western chambray archer – now with 75% more cats!

August 25, 2014

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?