custom dyed archer

December 18, 2013


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…