Une chemise très française

Deer & Doe Melilot shirt

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.

Deer & Doe Melilot shirt

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.

Deer & Doe Melilot shirt

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.

Deer & Doe Melilot shirt

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.

Deer & Doe Melilot shirt

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.

Deer & Doe Melilot shirt

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.

35 thoughts on “Une chemise très française

  1. AvatarKristi

    I love the delicate details of this pattern. The button and and collar are much more feminine than a classic button down. It’s perfect for this fabric, well worth the hassle!

  2. AvatarElle

    I saw this on instagram and loved it immediately! Very cute– I love the short-sleeved variation of this pattern, and the botanical print of the voile is lovely.

  3. AvatarChristine Haynes

    I love this top! I also purchased this pattern because I’m realizing I need tops in my closet! And I also happen to have that same fabric in my stash from a trip to Paris too :) I’ve been hoarding it for the right project and this version makes me wonder if it’s mean for this pattern! Looks great.

  4. AvatarKirsten

    I love this pattern, I’m going to order it and their newest dress pattern as soon as I’m done with my current assignment! Your version is gorgeous, I love the fabric and button combination. Thanks for the heads up about the hem too!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I got the Zephyr dress pattern for my sister too! Yeah, makes life much easier to smooth it off a bit, and it was too long for me anyways.

  5. AvatarKatie

    I love your Melilot!! It’s actually the first non-sample that I’ve seen – and it’s fantastic. I picked this pattern up (along with the other two) when it was released, but I wasn’t quite sure if I could swing the short sleeve version, but I’ve now been convinced. I’ll have to try to find a nice lawn to make it in as well :D

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I don’t think I’ll make the long-sleeve one ever, but I love the short sleeved – the little cuffs are so cute.

  6. AvatarStevie

    Katie, I’ve been eyeing up that pattern, it looks great on you. Thanks for the heads up on the sizing, I think it looks better with some ease. Also those buttons go fabulously with the pink in the pattern.

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      It’s a very nice pattern, I wasn’t going to buy it after buying a couple of other shirt patterns recently, but glad I did.

  7. AvatarHeather

    This is really pretty! I love the changes that you made to make it a bit oversized. The short sleeves look great too. And those buttons are perfect! I’m excited to give this pattern a try too. I think it will be great for spring/summer.

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Thanks! Seemed to be one of those nice makes where everything came together nicely in terms of design and fit and turned out how I imagined!

  8. AvatarSonja

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I snapped up the pattern when it was released but haven’t been able to find the time to make one. Yours is making me more desperate to have one in my life! Perfect fabric and buttons!!!

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