archer buttondown shirt
Sewing Projects


Oh thank heavens, something that is not sewalong related! I mean, that was fun you guys, but I kept adding new posts to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything and I was starting to feel like I was in a Twilight Zone episode where I was just going to be talking about jeans…. FOREVER. And for those of you uninterested in jeans, I am sorry if your feeds were highjacked with all that topstitch talk – I wish there was a way to divert blog streams, but alas.

So, I have a big ol’ backlogged queue of projects to share. After I launched Ginger I went on a bit of a selfish sewing tear, cranking out items left and right. It felt really great to just make fun, non Closet Case things, so I made all of them. Priority number one was the Grainline Archer. I purchased this pattern in early summer and have had it printed and cut for months. I was stoked to get started on it because I haven’t seen a bad one yet, and I live in oversized men’s shirts in the summer. Seems about time I stop thrifting and start a makin’.

Closet Case Files - Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt-5Closet Case Files - Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt-8 Closet Case Files - Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt-7

Ahhh, get used to this wall guys. No more fun posing-in-the-alley shots until at least May.

I made a straight size 10 of view B; technically I’m a 8/12 in Jen’s sizing but I figured the loose fit of this would let me skip grading and I was right – I really like the fit. Since I have approximately a million button-downs in my closet, I wanted to add something new so went with the gathered back. I used a Robert Kaufman chambray from Grey’s Fabrics – it appears to be sold out but there is still some stock here. This is a lovely, soft fabric that was a joy to press and play with. From afar it looks like chambray, but up close it has a lovely herringbone pattern.

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I worked on this in bits and bobs over a few weeks – it’s a perfect pattern for that stop-dash approach, and because I wasn’t rushing through it I enjoyed taking my time through every step. The instructions with the pattern are pretty minimalistic so I just followed along with Jen in her sewalong. I used my edge-stitch foot for all of the topstitching and some mother of pearl buttons from my stash. The only issue is that I *may* have sewn the cuff plackets in backwards. Since the fabric doesn’t really have a right side/wrong side I got wrapped up in whatever podcast I was listening to and didn’t realize I had gotten mixed up. Oopsy daisy. After slapping my self around the head, I remembered I NEVER wear my sleeves un-rolled and realized no one would ever know. Except all of you reading this post. Oopsy daisy.

As for my pants, they probably look a little familiar. This is one of the earlier prototypes of the Ginger Jeans. I made them with a super stretchy brocade denim I got from my wholesaler. The texture and hand of this fabric is divine, but because it has a really high percentage of lycra I could have easily gone down two sizes. After a day of wear they get really stretched out in the hips so I have to go back and rip out the topstitching at the hip, remove the rivets and take them in a bit. I’ll get to it, eventually.

Closet Case Files - Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt-6Closet Case Files - Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt-9

Needless to say, this is one of my favourite outfits right now. Blue isn’t a colour I wear a lot but it feels seasonally appropriate and reflects my soul feelings now that winter is here and my long walks to the park are distinctly less appealing.

  • Cashmerette

    Butt ruffle for the win!

  • Samantha Lindgren

    Thank you for the kick in the butt, I have the pattern all printed out and the fabric washed and ready, but keep starting other projects. But I too love me an oversized button down, and have been stockpiling fabrics for this pattern since I bought it, almost a year (!) ago. It’s time to cut this baby out! Yours is the perfect motivation….

    • It’s not a “done in a night” kind of project but I’ve really learned to love precise sewing and methodical topstitching so it was a natural step after my Ginger madness. You can do it! It’s one of those projects that gives you a huge sense of accomplishment.

  • Blue has become my favorite color as well. When I was redesigning my site, all the inspiration photos had some sort of light blue in it. Great top and the fabric is interesting just as you said. It looks like a herringbone indeed!

  • Carolyn

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Archers! I find that sewing them is quite addicting – like crack, actually. Hope to see more of them on this blog. 🙂

    • Crack shirts! You would know right? Haven’t you made like, a billion??!?!

  • This is a fantastic outfit and I think, my new uniform. Variations of Archers and Gingers, what else does a girl need!! Love both those fabrics too!


    • Hahahaha, that post is coming up my darling.

  • I’ve made so many Archers but never the version with the ruffle! I love how it’s all blue collar business in the front and party in the back lol! Yeah okay now you have me wanting to make another Archer STAT! Love the herringbone chambray!

    • Didn’t you make pants with this stuff? I think I got this fabric because of those pants.

      • I bought the heavier version, I think it’s the same weave, but a bottom weight. It’s good stuff!

  • i LOVE that fabric! you’re perfect. don’t eva change.

  • sallieforrer

    This looks fantastic on you! Such an awesome outfit, and I love how the butt ruffle makes it a little bit ‘more’ than just-another-button-down. Also, please tell me that you waft about the house all day with that Archer unbuttoned down-to-there and that Watson bra peeking out underneath… just to confirm my image of you as the epitome of self-employed leisurely chic.

    • Oh lordy. Most of the time I’m just wearing stretched out Hudsons and oversized vintage sweaters with unwashed hair. Although I went from mostly braless to Watsons all the time so I guess that’s an improvement?

  • the shirt is all sorts of yas. the buttons, the top-stitching.

  • Herringbone chambray swooooooooooooooon!

    • That’s what she said. Wait… That’s what I SAID!

  • Oh man! What a great first Archer! This is probably one of my favorites for View B that I’ve seen… might partly be the awesome Robert Kaufman Chambray – that stuff is so awesome and I want all of them! I think I also need to get some pearl buttons for my next Archer – they’re so pretty!

    • Thanks Katie! I love Kaufman – they really make gorgeous chambray.

  • Very cool shirt! I think I’m th only person in the blogosphere who hasn’t made an archer. Even though I wasn’t doing the sew along I quite liked reading the post. The one about pocket placement was really interesting and I think I might add sewing jeans to my 2015 goals now.

    • YES! I’m glad you weren’t terrifically bored.

  • Love the chambray! And the Archer. I was soooooo close to buying this pattern the other day but I already have a huge stockpile to get through and just had to STOP. Buying. Patterns!! It’s still on the list…

    • It’s a goodie. A total wardrobe classic, you’ll never regret getting it!

  • I LOVE your Archer. Chambray rocks. I wore my recent chambray shirt to death, literally…sadly the combo of *poorish* quality Anna Sui and design of the shirt innards did itself in…but I’ve moved on and realise I need another shirt. I’ve got my Archer (never before made…wha…!) pattern on my table ready to go, and as I am lazy and don’t do muslins when I don’t have to, I’m wondering if you can comment on those shoulder seams. They look very wide on you, bordering on drop shoulder in some photos. I LOVE drop shoulders (you know I do) but I want a more conventional fit for my Archer. Did you plan for this in making the shirt or was it wider than you thought? How would you define your shoulders – narrow/normal? My shoulders are WIDE, the past bane of my RTW shirt buys, so maybe the fit will work out for me….

    • I would say I have somewhat narrow shoulders, but I like I a dropped shoulder which is why I probably never even clocked where they fell on me, hehe. I think this might hit a little higher on you than me, but it wouldn’t hurt to just muslin just the front and back bodice pieces so you can see where the shoulder seam is. Surely you have some crappy cotton to spare 😉

  • BTW, I feel like every single time I sew a shirt I put something on backwards…the collar, the collar stand, a cuff…it could be the wine though

    • Bwahahahaha. This is why I don’t sew and drink!

  • Hélène

    A beautiful blue Archer + soft floral pants = an antidote to winter blues. God, I’m already counting weeks to get through this long and cold winter in Montréal.

    • I went for a long walk yesterday not knowing it was minus 8 and it took three hours to stop shivering once I got inside. WE CAN DO IT MON AMI!

  • You’ve made the switch to indoor photos! I need to, as well… but there’s a giant Nordic Track blocking the one bit of blank wall that I posed against. (Maybe I should do action shots on the nordic track instead?) Gotta find a new spot. And some daylight!
    Your archer looks like it’ll fit perfectly into your wardrobe! i like the butt ruffle version – it’s an extra bit of fun!

    • Please pose on the Nordic Track. I beg of you.

  • SmileDog Stitches

    Loving the gathered back! That was a nice surprise since I’m not familiar with the top in that pattern. And those jeans…so pretty! I SWEAR I’m working on mine & hope to work on them all day tomorrow if nobody calls to interrupt for work. Ah, the joys of winter weather. I might have already mentioned this but my mom was born & raised in Montreal. She left w/her parents when she was 18 & moved to Los Angeles where I’m from (but I’m in Wyoming now). 🙂

    • I love Montreal connections! Have you ever been here? Great weekend getaway if you want European style on a beer budget.

      • SmileDog Stitches

        Unfortunately I’ve never been. Sounds like my kind of place though! I spent a lot of time in Europe for work in the past & luckily my company paid for all food, lodging & alcohol if I wanted it. Funny-ish story…my mother never talks about her childhood. She’s an only child & my grandparents (who were from England & Wales) died when I was 6 & 10 & we lived with my grandmother for 4 years after my grandfather passed away. My sister & I never knew my mom spoke French (duh…she grew up in Montreal!). When we were about 34 my sister & mom were on a plane from LA to Wyoming & my sister said my mom carried on a 20 minute conversation in French with 2 guys seated behind them. We were both shocked. Haha! This was some 40 years after she left Montreal. I have no idea how rusty she was, of course. Apparently my grandfather refused to speak French in Montreal & she wasn’t allowed to speak it at home. Such a shame. 🙁

  • so you! and i also want to see more of that bra! (i am totally under the spell of the watson, so everything else is only mildly interesting)

  • The shirt looks great and I love the jeans!

  • Such a cute and effortless outfit! Archer is up next in my queue. In fact, a bunch of friends and I are supposed to be sewing along with each other this month. Just need to get my Gingers done first! I’ve been driving my husband crazy with, “how does my crotch look now?” Hahaha!

  • Joanne Roberts

    Fantastic. You are probably so over it now but I am wearing my own jeans and telling EVERYBODY!

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