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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!

Comments (30) for post “The best looking Pic-nic Blanket you’ve ever seen, aka, my Grainline Archer Shirt”

  • Wow! I really think this is the best Archer I’ve seen! I’m not exaggerating. I’m hopin’ on over to jump on the Archer band-wagon and buy that pattern. Great job on this one!

  • Oh I really, really, really love this Dixie! The bias cut button band is genius, I wish I had thought of that on my first version! Anyway, like you, I’m already hooked and planning a second version!!!

  • So funny, when I saw this I thought that fabric looked familiar but when you described it I realized I had the same fabric from Drygoods in Seattle under my table. Hahaha! Hope you don’t hate me if we accidentally become twins because seeing how beautifully yours turned out I totally want to copy you! Thanks for the kind words on the pattern, I work so hard on them it’s nice to hear people like them:)

  • Woo Hoo!! Sweet Archer! I love this pattern too, I really do! It’s so addicting to sew, and it’s pretty much what I want to wear everyday. I’m loving your version with it’s big, bold check. I just bought some plaid flannel that I’m dying to turn into an Archer and you just reminded me that I should get on that before it gets too hot to wear! Haha! Also, love your Whole Foods story… yep, grapes and a baguette totally sounds like it’ll get you to $25 bucks for free meat!

  • Love that shirt, and love the archer. I have been to Austin many times as I live in Kerrville. Two of my children have moved from Austin to the neighboring town of Cedarpark. I laughed when you said you bought wine and grapes, I’m surprised you had to buy grapes..WF’s is so expensive…

    Thanks for sharing your Archer…I can’t wait to start one..Ruth

  • love this archer! i haven’t made one in a few months and i’m having withdrawal… fortunately i have new fabric for one! i have had to shave about 1/2″ off the shoulder seam to keep it from being too off the shoulder. but i have no idea if i have wide or narrow shoulders either…

  • I really need to make me one of these shirts. Some ridiculous plaid brushed cotton just went on sale for $5 a meter at my local fabric shop… and I think I need to suck it up and head down there tomorrow.Yours looks fabulous!!!

  • Love it! I keep thinking I need to sew one of these…maybe this is the push that will send me over the edge.

  • thanks! i don’t know if i have wide or narrow shoulders either. do you adjust the sleeve cap, too, or just cut off the edge of the armhole shoulder?

  • thanks, ruth. yes, WF is rather expensive. I think it it worth it on some things liked baked goods and cheese but not worth it enough to make me shop regularly there.

  • Haha – great shirt, and best opening paragraph ever! Got my archer pattern and fabric and can’t wait to get going, all these lovely versions are so inspiring!

  • i don’t mess with the sleeve at all, just shave off at the shoulder and blend in as you get to the underarm part of the curve.

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