It is not a secret that we here at the Thread just love a good linen shirt in all its airy, free-flowing splendor! There is something so effortlessly chic about a crisp linen shirt on a sunny day. This is why when we find a pattern we like, we just need to share it with you. Please meet the beautiful Olya Shirt by the super talented Tara from the Paper Theory Patterns! She is the woman behind one of the most popular patterns of 2019 – the Zadie Jumpsuit. If you are interested in learning more about the Paper Theory patterns and know all about Tara’s creative process, please read our interview with her posted a few months ago on the blog.
Olya is a relaxed, loose-fitting shirt with traditional details and a classic silhouette but features unusual and innovative style lines. Olya is easy to wear and designed to be a versatile wardrobe staple with longevity. There are two patterns included in the package: one is for the shirt and the other is for the dress version.
It has all the details of a traditional Oxford Shirt, with a front button placket, a tailored two-piece collar with stand, a back yoke with a box pleat and cuffed sleeves with plackets. But if you look at the sketch a little closer, you’ll notice some unusual geometric details that feel a bit like origami. In fact, the front arm and front yoke are all a single pattern piece, which joins the back yoke at the armhole. The fact that the front yoke and sleeves are made up from the same pattern piece makes it perfect for playing around with the direction of the stripes and mixing patterns and different fabrics. This very clever drafting adds some interesting details to the design whilst also providing some hidden shaping in the front yoke seams to accommodate your bust.
Another great feature that is worth mentioning is the pockets! They are concealed in the front yoke/sleeve seam and finished with French seams for a neat look. The instructions give you the option of topstitching the pockets to the body. Topstitching your pockets will add some extra detailing whilst reinforcing the seams and reducing the gaping. The location of the pockets is also pretty strategic if you opt for a lightweight linen fabric as they would cover all that needs to be hidden.
The long sleeves are finished with cuffs and sleeve plackets.
Since there are quite some techniques involved, the pattern is classified as “Intermediate”. However, with the super clear step-by-step instructions and a comprehensive sewalong available online, even an advanced beginner could tackle this project.
This pattern is a great option for those sewists looking to learn some more classic sewing skills and level up their game.
For the shirt version pictured in this post, we made a straight size 8 (UK) with no changes whatsoever and it turned out perfect! A great loose-fitting silhouette without being too oversized. Just refer to the Body Measurement Chart to pick your size and to the Fabric Consumption Chart to determine the amount of fabric you’ll need.
The pattern description suggests that the Olya Shirt and Dress were designed for medium-weight woven fabrics like linen, cotton and flannel and lighter weight fabrics like Crepe de Chine, viscose or georgette. Some heavier fabrics like corduroy and denim also are among the suggestions. Knit or stretch fabrics like Jersey are not recommended. We chose to make ours up in our beautiful medium weight IL019 FROTH Softened 100% linen, one of our newest colors. With its breezy freshness, this color adds a touch of romantic femininity to the whole look. With its smooth look and tighter weave, this linen is neither sheer or heavy, but just the right in-between weight you will need for making the Olya shirt.
FS FROTH Softened 100% linen
Check out some of our suggestions featured below and listed from top to bottom:
So if like us you love a good linen shirt and clothes with interesting details, we can’t recommend this pattern enough! Go to Paper Theory’s website and grab a copy of the Olya Shirt and Dress available as an instant PDF download. And if you are looking for more maker inspiration, check out all the amazing makes on Instagram with the #olyashirt hashtag.