in shirt. Definitely going to get the Archer.

    And yes you have to love the Aussie countryside – unique.. on my way to the Flinders Ranges in a week (so no sewing for me for a bit).

    • It’s a great pattern and I highly recommend it – plus having the sewalong to refer to makes it easier to construct. I love the fact it’s not shaped, makes it perfect for soft, flowing fabrics.

  5. I love your fabric choice and this shirt looks so amazing! I’ve recently bought the Archer pattern so thanks so much for the tips and links re the yoke and the collar.

  6. At the tender age of 10, I got lightly mauled by a kangaroo (? might have been a large wallaby; not sure – it left in a hurry) at the Western Plains zoo. It remains the abiding memory of that holiday …

    On topic, this Archer is gorgeous. I’ve been ogling the pattern for ages and this one just looks fantastic. Very nice!

  7. I nearly fainted at the idea of making a SILK Archer! I have heard of the gelatine bath before but my one attempt at trying to stabilise polyester chiffon turned out distorted and sticky… i’m thinking maybe I put too much gelatine in it? Either way I love your Archer and am so crazy impressed that it’s made in SILK! I just can’t imagine having the patience and skills to do that!

    • I’ve just bathed some poly chiffon and it worked. Perhaps you did use too much gelatin?? I can’t imagine I would have managed to sew this without gelatin – got much if it I didn’t even need to pin it!

  8. Gorgeous Archer. I have this pattern in my sewing queue. Thanks for all the tips and the encouragement. I am making a men’s shirt for my partner next. Just in the middle of “Pam Howard’s Classic Tailored Shirt” on Craftsy, at the moment.

  9. Oh, Lizzy, it’s so pretty! I am actually not a huge fan of button-up shirts on me because I find they make me look very masculine, but even I think I could rock this one and girl it up! The fabric is so pretty and flowy and must have been very challenging to sew. Nice work!

    • I love shirts, used to wear them all the time! Now not so much – too much ironing. I think if they are made with soft fabrics they are quite girly. Just slap on some bling and nice jeans or a mini girl! πŸ™‚

  10. Wow, that’s gorgeous. I’m still working up to sewing shirts. I wish I’d known about the gelatin bath when I tried to make my silk dress a few years ago. But I know now, thanks to you!

    • Without the bath it would have been much harder – it also makes it easier to cut out. I barely pinned the fabric – except the sleeves and trickier bits. The sewalong makes it an achievable project as it breaks it up into little steps.

  11. Love this so much!!!!! What a fabulous shirt! I love it in silk! This is such a nice pattern– it’s just the sort of thing that I love to wear! It’s so luxe in silk!

  12. All sorts of gorgeous and your daughter! Love that photo! You’ve inspired me to actually start the archer that I’ve had cut out and waiting for months and man does that thing go together fast?! Sleeve plackets are next on the agenda. I love the burrito rolling technique for the yoke, I feel like a magician every single time!
    The area you shot the photos in is gorgeous, it has a slightly dream like quality to me, I can see why you like it so much.

    • I’m so pleased to have kick-started your Archer project!
      We will be headed back through that lovely country again in November & January – hopefully I’ve got a make to photograph & the weather is more agreeable next time πŸ™‚

  13. This is stunning. But I have to admit that the veggie in me is totally grossed out by the phrase ‘gelatin bath’ – it just makes me think of what Starling finds in that bath in Buffalo Bill’s house in The Silence of the Lambs. But that’s just me. You look smashing as always my beauty xxx

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  15. Gorgeous shirt and no sign of first time shirt maker here. Michael Coffey has a great book on shirtmaking should the bug take over.

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