A Parisian Paper Theory Olya Shirt Dress

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

After making the Paper Theory Olya Shirt in March, I vowed to make it again in a block colour to really show off the outrageously good construction/style lines... but it's just so hard to keep a word when the perfect fabric presents itself! 

Olya Shirt Dress
I at least half followed through on my promise to this fantastic pattern, this time making the dress version. Whilst I like my previous Olya Shirt, and had the most fun making it, it hasn't seen as much wear as I would've liked, in part because I just don't really wear shirts! I haven't seen as many people make the lengthened Olya Shirt Dress, but for me, it hands-down tops the shirt, with absolutely perfect proportions. 

Sacrés Coupons on Rue d'Orsel
Now let's talk fabric. This viscose twill is arguably one of my best fabric buys of all time and it's purchase perfectly rounded off the best long weekend spent with fellow sewists in Paris for #parissewcial. Jess, Roz and I were lucky enough that our cheap-Eurostar-deal hotel was located almost at the foot of the steps to thSacré-Cœur, and even luckier still that it was in the centre of the local fabric district. Housed at the end of our street on Rue d'Orsel was my favourite of the bunch, Sacrés Coupons.

Lovely #Parissewcial crowd! Thank you Charlotte and Carmen for organising the best weekend!
Most of the fabric shops sold pre-cut 3m lengths, and it was often a case of digging through the mountains of fabric available. I was particularly reserved, only buying fabric I considered to be different to that I could get at home. For me, the unusual graphic and abstract prints are the rarest of fabric finds, so I was very lucky to grab a 3m length of this crazy printed viscose on our final morning (we ducked in Sacrés Coupons as the shutters opened, whilst on our way to catch the Eurostar home)! 

The last fabric in my case definitely demanded to be the first one sewn, and the weight and drape seemed perfect for an Olya Shirt Dress. It's definitely lighter than my previous shirt version, plus I used extra light interfacing for the placket/cuffs/collar and it's much improved - is it just me who stills struggles to pick the right interfacing for a project?

Front details
The most exciting sleeve/yoke detailing
Whilst the pattern of the fabric might detract from some of the garment's design details, it does make them even more exciting at close inspection. I talked all about the cool construction in my previous review, but I have to say, I still can't get over the wonder that is the sleeve/yoke square seam.

One big change I made this time was to entirely eliminate the breast pockets. Whilst their design is no doubt excellent, I found the pockets on my last version just didn't sit right across my fairly full bust - I ended up stitching them closed as they gaped during wear. I still stuck with the topstitching detail along the yoke, and I think overall it's made for a much neater wear/finish for me!

Back view
The length is great and really balances out the full sleeves - I'd even consider adding another inch or two to future versions. I'm also all for a skirt side split - I even skipped the bottom button to have a bit more movement in the front too (risqué)! 

I feel like I'm really gushing now, but this absolutely my dress of the summer and currently feels like my dress of full-hearted happiness. It was created in a lovely calm week off work, sewing at a slow pace, and the fabric holds memories of a dear weekend in one of my favourite cities, with my inspirational internet friends, new and old.

I fully recommend a viscose for the Shirt Dress as this has been the perfect pattern/fabric pairing. Now to commit to making a plain version, maybe in a very basic black or khaki viscose... one day! I have another piece of Parisian patterned viscose earmarked for the Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit next!

P.S. You may have also noticed, I got new hair, which somehow seems to improve all my outfits! My hairdresser works actual wonders!

Stay in touch!

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  1. love your new hair and the fabric print. Do you find your hair effects the clothes you can wear differently? I use knit fusible on every dressmaking garment. It provides stability but no stiffness.

  2. The fabric Print is really amazing. I find ist so hard to find nice prints which are not too childish. On the other hand I am Not risky enough sometimes. Good Job!


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