Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Olya Shirt // Paper Theory

My first make of 2020 is done!

Recently I’ve been really in the mood for a classic shirt with a twist. I have a holiday to Morocco coming up and I thought it would be an excellent idea as a cover up!

I bought the Olya shirt from Paper Theory to try out – the sleeves just fascinated me and I liked the boxy shape and pocket detailing too! Plus I bought it on Black Friday, not for a discount but Tara (the mastermind behind Paper Theory) was donating some of the proceeds to charity.

Like all Paper Theory patterns, the Olya is a bit out of the box in terms of style lines and construction. If you look at photos of this garment, at first glance it looks just like any other shirt but then when you look closely you see all the interesting details.

The sleeve is grown onto the front yoke which makes for some weird looking pattern pieces. There’s a french seamed pocket inserted into the front yoke too.

It’s all well explained in the instructions so as weird as it all sounds it’s not as complicated as you’d think.

That being said I did a step of the pocket construction wrong! (No one’s fault but my own as I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly!). Because I was using quite a fragile fabric I opted to just leave the pockets off instead of trying to reconstruct them.

I’d chosen to use a blush Atelier Brunette viscose that I’d bought from the Sew Me Sunshine Open Day in December. It’s a beautifully soft drapey fabric with a little woven diamond pattern. It felt dreamy! I thought the colour and pattern was quite timeless and talked myself into the purchase despite the price tag!

I opted to use less interfacing than advised for this make, essentially doing half of what’s recommended. Because the fabric was just so light and my interfacing was of a medium weight I didn’t want to make it overly stiff or heavy. I’m glad I did as the finished result feels right.

So realistically I’m not going to wear it like that. Instead it’ll probably look more like this…

It feels lovely on and I’m hoping it’ll become a classic wardrobe piece that I can wear for many years!

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  1. Those sleeves are very interesting. Is there a seem down the top of the sleeve or does the yoke cut into the sleeve with a pivot point? I was looking at the pattern and I could not tell. But I like it.

  2. This is possibly my all-time favorite shirt pattern. It’s so interesting. I made one in chambray that I wear constantly and am inspired by yours to try a drapey fabric. Yours is lovely – I love the color!

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