A Summer in England

Not long after I moved out of my University house and went home for the summer, I found the need to sew again. Long gone were my summers of slobbing in front of the telly for hours on end; I was sat at my sewing machine from the moment I got up in the morning until I went to bed (or until the garment was finished!) only making time for food and trips to the fabric shops.

Following my success with my first ever Archer shirt (the previous week! Yes I am obsessed!), I decided to make another one or two. A few days into my summer break I visited my usual haunt of C&H Fabrics in Chichester. They are one of the very sew fabric shops I actually have in my area, so I am stuck for choice anyway, but much as C&H is great for a beginner, they pretty much specialise in novelty prints and quilting cotton and can be very pricey if you are not careful. When I had visited over the easter weekend, they had a huge range of glorious floral viscose in a multitude of beautiful colours. At the time I didn’t have the funds to buy it all so I decided on just the bright blue floral which I used to make my 1940s blouse (and later a cami top). I went back in June to buy some more only to find that there was none left and they were not restocking. I have never found such a range of amazing viscose since which is upsetting.


However I was not put off and found an awesome red and black check polycotton (I think but I honestly have no idea!) for £3.99 a metre so I bought 1.5m to make a sleeved Archer. It is medium weight which makes it perfect for a winter shirt or to be layered as a jacket! I then had a rummage through the remnant section and found 1.2m of the most amazing ‘swimming ladies’ fabric on a pale blue background (and for only £8.20). I thought it was so fun and knew it had to be made into a shirt; a tasteful Hawaiian shirt, if you will. I decided to make it sleeveless as I wanted a shirt for the warmer weather and to wear on holiday and, frankly, I thought the print would be too overwhelming on a shirt with full-length sleeves.

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After almost giving up on the viscose hunt, I had one last look and, at the bottom of the remnant pile I found 1.8m of green floral viscose for £11.89! I LOVE wearing viscose and was over the moon to have found it. After wearing my swimming ladies shirt a few times I was set on another sleeveless Archer as, despite having a very hot summer in England this year, I wanted to be a little more covered up on my top half when being forced by high temperatures into wearing shorts. This shirt in particular is a favourite as it doesn’t show anything if you get uncomfortably hot and has become a wardrobe staple this summer!


The Archer pattern is so versatile and I just love working with it! Only another six versions to blog!!

Garment details:

Pattern: Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Materials: 1.5m each of red/black check, swimming ladies cotton and green floral viscose. 9 black buttons, 14 white buttons. Green thread.

Sizing/Alterations: Added 2″ to length of pattern. Cut size 0. Sleeveless on two versions with bias tape armholes.


Check Version – Fabric £3.99×1.5m = £5.99. stash buttons and thread. Overall £5.99.

Swimming ladies Version: Fabric £8.20 remnant. Buttons = £1.20. Stash Thread. Overall £9.40.

Viscose Version: Fabric £11.89 remnant. Buttons £1.20. Thread £1.80. Overall £14.89


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