Thursday, August 4, 2016

Deer and Doe Melilot shirt in Nani Iro double gauze

The Melilot shirt, a drop-shouldered button-up, is one of the latest patterns from French designers Deer and Doe. We love both the style and the fit of their patterns - click on the tag 'Deer and Doe' to the right and you'll see posts about others we've made. (There should be an accent on the e of Melilot but I don't know how to type that, forgive me!)

I made a combination of Views A and B: long sleeves with cuffs, but omitting the concealed button placket and collar (and no pockets). This fabric needs to speak for itself! However in a plain fabric these details would help make the garment special.

This Melilot came about partly by accident... I cut the wrong length of this amazing Nani Iro double gauze 'Beautiful Life' for a customer. But it was the right length for a Melilot, so what's a girl to do?
Like all Deer and Doe patterns I've tried, this came together very nicely. Their patterns are drafted for a C to D-cup bust which suits me very well (no FBA, yay!) and I am pretty confident of their sizing. I graded from a size 42 to 44 in the hips, going by the finished garment measurements given. There's not a lot of ease in the hips and it's a longer line shirt so make sure you check those finished measurements.

After a quick Instagram poll (this indecisive Libran loves decision-by-social-media!) I did not attempt pattern-matching. I think with this large-scale print it was a good choice. I did consider pattern placement though, to ensure no awkward circles and create visual balance.

The inside of the Melilot has a very neat finish, with French seams throughout. (Fun fact: by perusing both the English and French instructions I discovered that the French call French seams 'des coutures anglaises' - English seams! How bizarre.)


I had a bit of a time with the buttonholes, but it was entirely user error, so let's just move on and not examine them closely, okay? Look at the pretty mother-of-pearl buttons.

After one attempt to attach the collar stand following the Deer and Doe instructions, I unpicked and redid it following the method described by Jen of Grainline here. (I used it on my Alder and was really pleased with the result.) It's certainly possible to get a good result with the Deer and Doe method, and the Grainline technique tied my brain in knots the first time, but for me, it gives a more reliable clean finish. (See below: first try, second try.)


Technically, the bust dart sits way too high on me (you may be able to just pick them out in the photo below) (now you're going to feel awkward staring at that region for too long) but with the cut-on sleeve, I wonder if that's intentional? It looks too high to really hit anyone's natural bust apex and it creates just the right shape, so I wouldn't alter it on any future versions. **EDIT: On further investigation, the shoulder seam falls right back on me, thus pulling the whole front upwards. I guess this is because of my narrow, sloping shoulders, and perhaps I need a Forward Shoulder Adjustment? **
 Apologies for the wrinkled end-of-day photos but it's an imperfect world, isn't it?

And this is to demonstrate the rather lovely shaping of the Melilot. The shaped waistline looks impossibly exaggerated when laid flat but in reality it's just perfect. I'm not generally a button-up-shirt person, partly because I think they feel a bit restrictive, but the shoulder and sleeve design on the Melilot is very comfortable, and doubly so in this soft double gauze!

The short-sleeve version (which is actually just a cuff on the dropped shoulder) looks like a real winner for summer too so we think you'll see more of the Melilot around these parts.

NEWS FLASH - Deer and Doe have just let us know they now allow their retailers to sell online too, so we are working on adding them to our site!

- Jane & Fiona xx


12 comments:

  1. This fabric is poetry. I've been intrigued by the Melilot since it came out. The shape is simple yet flattering on so many different bodies. Yours looks fantastic. And to think that it came about due to a fabric cutting mistake ;-)

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes I think it's a really beautiful pattern, like all the Deer and Doe, and this fabric is quite magical :)

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  2. This turned out so great!!! The bust dart is super intriguing, now I want to go look at other versions! I recently bought this pattern, my first Deer & Doe, and can't wait to try it with all the stripes! So pretty! Love that it is blousy/roomy, but does have that subtle shaping.

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    1. So now I've just looked at pics of other people's Melilots and the bust darts look like they're in the right place! What's up with me?? That's really strange. Now I'm going to be paraniod about my low boobs lol.... :D Good luck with your version, can't wait to see!

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    2. Oh, I'm with Nicole on that one, #saggyboobsofinsta, so if that's the issue you're not alone, LOL! I lower darts on everything. It's depressing to be lowering darts but it's less depressing than having darts pointing impossibly high on finished clothing (an actual problem I have with RTW). Bust darts MOCK ME.

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    3. Haha yes I totally thought of Nicole's hashtag with this one! I think it's a combo of #saggyboobsofinsta #narrowshouldersofinsta and #poorpostureofinsta for me :D Also, at least lowering darts is not a tricky fix.

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  3. Hello! What a lovely make - the combination of flattering silhouette and gorgeous patterned Nani Iro works so well :) I'm curious, though, as to how you know that Deer & Doe patterns are drafted for a C to D cup? I've not used any of their patterns and I do like this one, but as an A cup I'm now a bit scared away! Thanks :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment :) You can find sizing information on Deer and Doe patterns here www.deer-and-doe.com/sizing/ - also, the way the patterns fit you will depend a bit on the kind of fabric you choose. We always recommend making a quick rough 'muslin' test version of the more fitted parts of a pattern, using an old bedsheet or some other fabric you don't mind wasting! If you really need to, you can make a small bust adjustment for which there are probably a bunch of tutorials available online. You would make the same cuts as for a full bust adjustment but instead of spreading your pieces, you would move them inwards. Check out our post on the D&D Belladone made by our friend Amanda who is tall and slender, and it fit her beautifully. I hope that all helps!

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    2. Thank you, that's very helpful and Amanda's make that you pointed me to is very inspiring! :)

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    3. Oh, glad we could be of help :) They are such lovely patterns.

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  4. I am so pleased you will soon be stocking D&D, I love their patterns and the fact I don't need to FBA (just FWA).
    You look gorgeous, great sewing.

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  5. Thanks Nicole, yes isn't it refreshing to have our bust size built in? :D

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