Grainline Studio Archer Button-up

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Mammoth Buffalo Archer Button-up

I love that this shirt gets two animal descriptors. ‘Mammoth Buffalo’ sounds like a pretty sweet combination to me! For those of you who are thinking “what the heck is a mammoth buffalo?”, let me explain.  The fabric used for this Grainline Studio Archer Button-up is a mammoth flannel, the thickest, coziest, flannel you can get! The checkered red and black style is called Buffalo plaid, and you can read more about the Scottish origins of this print here.

Grainline Studio Archer Button-upGrainline Studio Archer Button-upGrainline Studio Archer Button-up Grainline Studio Archer Button-up

I have been wanting a shirt like this for so long!  There are so many ready-to-wear versions out here that could have almost fulfilled this dream, but nothing compares to mammoth plaid and nothing beats a custom fitted shirt.

Grainline Studio Archer Button-upGrainline Studio Archer Button-up Grainline Studio Archer Button-upGrainline Studio Archer Button-up

The Archer pattern fits me almost perfectly, with the exception of the back.  I did a broad back adjustment using my method described here, and it worked perfectly! I added 1.5” in total (3/4″ on either side), so there is quite a bit more room than my last version. View B also has a back pleat, so that helped too. Other than the BBA, I lengthened the Archer by 4”. I really wanted it to be wearable as light outerwear over leggings and sweaters, so the oversized style was key. I think this length is just perfect!

Grainline Studio Archer Button-up Grainline Studio Archer Button-upGrainline Studio Archer Button-up

Due to the bulky nature of this fabric, it was difficult in some places to get nice, pointed corners or flat joining seams.  Here are some tips for sewing with Mammoth plaid.

  • Hand-stitching is your friend. I opted to hand-stitch the collar stand and cuffs closed and did not use top-stitching to finish them off. I like the clean look, and after trying the topstitching, I ended up removing it.
  • Grade, grade, grade your seam allowances. Gently, down the seam.  Ok, I’ll stop now.  But seriously, grading is key.  Especially where the collar stand and shirt meet, and when hemming.  Trim away all excess, otherwise you will have lumps and bumps galore.
  • Add some seam allowance for flat felled seams.  I used flat felled seams throughout the project, including the armscyes, and it was tricky business. Mainly because the seam allowance for the archer is ½” and the fabric is so thick, it takes up a lot of fabric just folding over itself.  Cut a ⅝” seam allowance and you should have an easier go of it.
  • Press the heck out of it. 100% cotton mammoth plaid can take it, it’s a beast!


Grainline Studio Archer Button-up Grainline Studio Archer Button-up
Grainline Studio Archer Button-up Grainline Studio Archer Button-up

I am pretty smitten with my buffalo-mammoth shirt (buffmoth? mammalo?). I know it will be a staple in fall and winter, as well as being perfect for those late nights at the beach in the summer. Have you tried sewing the mammoth plaid? Any more tips are welcome!

Grainline Studio Archer Button-up


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

9 Comments on “Mammoth Buffalo Archer Button-up”

  1. Great job! This shirt looks awesome and you cut the plaid in all the right places! I made a similar shirt (Simplicity 1538) with one of the other Mammoth plaids, although I only lengthened mine two inches. I always wondered if 4 would have been good. I really like the length of yours, so maybe I’ll give it a try in the future. Congratulations on a job well done.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I agonized over the plaid placement for so long! I think the 4″ worked out well, the Archer is surprisingly short, even though I think of it as being an oversized shirt, it has the length of a normal button-up.

  2. Love your shirt Helen and YES right now I could use one of those (we’re having a true Canadian winter here in Victoria this year) – I’ve always hesitated sewing with very thick fabric but your advice has helped give me a bit of a nudge. I used to own one of these heavier flannel shirts when I was a teen (eek 40 years ago!) and loved it until it was threads 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! I bet it is equally cold in Victoria, this weather has been so odd! I hope this shirt lasts a long time, I can definitely see it being a favourite 🙂

  3. Oh that is BEAUTIFUL! You got the length and proportions just right, and your pattern matching from the sleeves to the body is rocking my socks off! 😉

  4. Hi Helen… This shirt is amazing… I used the same print to make a shirt for my step daughter’s boyfriend and used 3 other mammoth plaids to make 3 more shirts… All Fairlfield Button Ups.

    1. Thanks Lori! I love the buffalo check 🙂 How have you found the Fairfield? I keep promising Sam a shirt and I already have the pattern, just need the sew-jo now!

  5. I love it!! One of my favourite patterns with an amazing plaid flannel – how an you go wrong? I’m sure you’ll wear this a ton!!

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