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Grainline’s Archer Shirt — The sleeveless edition

2014 April 16
by elizabeth_admin

I finished it!  The sleeveless version of the Grainline Archer shirt with the View A back pattern piece.    My first Archer, view B with the back peplum.  was a very wearable muslin due to some user error.  I wear it at least once a week, so I must not mind my fitting errors too much.  This time around I made View A with the pleated back sans peplum and using Jen’s tutorial to make it sleeveless.  I retraced the pattern pieces and made the changes to make them sleeveless as I knew I wanted to keep both versions to make multiple versions of this shirt.  I thought the sleeveless Archer would be a perfect summer wardrobe staple.  Jen’s tutorials are awesome.  I used her Archer sew-along tutorials to make both shirts and the sleeveless variation tutorial.  Shirtmaking made easy!

I tried on the shirt during construction after I had basted the side seams together and two things were glaringly  wrong.  Sherril assisted me again with my fitting process.

  1. My bust dart (I had done an FBA to the pattern originally and added a bust dart) was droopily low.
  2. The back of the shirt was hung up on my butt.

It’s supposed to be a loose-fitting shirt, so there should be no need for a swayback alteration.  The solution was to add more room for my butt and I did that by adding gussets to the side seams at the hem after determining how much room I needed  to add (about 1 inch + ease for each side seam for a total of 2.5 inches added).  I will alter the back pattern for more room for the hips/butt by adding to the side seam from the hem tapering to 0 at the waist.

I’m not sure why my bust dart was too low in this version.  I compared it to the pattern to see if I had made a mistake, but it was correctly placed.  I compared it to my existing Archer shirt whose dart is well placed, and again, it was in the same place.  So I guess either new fabric or the sleeveless change made all the difference to where my bust dart fell when I sewed it up.  Regardless of the reason, I raised the bust dart (about 1 1/2 inches) and shortened it by 1/2 inch.  Hopefully the needle marks will disappear after a run through the washer/dryer.  *crossing fingers*

Too low

Too low


Much better

Much better


The one other change I made to the pattern was to follow Kira’s decision to leave off the collar and just use the stand to finish off the neckline, a Mandarin collar of sorts.  I loved the sashiko yoke on her sleeveless Archer.

Finishing details included doing faux French seams for the side seams and gussets.  I had mentioned to Sherril that I was hesitant to use my serger to finish the seams since it’s not really running well after the repair shop debacle, so she suggested the faux French seams.  To make the faux French seams, you just fold the seam allowances toward the seam, press together and edgestitch along the fold.   Easy peasy!







The sewing was pretty smooth for this Archer edition, even including the buttonholes.  I love drama-free sewing.  Love. it.  And without further ado, here’s my Sleeveless Archer!







This über cute Swiss Dot cotton fabric used to be white.  I dyed it green with Claudine on Mother’s Day 2012 before I moved out to San Diego.  I will love wearing this shirt just for the memory of that fine day alone.  Here’s a close up of its Swiss Dot awesomeness.



I love my new Archer.  I am already planning some more shirts for summer.  I’m thinking of trying a princess seamed pattern next for something a little more fitted as well as one or two more Archer shirts.  What are you making for your summer wardrobe?

12 Responses leave one →
  1. April 16, 2014

    Your shirt looks like the color of new Spring growth!

    The roving bust dart is mysterious. Did the fabric stretch at the armhole before you bound it with bias? Did you stretch the bias to bring the armhole in?

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      April 17, 2014

      No, BMGM the armhole did not stretch out. I thought of that too. When I compared it to the pattern piece it still retained the original shape. Total mystery.

  2. April 17, 2014

    this looks great! i still really love the swiss dot fabric :o)

  3. April 17, 2014

    super cute and the color is fantastic on you.

  4. April 17, 2014

    Cute, cute. Love the color.

  5. April 17, 2014

    Love that green. What a mystery about the dart!

  6. April 18, 2014

    I have also had the phenomenon of the dart movement. Not sure what happens but it does. Nonetheless your blouse turned out great. I love the fabric. Great look for spring and summer.

  7. April 18, 2014

    Sometimes my darts are too low too – different bra, shortening the straps etc usually works. It’s not that the darts have moved it’s the physiology that has! Super cool shirt and I like the idea of buying white fabric and then dyeing it whatever colour you desire. Lovely.

  8. April 18, 2014

    Great shirt! That color is fantastic on you.

  9. April 19, 2014

    Such a cute shirt!

  10. April 20, 2014

    I love it! And that outfit is super cute!

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