Hiking Archer – More Activewear Sewing

Hiking Archer

Did you know this year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service?

I love National Parks! Creating them is one of the best things this country has ever done. Whenever I get disillusioned by the mess of our current political system and I start thinking “you know, that Justin Trudeaux guy seems like an alright dude,” and “Vancouver is really just like a much colder Austin,” I remember the National Parks and think, “well, at least we got one thing right…”

…Let’s just say, the Parks give me perspective and hope for the future.

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All pics from my Instagram: clockwise from the top left: Big Bend NP, TX; Bryce Canyon NP, UT; Zion NP, UT; Rocky Mountain NP, CO

I’ve made it a personal goal to visit all the National Parks in my lifetime and I’ve got a good head start seeing as I’ve been to quite a few already.

But I say goal loosely because there’s 58 of ’em in total and some are only accessible by plane or boat! It’s unlikely that I’ll go to every National Park but I’m unofficially counting National Monuments and Seashores, etc., as bonus points.

This year we’re visiting Hot Springs and Everglades National Parks.

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More Instagram shots: Big Bend NP, TX wearing Sewaholic Renfrew shirt; Great Sand Dunes NP, CO wearing a knit Grainline Scout tee; Dixe(!!!) National Forest, UT wearing True Bias Hudson Pants

I’ve always worn me-made clothes while travelling but I think it’s high time I made some clothes specifically for the job – in this case, hiking. I don’t camp, I don’t like “roughing it,” but I do love day hikes and exploration – hence the hiking shirt!

Hiking Archer

Like my leggings fabric from the last post, this fabric came from Rockywoods.com. It’s a water-resistant, breathable nylon with SPF 50 which is quite important for summertime adventuring.

Hiking Archer

It’s a water-resistant (take that, rain!), breathable (take that, sweat!) nylon with SPF 50 (take that, diminishing ozone layer!) which are all quite important factors for summertime adventuring. It’s crisp with a crinkly texture and makes a soft rustling noise, not quite the same as cotton but it feels a lot like the types of shirts I tried on at Outdoors-y stores like REI.

Hiking Archer

I bought the color “Rain Day” which I thought would be gray but it looks more like a pale khaki so I’m nicknaming this my “Safari Shirt.”

The fabric was nice to work with as it was nice and stable and didn’t fray hardly at all. Buttons came from Joann.

Hiking Archer

I used my TNT Grainline Archer shirt pattern (what is this, make number 6 by now?). It’s the perfect all-purpose pattern to go with this lightweight fabric. The only change was making the pockets a little smaller.

Hiking Archer

A button-down shirt works well for hiking for a few reasons: long sleeves and a high neck keep my uber-pale skin covered from the sun but I can also roll up the sleeves or wear a tank under it and unbutton the front if it gets too warm. Plus, wearing a khaki dress shirt makes me feel like a fancy early 20th-century explorer like Indiana Jones or something.

I ordered more fabric from Rockywoods – soon to become some Grainline Maritime “Hiking” shorts and the Sewaholic Cypress Cape (for extra rainy hiking or rainy Everglades boat-riding…).

Hiking Archer

Soon I’ll be all geared up for outdoor adventures! If you want, I’ve made a new Pinterest board collecting all the activewear patterns and fabric suppliers I’ve found in the last few weeks. Let me know if there’s a cool pattern I’ve missed! And tell me about your favorite Park!

  • I’ve been to 21 National Parks so far! My goal is to get to every one but some of the more remote ones in Alaska may be a challenge! I’m lucky that we have Rose City Textiles in Portland. I pick up lots of awesome activewear fabric there.

    • Yeah, as a non camper I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do those remote Alaskan parks. I might have to start practice camping just to work my way up to that, and also get over my fear of flying in tiny planes…

      It boggles my mind that there are cities that have specialty fabric stores that sell activewear fabrics! I’m so jealous, Austin doesn’t have anything like that and we mostly only have quilting stores now.

  • Thanks for sharing, that is so cool to know about different fabric sources. Also: Canada would be happy to have you. I know you have national parks but, just sayin’, so do we 😉

    http://www.worldfortravel.com/2015/11/11/algonquin-provincial-park-ontario-canada/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auyuittuq_National_Park

    • Wow, Algonquin Park looks beautiful! And it’s not to far from Toronto. Well, now I gotta add it to the list…

  • Lynn

    Seattle Fabrics specializes in outdoor fabrics and patterns (SeattleFabrics.com). My favorite National Park in Washington is the Olympic NP on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I know everyone goes to Rainier NP (who can resist a huge dormant volcano so close to Seattle) and Mt. St. Helens (who can resist an active volcano), but the Olympic has such an ethereal beauty. It is the only temperate rainforest in the world. The moss is amazing! Also, it has some really spectacular lakes.

    • I’ve checked out SeattleFabrics before, they’ve got lots of nice fleece which I might look into for future fall/winter based hiking adventures.

      I’ve been to Seattle a couple times but haven’t had a chance to visit Olympic or Rainier, they both sound beautiful!!

      • Late on his, but I second Olympic. It’s a “temperate rainforest.” That means you expect elves and gnomes around every bend. It’s one of my favorites.

  • Looks like a great shirt for hiking. I’ve got the cypress cape on my to sew list. I’ve cycled down the Oregon Coast and seen some beautiful parks. I’d love to see more. Vancouver isn’t cold at all. We only get one or two snow days a year. We have some pretty nice parks too ☺

    • I think you underestimate my Texan susceptibility to cold! I am very thin skinned. I’ve been to Seattle in December and while it didn’t snow, it was very cold to me! 😉 But I would love to visit Vancouver and see all the lovely Canadian parks!
      Thanks Renee!

  • Claire

    This fabric site it awesome – So many terms I don’t know! I work outside, and it would be great to make clothing tough enough to wear at work. My favorite park might be Zion in Utah, or Arcadia in Maine, but I haven’t been to enough of them to properly choose!

    • Zion is fantastic, haven’t yet been to Arcadia. I bought a lot of swatches from Rockywoods, that really helped me pick fabrics as I had so little experience with what any of them felt like. Also, the website color listings aren’t entirely accurate.

  • This is great, Dixie. I’ve been meaning to do the exact same thing (though I find I like a lightweight cotton fabric better than a technical fabric for outdoors activities), but I’m been dragging my feed on taping the pattern and getting the fit right. I know its going to take some work, but I’m sure it will be worth it once I do! As for my favorite national park, thats a hard one! I love the smokey mountains for old times sake, we went there a lot when I was growing up. I went to Dinosaur National Monument last year, we spent 5 days on the Green River and it was PHENOMENAL! That is a really nice, remote park with amazing scenery. I’d like to go back and see the stuff that you can’t see from the river, there are a ton of fossils but I didn’t see any of them!

    • This is my first use of a technical fabric for hiking (rather than for running or general exercise) so I want to see how it performs in the wild, even if it turns out I don’t love it, this fabric was quite inexpensive so that alone almost makes it worth it.

      Oooh, Dinosaur NM sounds fun! I’ve been near the Smokey Mountains NP but didn’t actually go inside the park. It’s beautiful country.

      thanks megan!

  • Australia is a bit the same – so many national parks and so little time! Your photos are beautiful by the way!

    I did a bit of outdoor sewing last year and ordered from rockywoods as well. I think i bought some goretex for pants which work a treat. I also ordered from mill yardage (great for polartec) and also from Shelby (general technical fabrics). I’ll go have a look for my post and see if there are any others I’ve forgotten 🙂

  • I just went back and read about your leggings and I’m so glad I did! I bought a few yards of that same supplex last year. I made two bike packing bags for my brother and ordered all my fabrics and supplies from rockywoods. I was amazed at all the stuff they had. I was planning on making some leggings with the supplex. It feels like seriously nice stuff!

  • Sarah!

    I just purchased a National Parks Passport, and I’m SUPER excited to start crossing them off the list! I got the “Collector’s Edition” that includes a specific spot for all (most?) of the national monuments/other sites as well. All the parks have stamps to cancel your passport just like going to other countries!

  • This is so brilliant! I just got back from the BEST trip in the Rockies (especially if you like hiking but not roughing it: http://www.footpathsoftheworld.com/the-walter-tishma-way/ <<best ever, definitely check it out!!) and was thinking the whole time about how i needed to buy a long sleeved button up "hiking shirt" but i had no idea I could purchase the fabric and make my own! Thank you SO much for the resources

  • You’re looking great! Have fun on your trip!