Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Deer and Doe Melilot 'Popover' Version

I feel like I need to make excuses for this shirt because it's so, well, neutral and conservative. However, we all need a bit of that in our wardrobes and I really rather love this make.

This is my second version of the Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. I must love this pattern because it's quite something for me to sew two shirts with plackets and cuffs and all that palaver in a row!

The fabric is a beautifully soft, yarn-dyed brushed cotton with a teensy tiny check. There's a bit of this left in store and similar here. Buttons are shell, from my stash but we did just order some very similar for the shop!
Instead of the full button front I changed this Melilot to a partial placket, or 'popover' style. (I wasn't aware of the term popover until I saw the Grainline Archer 'popover' variation but I guess it's as good a description as any.)

To achieve this I folded away the button/buttonhole placket extension of the shirt front pattern piece until there was just half the button placket left (so, folded right along the line of the button placement marks). Then I cut the front on the fold of the fabric just like for the shirt back.

To make the front placket I made an enlarged version of the sleeve placket (sorry no exact measurements, I kind of just eyeballed it). The length of it finishes about in line with the bust darts. The only other adjustment I made was to shorten the back hem to the same length as the front.

I had some issues with where the bust darts sat on my first version and I've done a bit of analysis. Firstly I think this was affected by my wearing the shirt with a merino singlet underneath, which caught the double gauze and increased the way it was falling back over my shoulders. Secondly, I did a bit of investigation into 'forward shoulder adjustments', often recommended when the shoulder seam is sitting to the back of your natural shoulder line. The adjustment, as far as I can tell, just pivots the shoulder seam at the neck so it meets the sleeve at a more forward position (subtracting from the shirt front and adding to the back). I'm not convinced this is really any more than a cosmetic fix of where the seam sits, rather than addressing genuine fit (although I would be very happy to be convinced otherwise by someone more knowledgeable!). Additionally, I became a bit concerned that it was partly an issue of my poor posture and I've been making efforts to address that! The upshot of this whole thing is that I left the Melilot shoulders exactly as drafted. And I reckon for the most part it looks fine.

From the back, well I probably should learn how to make a sway back adjustment some time, le sigh. And my narrow sloping shoulders have the same effect in this as they do in the Deer and Doe Arum (which has a similar shoulder curve). Pffft, I care not. Carry on!
Thank you to my beautiful assistant!

This is already on high rotation in my wardrobe. I'm looking forward now to some warmer weather and making a short-sleeved Melilot or two.

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. This is GORGEOUS! That fabric is just lovely and I ADORE the placket version! So good! That placket seems narrow and subtle, just lovely.

    And of course you need a plain shirt to wear with all of your printed skirts, DUH (I am thinking of your Moss Moss right now, or was it a Moose Moss?). The fitting issues are fascinating but I do think it's good to take a step back and be like, this shirt looks great, no one sees that stuff except us obsessed people. That said, and you're gonna hate me, are you sure you don't need an FBA on a smaller size for a roomier front and narrower shoulders and back? It might solve some of the shoulder and bust dart issues ... #duckingandrunning

    1. Hey good thought! No hate at all! It's like I need one size for the front and another for the back.... I would still need to widen at the hips but the FBA takes care of a bit of that doesn't it. I might just have to give that a go on the next version. Thanks xxx (Oh and it's a woodgrain Moss heehee and then there's the giraffe Moss....)

  2. Love your Melilot shirt. I was just googling images of finished versions before I cut mine out and I see that you have already made a popover version. Thats exactly what i'm thinking, so thanks for sharing your tips. I think i want a back yoke too, perhaps I should have bought a different pattern?! Love a challenge...

    1. Thanks Harriet! I hope yours goes well :) Not sure how the drop shoulder would convert to a back yoke but like you say, love a challenge :D


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