Archer of the Diabolical Kind

A while ago, Peneloping posted about her Archer shirt. I went to investigate and discovered the pattern is by Grainline Studios. Needing a plaid shirt of my own, I purchased the pattern and set out to turn some red and black flannel into an Archer of my own.

Unfortunately the flannel was AWFUL to work with. It mucked up my iron on the low setting and kept shifting in the cutting process. I decided to scrap the project and turned the remnant into a makeshift draft guard for our front door. Still wanting an Archer, I figured a plain shirt might be easier and more versatile.

But then an idea struck me. I was completely enamored with the painter’s smock Jamie Moriarty (played by the lovely Natalie Dormer) wore in the opening of the Elementary episode “The Diabolical Kind.”


Not much is shown about the shirt except that there is a zipper in the back, it has a mandarin collar, and is long (almost to the knees).  The sleeves are rolled/pulled up so no telling if there are cuffs or what kind, and she wears it unbuttoned with plain buttons.  Nothing overly special about the shirt, but I adore the zipper in the back. I had to have it.

A trip down to my local fabric shop had me purchasing some plain white stretch poplin and a gold metal zipper. I knew I didn’t want the long length of the shirt so I kept the length of the size 2 Archer. I also knew that my personal style meant the cuffs would be rolled up 99% of the time so I wasn’t too concerned if I messed them up. Luckily Grainline gives wonderful instructions with its pattern so figuring out the cuffs and the plackets was easy.


I made a few modifications to the back to accommodate the zipper (omitting the pleat and adding 1/2″ to the yoke to fit the zipper, and omitted the main collar piece. The shirt took me about 6 hours, start to finish. It came out lovely, very simple in the front but then the zipper pops in the back.


The zipper is fully functional, but is more decorative than useful as it does nothing but open a gagging hole in the back.


I intended this project to be a more “inspired” than “replica” since I have no intention of cosplaying Jamie Moriarty. I wanted this to be a usable piece in my wardrobe with an interesting detail. If someone recognizes it, great but at least I know what inspired the shirt.

I find I really enjoy Grainline’s patterns.  I want to try their Moss skirt pattern since I have an awful time finding such skirts to fit my hourglass shape. Plus, I found a wonderful black on black embossed corduroy in my search for the poplin I really want to work with.

Next, however, I think will be a copy cat of a Modcloth dress, again inspired my Peneloping’s version. 🙂

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