Sleeveless Popover Archer

Sleeveless Grainline Archer

Taking a little break today from costume sewing (both historical and some cosplay) to share a quick shirt I made. Yet another variation on the Grainline Archer.

The Goal: I bought a yard of this fabric with the idea that I would use it for a different project but I never ended up making that other project. Instead I was left with only a small amount of fabric. What could I make…?

The Pattern: Ah, the ever popular Grainline Archer. It’s a well drafted pattern and I love it because no darts. Seriously, not having darts is the greatest thing.

Sleeveless Grainline Archer

The Fabric: Some metallic on white Kokka Japanese fabric from The Cloth Pocket. I think it’s a linen/cotton blend.

I didn’t have enough fabric for every piece so I cut the under collar, inside yok,e and arm hole bias binding from some plain white linen.

Buttons came from my stash.

Sleeveless Grainline Archer

The Changes: With limited fabric I couldn’t do a full length placket so I scraped together some leftover bits to make the half-placket.

Sleeveless Grainline Archer

I made one other popover Archer before so I thought I remembered how to do the placket technique. I was wrong. And messed up a couple times. Finally I reviewed the same tutorial I used last time which worked but the tip of the placket is a little wonky. It’s times like these that I have to ask myself: “do I care?” And usually the answer is “not enough.”

I also took Grainline’s advice and sliced off a bit from the shoulder area in order to make the pattern work better as a sleeveless design.

Sleeveless Grainline Archer

The Results: I’ve been doing so much costume related sewing lately which I enjoy, but with so much more detail and handwork, it seems like those projects are ever never finished. I rely so much on the motivation boost I get when I complete a garment, so  I it’s good sometimes to take a break and sew up something quickly.

Grainline Archer #3 – Popover Edition!


Susan was nice enough to take pictures of this shirt yesterday on a little blogger meet-up/shopping trip. It was great to meet Jenny of Cashmerette and the lovely Mary of Idle Fancy along with getting to spend time with several of my Austin friends!


Super sewing blogger meet up!

By the end of the day I’d eaten a yummy tacos (and Jenny had her first bite of queso), bought several yards of delicious fabric, took a bunch of selfies, ate some cheesecake and generally had a great time all around. And seriously, you guys have to see Nicole’s Cambie of Amazeovaries.

But, onward to the Archer!

The Goal: This being my third Archer shirt (#1, #2) I wanted to do something a little different.


The Pattern: You’ve seen it before, you’ll see it again and you’ll love it every time – the Grainline Archer button down shirt. This time with a twist!


The Fabric: This neat red/white/blue plaid shirting from Form and Fabric (ugh, that place is getting all my money!). This fabric is surprisingly great – lightweight but not transparent, yarn dyed so you don’t have to worry about right and wrong sides. It’s kind of lumberjack-like. Even Justin wanted a shirt made out of this stuff.

Trouble was I didn’t have enough of it for the full shirt. Naturally when I bought the fabric I had a basic idea of what I wanted to make but underestimated my fabric needs (a common problem I have).


I managed to squeeze out enough (no fabric left for pockets) except for the inside of the cuffs which are just a plain off white cotton. But since I usually will wear this with sleeves rolled up you’ll never see it.

The little red translucent buttons came from my stash.

The Changes: Popover!

I found this Melly Sews tutorial on making a placket, and a second tutorial via Meg’s sweet chambray popover post.

I liked that tutorial because it used only one strip of fabric and you end up with that nice little point on the end. It won’t work well with bulky fabric, however. Too thick to make a clean point.


For the placket piece I just turned the original front button thing pattern piece on the bias which makes the placket extend about halfway down the shirt. I used 3/8″ seams on the placket, to give you an idea of size.


Only other change: I made a second pleat about waist level in the center back, the same size as the pleat attached to the yoke, to cinch in the back fabric just a little bit. I just stitched it down horizontally.

Also, I might have again messed up the cuffs – I think I switched the button and buttonhole placements. Oops. I need to pay better attention.


The Results: Love it, but of course I would. It’s an Archer, duh. This will be great for fall and so far I’ve worn it twice this week. If you wear a garment multiple times immediately after making then you know it’s a keeper.

Grainline Archer #2

(I got photobombed by my nephew, lol)

The Goal: I wanted to make, in my head, a safari style white buttondown. Something less dressy and more utilitarian than your standard white shirt. I had the fabric and pattern for awhile but I had yet to actually sew it.

The Pattern: Another Grainline Archer! After my first one I immediately dived into my second version. Love this pattern. I did a straight size 4 (this shirt isn’t very fitted, which I like, so no need for any major fit adjustments).


The Fabric: A white rayon challis from Super Textiles, a non-air conditioned warehouse in Dallas that sells fabrics on the cheap. I think this was $3 a yard. I also bought the little clear buttons there, if I remember correctly. If you’re ever in Dallas you should check it out.

The Changes: Ok, here’s where things got interesting. First, the pockets. By the time I cut out my pocket pieces the unthinkable happened. I ran out of spray starch. This rayon is super shifty. Luckily it tears so that helped me get some straight lines on the cross grain while cutting but for sewing this stuff doesn’t want to stay still. I cut these pockets about an inch shorter than the pattern piece and roughly 3.5 inches wider to accommodate the pleat.

I blame the shifty fabric for my mistake of sewing my pockets inside out. See, I intended for the box pleat to face out, instead I stitched them the other way and didn’t even notice until they had been sewn to the shirt. At that point I had sewn the pockets down a total of five different times because they would shift around as I stitched even with all the pins I owned trying to keep them in place. After the pocket-sewing-fiasco of 2014 I decided to leave them as is. While wandering around with my fam the other day I found myself staring at random people’s shirts to see if I could find pockets like mine to justify my mistake.

On a better note I also added these little tab thingies on the sleeves (I seriously do not know what these are called so I’ve just declared them tabs until I am corrected).

It took a little work to figure them out, I’m sure you’ve seen them before. They’re lengths of fabric stitched to the inside of the sleeve with a buttonhole on the free end. On the outside of the sleeve there’s a button attached so you can hook the tab to it and hold up the sleeve. A cool detail I think. And with the shifty fabric my rolled up sleeves tend to unroll themselves anyway.

Would anyone be interested in a tutorial for this? I figure I can’t do a tutorial for something I can’t even name, lol.

The Results: Yay, I have a white shirt! Versatile and cute. Goes with anything. Fits well. Super win!

The best looking Pic-nic Blanket you’ve ever seen, aka, my Grainline Archer Shirt


We took these pictures at the new Whole Foods near my house here in Austin. We went on the big Grand Opening Day event because, well, we’re white and we had this coupon for a free package of ground beef if you spent over $25. So we bought some grapes and a baguette which was enough to get that meat.

there’s a side seam in there somewhere… 😉

Anyway, after that I made Justin take some pics of me with his phone because my regular camera is having issues and I’ve been unable to take photos.

I figure this is a good enough grocery-shopping-extravaganza shirt because as I was making it I realized this giant blue check pattern reminded me of a pic-nic blanket. I think adding the pockets on the bias helped alleviate that problem.

Well, let’s get to the important bits, shall we?


The Goal: I’ve had an Archer shirt cut out in pieces for several months but it’s been sitting in a plastic bag of loneliness in my UFO drawer because that shirt’s fabric was polyester. Even though I liked the colors and print, the thought of static-y, sweaty poly on my skin made me lose interest. So to jump start the Archer again I bought some new fabric and dared all my sewing club friends to make Archers with me and at next month’s meeting we’re gonna show off all our Archers together. Super Archer Challenge is on!


The Pattern: Grainline Studio’s Archer. If you read sewing blogs you’ve seen this one a hundred times. I’m late to getting on the band wagon it seems. I think I cut a size 4 and it fit right out the box. Not that it need much fitting. If it fits in the shoulders you’re pretty much good to go. And OMG a button down shirt with no darts! This is amazing! I am never using another button down shirt pattern again!


The Fabric: A very soft cotton check from The Common Thread. It’s from Moda and was on a 45″ bolt like quilting cottons but it feels way too soft to be a quilting cotton but not crisp like a shirting. Hmm, mysterious.


The Changes: Pockets, button placket and back yoke on the bias. I used Grainline’s tip of cutting the interior back yoke piece on the straight grain to stabilize the biased piece.

The Results: I think I smell. I most likely do. I’ve worn this shirt more times this week than one ought to do without washing it. I would wash it, you see, but that would mean I’d have to take it off so…


One minor detail I worried about was that on previous made versions I’d seen the shoulder line seems to be ever so slightly dropped. I wondered if that was intentional or if everyone just has narrow shoulders. I think it looks that way on me but I don’t mind it at all. Just something to think about if you care, which I don’t, I’m just going to go frolic in a meadow with my wonderful pic-nic shirt!

Seriously, though, this is another outstanding pattern from Grainline. That lady truely knows how to draft. The shirt came together quickly. Her instructions and illustrations on the sleeve cuff placket area were easy to follow even if you’ve never done that type of technique before. No trying to fit an enormous amount of sleeve cap ease into the armhole. No frustrating fiddly bits. Grading seam allowances in all the right places. To put it simply it’s a great pattern, I’m already sewing a second version!


On a random note, as I was uploading my photos to Flicker Justin saw my screen and asked why it was called an Archer shirt. I told him it was because you wear it while Katnissing.

****Just wanted to say thank you all for the lovely comments on my wedding Macaron. I appreciate it all and I love this community so much. There’s too many to reply individually but I wanted everyone to know how much it means to me. THANK YOU!