A Deer & Doe Mélilot shirt

I started this project before Christmas, but annoyingly had to put it to one side to get my presents and New Year’s Eve dress done on time. The neatly marked and cut pieces have been lying in my sewing room filling me with guilt ever since, so it has been lovely to get it finished off.

I really loved the kimono-style shoulder seams and flowing shape of this shirt when I saw the pattern but when I sewed up a toile before Christmas it really didn’t fit well – despite grading between a few sizes. I have broad shoulders, and so after widening the pattern accordingly I just about managed to get it to fit but I am still not happy, it feels baggy not flowing, and I can still feel the shirt pulling against my shoulders at times. I like the length and shape of the hemline, but perhaps it would look better at the back with a slightly more curved shape.

I chose an Atelier Brunette sparkle cotton batiste from my favourite, Glasgow-based shop, The Splendid Stitch, and whilst I love the fabric and it has been lovely to sew with, I think that for the long-sleeved version of this shirt it might look better made up in something with better drape – like the rayon used on the pattern photography.

I found the shirt relatively easy to construct and it was an absolute delight to work with such a fine, light, fabric – particularly after grappling with some heavy waxed fabrics recently. It was so nice being able to achieve really crisp cuffs and collar and not wince as my machine stabbed through multiple layers of heavy fabric. I did, however, find it a little unusual in some places – the hem was finished on each front and back piece individually before sewing the side seams, but this is perhaps due to inexperience, it might be really common. I was careful to make sure I was accurate in my hemming, and all the side seams matched well when they came together towards the end.

The pattern is quite clear on the whole, it took me a minute to work out the covered button placket, but I was very pleased with the results – so neat! I also loved finishing the garment with French seams, it is so satisfying to have such neat guts.

On the whole I would say that this shirt is okay, but not brilliant – I think it looks a bit frumpy. I would like to make it again but with another more suitable fabric, or perhaps try the short sleeved version as there are several things I really like about it.

Thank you also to my lovely chap, James Porteous, for taking these pictures.

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One Comment

  1. February 19, 2017

    Ah, it looks really nice, so you can rest assured that you’re the only one aware of the problems. It sounds like something with better drape would give you more of the result you were looking for, though. It’s SO FRUSTRATING when things don’t work out as envisaged.

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