Long time no see, friends! I hope everyone has had an adequate 6 weeks since I last checked into this space. If I said that I had a great 6 weeks, I would totally be lying. To be honest, the last 6 weeks have been rather shitty in my corner of the world. My husband ruptured his Achilles in late February playing basketball with the first graders, so he has been in a boot and using a scooter to get around for the last 5 weeks. He had surgery to repair it 3 weeks ago.
And we have spent the last 3 days with my oldest an inpatient at the children’s hospital, with expectations of being here at least another 5 days or so. He had a very rare reaction to some sort of viral infection. Still trying to figure out exactly what, though he tested positive for flu and little sister has mono. Yeah, when it rains it pours. “Go big or go home” is the Lee motto this year.
Anyway, before the proverbial shit hit the fan around here, I managed to complete this Deer & Doe Melilot shirt, which further cemented my love for D&D patterns. They’re just so nice!
I made a size 38, which is a size smaller than I used to make in D&D patterns since I have lost a significant number of inches since I last made one. It turns out that while my measurements hit size 38, I probably should have done a 40 for this one. That’s because while my bust, waist and hips have shrunk, my shoulders haven’t. Go figure.
So the top fits great but I could stand to have a little extra room in the shoulders to get the slouchier look intended.
But all in all, this pattern is perfect for someone like me. Specifically someone who really hates setting in sleeves on a woven pattern. Any pattern really, but I particularly hate it on wovens. The Melilot, however, has a dropped shoulder, which means that the sleeve piece fits exactly into the bodice piece and in the short sleeve version, there is no sleeve to set in at all! Score!
My one and only gripe about the construction on this pattern is in the button band. Most RTW button up shirts have a separate button band piece on the side that will be on the outside. The Melilot instructions have you turn the front center under twice to make the button band, which is fine. But a separate button band piece would look more professional IMO, or with a fabric like mine (which is the same on both sides), it’s a simple matter of turning twice to the outside rather than the inside. Which is what I did.
But all in all, that’s a fairly minor gripe. The covered button band option is a beautiful, professional finish, and I love all the other elements of this top. I will recommend this one without hesitation!
Pattern: Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe.
Difficulty: Advanced beginner.
Techniques Required: Sewing a button band, sewing a covered button stand (optional), sewing a collar and collar stand, sewing a curved hem, sewing buttons and button holes, sewing a cuff (optional), sewing a sleeve placket (optional), sewing a dart.
- Two sleeve lengths.
- Optional covered button stand.
- Drop shoulders.
- Two collar options
- Lightweight woven fabric
- Matching thread
- 9 buttons
Similar Patterns: There are a number of button up shirt options, including the Grainline Archer, Hey June Cheyenne, Sewaholic Granville and the Liesl & Co Classic Shirt. But the really distinguishing feature of the Melilot is the dropped shoulders. I don’t know of another button up with similar dropped shoulders.
Fabric: This is a lightweight pinstriped chambray from Michael Levine. I bought this a few years ago and I’m pretty sure it is sold out.
Fit: Fabulous. I always love the fit of D&D patterns on me.
Pattern format: Print only. I happen to love printed patterns, but I know some people prefer PDF and refuse to buy print. Good news for the PDF-only crowd, though, D&D is finally introducing PDF patterns. The newest collection was released in PDF and they will be adding them to older patterns as well.
- Very approachable option for someone who wants to try a button up but doesn’t like setting in sleeves.
- Multiple options allow for a casual button up as well as a slightly dressier option.
- Flattering shape and nice curved hem.
- Great drafting and presentation, as always with Deer & Doe.
- The drop sleeve does make a bust adjustment a little more challenging.
- The deep curve in the hem makes it practically (though not entirely) impossible to do a continuous hem. The instructions have you hem prior to sewing the side seams, and that definitely is the easiest way to do it.
- No separate piece for the button band.
Overall Grade: B+. I always love D&D drafting and presentation, and the drop sleeves on this blouse do make it different than most other button ups on the market.