There’s nothing I love sewing more than a quick, simple knit pattern. All the better if it’s easy to fit and look RTW… which is how I’ve ended up with more than 5 versions of the Olivia Oversized Tee by Maria Denmark!
Now, full disclosure: I was a pattern tester for this pattern last winter. I’ve bought other MariaDenmark patterns with my own money though, and I’d hate to not talk about this excellent pattern just because I worked in exchange for it! I test lots of patterns, but I only rave about the great ones.
Let’s look at some of my versions, shall we?
First came my original testing version. The super-thin rayon slub knit I used had lovely drape, but was sadly see-through. Layered over a tank for modesty, it suddenly clung everywhere! This version has now been retired, and I went down a size for all my other makes.
Next up is the t-shirt version, in a crazy pink and orange stripe. I still wear this one, but the fabric is still a little sheer.
I finally learned my lesson and sewed up the pattern in a heavier, mid-weight knit. It was love! I get compliments on this shirt often. It sits nicely in place all day when I wear it, and doesn’t need any fuss to look good.
Remember when the British Sewing Bee did a Japanese-style draped tee? I just had to try it, so I slashed-and-spread one side of the Olivia tee and came up with this. A top so nice, my sister wanted one too!
Her shirt is made in a light rayon, and mine is a more stable rayon-cotton-poly knit. I always feel good when I wear this top – it’s fun and interesting, but still loose and casual.
And finally, an Olivia dress! I wanted a wintery version of my beloved Comino Cap, so I pulled out Olivia again. I put a seam in centre back to save fabric, and tapered in at the waist.
Pattern name: Olivia Oversized Tee
“Olivia is super trendy, super relaxed, super easy to sew and super easy to fit! Pick out any of your favourite wool, rayon or bamboo jerseys and in about an hour, you’ll have a great top to wear with skinny jeans, tight slacks or tights! Make it in a stripe to wear with a blazer jacket for work, in a fun print for everyday joy, or in a plain fabric that goes with everything!” – Maria Denmark
Size range (with measurements):
The smallest size is XS (bust 33″, waist 26″, hips 36″) and the largest size it 4X (bust 49.5″, waist 42.5″, hips 53″).
What size did you make?
When I first sewed the pattern, my measurements put me in a L bust and XL waist and hip. Now my measurements put me up one size in all areas. In fact, it’s so loose fitting that you could go down a size or even two quite easily.
**This would be a great pattern to sew as a gift, because the fit is so forgiving!**
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
Could anything be easier? Sew the shoulders+arms in one seam, do the neck binding, sew the underarm+sides, attached bands at hem and wrist. Done! This is one of those tops you can sew faster than you could do laundry.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
As it happens, Maria just updated this pattern with a new neckline. It’s now more a rounded scoop instead of a curved v… so I’d like to give that new shape a try! She’s also added a shorter version with no hem band.
Old version on the left, new on the right!
Pattern Rating (1-5):
- Size range: 5 – Awesome! 8 sizes, ranging from XS to 4X.
- Instructions: 4 – Maria’s instructions are always clear and with lots of detail. She uses photos, which works well, but drawings for some steps could be helpful for beginners.
- Construction process: 5 – It’s a basic pattern, so it would be hard to sew in any other order!
- Final fit: 4 – I think the key is to choose your fabric wisely and think about the fit you want. It is designed for a lot of ease, so size down if you want a closer fit.
- Overall rating: 4.5 – I love this pattern! It’s cute, modern, and super quick to sew.
If you haven’t tried any Maria Denmark pattern before, I highly recommend them. Put it this way: I never sewn her patterns just once. Bonus: You get the Kristen Kimono Tee pattern (which I’ve sewn at least 10 times for myself and others) for free when you sign up for her newsletter!
Have you sewn a Maria Denmark pattern? Which one is your favourite?