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Pattern Review: Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

The pattern is a paper pattern from Deer & Doe, and has recently been published as PDF too. The pattern has two different views: version 1 with long sleeves and round collar and version 2 with cuffs on the grown-on sleeve and just the collar stand (or mandarin collar). I made version 2 with cuffed short sleeves and collar stand. All patterns from Deer & Doe, I personally find very stylish and on trend.

For my version I used a striped Cotton Linen, I had left from my Penny Dress. In different fabrics, the shirt will have different looks. Deer & Doe have written a blog post about fabric suggestions for the Melilot shirt. I only used 1 metre of fabric and it took me about 6 continuous hours of sewing - all pieces were already cut out. I only had to cut of the interfacing needed. I love that it only needs to little fabric #stashbuster

This pattern comes in sizes 34 to 46 in the printed version and the PDF has been extended to size 52. I made size 44, and graded to a 46 from waist to hip. Overall the sizing is accurate and I wouldn't size down however I need to a full bicep adjustment for the next version. I wore the shirt all morning yesterday doing our grocery shopping and didn't feel as comfortable reaching for stuff at the supermarket.

On the pattern instructions it states level 4 out of 5 and I definitely agree with that. The instructions itself come in French & English and provide illustrations, rather than pictures. The construction of the garment is fairly simple. It has French Seams at a shoulder and side seams. The only step I struggled with was the collar stand. I think you need to have made a simple shirt prior to tackle this pattern. On the pattern piece itself, it doesn't ask you to interface but to cut 2 on fold. In the instructions however, it states 'interface the pieces of the collar (5-version A) and collar stand (6)'. But it doesn't say if you should interface both pieces or only one. Based on previous patterns with collars I had sewn and the fact that my fabric has a good structure, I only interfaced one of the collar stand pieces. It was my first time sewing a collar stand and perhaps that is the reason I thought the steps were too briefly explained. There is a lot of bulk fabric on each side of the collar stand when turning the collar stand over the neckline. I don't think my collar stand turned out perfect. There is a little bit sticking out of the front.

I really like the look of the curved hem of the side seams. The hem is done before the side seams are sewn together which was new to me too. The instructions asked to sew a narrow hem of 1/4" to first fold 1/8" and then another 1/8". Since my fabric has enough structure, I wished I had done 1/8" and then 1/4" because at the button placket the shirt has 3 layers of fabric, one of them being interfaced. So I struggled pressing over such a narrow hem. Perhaps it would also help to cut the interfacing shorter.

I sewed 8 buttons & buttonholes, omitting the one for the collar stand for two reasons: #1 there was too much bulk for a buttonhole to be sewn neatly and #2 I would never use it anyway. I don't like any closures that tight around my neck. It was the first time, I sewed on buttons with my sewing machine using a button foot. I am not sure if it really saved me time. The tricky part is to get the buttons lined up under the foot without shifting while lowering the presser foot of the machine. I guess it comes down to practice as well. I did break one button but no needle luckily.

I am still undecided if I like the pattern or not and if I would sew it again. So I thought I make a like & dislike list to make up my mind.

I really like:

  • the shape of the garment, very flattering

  • the length of the shirt, a lot of tops and shirts finish a little lower than the bellybutton but this one is much longer

  • the grown-on sleeve (although I would have to do a bicep adjustment)

  • the curved hem

  • Super quick to sew and only uses 1 metre of fabric (if you choose to make version 2)

I don't like:

  • the collar, I don't like round collars on me, and I could use a pattern piece from the Alex Shirtdress or Penny to make the necessary alterations. With more practice, I am sure that collar stand would turn out better.

  • the chest pockets, could well be the fabric which makes me say that

  • the cuffs, I am not so sure about either. The stick out and not sure if that is flattering or not.

Alright, so it is 5 pros vs 3 cons, although two of the cons I can easily change to make it suit my taste better. I reckon once I make the necessary alterations, I would really like the pattern more than I do now. But I am very glad that I didn't cut into my expensive Nani Iro fabric which I had purchased last month. Check my last fabric haul.

I know the pattern review isn't as positive as my other ones but I feel that it is good to look at patterns honestly. Someone might feel very different about this pattern than me and I sincerely hope that once I make the above adjustments, I will change my mind and this might be my go-to shirt pattern.

Have you ever made a pattern and didn't like it immediately? Did you make alterations or never came back to the pattern?

Thanks for hanging out with me.

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