Frosted violets


I wouldn’t have dreamed of buying, sewing up or wearing this colour unless I had recently seen Suzanne ‘The Dressing Coach‘, for a Colour Decoding session.  I find it super helpful to know what colour palette suits me, and most importantly, how to break the rules!  My current swatch is Cool & Deep… just like me… jokes!


This icey purple is called Frosted Violets in my swatch… although I’ve dubbed it ‘Menopause Mauve’ with some of my sewing friends.  Until recently I didn’t know that there is anecdotal evidence that purple is a colour that menopausal women (or those on the perimenopausal path) are drawn too.  I’m in my late 40s… so as I like to say… I’m winding down in the hormone department!



Now back to the sewing!  This is the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory and it probably needs little introduction.  I sewed my first version just after the pattern was released, and I feel a third version isn’t far away.


This is the size 10 with a 3/8″ (1 cm) forward shoulder adjustment and no other fit changes.  I did leave off the pockets for this version as my bust does not need attention drawn to it!



I love how the subtle weave of the shot linen is highlighted by how the front yoke/sleeve and the shirt front grainlines are perpendicular to each other.  Yes, you heard me right, the front yoke and sleeve are a single pattern piece.  If you need to see the pattern piece, look for page 9 on this Instagram post.


Shirts have become one of my favourite things to sew.  With time, patience and hand basting I can achieve very pleasing results.  I cut and sewed this Olya over a four day long weekend at our beach abode.  Luckily, I currently love wearing shirts too!


When I sew a shirt I always give myself a button placket refresher by watching the beginning of the Olya Shirt Video Sewalong.


My tip for a creating perfect collar points is found in a short video by James Kemp.  I didn’t have any embroidery thread on hand, so I just used overlocking thread doubled and it worked a treat.


I selected shell button for my make and I think they really elevate the shirt.


We have just had a big button re-stock at work, which included adding more sizes to our natural and smoke shell buttons.  We also purchased a range of wooden buttons and acrylic buttons in various colours/sizes.  Feedback from our customers was that the humble button was getting harder to find!


I used my Simflex Expanding Sewing Gauge to work out the button placement on my shirt.  I start by trying the shirt on, marking the position of the button at the bust, and then using the gauge to do the rest of the placement work.


Although Sharon and I photographed this shirt both tucked and untucked, I do prefer the proportions when it is tucked in and that’s how I’ve been wearing it.  Interestingly, I just saw this reel from Styled By Sally on five reasons to tuck in!



I adore the colour, fit and style of this shirt.  I know it will have longevity in my wardrobe.


Pattern:  Paper Theory’s Olya Shirt
From The Cloth Shop but only available in store
3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment and left off the pockets
Outfit:  Jeans from Scarlet Jones (years ago), fob chain (hard to see) from Second Empire Jewelry, Trovelore Lobster brooch from Tiffany Treloar and boots from Obus (years ago)
Location:  Ballarat


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  • That’s a very nice shirt, interesting sleeves..😁

  • So lovely! I agree the weave of the linen looks lovely with these pattern pieces. I had to chuckle at your colour description…. I’m heading into perimenopause territory… gotta day there’s a lot of lilac been added to my stash recently!!!!

  • Hi Anna, Another beautiful make!
    I love your fabric choice.
    I have this pattern waiting to be made after Christmas.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Oohh, beautiful! I like that it isn’t as oversized as some I’ve seen.
    I’ve read the color periwinkle is the most flattering color, but haven’t heard about purple. I do have some purple fabric to make up including some purchased 20+ years ago!

    • Periwinkle is such a lovely soothing colour with definite cool undertones. I hope you enjoy sewing up your purple stash… how times flies!