In Sewing

custom dyed archer


I decided to tie in Archer Appreciation Month with my next fabric review for Organic Cotton Plus to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak (I actually hate that expression. I feed birds, not stone them). Besides, organic cotton flannel sounded like a glorious pairing for the Archer shirt anyway!


Since the flannel comes in its natural state, I knew I was going to custom dye it myself. I hopped on the RIT dye website and browsed around their Color Formula Guide for some inspiration. Did you know RIT brand dye has been around for over a century? They have a fantastic little snippet on their historical timeline about the introduction of All-Purpose RIT in 1941 and its grand impact on re-purposing old clothes, which was important during WWII. You know I’m happy any time I can link the 1940s into my sewing, so that little historical fact really made me feel quite pleased with myself.


After settling on color Green 1 #235 “Peapod” I did my best to recreate the color based on their formula and my less than scientific math calculations. I basically used one box of teal, a dash of lemon yellow (I aimed for 1/8th of the box but who knows how much I actually poured in!), and around 3-4 gallons of nearly boiling water for my two yards of fabric. I let it soak for close to two hours before rinsing the fabric in cold water and then sending it through the wash (twice to be sure) with a bunch of shabby towels.

When it came out of the dryer I was unsure of my thoughts on the color. “Ninja Turtle Green” was my initial impression, not quite was I was aiming for, but after stumbling upon a color guide in my 1945 DuBarry sewing book I’m rather pleased with the shade (Radical, Dude!).


Apparently TMNT green is the right color for my type, which is currently Auburn Hair – Brown Eyes. What a happy accident! I think the green will actually look really nice with the organic coconut shell buttons I received along with the fabric.


I’m taking a bit of a risk by omitting the collar stand and altering the neckline on Archer for more of a 1940s look. I just folded over the button placket in order to add an extension and make a new facing. Then I’ll continue on as I did in my 1940s collar tutorial. Why alter such a masterfully drafted pattern? Because of course I would! (Sorry Jen I just can’t help myself!) One of my goals for 2014 is to tie the 1940s in with every single thing I make. Actually, I’m really dreaming of a full 1940s wardrobe! That sounds pretty limiting but if I ever feel the need to branch out to other vintage eras, I now have a new platform to do so (more on that soon!).


I’m hoping to have all of my pieces cut out by the end of the day so I can get to sewing and finish my shirt in time for Archer Appreciation Month!

Are you making an Archer shirt to share in the Flickr group? What fabric are you using?


*Flannel fabric provided courtesy of Organic Cotton Plus. Fabric dye purchased on my own accord, I am not affiliated with RIT. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. All views are my own. Yada yada yada…


  • It’s great to know that I’m not the only who isn’t a fan of that expression – though, I dislike “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” even more (to the point there, I’ll intentionally go out of my way not to use it if there’s any other possible expression or metaphor that I can into use in a situation where that would usually fit).

    β™₯ Jessica

  • “Radical, Dude!”
    Oh my god, you are so dorky and adorable. πŸ™‚

  • The color is gorgeous, and I LOVE that fact about RIT. I’ve had a great experience using their dyes, and it makes more sense than ever now.

    • Thanks! Yeah I think I’ll be finding excuses to dye things all the time now πŸ˜‰

  • I’d have called it more of a ‘Gumby’ green… but I *like* Gumby green πŸ˜‰ I think it will look lovely!

    • Haha it is Gumby green! I suppose Gumby was rather likable though πŸ˜‰

  • My Sewing Suite

    I love the shade of green, I think it will be lovely on you and I look forward to seeing your version with the 1940s collar.

    • Thank you! I rather went at the collar alterations with no preemptive plan so let’s hope it actually works out! Eek!

  • oh! That green looks lovely, and I think it’ll be gorgeous on you. If I have time, I got some green plaid flannel (a little more drab green) for a second Archer. But first I gotta focus on photographing the first one πŸ˜‰

    • Aww thanks, Qui! Can’t wait to see yours πŸ™‚

  • Oooh custom dyeing! I’ve been fantasizing about doing that very thing myself! πŸ˜€ I think the colour will be perfect on you, and the flannel looks so lovely and soft πŸ™‚

    • Custom dying it really quite fun! I felt like I was mixing up a magic potion lol. We’ll see how the fabric looks sewn up.

  • The flannel looks so warm and cozy, such a good idea to dye it! I use a lot of rit dye at work, and mixing shades is so fun. It is a great shade of green!! I love that you tie the 40’s into everything. I am obsessed with WWII England, have you watched Foyle’s War. The costumes were great!

    • Oh yes I love Foyles War! I should start watching that series over again. Good stuff πŸ™‚

  • Ooh I think it’s a gorgeous color! Can’t wait to see your Archer! And in snuggly flannel, no less!

    • Thank you, Dear! It’s no testement to your marvelous dye magic but I have to admit it was rather fun. Even just using a bucket and one color πŸ™‚

  • Love that colour, and it matches your website perfectly! Can’t wait to see the finished article.

    • Hey so it does! My designer calls it Lucky Lu-Teal πŸ˜‰

  • Ooh, I love the color it ended up! Not uh, mutanty at all. lol I’d love a good flannel shirt right about now, so I’m really looking forward to your Archer version. I think it’s great you dyed the fabric. I need to think about dyeing things now and again. I have some perfectly good jeans that are a little faded, I sometimes wonder if I could spruce them back up!

    • Thanks! My brother actually called it ninja turtle green and I hadn’t even told him my thoughts lol! So I’m not convinced it’s not mutant-y but I don’t hate it πŸ˜‰ I want to dye more things cuz it’s fun!