A Tale of Three Melilots

I am really feeling my Deer and Doe patterns lately. Melilot, Sirocco, Myosotis, I've bought them all. I tackled the Melilot first and now I want to sew one up in every fabric I own. It is the perfect comfortable-yet-pulled-together top for a day at work, without all the stuffiness of a normal button-down. And I think the Deer and Doe pattern block really fits me well.

Pattern: Deer and Doe's Melilot Shirt
Fabric: 2 yds
Cost: $20

Of course, I didn't have success right out of the gate. My first attempt at the Melilot was a complete failure. It wasn't the pattern so much as the fabric. I had picked up an incredibly cheap drapey fabric at our local fabric swap and was convinced I could wrestle it into submission. And I actually was pretty successful in sewing the whole thing up. But what I had forgotten was that cheap fabric to sew with can also be terrible fabric to wear. It showed every pucker, didn't feel very good on, and honestly wasn't even a great color on me. I'm really not sure what I was thinking. Even worse, I had raised (and lengthened?) the bust darts and it was NOT sitting right. Here's the one picture before it went to a new home. Ugh those darts.

This time around, the fabric was much easier to work with. I knew this because I'd already sewn with it - I made the Mr. a button-down in the same fabric. I loved sewing that shirt so much that I couldn't avoid the fabric when I was shopping for my own. I haven't had the heart to tell him we're twins yet.

In addition to better fabric, I also made a few modifications. I changed the darts back to their rightful place. I also modified the Peter Pan style collar to a pointed collar shape. The whole shirt was then shortened and given a new hem shape. As before, I cut a straight size based on my hips, which gave me generous room up top.

Oh, and one more thing. Have you ever noticed that the sleeve bands tend to stick up and out from the body? See my first Melilot above for what I'm talking about. I know it's a style choice, but part of me has always felt like they could be drafted to lay flatter against the body. To remedy this, I took the long sleeve pattern piece and traced a new cuff along the curve of the sleeve cap. See the picture below for what I'm talking about. I cut two for each sleeve so that I would have a facing, as you can't fold this one in half lengthwise. The result is a cuff that lays flat instead of sticking up at an odd angle. Much better!

And did I say there was a third Melilot? Well there is! But it wasn't sewn by me. Shortly after I bought the pattern, I went to visit my parents and was surprised to see that my mom had sewn some Melilots, too! She had made herself the long-sleeve version but had also sewn the short-sleeve one as a wearable muslin. Not only did she allow me to try it on for fit, but she also let me keep it! It is impeccably sewn just like all the things my mom makes. 

After working on a few more involved projects these last few weeks, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this top sewed up. I'm also getting pretty good at that pattern matching across the front, if I do say so myself. 

Ok, that's enough Melilots for me today. I'm off to sew my new Sirocco jumpsuit pattern! Now just to pick the fabric... And who's ready for Me Made May?!


  1. the blue one is a fantastic color on you, very cute and the beige one -right what were you thinking :) but a good way to test. Looking forward to seeing your jumpsuit!

  2. Cute! I love the blue and red!

  3. I have always been drawn to the Melilot, but have never bought the pattern precisely because I was put off by the stick-outy cuffs. I love your windowpane version with the flatter cuffs!


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