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Projects & Patterns

Pattern Review: Olya Shirt/Shirt Dress

Threads #213, Feb./March 2021

Paper Theory Patterns: Olya Shirt/Shirt Dress

The unconventional shape of the pattern pieces makes this an exceptional design. The yoke and sleeve are combined in a clever and unusual way. The self-lined back yoke is inset into the front piece at the shoulder and armscye seams. The shirt and dress views have a collar with a stand, sleeves cut-in-one with the front yoke, and in-seam pockets in the front yoke seam, which are stitched to the outer layer. More features include a separate center-front button placket and sleeve cuffs with a traditional placket, tucks, and a single-button closure. The shirt-length view has a curved hemline.

The markings are minimal, but the notches match up nicely. The pattern instructions and illustrations show thorough detail and on the company’s website there is a sewalong to follow.

  • The top half of the design is full, with a lot of ease through the shoulders, sleeves, bust, and waist. The dress view narrows from the hips to the hemline. The proportions may overwhelm a petite frame.
  • When topstitching the upper sleeve seam in step 5E, leave the sleeve inside out. You are less likely to catch another garment area in the topstitching that way.
  • The instructions go into detail on how to sew the corner seam at the point where the sleeve joins the shoulder seam. This one difficult construction aspect puts the pattern into the intermediate rather than the beginner sewing category, our tester feels.

Choose soft woven fabrics. Poplin, lawn, voile, tissue linen, Tencel, and silk noil are good options for the shirt. For the calf-length dress use heavier wovens with a soft hand.

(Sized 6–20 for busts 31.5–45 in. and hips 34–47.5 in.)


—Tested by Donna Sikyta, Blacklick, Ohio

Olya Shirt/Shirt Dress

Style Tip: Pair sheer and opaque fabrics, as in a sheer body combined with a satin collar and placket, or mix solids with prints.

This review was originally published in Threads #213, February/March 2021. Have you made this pattern? If so, be sure to share pictures in our Readers Closet gallery.

Illustrations by Steven Fleck.


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