Pattern Review: Grainline Archer

I know. I was the last woman standing who had not sewn up an Archer by Grainline Studios. No more. Too late to shoot me, I finally made one!

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Short story: I love it. Duh. Most people do.
Longer story

Pattern drafting: Basically, good. I really love it when pattern pieces fit together correctly. The collar stand and collar fit nicely, as does the front, back body, and sleeves. Love the high armhole, resulting in plenty of arm mobility.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

But there are some things I found odd.

  1. Like the cuff size. As drafted the cuff was 9 3/4 inches between the button and buttonhole marking for a size 10 Archer. Really? When I put the shirt on the sleeves hung down to the middle of my wrist, which I hate. Sleeves dragging thru spaghetti sauce = not cool! Easy change. I just chopped 1.25 inches out of the cuff length on the pattern, recut new cuffs, ripped the original cuffs off the shirt, and replaced with a new cuff that suited my taste better. Took me 40 minutes to get the cuff fit I like and now the pattern is ready for Archer #2.
  2. Also, there is an under collar pattern piece, but it is not cut slightly smaller than the upper collar. Making the under collar slightly smaller allows the under collar to be totally “hidden” below the upper collar after construction. It is an easy enough change for me; just make the under collar slightly shorted and narrower, but it would enhance the Archer pattern.
  3. There is no collar match notch at the front of the collar stand. I am a stickler for collar points being the same length and ending at the exact same spot on either side if the collar stand. It really is all those little details that make a shirt look Brooks Brothers-worthy.
  4. No buttonhole marked on the collar stand.


Fit: Very good. Love the collar and neck fit. It is really scaled correctly to a woman’s body. Thanks, Jen!
I need a skosh more ease in the hip area to wear it over jeans. It is fine as is when tucked in. I also need to change the angle of the front yoke seam. That forward shoulder thing.
I think they are good, but I honestly did not use them too much. I have made so many shirts…you get the idea.

My next Archer is going to be sleeveless out of a raspberry silk I have in my stash. If I have enough fabric, which I think I do. I think it will be a great summer shirt.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Just wanted to show you that there is plenty of arm movement possible! 😉

How about you? Have you made an Archer yet? What do you like about it?
Happy sewing!

14 Responses to Pattern Review: Grainline Archer

  1. i’m definitely an archer fan! i’ve used the pattern so many times already, and have many more in the pipeline. my next one will be sleeveless in a silk polka dot… oh can’t wait to have that in my wardrobe! forgot about the two piece under collar, i never use that pattern piece. love how yours came out, the contrasting collar looks great!

  2. This looks so professional! I love this pattern- it’s just the fit that I like in a RTW buttondown. In fact, I have another cut out right now (just trying to figure out if I want to sew it up… don’t try to pattern match plaid late at night, folks!).

    The cuffs fit me fine, but I also am a sleeve-roller-upper, so it wouldn’t matter if they were too big!

  3. You brought a smile to my face – you look like you were having a wonderful photo shoot! I agree, it is the details that make the garment. I have just purchased the Archer Shirt, but I haven’t made it yet. I’m happy to hear your comments on the cuff and I will take note to make those adjustments. Thank you very much for reviewing this pattern.

    • Thanks Karen! Two of my fav students were with me – the mom was shooting and her daughter was modeling the drawstring backpack project featured on Sew Mama Sew last week. The daughter kept goofing off and making me giggle – so we definitely had fun doing some fun and funny shots!

      Good luck with the Archer – every time I wear that shirt I marvel at how comfortable a properly drafted shirt feels on the body! You do not need stretch in your fabrics to feel comfortable. I do wear clothing with lycra – but this shirt feels fantastic without it. Enjoy!!

  4. I wish I’d done my research about the Archer, before I made it. I sewed up the size 12, according to the measurements. However, the cuffs were huge! Like you, I had to take off the old cuffs, and adjust them to fit. I was able to reuse the original ones, but what a chore!

    • Yep, if you look at pictures of Jenn Beeman (designer of Grainline Studios) the cuffs hang way down on her hands. I think you might need to be a certain age to like that look. 😉

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