Orla oh la la

Back in January, I purchased this Tilly and the Buttons ‘Orla’ top pattern.  It’s now September, and finally I’ve made an Orla top.   The pattern was a joy to use.  Orla sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

I wanted to make a top with print sleeves and a solid colored torso.  This cotton upholstery fabric in my stash seemed right for the torso.  It was salvaged from sofa cushion covers I’d made years ago.  There were worn spots on the fabric, but there were enough good areas to carve out the body of a blouse from it.

IMG_20190911_133440187a RSR

This Paris print cotton was something I simply liked when I saw it in the store, so I bought 1/2 yard for the sleeves.  My plan was to make a muslin shell to test the pattern, and if things turned out well, it would be a wearable muslin.

Paris print b RSR

Voila! A wearable muslin! 

IMG_20190911_103509068aw RSR

Where I deviated from the pattern:

  • Adjusted the sleeve length to a 3/4 sleeve.
  • Used a stand up/rolled collar instead of the pattern options.
  • Added a few gathers to the top of the sleeve rather than the pleat in the pattern.
  • The pattern suggests using lightweight drapey fabrics, but I used the heavy cotton, and I like the result.

IMG_20190911_103522654aw RSR

IMG_20190911_103711495aw RSR

For bicycling and night activities, I incorporated some reflective elements.  I used reflective fabric for ‘hem tape’ on the sleeves.  At night, the hem can be flipped out for visibility.  There’s also a reflective covered button for the back closure.

A few more comments on the Orla pattern:  (I’ll definitely make more ‘Orlas’.)

  • The pattern size measurements ran true-to-large.  I’m so used to pattern measurements not working out, that I decided to make a larger size than the pattern info indicated.  Well, the pattern measurements were right on this time.  On the first fitting, the blouse was way too roomy.  I ended up taking it in two whole sizes, and could have gone down a third size.
  • The front curved darts are a pretty feature, and were easy to sew.  But they became a challenge when I had to downsize the garment.

(Ghastly lighting in this new selfie spot! Yikes!)

disgust when you get that text GIF by Barstool Sports

This picture was my inspiration.  I saw it in a Liberty of London ad last year.  Obviously, I didn’t stick close to the image.  I still want to make a top similar to this.  Maybe for Spring.

Lace top print sleeves from Liberty 

Image may contain: 2 people

21 thoughts on “Orla oh la la

    1. Oh man, I didn’t think of the Small Faces song! I’ll have to use it sometime. The Moodies song is from the Denny Laine era. Denny sings it in his current show. I didn’t hear the song back when it came out, but I love it now. It transports me to a place I’ve never actually been in real life…yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t know it went back that far! I haven’t heard a lot of their songs during that era. I would not have guessed that.
        A very good song….I know exactly what you mean by that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honestly I didn’t know about the early Moodies until a lot later in life. Now I really appreciate their music. I have their vinyl album The Magnificent Moodies, and Denny has autographed it. I enjoy keeping up with his career now, too. Lately he and Ginger Baker have been telling about some of their collaborations. It’s amazing how you can go back and connect everyone up.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow… Ginger and Denny…those are opposite people. I have heard nothing but good things about Denny Laine. Now Ginger is another story but I would love to hear them.
        What a scene that must have been in the mid-sixties with all of these musicians networking for the right reasons.


      4. Your reply went into spam for some reason. Grrr. I agree that Ginger and Denny seem like an awkward collaboration. But both are freakishly talented, so… The scene back then must have been magical.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I was going to say the same thing…the hook didn’t do it for me like the others but I’m looking foward to Dec 6th for the album.


  1. Hope you are doing well and safe…. I know it’s NOT a big deal but I actually got a “like” by Justin Hayward on my 10 favorite solos…I know of everyone you would understand why I was happy about that. Anyway just had to tell someone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s awesome! I say this means you’ve hit the big time. I’ll look it up now. Man, I go a day or two without checking in and something big like this happens!

      All is good here; just weird, and plenty to worry about with family, friends and neighbors. Hope you and your family are well and safe as well. I see you’ve posted’s a Martha update too. I must get caught up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It made my day…to know I bought his and the Moodies records…and he noticed something I did.
        Yea everything is going good here. I’m working from home but we have to go to the grocery store tomorrow. It’s like planning a military maneuver.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good luck going to the store. Any precautions are worth doing. I’m making masks. Sigh. I may come out of blog hibernation and do a post on it. I’m glad you can work from home.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m wearing one tomorrow…I don’t think I have it but I don’t want to spread it if I do.

        I’ll be looking forward to it…

        Liked by 1 person

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