In Sewing

western chambray archer – now with 75% more cats!

It’s good to be back! I started this shirt before I left for camp last week and couldn’t wait to finish it when I got home. By the way, I want to thank everyone who read my post about camp and why it’s so important to me. After having a fantastic week with some amazing kids, plus reading all your comments, I’m feeling like a million bucks! It was exactly the kind of recharge I needed as we head into autumn. Can you believe summer is almost over?!


The fall season is definitely my favorite one, not only because my birthday is in November (or because I love Pumpkin Spiced Lattes) but because dressing for the cooler weather is my favorite excuse to wear clothes. …besides the obvious reasons why people wear clothes. I love flannel and corduroy and all those snuggly fabrics that pair well with the falling leaves.


I think a long-sleeve chambray shirt with western accents is a perfect summer-to-fall wardrobe staple. This beautiful dotted chambray from Denver Fabrics has been in my stash since early spring but I’m glad I waited so long to sew with it. It’s taken me a few versions of the Archer shirt pattern to find the best fit, but this is my favorite rendition so far. My first attempt was a size 4, then I made two size 2’s, and now finally a size zero which I think fits just right.


I added custom yoke pieces to the front and back to give the Archer pattern a more western vibe, but then I found a Kwik Sew pattern that already has those pieces included. So if you want a similar shirt, maybe give that one a try. I bought it so I can compare it to Archer and see which pattern I like better. So far the Archer is my TNT (tried-and-true) shirt pattern, but I’m always on the lookout for other contenders.


Outfit Details:
Shirt Pattern – Archer by Grainline Studio (modified)
Vintage Arrow Brooch – Chronically Vintage
Glasses – 1950s Vintage from Etsy
Wig – Kekeshop on Etsy (custom)
Shirt Fabric – Denver Fabrics
Shoes – Target
Pants– Target
Cats – Nikko, Vandie, and Walter (all rescues, all fat spoiled)

photos by William Waldon


As per usual I finished the hem of my shirt with bias tape and added the fancier sleeve plackets (tutorials for both: here and here). I feel I can get a cleaner look when I use both of these techniques so I’m sticking with them. I ran out of pearl snaps so I was forced to use regular ol’ shirt buttons this time. Luckily my one step button hole foot was on its best behavior and gave me no trouble when sewing all the button holes. He was probably jealous of all the pearl snaps I’ve been using lately and wanted me to pay attention to him again. Apology accepted, Mr. Button-hole Foot.

Well that’s about all I have to say about this sewing project. Now for gratuitous cat photos:


Currently I have four rescued cats and none of them can resist Wil and I standing in the yard with a camera. They’ll come slinking out of the woodwork for a peek at what we’re doing. All at the same time. …it’s kind of creepy.


Walter is the large, dark, and handsome one, Nikko is the brat cat with prim and proper white toes, and Vandie is insane very spry for being nearly 90 in cat years.


If this was a Crazy Cat Lady video game I think I just leveled-up and got bonus coins.


Oh, one thing worth mentioning is how badly I messed up on the collar initially (through no fault of Andrea’s awesome tutorial). I had to unpick it and take it off after the shirt was completely finished. Not exactly fun times, but cutting a new collar and sewing it back into the stand actually wasn’t as horrible as I thought it might be. I’m really glad I fixed it because the first attempt was the opposite of centered. Whoops!

So what’s next on my sewing list? Pants! After seeing Tasha’s adorable cigarette pants I decided I want some like them. I bought another Kwik Sew pattern for a similar pair that are drafted specifically for stretch wovens, so hopefully they’ll fit well with few adjustments. We’ll see!

What are you working on this week?


  • I LOVE that your first photo is all “serious model face” but with cats kind of interrupting everything hahaha.

  • Aaahh! I love everything about this. The fabric you chose, the pattern…it is just perfect! Lovely job!

  • You are amazing. And the shirt looks great, too 😉

  • Pingback: western yoke mod tutorial | Lucky Lucille™()

  • Ellen

    I am on my second Archer and want to mix things up a bit. The yoke on this looks like it will be fun to try. I’m also loving the snaps, they add a nice touch.Love your cats, makes me miss my girl who just passed. Will be heading to shelter for some new feline friends soon, the house seems empty without cats. It’s been over 30 years, and all my past kitties would want me to continue getting shelter cats, they all were and great cats, every one.

  • I covet your shoes. And the shirt, of course, is fabulous.

  • That shirt looks too cute! I love the whole outfit it seems so casual but very put together at the same time. I also love the cats!

    Love to Sew

  • I love the fabric you chose! And your SHOES!

  • Lynne Johnson

    The fit looks fantastic! I think your plackets are incredible too. I love to see all the wonderful sewing you do.
    The cats are beautiful! I’m catless right now and probably will be until I’m home more. But I love seeing you enjoying your kitties!

  • That shirt looks so great!
    My mum loves button downs and has been wearing that almost everyday for all my life, she has really bad arthritis so often times we have to button her shirts for her – Thanks to your blog i now know where to get snaps and how to make her a couple of nice shirts for Christmas!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Hey, that arrow brooch looks familiar! 😀 What a special honour to see a piece that you purchased from my Etsy shop appear in one of your sublimely pretty photo shoot – and one featuring darling kitties to boot. Thank you very much for including it here, dear Rochelle. This whole looks is beautiful and really puts me in the mood for fall’s impending return, too. We had a sudden cold snap last week and though it’s now passed, it gave us the feeling that fall and winter are both apt to set in rather early this year.

    Thank you again immensely – happiest end of summer wishes!
    ♥ Jessica

  • November birthdays are the best. This year my bday is voting day.

  • akwildcherry

    You are a total sewing inspiration. I don’t get any more complex than a basic circle skirt with elastic band. But I am currently obsessed with making said circle skirts and knitting cardigans to go with them.

    Knitting in Pearls

  • Sharren

    Do what you love! That always works out and, meatime, you’re inspiring and reminding others to do the same! Awesome – and the Archer is too 😀
    And the cute cats, fantabulous wig…..

  • misscrayolacreepy

    It’s such a bummer when you have to go back in and fix something, but totally worth it in the long run! And now you have a shirt that you love and some cats that clearly love it too! 🙂

  • zilredloh

    So glad you went back and fixed your sad collar – it looks great & I bet it feels lovely to wear. (Shhhh… don’t tell anyone: I have yet to make an Archer.) I need to see if I can fit that into my fall sewing plans. 😀

    That first pic of you is so funny. You’re being all serious and fashionable, but then there’s these two silly cats hang all over you. It’s like they were photohopped in. hehehe

  • stgilbert

    Cat-tastic!! I have been eagerly awaiting the reveal of this shirt since you shared a snap on Instagram. You are awesome – the Goddess of Shirts!!! The chambray is beautiful and I love your cute shoes. And your hair?! OMG! Fab-u-lous.

  • I love the chambray! It looks great. Nice work

  • This is realllllllly cute! I love the fabric you used- it’s perfect! It’s totally worth it to redo things that you’re not happy with, otherwise you end up with stuff in your closet that you never wear (ask me how I know, ugh!).

  • I would love to see how you work your pattern customizing. I’d love to have such success! Looks great!

  • I just got a copy of that KwikSew pants pattern for free recently and I’ve been wanting to test it out. I love the pocket shape. Very 1960s Wranglers.

  • What a great shirt – I think the colour looks fantastic on you. I’m also loving the cat pictures!

  • How adorable! And the shirt is pretty nice too. A chambray shirt is so basic, everyone should have one. (I don’t.) Thanks so much for the tip about using bias tape for the hem. I have so much trouble with curved hems and I don’t know why I never thought of that.

  • I’m attempting a *much simpler* button down shirt pattern from the late 40s, and it doesn’t look nearly as well done as this one. I just learned what flat-felled seams are, and mine look terribly wonky around the arms. Yours look, you know, perfect, so any tips would be hugely appreciated!

  • Yay so many cats! Love it. Your archer looks stunning, brilliant western details.

  • I love the yoke! I’m currently putting aside work on my third Archer shirt — I finally cut out the pattern a week or so ago and I am in love — to work on the Merchant & Mills Factory dress and. I just started sewing it last night and so far, it’s a dreamboat!

    Did you do a tutorial on that yoke that I missed? (hint hint)

  • gilliancrafts

    Shirt! Pants! Cats! You look happy! So many thoughts going through my head, and all of them incoherant. 😉

  • I came for the cat photos, stayed for the amazing shirt. You’re so talented!!!

  • Great shirt! And that wig is all kinds of awesome.
    I’m glad you had fun at camp!
    Currently I’m working on a shift dress that was supposed to be really easy,but it’s turning out not to be.

  • Definitely another sewing win in your corner. Seems like you’ve been churning out such winners ever since your epiphany and narrowed focus on sewing things you’d be wearing! Love the western accents – perfect combo with that entirely lovely fabric. 🙂