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!

Two Plantain Shirts (plus bonus adorable cat)

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This post has an extra special appearance from Betsy – my relative’s adorable fluffy Persian kitty. I can’t tell if she’s annoyed with me holding her because her face always looks like that. Either way, she’s super nice. My cat, Peanut, would never let me hold her like this.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Both of the knits for these two shirts are from LAFinchFabrics.com.

Deer & Doe Plantain ShirtI bought them for other projects which have been cut out but not yet sewn. Luckily I had enough left to make a couple Plantains – the free shirt pattern from Deer and Doe.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This shirt is made with a lightweight but pretty stable cotton poly blend jersey with a very slight, barely noticeable burnout. Best of all it was THREE DOLLARS for two yards! Let me repeat that – THREE WHOLE AMERICAN DOLLARS (plus shipping obvs)!!!!!

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough leftover fabric for the back but I had just enough of some scrap black rayon jersey that was nearly the same weight. I also used that black to cut out the elbow patches.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

I didn’t make any fit changes other than grading between sizes from the waist to hips. I like the way the shirt flares at the hem – good for a pear shape like me.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Onward to Plaintain Part Deux:

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This one used a denim (it’s a heather-ish blue on the outside, white on the underside) french terry that is super lightweight and drapey. It’s like it was made for this pattern. Too bad it’s now sold out.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

My serger is on the fritz right now so I sewed both of these with a zig zag on my regular machine and used a twin needle on the hems and collar.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

One thing I loved about this pattern is the neckline. I like the wide round shape and the collars on both shirts sit nice and flat. I know every knit is different and there’s no way of knowing if a pattern’s collar piece is going to be too long, too short, or just right. It’s often trial and error, but for both shirts the length was perfect. Like, it’s the Goldilocks collar!

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Sometimes you need a quick sewing project to get your sewjo back. I hadn’t made the Plantain before but both of these shirts came together in only a few hours.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Well, that’s it for today but because you deserve it – here’s another cute cat picture. Betsy says “Happy Sewing!!”

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

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!

Papercut SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings
This post is a two-fer! I made be a bit late but I have thoroughly jumped aboard the activewear sewing bandwagon.

This is my new yoga outfit: both the shirt and leggings are from Papercut Patterns.

Tee:

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings
I made the short sleeve, non-cropped version of the SJ Tee out of an incredibly smooth and soft rayon/lycra blend I bought from a now-defunct local store. The thin and light fabric works well for a slouchy tee (it has a slight 4-way stretch) but has surprisingly decent recovery.

I like the wide neckline because I hate crew necks digging into my neck and since you typically wear a sports bra while working out anyway, you’re not worried about fixing your shirt all the time and making sure you’re not flashing anyone.

The cuffed sleeves add some structure to the shirt and I think helps keep the shirt from sliding off your shoulders.

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

All in all, I love this simple pattern. The only thing I should have done differently was to shorten the collar piece by another inch or so. I shortened it a bit because my fabric has plenty of stretch, but knit collars are an art, not a science. The collar is a little floppy around center front but that’s ok, I think it adds to the casual, loose feel of the top, so I don’t mind.

Often times when I make a small but annoying mistake like that, I invoke my sewing motto: “Do I care? Not enough.” and move on…

Leggings:

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings
These are the mid length Ooh La Leggings sewn with some fantastic Supplex nylon lycra from Rockywoods.com. I bought a bunch of fabrics from that site on a whim just to check it out. This stuff has 4-way stretch with great recovery and is thick and dense enough to make good leggings. It’s matte, not shiny like lots of activewear fabrics, which I liked.

But seriously, I cannot recommend this stuff enough, especially for activewear sewing. It’s my new favorite thing. I only wish they had more colors!

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

I was concerned when the pattern called for lots of straight stitching and topstitching on a knit but this fabric has such good stretch that the straight stitching didn’t matter.

I used a twin needle for the hem and waist. I also lowered the waist by about an inch and a half, just as a personal preference.

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

Another great pattern. I didn’t have to make any fitting changes and the fabric makes the leggings extra comfy.

Namaste, stitchers!