Another Olya – oh yes!!! This is one of my absolute favourite patterns at the moment, and making it in a lightweight cotton is the best!! The fabric is from Stitch Fabrics, aka Rosenberg and Son. I happened to “spot” it in a story on Instagram and knew I had to have some! A quick hunt through their website netted me 2m in double quick time and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive! It’s really lovely, soft and drapey, but with a certain amout of crispness which is really nice. Unfortunately, it’s no longer on their website, I looked! It has an ivory ground and brilliant blue blobby spots, the colours just sing.
I made the straight size 14 again. My measurements put me in a bigger size, but I am really happpy with the amount of ease in the 14. I’m pretty sure the bigger size would just feel like wearing a tent! There’s only so much “oversized” that I’m happy with. That’s the nice thing about the patterns with loads of ease, you get to choose just how much of that ease you’re comfortable with! The only thing I changed was to alter the placket opening to a simple continuous bias instead. This is just for speed, I really wanted to get this shirt made in time to wear to visit Daughter No1 in London. I had a little scare when it was button choosing time – I was three short! Why does this always happen? A drawer full of buttons, and I don’t have enough. Anway, I thankfully found those three when digging through another box! Phew!
The shirt looks great with my new Worker Trousers and I’m sure, will look fab with the linen trousers in the summer boxes currently languishing in the loft. Roll on summer!
Back in the day when the doctors wrote their prescriptions, I can’t believe the pharmacists actually knew what was written! The squiggles on the fabric remind me very much of those scribbled prescriptions. 😀 I give you my latest Olya Shirt, pattern from Paper Theory. The fabric is a piece of cotton voile from Croft Mill fabrics, as mentioned in my last post. It’s a very good price, and the fabric is the softest, drapiest ever! It’s going to be lovely to wear in the summer…. But I will wear it now, just with a cami underneath and a jumper over the top – especially as I’m determined not to have the heating on unless I’m a shivering wreck!
Most of the modifications were mentioned in the Work in Progress post, so this post covers the last minute changes in design direction, and of course, it’s for showing it off, all nice and finished!
The selvedge has a lovely coloured edge, and I wanted to incorporate it into the top in some way. I used the strips down the edges of the fabric already cut and added them to the collar stand to start, I thought it looked quite nice, giving myself the green light to do more. So I cut a shorter piece and sewed it into inside seam of the buttonstand on the button side, just from the collar to the yoke joining seam. I really like the way it looks! It might be a monochromatic print, but there’s colour in there too! I like this little bit of fluff, it makes my shirt even more personalised, and that’s what sewing is all about, right?
Buttons are all from the stash, reused from one of hubby’s shirts that fell apart. I had toyed with adding more of the selvedge to the cuffs. For now they’re plain, but I might add a bit later as there’s plenty left! I have about half a metre of the fabric leftover, I hope I can use it productively in another project, it would be a same to waste it.
Next on the cutting table are two vintage projects for the girls. One is a 70s jacket in chocolate brown fine whale corduroy, and another a pair of 80s pleated trousers in grey wool flannel. I’ll let you guess which project is for which daughter!
Well, what do you know! A progress report on a Wednesday – and only the second of the year… Oh dear! Nevermind, progress is progress. Today’s project is one that I cut out about a month ago, thinking that at least with it already cut, I might get on with it quickly…. Yeah. It’s another Olya Shirt from Paper Theory, this time in black and white squiggle print cotton voile bought from Croft Mill in August.
I’ve cut the 14 again, like I did for the first three. I went down a size for the linen version but I actually prefer the bigger one, it feels better in the length especially in the arms. The fabric is just lovely, so soft and light! It was possibly something I should have got on with in August, it’s more of a summer weight than an Autumn/Winter weight!!
I’m changing the sleeve placket detail, just keeping it simple this time with a basic bias strip instead of a tower placket. I’ve added some reinforcing stitching the the back pleat, something different. Today I’ve got the majority of the work done, it look like a shirt! Tomorrow is buttonstand, collar and cuffs, the hem, and buttonholes and buttons. I hope I have suitable buttons in the stash.
I do love this pattern, and I have another black and white cotton print waiting to be made into another Olya!I don’t think you have have too many black and white shirts, can you? Just like classic plain white ones, they’re always useful!
I honestly didn’t think it would be such a huge gap between posts this month, especially given how much sewing I’ve done! Anyway, you cannot turn back time, so all I can do is get on and show you all what I’ve been up to! I’m starting with my latest Olya Shirt, pattern from Paper Theory. This is my fourth, and I really do have a plan to make another. We were in London last weekend, so I finally managed to get photos, thanks to Daughter No1!
After making two in different types of viscose and one in cotton lawn, I now have a linen shirt. I sized down with this version, the others are a tad too long in the sleeve, more noticeable in the viscose versions. I thought it might be nice to have an oversized shirt that wasn’t quite that oversized, especially in a fabric that’s stiffer and less drapey. It was the right decision! So this is the size 12, with no alterations or adjustments.
The fabric is from Simply Fabrics in Brixton, the first time I’ve bought fabric from this shop. I’d been browsing for a while, and when I saw this stuff I knew I needed it in my stash. But I hesitated for a bit – hesitation that was rewarded with an announcement of a nice big discount! I used it and swooped in on the fabric. I love it! I think the combination of fabric and pattern has really worked. I like finding different prints like this, and I’m glad I feel comfortable wearing them, as I’m a plains person at heart!
Sewing the shirt went as smoothly as the last three times, if not better because it’s linen, not slippery viscose! I like this smaller size and might stick to it for the next shirt, which is definitely going to happen. I have some left over pieces of linen from various projects that I’m sure I can put together to make a shirt. Fingers crossed, but please, don’t hold your breath!!
There’s a new colour in my wardrobe – and I think it’s here to stay. I made my first green item in 2019, a pair of linen Teddy Pants. They were followed by a pale green and white pair of Kana’s Standard pants and an LB Pullover in the same fabric, but that’s as far as that incursion went. Until this year… I fell in love with a Monstera print, olive green and ecru, and just had to have it! What would I make with it? Why another Olya Shirt – of course!
No pattern or fitting adjustments or changes from the last time, I’m pretty happy with the pattern on me. The only thing that would change would be how the fabric altered the finished look and shape of the shirt. So far my favourite is the black and white graphic print Olya, it’s soft but has body. The striped one is a fairly heavy viscose, so it hangs more. This viscose challis is soft and drapey and feels fabulous! I bought it from The Rag Shop at the end of May. Knowing that we’d be away for the last week, I asked that the shipping be held back so that the parcel would arrive after the May Bank Holiday. It worked, and I had pretty fabric to add to my holiday purchases on the wash line!
The fabric was lovely to work with, and I knew just what to pair it with on the bottom half! While in St Ives, I bought 2m of a cotton/linen blend, the colour is a pale beige – the result of two colours woven together, white and beige. It’s got body and no drape, but it is perfect for trousers. I decided on the Kew Pants from Style Arc. I’ve made then only once before and thought that this fabric would be great to hold the shape of the cocoon leg. I made the 14 this time, the waist of the 12 is just too snug.
I altered the angle of the front crotch line and curve, and took the inseam in by an extra cm, made the front look much better. The waist fits properly now and the cropped ankle length and width works better in the bigger size. The curved hem detail can be a little tricky to get nice looking on the inside. The pattern instructions have you simply fold under the seam allowance and topstitch in place, but it really isn’t a nice finish. I cut short pieces of off-white bias binding and used them instead, pressing in a tight curve first.
These are such cool pants, I love that they sit nicely on the waist and the rest is loose. The pockets are a good size, perfect for a phone, mask and card wallet! I rarely use a handbag these days, not needing cash means no need for a proper wallet, all I need is plastic. Pairing the black and white Olya with the black Kew Pants I made last year looks great, so I was keen on repeating that with these two projects.
I love these two items together, tucked in, tied in front or simply left loose, they’re comfy and good looking! Being beigey-cream, the trousers slot into my wardrobe perfectly. I love the addition of green in the wardrobe this summer, I have a RTW green and ecru tee bought in Padstow to add to the mix, and am planning a plain olive tee soon!
I am late to this particular appreciation society. I have numerous Paper Theory patterns, but only purchased the Olya Shirt in October last year, and only made it up in May! And people, I cannot tell you why I left it so long! I can only say that I thought wearing a “proper” shirt again after living in jersey tops would feel odd. Well – it doesn’t! I bought the pattern after making the blouse with the huge sleeves last year, there was just something about that fabric sitting on the cutting table that made me think of the Olya pattern, and I jumped.
This version was made hot on the heels of the dark navy blue one, as in I cut it out on the Saturday morning after the Friday finishing! No changes to the overall pattern, just the sleeve binding and placket construction. This time I sewed both pieces to the outside and turned them in, instead of sewing to the inside. I just prefer this method. It means I just sew the straight seam and leave out the short sewing line making the “box” at the top, as this would get in the way of getting everything out of the way to the inside. The finish is good and I’m happy with it- having handstitched on the inside again. And guess what – this time I managed to get the pieces on the right side! I have proper cuffs!
What I love is how different this one feels to wear compared to the heavier viscose crepe of the first one. I’m going to be making more of these! The fabric is a cotton/silk voile that I got probably 3 years ago now, and it’s fabulous to work with, even better to wear! Usually I’d French seam this fabric, but opportunities for that finish on this shirt are non existant, so the overlocker had to do. It is still neatly finished on the inside, and there is no visible bulk on the outside. Cuffs and collars and the buttonstand were interfaced with fine sheer fusible. I was lucky to find enough buttons in the stash that worked, I didn’t want solid colour buttons, so these with the fleck of white work really well. I’ve worn this shirt so many times since making it – basically as soon as it’s washed and ironed I make a reason to wear it!
I love it with the trousers in my current wardrobe – particularly the Kew Pants and Teddy Pants from Style Arc, & I can’t wait to try it with the linen trousers in my summer wardrobe, but the weather is seriously messing us around! April was cold and dry (only 9% of the usual rain fell!) and May is making up for that instead of being the glorious introduction to summer that we all love. So for now, I only have winter trousers to try the shirt with, but I’m happy anyway. I have some olive viscose with a leaf print on its way for another shirt, and I might have had to order olive linen for trousers to go with it! It looks like olive will be my new rust.
In the mean time – if you’ve been eyeing out this pattern with an idea of making it, look at the photos on Instagram, #olyashirt, and see how well it suits just about everyone who’s made it! If you’re not into too much ease, go down a size or two when you toile, but give it a try! I really do love this pattern and I can see more in my sewing future – I might even try a colour blocked one!!
Well, here’s the first of what will be many! Finally I have photos of the finished Olya Shirt I started at the beginning of March. With the weather being so rubbish, I had a long time to wait for something decent that did the shirt justice. Of course, this means that in the mean time, I was able to wear the shirt and be even more happy with it!
As described in the work in progress post, I made the 14, with no adjustments. I also changed the constructions of the cuff binding and tower plackets slightly – spending so much time on getting those pieces on nice and straight that I made a rather large mistake… I put them on the wrong sides!!! Nevermind, the shirt still works, but I was annoyed when I finally discovered it when I put on my perfectly made cuffs!
It hasn’t altered my love of the shirt. As previously stated, the instructions are good and clear and leave no doubts as to how to proceed. The fabric is viscose marocaine, which has a crepe-like texture. It’s heavier than regular viscose, not as drapey. It was great to work with as it doesn’t slip around!
I’ve worn this shirt loads and now wonder why I hadn’t got round to making it earlier, I have had the pattern since October! I’ve made a second already, and am planning a third to happen pretty soon!
Three minutes left of Wednesday – where did the time go!? I thought I’d show you all my latest sewing project, as I seem to have been sewing in secret lately, and only showing off finished items. Today, I’ve been making the Olya Shirt, pattern by Paper Theory. I bought the pattern in October/November last year but only managed to get it toiled last week!
My measurements suggested I make the 16, but the finished measurements indicated a lot more ease than I’d usually be comfortable with. Yes, I do know this is ssupposed to be an oversized shirt, but there’s baggy and there’s tent. At frst, I thougth I’d toile the 12, but hedged my bets and went with the 14 as a middle ground instead. Perfect choice! I decided it needed no adjustments, sleeves are the right length, cuffs not tight, shirt length fine and just enough “oversize” in the circumference measurements.
My fabric is from Rainbow Fabrics, viscose morrocaine (sadly now sold out). It has a lovely, crepe-like texture, and the dark dark navy and ecru irregular, zebra-ish stripe is right up my street. It is light and drapey, but has good weight and doesn’t slip around like ordinary viscose does. Cuffs, collar pieces and front band are interfaced with a fine sheer polyester interfacing, not adding bulk.
The construction of the shirt is different to your usual shirt, because of the style lines. The front yoke and sleeve are one piece,and the shoulder seam and insertion of the sleeve head happens in the same seam! It looks like it’s going to be clunky, but it’s anything but. Tara’s instructions are clear, unambiguous and direct. Some indie designers get so into the instructions that they get confusing and I ignore them entirely!
One thing I did differently, right at the beginning, was to change the way the sleeve plackets are sewn. I sewed the tower placket piece as described, but the binding I sewed to the right side. This is because I don’t like seeing stitching on binding, and if I’d done it the original way, I’d have to stitch on the front. This way I handstiched the binding on the wrongside and topstitched the placket on the right. Small changes. I also staystitched the neck edges as soon as they were ready. You don’t put the collar on until quite late in the game, and I didn’t want any stretching.
Talking about stretching out, be careful with handling the fabric pieces, the sleeve and shoulders can start to stretch before you get to sew them, so don’t let the pieces hang. I pick up my sewing in a bundle so nothing hangs and drapes and potentially stretches out before I get to sew it up.
So far I’m really happy with my shirt, it’s all going together really nicely and at the end of the day I have the buttonbands, collar, cuff and hem to do. And I need to find buttons. What’s the bet that, even with a drawer full of buttons, I won’t have the “right” buttons?
Me again! I might finally be back in the UK, but the sewing is s.l.o.w.! I haven’t quite got back to “normal”, because life isn’t normal. Mr W moved his office into my sewing room while I was away and he had to work from home. Now that work can happen at the “proper” office, but only twice a week, he’s still firmly ensconced in the sewing room. It’s hard to find room for sewing machines and ironing amongst the computer, A3 files, boxes of samples and other paraphanalia a busy architect needs. Not to mention the constant phone calls, with and without video…
So the sewing has been happening on the dining table, cutting out on the living room floor. It’s not ideal, and I’m still itching to sew more, but I think we all need to get used to life as not-normal. It’s been weird to have continual company nowadays, instead of being on my own all day! But, I do actually have something I made to show you.
Back in June, there were a couple of “challenges” I thought I’d join in with, the #JumpingIntoJune sewalong encouraged the making of jumpsuits, and Stephanie at Sea of Teal was promoting sewing with prints for June’s Sew Your Wardrobe Basics. So, on the last day of June I cut and started a print jumpsuit. Not so much jumping into June as jumping out of it!
I do love the Zadie Jumpsuit, it’s so comfy to wear, and quick to make. This version is the size 16, with no FBA! I had realised with the last summer version I made last year, that with the FBA the waistline seam sat too low. So I reversed that adjustment and just made the smaller size. I’m happy to report that it’s all worked, fits properly, doesn’t gape, and the waistline is in the right place.
The fabric is a cotton shweshwe print I bought in South Africa in May. This isn’t the Da Gams Three Cats fabric. It had “Cheetah Shweshwe” in the selvage, but I can’t find much info about it. It’s wider than the Da Gama fabric at 150cm and slightly stiffer, but that will go with washing. It’s no stiffer than the blue linen used for my first Zadie. I love the spotty print, it caught my eye in the fabric shop immediately, and straight away I knew I wanted to make the Zadie Jumpsuit with it.
This isn’t the end of my Shweshwe journey, I bought another piece for myself which will become a nice new pair of Carolyn PJ pants, and lots of pieces that I bought for making things for the girls. Now I just need the time to make it all up!!!
Phew, it has been a while hasn’t it?! It’s been a crazy couple of months, and so, so much has changed, some things forever. The last time I popped in, I was sewing for the Great Module Sewalong. That all came to a grinding halt when I got the news that my Dad had passed away suddenly at the end of the first week in March. I got on the next available plane home to South Africa with my girls as support to do what I could for my Mum, all thoughts of sewing left behind.
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Then the world went mad. Luckily the girls were able to get home just in time before the barriers came down and the walls went up. I had had no plans to sew much, my thoughts were of paperwork, loose ends (of which there are still many) and support for mum. Naturally I missed my favourite activity, as well as my allotment, which I had to leave just as seeds were germinating – along with millions of weeds.
I had planned on fabric shoping however. But in the crazy first two weeks out here, there was no time for that second favourite activity. Then the government announced a nationwide lockdown, all but essential services allowed to operate, and fabric shopping went completely out of the window. Now we’re into May and a relaxing of the rules, fabric shops are allowed to be open to sell fabric to make masks and winter clothing. Yes, May in the Southern Hemisphere is winter, although with temperatures this week in the mid to high 20s, it’s not anything like a UK winter. Or summer! 😀 Thankfully winter means no humidity, just nice warm sunshine.
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Anyway, back to the shopping!! A typical South African cloth is produced here in East London in the Eastern Cape, Shweshwe. I wrote about it a couple of years ago, if you want to know more. The Da Gama factory isn’t open, but the factory shop in town is, so, under the guise of requiring lots of cotton to make face masks, Mum and I went shopping. As it’s “winter”, I decided I needed another couple of pairs of longer than cropped length trousers. I got two lots of 2m of Shweshwe for some Style Arc Kew Pants, I’d bought the pattern in their Easter Sale with the Como Top and the Teddy Top, to go with the Teddy Pants.
But – I’d completely forgotten that Shweshwe is only 90cm wide… 2m will make one trouser leg, not a pair of trousers! Of course, that meant we had to go back! This time I had better plans, get another 2m of one of the fabrics to actually make the pants, and 1.5 to make an Ogden Cami to go under a thin jumper I’d brought with me. But then I spotted a waxed cotton fabric while waiting for the assistant to cut the Shweshwe, and fell in love! So I bought 4.5m of the best bold, but neutral print wax cotton they had. And 7m of Shweshwe with a cream ground with brown and orange print for daughter No1. I hope it all fits into the suitcase… Daughter No 2 has yet to put in her order.
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So, lots of shopping, but what about the sewing?? Well, I think we’ve finally reached that part of the lockdown when we’re done with most of the big jobs, and now I feel that I can take a bit of time to myself and make something. Once I’d realised I’d made a boob with the fabric amounts, I thought I’d make a top with one of the pieced I’d bought originally. The fabric has body even after the wax has been washed off, so nothing drapy. Immediately the LB Pullover from Paper Theory sprung to mind. Thank heavens I brought my laptop with me on this trip, so I had immediate access to all my pdf patterns. I just needed to print it off. Now here’s where mum came in useful – she and dad own a stationery shop, complete with everyting I need to trace a pattern, and to print it too! The only downside was having to print on A4, but an evening with the scissors, tape and a couple of glasses of wine made short work of that tedious job.
I made the 16, no adjustments. The 2m was literally just enough to squeeze the pieces onto, and I had to piece the bias cut collar together. There were only the smallest scraps of fabric leftover. It was the perfect choice of pattern for the fabric, and print and I love it! It’s going to fit into my wardrobe at home perfectly, as well as add colour and shape to the small amount I’ve brought with me. It’s very tempting to make another, but I need to keep an eye on the amount of weight of that suitcase, especially if I’m going to be stuck here for another few months…