The second pattern of the Deer&Doe spring-summer 2016 collection that I wanted to show you is the Mélilot shirt. Even though they are the same type of garment, Mélilot is very different from Deer&Doe’s previous shirt pattern, Bruyère (which I had made here, and also for the Deer&Doe blog here). It is both more casual – Bruyère has a structured waistband while Mélilot is loose and flowy – and more technical: a collar with collar stand, sleeve plackets, french seams everywhere, every detail is perfect.
I have been thinking about making a semi-fitted white rayon shirt for a while, to wear with the sleeves rolled up and tucked into a high waist skirt. I had in mind the casual elegance of 1950’s movie stars, and my ultimate inspiration: Dior’s collections from the same era (that middle picture! Love it).
So when I had to test the version A of Mélilot, with the drop shoulders and the long sleeves, I knew I needed to make it in a drapey white rayon. Worn with the collar open and the sleeves rolled up, I think doesn’t look as serious as it does on the technical drawing!
The fabric is a rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics, and it is not bad at all: a great drape, not too thick, not too thin, white but not too see-through. For this pattern I really recommend picking a flowy fabric, so that the back of the shirt drapes well and there are no weird folds when wearing it tucked in. In this fabric it is perfect.
One of the advantages of Mélilot is that it works great with sheer or see-through fabric, since it is made entirely with french seams. The shoulders are sewn first, then the armholes, then the sides and sleeves. It is a bit disturbing at first to do this on a woven shirt but the result is great.
I have to admit: after making two Bruyères and three Mélilot in just a few weeks for Deer&Doe, I really thought I was done with shirts for a while. Even when there is no pattern matching to fuss with, there is still the collar, the sleeve plackets, the buttonholes, all these buttons to sew… anyway, it takes forever! Far from the instant gratification of knit projects that are done after two serger seams. Except I think it had the opposite effect on me: I really started to like working on all these precise details and now I want more.
Maybe the fact that I have been wearing Mélilot continuously since I finished it has something to do with that… I thought that the drop shoulders would be a bit difficult to wear but I was completely wrong. Not only it is a staple but it also transforms completely: a 50s’ vibe tucked into this skirt, a seventies flair in my Fumeterre maxi skirt, casual-but-sexy-though-I’m-not-really-trying just worn over jeans, I can wear it with anything. And it is so comfortable!
Version A of Mélilot actually is supposed to have a hidden button-band. I’d love to say that its absence on my version is a design choice but I have to be honest: I just don’t know my left from my right and I cut the wrong side too short. So to be clear: buttonholes go on the right side, and the right side is the one that is on the right when wearing the garment. It is written clearly in the instruction booklet, and there are also drawings, so not much room for mistakes, but I didn’t have the drawings when I made it and I guess it wasn’t my smartest moment. So you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that the hidden button-band looks great, or just check out the presentation pictures or Sandra’s version.
That said, even with its visible buttons, I love my new shirt 😀
I’d like to show you soon the third pattern of this collection, the Lupin jacket, but I still need to attach the lining… I’m hoping to finish it by this weekend, we’ll see!