Another Archer and #SewingCommunityGives

Grainline Archer

Another day, another Archer.

Grainline Archer

I’ve now made Grainline’s Archer shirt more than any other pattern. What can I say, I love this pattern! A classic button-down shirt with an easy fit and no darts? Sign me up!

Grainline Archer

This pink and blue cotton is from The Cloth Pocket (where these photos were taken and where I’m teaching some classes this month) and these perfect pink buttons are from a defunct local store.

Grainline Archer

For this Archer, I cut pockets, placket, yoke, cuffs, and collar on the bias. This plaid isn’t perfectly square which made it difficult to get the angle of the lines perfect, but I like the result.

Grainline Archer

Instead of pleating the center back under the yoke, I gathered the fabric.

Grainline Archer

Now onto something a little more serious…

Sewing Community Gives

Ya’ll know I don’t often get personal on this blog but today I’m making an exception. A few weeks ago, Erin over at Seamstress Erin messaged some pattern designers, bouncing around this idea to harness the power of the online sewing-sphere to give back to our communities.

I think Erin was expressing a desire that many of us share: a growing need to contribute, to share, to show love and compassion in the wake of an election season that, no matter who you supported, weighed heavily on all of us and capped out a year that for many was filled with struggle and mourning.

This sentiment struck a chord with me as lately, I have been challenging myself to do more. After the election, many probably feel like I do, that I didn’t do “enough.”

Enough of what and how much that means, I’m not exactly sure. But I do know that I can no longer be content with a kind of passive activism, expecting those impacted by bad policy to fight for change while I sit on the sidelines being “supportive” but not doing the work. I can no longer use shyness or anxiety as an excuse for not putting myself out there and making a difference. I can no longer dismiss my own implicit biases but instead must educate myself about other people’s experiences.

I am in a unique position. With no kids or a typical job, I have plenty of more time to devote to causes and because of that, I have a responsibility to do more. For me, 2016 was a tremendous year of personal growth and I feel I can take that energy I’ve accumulated and put it to use in 2017.

So what have I done to get off the couch/facebook and do the work? Well, in just the past few months I was a poll worker for two elections. I’ve joined organizations that share my values, including the League of Women Voters. I’ve donated money and volunteered to lobby for legislation I believe in. I’ve marched. I’ve attended meetings. I’ve called my senators and representatives (and it gets less scary each time I do it). I’ve visited my state legislators’ offices and met my new state rep – twice! I’ve met my city council member and visited one of my US Senator’s office. I’ve read memoirs by Supreme Court Justices, histories of segregation and the Civil War, and biographies of suffragists.

Sewing Community Gives

If you, too, are feeling inspired to do more (or to continue the good work you’ve been doing), join us for #SewingCommunityGives!

With #SewingCommunityGives, Erin is inviting sewists to pledge their time, energy and/or funds to help their local and global community this week January 16-22.

To celebrate, you can fill out this survey to tally everyone’s collective contribution and enter to win one of five fantastic pattern prize packs (including one of my patterns)!

If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few local Austin charities that I’ve volunteered for/supported in the past:

  • GirlStart educates young girls in STEM fields through camps and after school programs.
  • SafePlace is a shelter for victims of domestic violence and also runs Eloise House, one of the only places in Central Texas where sexual assault survivors can get a rape kit done.
  • Casa Marianella is an emergency homeless shelter for recently immigrated families, refugees, and asylum seekers.
  • OutYouth provides programs, services, and counseling to LBGT+ young people.

I can’t wait to see how much we can accomplish together!!

Starry Night Grainline Archer

Star Archer Shirt
I want winter to arrive. A couple weeks ago we got a cold front and the temperature dipped down slightly. Any time the high is below 80 degrees here in Texas it’s BOOT WEATHER! But then the temps rose back above 90 and I felt saddened once more…

Star Archer Shirt

But that hint of fall gave me hope for the coming season. Until those few glorious, fleeting days, I hadn’t seen a pair of jeans in six months. Those jeans and boots came out from the lost corners of the closet along with my beloved long-sleeved button down shirts.

Star Archer Shirt

If my motto is “When in Doubt, Make a Scout,” then the Archer is quickly becoming my new Scout. I already have two more Archers cut out and in the process of assembly. I’m going full force on making Archer the centerpiece of my winter wardrobe. Maybe by sewing more long sleeve shirts I can force winter to come by sheer will! What? You mean that won’t actually work? Well, you can pry my ankle booties off my cold dead feet!

Maybe by sewing more long sleeve shirts I can force winter to come by sheer will! What? You mean that won’t actually work? Well, you can pry my ankle booties off my cold dead feet!

Star Archer Shirt

Until then, here’s a new Archer!

Star Archer Shirt
This fabric is a lovely cotton with metallic silver stars and moons from The Cloth Pocket. The moons were few and far between so I had to make the most of my fabric to get any moons on the shirt. I made sure to include one on the pocket.

Star Archer Shirt
The buttons are shiny, faceted plastic from Joann. The only changes made – the pockets are about 1″ shorter, which is how I usually make them.

Star Archer Shirt

This shirt adds to my collection of several other Archer variations. And it’s the perfect shirt to wear to Astronomy on Tap!

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.

natparks1

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.

natparks2

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!

Lavender Grainline Archer

Lavender Archer

For this photoshoot, I went to the Hope Outdoor Gallery which is a fancy name for a city park where they let people graffiti over the concrete walls of this abandoned unfinished building.

It’s cool to see all the different art and writing but you never know what you’re going to find on the walls so apologies in advance if there turns out to be something offensive in these pics.

Getting that out of the way, let’s move on to the sewing!

Lavender Archer

It’s no secret that I love the Grainline Archer shirt. I’ve made variations of it four times. It has certainly earned its TNT status.

Lavender Archer

This time around, I made the version with the gathered back. The only change I made was to make the pockets a little smaller.

Lavender Archer

The fabric is a Kokka cotton shirting from The Cloth Pocket. The fabric is so smooth and fine, I plan on stocking up on lots of colors. It’s pretty wrinkly in these photos, though, because I had been wearing it all day.

I used some metal buttons from Joann Fabrics.

Lavender ArcherI only have one problem with this shirt: while making it I accidentally dropped a cupcake on the back hem of the shirt. The frosting made a splotchy stain that hasn’t come out even with a wash in the machine and soaking in hot water. It’s homemade frosting so I’m guessing it’s butter and sugar. It’s not too noticeable but I’m still annoyed by it.

Anyone got an idea to get the stain out??

Lavender Archer