Might as well rip off the band-aid: $28.49. This pattern cost $28.49. It was only last week that I complained about a $16 pattern, so if you’re thinking “well well well” and “the worm has turned” and “la-di-DA”…you’re not alone. I’m a 1%er! I’m gentrifying my own pattern collection! I get targeted ads for yachts now! Also, I used a gift card!
This pattern and party-I-am-late-for is the Paper Theory Olya shirt. For a while I’ve been been casually searching stuff like “Olya sewalike cheap Reddit”, but it’s been a no-go, so finally I took a deep breath and bought the OG. At the same time, I bought two lengths of fabric from Stylemaker Fabrics with my annual birthday coupon, both intended for this pattern (I was banking on liking it). Today’s version is made from this yarn-dyed cotton.
First, I loved this fabric. That shininess in the sample photo washes right out, and it’s beautifully soft with little wrinkling. Also, the color isn’t solid, but super-thin green and orange stripes. The result reads as a slightly sickly yellow which I can actually wear. I adore yellow and I think it’s finally having its day – not just that one foot-in-the-door mustard yellow, but a whole buffet of yellows seems to be arriving. I love most yellows, to be honest, but butter yellows are often nude against my skin tone and rich mango yellows tend me wear me, so I’m crossing my fingers for more acid and old-honey hues!
Second, I used every last bit of it! I’d read in various places that the Olya fabric requirements are extremely accurate – my size, a 14, calls for 2 1/4 yards of 45” wide fabric, and I bumped that up to 2 1/3” because why not. And I’m glad that I did, because even with my extra 3” I couldn’t fit the pattern pieces according to the lay plan (though it was AGONIZINGLY close) and I had to rearrange the cutting on the fly. So while I can’t promise I was the most efficient cutter, the remaining scraps *do* fit in the palm of my hand, which is fun. To be fair I cut my collar and collar stand ‘interfacing’ from those scraps first. And I cut my undercollar on the bias with a center seam, and reshaped my collar stand ends – pretty routine for me.
I used fusible tricot on the button bands and just the short edges of the cuffs. I also interfaced 1” wide sections of the sleeve plackets, avoiding the seam allowances. I’ve never sewn a tower placket in two pieces like this before but it’s so tidy, I love it.
And this is the sewing on the side I couldn’t see! I mean!!
Unfortunately you won’t see either side much because a shirt this light is going to be worn in rolled-sleeve weather, and also my sleeves are an 1” or so too long.
You can of course see my serger thread with the sleeves up. Even if I can figure out how to French that front yoke/sleeve seam in the future, I had to fundamentally understand it first, which meant sewing it straight the first time.
I think a lot of attention is paid to the sleeve/yoke inverse corner. In terms of difficulty, though, if you’ve sewn a banded V-neck, you’re golden. I interfaced the snipped corner and added a line of staystitching just barely inside the seam allowance, which I don’t think was recommended, but it’s easy to do and in general that step is very well-supported.
Actually where I think the directions let me down was at the far end of the seam – the armpit end. It’s not clearly marked that the sleeve piece needs to overhang the body by one seam allowance to match the front yoke seam later, and because it’s a bias curve you can make it meet or overhang pretty easily. Plus, that area isn’t photographed/illustrated in the photo sewalong or the paper directions. Once I read ahead a bit I understood how I was going wrong, but if you’re like me and you often take new processes one step by one step it might throw you off.
I wasn’t wildly jazzed about the pocket directions either. I don’t need a decorative pocket to have relatively bulky French seams when an actual construction seam is just getting the ol’ sergeroo. Instead, I ignored the booklet and attached the pocket front to the front body, then the pocket back to the pocket front, then the whole body/pocket unit to the yoke. That way I didn’t have to line up the little pocket rectangles and the major seams simultaneously. Something went a bit awry with the width of the opening but the pockets are gewgaws anyway, so I’m not sweating it!
I now call them “PITA pockets” because I am very, very funny.
Originally I hoped to find small bronze metal buttons, but I couldn’t. The wooden ones at least capture the warmth I wanted, if not the shine. They’re quite lightweight; I think metal (or just heavier) buttons would help prevent the shirt from slipping backwards, since I find myself tugging it forward every so often. But the big question: do I like it?
Yeah! I’m not like OMG SQUEE but it’s serviceable and I really like the fabric. The pattern is a fun sew too. Most other indie patterns have doppelgangers in other indie lines, or in the Big 4, but this one doesn’t seem to, so that offers unique value. My biggest concern is that I broke the seal – now that I’ve spent silly money on one pattern, what prevents me from doing that again? Specifically on yet another jeans pattern?
I’ll just be over here, resisting. Have a beautiful day!
Pattern: Paper Theory Olya shirt
Pattern cost: $28.49
Supplies: 2 1/3 yards of Grainline Yarn Dyed Woven Shirting Citrus, Stylemaker Fabrics, $27.39; thread, Michael’s; buttons, Gather Here, $8.39
Total time: 8.5 hours
Total cost: $64.27