Monday, July 7, 2014

Grainline Studio Archer Shirt (Sleeveless)


For the holiday weekend, I went on a road trip to a horse show in Georgia. Naturally, I decided I needed a new shirt. I've had the Grainline Studio Archer pattern for a long time, so I thought it was time to finally print it out and make it.


The show was at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, which was built for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It was beautiful and huge and a little bit eerie. We took pictures in the giant arena where they did the show jumping. Here's a video of the gold medal winner's run:

Everything was open and accessible and there wasn't a soul around. Maybe it's because the Walking Dead takes place around Atlanta, but I could totally imagine that place filling up with zombies.


When making the Archer, I started by taking Jen's advice about how to convert it to a sleeveless number. If you just leave off the sleeves, the armscye will be way too big and will probably provide a major peekaboo for whatever is going on inside your shirt.


Here's what all I ended up doing:

1. I removed 1" from the outside edge at the shoulder seam on both front and back, then blended it back to the bottom of the armscye.

2. The back armscye was too gapey on me, so I removed a 1.25" strip from the top edge of the lower back piece, all the way across.


3. I wanted to add a little more fit, and the front armscye was gaping a bit, so I pinched out a dart at the armscye and then rotated it down into a bust dart [the original pattern doesn't have one]. This accomplished both things. Yay!


4. I added a narrow bias waist tie because I like cinched in waists.

I'm so happy with how the inside looks too. There are no raw edges anywhere! I did french seams on the side seams to make them clean and finished. Everything else is covered by the yoke facing, collar stand and the binding on the armholes.


I did have one extreme facepalm moment when attaching the collar. I was being so careful and so precise and got everything attached and topstitched and even under stitched. Oh what a good seamstress I was being! I would deserve an extra treat that night!

Until I realized that I attached everything with the undercollar on top.

This wasn't the worst mistake to make, and I decided to just take out the visible understitching and leave it, but it's still a little bit of a bummer. The undercollar has a center back seam, and the edge is rolling towards the undercollar as it should [which is now the collar], but the print is so busy you can't really tell. Oh well.


There was one step where I was kinda confused on what to do - it's the last step of attaching the collar and collar stand. But luckily Jen has a video of that step in her Archer sewalong. After watching the video it was super easy!

The fabric is a Japanese cotton lawn from Yuwa that I used to line my Kwik Sew bomber jacket. The buttons are vintage buttons from Paris that my lovely friend Christine gave me.


The horse show I went to, by the way, was a quarter horse show. A quarter horse is a specific breed, and quarter horse shows are totally different than the show jumping in the video. I used to show as a kid, and I did both English [the velvet helmet, jacket and tall boots] and Western [cowboy hat, chaps, lots of sparkle].


Like anything, horse show outfits have trends and style changes over the years, and the Western outfits have gotten so bling-ed out since I showed. I mean, we had rhinestones back in the day, but today their outfits are COVERED in them. Like pounds and pounds of Swarovski.


There are lots of different classes but they usually involve performing a pattern with specific maneuvers and/or riding around the rail at different gaits.


This was the first time seeing show outfits since I really started sewing seriously, and man. They are cuh-razy. Aaaand I kind of want to make one?


And so in my google quest about sewing show clothes, I found this company that makes equestrian sewing patterns [!!!!!!]. Stay tuned for a future blog post...

I went with my friend Kelly that I used to ride and show with. We haven't seen each other since we were about 14, but we both just happened to move to Nashville at the same time. She invited me to go hang out with our trainers for the weekend - who are still training - and it was so fun. Now I'm aching to show again. And an extra special thanks to Kelly for taking the pictures of me!


  1. Love love love this top! That fabric! One of my favorite combos in the world - tiny multi floral on navy background! I DIE! And I love the addition of the tie belt, and the chambray inside yoke is great too! Okay done now :)

    1. haha I know, this fabric almost became one of those ones that I liked too much to ever even cut into! but luckily I forced myself!!

    2. I love your shirt and love love the horse pics. I'm pretty sure the fabric you used is called Joubert by liberty. Originally a silk print. As far as I know, shaukat still have it

    3. oh wow! thanks! maybe they licensed it to yuwa? so then this is the closest i’ve ever gotten to making something out of liberty fabric!

  2. I have a couple of Suitability patterns but have not made them up yet. My grandma used one to make me a vest and jacket for showing back in the day. Now I ride more for fun and am into the casual non-blinged out shirt scene of the working cow horse events. Did you see Simplicity got into the horse show game with 1361? I think it was in their Summer release. Making these outfits would totally be a money saver because the cost of show shirts alone is crazy!

    1. i had not seen the simplicity one, interesting! i know, the cost of these things is ridiculous now, i couldn't believe it when my friend and i were looking at them online. they seem to have gone up from when i was showing way, way more than you can blame on inflation!

  3. Cute! Love the floral. The first time I made an Archer, I attached the undercollar on top, too, and noticed a couple other bloggers mentioning it. Makes me think we're not all goofs and perhaps the instructions led us astray... Still a great pattern, though. I've made so many! !

    1. oh good to know i’m not the only one… :]

  4. Love it! I have my calico cut out to make a muslin of this shirt finally. I'm somewhat concerned about it's lack of shaping and think I'll probably end up taking a dart here and there. I'll definitely have to concentrate when I do the collar to make sure I don't do it upside down - it'd be a fair bit more obvious on my fabric (navy viscose)

    1. yes just keep an eye out. maybe referring to the sewalong would be extra helpful, i didn’t look at it until i was stuck at the last collar step.

  5. So cute! And how adorable do you look with your boots on and everything! I think you've found your place lady. Glad to have contributed the buttons for the project! And you're reminding me that I have some of that Yuwa lawn in my stash too... what to use it for....?

    1. your buttons saved me from a much-dreaded last minute button trip to joann’s. thank goodness! and i think i still have about a yard of the fabric left too…i’m totally going to try to squeeze something else out of it.



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