Completed: The Mélilot shirt

5 Dec

Hey guys, New Favorite Outfit alert!

Mélilot shirt - front

This is the Mélilot shirt from Deer & Doe Patterns. I vaguely remember when this pattern came out – although I didn’t give it more than a second glance (the main version you see on their website is long sleeved, with dropped shoulders and a peter pant collar. It’s very nice, but it’s not really my style). Once I started googling around for the short sleeved version, though – I decided it was super cute and that I wanted to make it in a lovely drapey silk.

(It feels so redundant to talk about silk… I should just dub my 30s “The Silk Decade” because I feel like it’s ALL I sew now haha)

Mélilot shirt - front

Mélilot shirt - side

Mélilot shirt- back

Mélilot shirt- back

I sewed Version B, with the short sleeves, and used the hidden placket from Version A. My shirt is a size 34 (which is what I usually sew from this company) with no alterations to size or length. The instructions were reasonably easy to follow, although the hidden placket info was a bit sparse and took some head scratching before I really figured it out (and don’t ask me for a tutorial, bc I don’t remember exactly what I did haha)

My fabric is an olive green / brown (depending on the light you are in, ha) silk charmeuse with the slightest amount of stretch, from Mood Fabrics. I bought this at the store while I was in NYC in November, with the intention on making this pattern with it. I used the matte side for the body, and the shiny side for the collar stand, pockets, and sleeve bands. It’s a very subtle contrast, but I love the way it looks. I use a Spray Stabilizer on my fabric, which made it easier to cut and eventually sew. One thing I have learned with fabrics like this is to leave the pockets off until the garment is completed. I don’t know what it is – but every time I put the pockets on, the end up super crooked and I have to unpick them and re-sew. Maybe it’s how the garment hangs off my body, maybe I’m just an idiot WHO KNOWS. But I had the same crooked pocket problem with this top (I took a photo, but you couldn’t really tell… but trust me, it was bad in person. Even my mother, who thinks I’m the great sewer ever, laughed when she saw it), so next time I’m just going to wait till the end. No sense in doing things twice!

I will admit that the color of this shirt is kind of ugly… but it definitely works really well with my coloring. How awesome that the doo-doo colors suit me best. Ha.

Mélilot shirt - front

Mélilot shirt- back

Mélilot shirt - front

I just love the fluid drape of this fabric, and the way the little sleeve bands stick up. I am not normally a fan of these deep curved hems, but I think it works well with the style of the shirt. Same with the pockets – this shirt definitely needs the pockets, or else it looks really unbalanced in a bad way. I am thinking this will be a good shirt to take with me to Egypt – it covers my shoulders and butt, and I can button it up pretty high for modesty.

Mélilot shirt - on dressform

Mélilot shirt - on dressform

Mélilot shirt - sleeve detail

Mélilot shirt - hidden placket detail

Mélilot shirt- hidden placket detail

The pattern calls for lined pockets, which makes it easier to get identical, crisp curves on both pockets. For buttons, I actually used the wrong side of a bunch of those shell/mother of pearl buttons that I found in my stash. The back side is a little matted and kind of a taupe color, which went really well with the fabric. Due to the covered placket, you only see a couple of buttons anyway. Oh, and as always – the inside seams (you know, all 2 of them haha) are French seams. FYI, watch those seam allowances if you make this pattern and omit the French seams – because I’m pretty sure the side seams are only 1/2″. The pattern instructs you to sew French seams for these seams, with two passes at 1/4″, which doesn’t add up the standard 5/8″ seam allowance on the rest of the pieces. Just a thought! Also, I always trim down my first pass to like 1/8″ before sewing the second pass, as it ensures that the seam allowance it caught in that stitching. Ain’t nobody got time for hairy seams amirite.

Mélilot shirt - front

That’s all! A pretty simple shirt, but the silk makes it feel super fancy. I am wearing it with my Cecila Pants from Elizabeth Suzann. Y’all, these are magic pants. The denim is suuuuuper stretchy and comfy, and has a fantastic recovery – I can wear these several times before they need a wash to shrink back up. And while I didn’t personally make these pants – I can tell you exactly who did. Her name is Colette 😉


66 Responses to “Completed: The Mélilot shirt”

  1. Abbey December 5, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    All the heart eyes here, Lauren. And the mother of pearl buttons? Fabulous addition.

  2. heather December 5, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    love love love your shirt! you are so talented! thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. RED December 5, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    I just got this pattern from the Black Friday sale – I love your version!

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      You are gonna love that pattern!!

  4. Becky December 5, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    Love this shirt on you. The color is classic, as is the design. About those pants….do you suggest ordering your regular size? I want a pair!

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 10:02 am #

      They fit pretty true to size, although you can size down if you want them to be more fitted (my pair is an XS, and I took the legs in a little – about the equivalent of an XXS – so they would be tighter). If you send them an email, Lydia will be able to help you choose the correct size, as well as supply you with finished measurements 🙂

      • Becky December 5, 2016 at 10:07 am #


  5. Sewing for Cat People December 5, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Oh lovely, I’m currently working on this pattern myself!
    I do have a question, why do you say that the shirt looks unbalanced without the pockets?
    Thank you!

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 10:39 am #

      I dunno, the proportions just look very strange without the pockets to balance it out! You may feel differently – and it may not be such an issue if your fabric has a print on it

      • Sewing for Cat People December 5, 2016 at 10:50 am #

        Ok, cool thanks. I was just wondering if I was missing something! I LOVE the silk, it really works on you.

  6. Liz December 5, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    Egypt! So cool! A word about my experience and modesty in N. Africa…I went to Morocco in 2010 and quickly discovered it was worthwhile to cover up as much as possible to attract less attention, because you get SO MUCH regardless. As a Westerner, there’s no real requirement to cover up, but I highly recommend it. I wore a fake wedding ring too, but I’m not sure that helped. I still got proposed to in the Casablanca airport, but that was just hilarious. It was a rugby player from Cameroon. 😉 I never felt unsafe, even when I was totally lost and all the signs were in Arabic and I had to depend on my mediocre French and the kindness of people to get me where I was going within the labyrinth/medina, but I/we got constant commentary. I’m no shrinking violet, but it was tiring and tiresome, and everything I could do to reduce it was worthwhile! I try to warn people about this, but it’s hard to anticipate if you’ve never experienced it. There’s also a huge amount of verbal approach from vendors, which is to be expected, but I think you get it differently/less intensely if you blend in a little more. No matter how many women in our group, we got the same amount of commentary from men sitting around; if we had our one guy with us, the commentary was reduced by at least 75%, and then what we did get was something like, “Ali Baba! Ha ha!” instead of “Hey sexy”, “I like your ass”, etc. I always say if I were ever to go back to N. Africa, I would only go with a man. And I’ve traveled plenty on my own, and plan to continue. That said, everyone we talked to directly was SO nice, and people we asked for help went out of their way to help. I had one short sleeved shirt with me and one 3/4 length, and purchased two other 3/4 length shirts (on the advice of a friend working there with the Peace Corps), and I barely wore the short sleeved shirt because I felt like I stuck out too much. My friend, who had less interest in blending in, and is built much like you, ran to a shop not 15′ from the front door of the pension one day in a tank top and long shorts and came back almost in tears. “I’m never doing that again!” We were there in June and it was a million degrees and humid, but I got used to wearing long, flowing clothes with no problem. The cultural experience of being an obvious minority and seeing North Africa was definitely worth any discomfort on my part. You’re going to have a great time…especially if you dress modestly. 😉 You’re probably already there, but as you get into sewing, just wanted to share my own experience.

    • Liz December 5, 2016 at 10:50 am #

      Just in case you want to see. 🙂 I know Egypt is not Morocco.

      • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

        Ooh, thank you so much for sharing this! I’d love to visit Morocco someday, it’s so beautiful!

        • Anne Ominous (@rustoleumlove) December 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

          I loved Egypt and Turkey, but thought Morocco was highly overrated. Just my opinion. It was cool but the people there seemed really sick of tourists (and unfriendly). We went to Egypt years ago, but my husband has been back since the revolution and loved it. My boss is Egyptian, she and her family just went over the summer. I hope you have a great time. I have blog posts on Aswan, Luxor and this one is on Cairo..

          • LLADYBIRD December 13, 2016 at 9:40 am #

            Thank you so much for sharing this link! I am actually going to Aswan and Luxor, in addition to Cairo, so this is super super relevant and gives me more ideas to add to my list! And now I’m extra excited for my trip :DDDD

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

      Oh yeah, I’ve been researching a lot (both via internet and talking to actual women who have traveled there) about the best way to dress to get as little attention as possible. I know with my skin, blue eyes, and hair color – I’m not exactly going to blend in, but at least I can control the way I dress as to not attract any more attention than necessary 🙂 It seems that covering the lower back/midriff and shoulders and collarbone is the most important! Fortunately, it’s going to be winter while I’m there – so I don’t have to worry about not being able to wear shorts or tank tops or a bathing suit or whatever. I have a fake wedding ring that I am thinking about bringing! I am still debating on that because I’m not sure if it’ll make me a target to get mugged haha. Of course, all of the big touristy things I’ll be doing (such as seeing the pyramids) will have a male tour guide, so that will help.

      Anyway, yes, thank you for your advice! I cannot be too prepared for this trip 😀

      • Sewing for Cat People December 5, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

        I was in North Africa very recently and honestly I never felt unsafe. I’m SUPER pale so I stood out but not in a negative way, I had my shoulders and knees covered and a big hat (but my colarbones were exposed). The people were lovely, the closest I got to cat calling was ‘your hair is lovely’ and ‘nice to meet you’. This was both alone and with my boyfriend. In hindsight I think the guides were a little dramatic!
        Have fun!

        • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:23 am #

          Yeah, I think that’s a little typical to be dramatic (we experienced the same thing in Peru – lots of warnings that it was unsafe, and yet it seemed like the entire country was full of the friendliest people ever). Better to be over-prepared than under!

      • Liz December 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

        Definitely helpful to be going in winter! Yeah, I basically have the same coloring and hair as Keri Russell (but am not shaped like her), so I’m obviously not a local–though I hear there are very fair Berbers. And my fake wedding ring was just a plain gold band with a little peridot stone. Regardless, you’re going to have such an amazing experience! Morocco was beautiful, colorful, and intense. I felt extremely fortunate to be able to speak French; it really broke down the barriers, even though it’s the language of colonialism. We didn’t have guides, except for a 3 day package tour into the Sahara. I talked to anyone who would stand still long enough, I was so thrilled to finally have a use for my foreign language!!

      • Anne Ominous (@rustoleumlove) December 11, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

        I’d go with the wedding ring. It will be worth it for the deterrent (men will respect that you already ‘belong’ to someone) and crime there, while it exists since the revolution, is *nothing* compared to what happens randomly in the states.

  7. Beth December 5, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    This is a truly gorgeous shirt, Lauren, but I have to say I’m shivering looking at your pictures! I’ve got to get the dog dressed (winter jacket) to go walk her and it’s 35 degrees out there with snow and snow showers forecast. I have a friend in Alexandria, Egypt. Wish I could tag along!

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      Ooh that sounds awful! ha, this is why I live in the South – it’s cold here, but nothing a light jacket can’t handle. I can’t imagine getting snow right now! Terrible haha!

      I wanted to visit Alexandria, but I think winter is going to be not an ideal time. Which means I’ll just have to come back for a second trip 😀

  8. hearttextiles December 5, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Very nice! I love the contrast of sides. I just tried sewing silk last summer — the ‘Date Night’ dress and I love the way it can make a very simple pattern feel so lux.

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

      Thank you! I completely agree, silk can make pretty much any plain pattern feel so incredibly luxurious and sophisticated!

  9. karen December 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    Beautiful shirt! The fit is terrific and the silk really looks great. I like the collar and pocket fabric flip. The shine give the shirt distinction. Enjoy your trip to Egypt. I am so envious except for the excessive heat which I am too old to enjoy. This will make a great wardrobe piece for such a trip. Have fun!

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:26 am #

      Well I’ll be there in January, so the hottest it should get is about 70 degrees 🙂 I love the heat, but even I dont’ think I could handle a summer in Egypt!

  10. Robyn December 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    Gorgeous! Love the matte/shiny contrast. And no need to set in sleeves right?!

  11. mertxelasierra December 6, 2016 at 2:58 am #

    I am curious about the washing of silk. I usually do not wash my silk clothes, but I only use silk for lining wool clothes that are not to be washed at all. How do you plan to wash or iron your shirt?

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:27 am #

      As long as you treat your fabric before you cut it, you can launder/dry/iron silk like any other fabric. I wash mine on cold and dry it in the drier.

  12. Anonymous December 6, 2016 at 4:15 am #

    Nearly finished my own version (short sleeves + hidden placket) so it was great to see yours pop up (which looks fab, BTW)! I agree that the instructions are sparse and generally involve some head scratching; I can not understand why the instructions have you hemming the fronts and back before you stitch the side seams, or have I missed something? Maybe something was lost in translation? 🙂

    • ChaCha December 6, 2016 at 4:21 am #

      Sorry that I turned up as anonymous…not sure what happened 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:28 am #

      Yeah, I didn’t get that either! I just hemmed the whole thing in one go – seemed silly to do two separate hems if they were just gonna get attached at the next step anyway!

      • Ihavenosewingfriends December 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

        I can sort of see where they are coming from as it is easier to iron the fold on a flat piece of fabric maybe..?

  13. Regina December 6, 2016 at 5:09 am #

    Very pretty!

  14. Becky Thompson December 6, 2016 at 5:18 am #

    You really did a nice job on that shirt. It looks great! And I love that you used the wrong side for the body…makes it less flashy and more daily wear I think. Enjoy your trip! I’m the one months ago that left a post about the possible terrorism over there. Sorry if it scared you but it’s important to be vigilant so I’m glad you’re doing your homework. I’ve never been to Africa or that part of the world (my military travels didn’t take me there) but I’ve heard stories from the girls who come back from assignments. They can’t leave the base without a man, they can’t go in public without covering up, they can’t drive, etc. It’s funny to see feminists over here raging on about this and that when our sisters in other parts of the world can’t go to school past the 6th grade if that, they are “owned” by their fathers and then husbands, and most are illiterate. Be safe, be aware, and enjoy yourself. If you see a backpack or package left unattended, run. Sorry, military training and all…

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:32 am #

      Oh, I’ve been doing homework on this trip sine before I even booked it. Traveling alone as a woman can be harrowing enough as it is – but this sort of country does require extra prep, just because I don’t want to endanger myself and I certainly don’t want to accidentally dress / act in a way that’s going to offend everyone around me! Although, to be fair, I think we’ve got possible terrorism in a lot more places than just the middle east – if you look at the US as an outsider, it looks INCREDIBLY dangerous here (and it is, for a lot of people). That’s not to say that I won’t be careful while I’m over there – you can never be too careful when you’re alone in a foreign country haha.

  15. Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch) December 6, 2016 at 5:54 am #

    Great shirt! I passed that one over initially, too, but I agree that there are some great versions out there. I like yours a lot. If I could just sort out the Deer & Doe armscye shape and why it digs into my arms, I could give it a try! 😉 That’s an issue to sort out next summer, though. 🙂 The shirt looks great on you!!! I like the color a lot. Great make!

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:34 am #

      Oh, I remember that! I would really be curious to see how reshaping the armscye changed the comfort level. It’s funny that you basically have the opposite problem as me 🙂 BODIES, MAN. 🙂

  16. sizzle04 December 6, 2016 at 8:07 am #

    I’m curious about your stabilizer, I have a spray stabilizer that you have to soak the fabric with and then iron it, and it’s awful and the fabric will get skewed as I iron because most of it is hanging off the ironing board. How do you use this one that you’ve linked to? I would love to use more silky fabrics but I want to have a better stabilizer first.

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      This stuff just sprays on and then you let it sit until it dries. I iron everything before I spray it on – the method of the one you use just sounds terrible! I like this particular spray because you can touch up any spots you missed as you sew (instead of having to re-soak) and it only stiffens the fabric about as much as, say, a silk organza… so you can still try on your project for fit (it won’t hang quite right without the drape, but the spray doesn’t change the sizing or anything). And it is very easy to wash out! Fair warning, that’s the only spray stabilizer I’ve ever used – so I have nothing to compare it to – but I’ve been really happy with how well it works.

      • Anonymous December 6, 2016 at 8:50 am #

        Cool! That’s good to know. Thanks for replying! I’ve been on the hunt for something better, I’ll probably try this one. 🙂

  17. bracken December 6, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    That shirt looks great. I have always been scared of slippery fabrics. You did a great job there. Good with the pants too. And you know what I really LOVE that painting!

    • LLADYBIRD December 7, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      Thank you! I love that painting too… it’s so weird and creepy. And awesome, hahaha

  18. Birgitte December 6, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    Beautiful. I actually love all the doo-doo-colors! I discovered a long time ago they suit my coloring, and my long-standing favorite is a burnished gold-deep greenish mustard (aka dog diarrhea). One of my pupils in 8th grade has even nicknamed me this and calls out “Hey yucky-yellow!” when we see eachother in the hall. I love my job #nosarcasm. Anyways! Love the short, it looks great! And the silk choice – top notch. 😀

    • LLADYBIRD December 7, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Hahaha yeah, I think the doo-doo colors look best on me too… they’re just not as exciting as, like, NEON YELLOW. I know exactly what dog diarrhea color you are referring to and I think it’s probably a good one for me as well!

  19. Hélène Martin December 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    Love that shine/texture contrast! Wishing you many more decades of silk!!

  20. Hélène Martin December 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    Love that shine/texture contrast! Wishing you many more decades of silk!!

    • Hélène Martin December 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

      Sigh. I love computers except for when I hate them. Accidental double tap, move along, nothing to see here. 😆

      • LLADYBIRD December 7, 2016 at 11:40 am #

        It happens to the best of us! 🙂 Computers, man! haha!

  21. Anonymous December 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    I love this and the colour is super chic and classy 😊😍

  22. Deborah Penner December 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Love this blouse. The cap sleeves are attractive and it looks very comfortable.

  23. Julie Lothian December 10, 2016 at 6:07 am #

    Hi LOVE this shirt on you especially in the fabric/ colour way you have chosen. I have tried clicking on the link for spray stabiliser, but nothing happens. Really interested in this as have never sewn silk and bought some silk chiffon at a show in September and am scared to make a mess of it!

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      Interesting! I just clicked on the link and it worked for me – maybe this one will work for you? Otherwise, try googling Sullivan’s 120 Fabric Stabilizer Spray. I bought mine on Amazon, but there are plenty of other websites/shops that also carry it 🙂

  24. Francesca Amodeo December 15, 2016 at 6:36 am #

    What a beauty. Love the colour – wouldn’t call it anything to do with crap:) – and the use of matt and shine – I don’t often use the shiny side outside with the silks that have it, except when I’m using the leftovers to make knickers:). I too bought the pattern solely for the short sleeved version…. but for Egypt – sweetie, no offense, I know you are a seasoned traveller, but long sleeves would be better. As a Mediterranean island dweller I’ve experienced loads of harassment from the less cosmopolitan north African visitors here. As a woman alone, you are fair game, so its worth a bit of adapting to feel more comfortable. Plus, you don’t strike me as the type to stick to the beaten path and only take tour buses… if you plan to visit markets and explore, wear long sleeves and a cute hat or a scarf tied over your hair 70s style – keep your legs covered – and expect to find some lovely people and some pests, like anywhere else in the world :). I was harassed in Dubai, which is 2/3 expats, when I wore my linen tent dress – think merchant and mill’s trapeze, sleeveless version, mid calf length. After that I wore it with a long sleeved linen bolero and wasn’t harassed again. And do be very aware that there is a lot of unrest there, couple of days ago a Coptic church was bombed – so just be alert whilst you enjoy, please – sorry to sound boringly Cassandra-ish but we all want you to come back safe and sound because we lurve you and your great blog and BTW that painting is so fuckin amazing – the artist really got you…

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2016 at 8:34 am #

      Thank you for your comment! I always carry a long-sleeved cardigan (or shirt) with me wherever i go – traveling or at home – so I do have cover up options (and I’m definitely bringing a hat, scarf, and DEFINITELY keeping my legs covered! :)). I likely wouldn’t wear this without a topper except when I’m on my Nile River cruise, with which I’ll be traveling with a full group + tour guide (and it’s my understanding that those are a little less conservative, but again, I have a topper if I need it). I have been researching this exhaustively, but I always appreciate good advice and tips, especially from people who have been to the area already! 🙂

      And yes, I love that painting! I actually had nothing to do with it’s creation – I found it at a thrift store for $7 and immediately knew it had to be mine. I love the colors, the creepiness, and the fact that it’s HUUUUGE!

      • francescapia December 15, 2016 at 9:41 am #

        Seriously?!?!?!? I thought it was a painting of you. Just took it for granted….. incredible.

        • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2016 at 9:46 am #

          Haha nope! I don’t even know who painted it (it’s unsigned). Maybe it IS a painting of me FROM THE FUTURE (dun dun dun)

      • francescapia December 15, 2016 at 9:43 am #

        Scoots back up to top of page…. yes, still feel the same….

  25. Niki December 26, 2016 at 2:54 am #

    Lovely too! Just an FYI- the sideseams should be 5/8″ if the instructions instruct you to see a 1/4″ seam twice. The missing 1/8″ is for turn of cloth- the extra fabric required to bend back and forth inside the French Sean. So, 1/4″ + 1/4″ + 1/8″ (turn of cloth) = 5/8″


  1. 2016: A Year In Review | LLADYBIRD - December 31, 2016

    […] Melilot Shirt This shirt makes me so happy, I don’t even mind that I have to iron it every time I wash it. […]

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