Paper Theory – Olya Shirt

I feel like I always have in the back of my mind how long it’s taken me to use a fabric and pattern that I’ve had for a really long time. I bought this fabric in 2018 to make this exact shirt, then I bought the pattern for it in 2020, and then again in 2021 on accident because procrastination was teaching me a lesson. It’s taken me almost 4 years to actually make it. Haha, oops.

It finally felt like the time was right, plus I ran out of excuses, so I took it one step at a time, and now I have this awesome shirt! I took it on vacation with me to Santa Barbara, and it’s already been washed twice. So far, it’s holding up great!

This is the Olya Shirt by Paper Theory (up to 57.5″ hip). I’m in-between a 14 & 16 with my measurements, so I went with the size 14, and I’m happy with the fit. One thing that I didn’t notice, until I was taking pictures, is that in the back by the underarms, right below the yoke, you can see that the fabric sticks out in a funny way. I think it’s because I used a crisp fabric which does not have much drape. Luckily, it’s in the back so I won’t have to look at it, but just be warned if that’s something that would bother you!

The Olya has become a VERY popular pattern, and I would like to point out that I had plans to make it before it became so popular. Haha. But, since I waited so long, I was able to see so many good striped versions from the Instagram hashtag! You should go get inspired by them when you have a minute…or an hour.

The pattern is great, and I really love it. There are a few spots in the instructions where I was very lost at the way the steps were explained – but to be fair, I don’t even know how I would explain it if I had to write it out.

Thankfully, they have a fantastic sew along on Youtube that I followed. I got through the plackets and the yoke much easier that way, but I had to watch the part about the front of the collar a few times before I could actually understand what she was doing. But I did it! I learned so many cool construction techniques, and I could feel my brain growing. The yoke construction is really so interesting, and I kind of had fun doing it! It’s pretty impossible to do the burrito method on this yoke, so the shoulder seams are just serged.

When I decided that I was going to make this shirt, I felt so much anxiety well up inside me. So you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I made NO adjustments. I just needed to get it over with, but also it seemed pretty long on other people, so I just went for it. When I was getting ready to hem it, I didn’t want to double fold and lose length, so I used the bias tape piece from the Kalle Shirt to cut some bias tape. That actually worked out really well and I think it made doing the curves on the sides easier, plus it’s all diagonal and cool on the inside!

In the future, I think I would lengthen the pattern by an inch, but I kind of like the sleeve length. I’ll have to wear this one a few more times to be sure, but I really like it so far!

This oxford cotton shirting was a dream to sew because it’s so nice and crisp, and the pattern pieces didn’t get all stretched out when I was sewing it together. Since I bought it forever ago it’s not available now, but Style Maker always has a great shirting selection.

I’ve already worn this over a graphic tee for traveling, as a beach cover up (shown above), and as a regular shirt – so it’s very versatile! I can totally see myself making this shirt again in the future if I find the right fabric.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments, and happy Olya making!

6 thoughts on “Paper Theory – Olya Shirt”

  1. Love this!
    I’ve seen this pattern a few times and always liked it – your version is especially nice!

  2. I’ve recently made the Olya shirt as well, in a lovely linen, after having had the pattern for a few years. It was worth the wait! ( still have not posted on IG, so perhaps I shall now! ) ☺️
    Yours is lovely in the stripe!

    1. The one’s I’ve seen in linen are so pretty! You should definitely share yours! I was kind of glad that I waited and had more sewing experience under my belt for this one. Thank you, Vivian!

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