Since making the By Hand Sarah and discovering that button-down shirts do in fact have a place in my wardrobe, I’ve bought up a couple more shirt patterns for a bit of variety. This here is the Deer and Doe Melilot, from their latest collection, Botany.
I wanted to try this one in particular because it’s kimono-sleeved which I find more comfortable and casual than set-in sleeves, and it’s got a traditional stand collar which means it can be worn fully buttoned or at half-mast.
I made View B but with the collar from View A. From looking at the final garment measurements, I cut a size 44 because I like my shirts on the oversized side and it’s designed to be more fitted. I also added an inch more flare at the hemline on both front and back to make extra sure it’d fit my hips. The fit is nice and comfortable but next time I think I will bring it in at the bust as there’s a bit of excess fabric bunching under the arms.
I love the exaggerated dipped-hem look of the pattern but it stuck out in a weird flappy fashion over my bum, so I took up the hemline by about an inch on the front and 2 inches on the back. In doing this I also smoothed off the curviness of the hemline, making it easier to sew. You’d definitely struggle to do a turned hem, even a narrow one as suggested in the instructions, so next time I will probably use bias binding to finish the hem instead. Otherwise the instructions are good and it’s all finished with French seams and clean finishes, with no overlocking in sight.
It’s a double French blouse because as well as using the D&D pattern, the fabric is from Atelier Brunette and bought on my recent trip to Paris. It’s a very lightweight cotton voile called Lili, which was a mixed bag to work with – it pressed well but was shifty and slippy. One of those makes where the pattern and dark colour hide a bit of less than perfect stitchery, ha (although I promise the pockets ARE straight and aligned, it just droops a lot on the hanger!). As you can see the fabric creases a bit with wear, but as it’s a causal shirt I’m OK with it and it’s very soft and comfortable.
The pretty pearly-peach buttons are from my stash, a perfect match for the seed-head pattern on the fabric. I put fake ones on the pockets to help them stand out a bit.
This was fun to sew despite the slightly difficult fabric – a nice bank holiday weekend project. After making a couple of small fitting alterations I’ll definitely make another one in a solid colour, perhaps a grey sandwashed silk.