A very French shirt

I really like Deer and Doe patterns, and when they released their spring/summer 2016 patterns I immediately bought both the Melilot Shirt and the Zephyr Dress. I meant to make the Melilot shirt up during the winter, but I just never managed to get it done…Happily I like the short sleeved version even more than the long sleeved one, so making it up for spring wasn’t a hardship!


I’m so happy with the way it turned out! I think its such a flattering shape, and the little round collar and the sleeve cuffs are so cute. I was a bit worried about the very curved side seams not hitting me at the right point, since I have a fairly high waist, but I threw caution into the wind and made it up as is in my good fabric. Thankfully it worked out pretty well! 

I had a bit of trouble getting the hem to sit nicely around those extreme curves. The instructions tell you to hem the fronts and back before sewing the side seams, but I was a bit wary of the length so I wanted to be able to try it on before I committed to hemming it! In the end I decided to leave the length as it is, though I might play around with it next time. I ended up sewing a line of basting stitches at 1/4 of an inch to help me fold it up, then folded it up the same again and topstitched it. Maybe I’ll try bias tape next time, I’m always happy with that finish!

There are some really lovely details in this pattern. The pockets are lined! I’ve only ever lined the pockets on a coat, but it does give a lovely smooth edge and makes it easier to get both pockets the same. Though in this busy fabric that isn’t such a major… I also really like that the collar on this shirt is a proper two piece with a collar stand, it sits really nicely and fits really well. I noticed when I was looking at the pictures of my M7351 shirtdress that the collar is really too big for my neck to be worn buttoned all the way up, but this one is a good size. 

One thing I wish I had done better is matching my thread colour to the fabric. I sewed the majority of this one in the evenings, and it wasn’t until I looked at my topstitching in daylight that I realised that it was really really white against the much more cream fabric. And then, instead of fixing it, I just carried on, and sewed the buttonholes in the same white thread. And of course, the button holes look even whiter and shinier than the topstitching… I wish I had waited and matched the thread, or that I had gone and fixed it before opening the buttonholes, but I’ll live with it! Those glaring white buttonholes will be a good reminder not to be lazy next time. I know you can’t see them in these photos, but I can definitely see them when I look down at the shirt!

The fabric is Atelier Brunette, French fabric for a French pattern! Last month there was a vintage fair in my local town hall, so I wandered down to have a look (hoping to find a pie dish, as I had just figured out that the one I was looking for in my kitchen actually belongs to my Mum, so was in her kitchen instead). Just inside the door was a pile of stunning bolts of French fabric, attatched to a stall that I realised was being run by Miss Maude. Thank god she was taking payment by automatic bank transfer (and thank god for banking apps!), because I would have been sad to miss out on this gorgeous cotton. I also bought a length of Atelier Brunette modal, so I’m sure that’ll be making an appearance this summer! The little black buttons came from my button stash, but I think they originally came from Made Marion, like most of my new buttons. I really like how they look on the fabric, though  sewing 11 button holes was a bit of a chore! 

Expect to see a few more of these over the summer! I really want to make a white silk version with sleeves, and I have a really lightweight cotton plaid that I’ve been planning to make into a button up shirt for over a year, so hopefully that’ll happen this summer too…

22 thoughts on “A very French shirt

  1. Very cute! I used French (also AB) fabric for my Melilot too, there must be some symbiosis going on. I do that same thing with thread-matching laziness! You’ve reminded to pick up this pattern again and make it in a solid – plaid would be really cute too.

  2. I really like the shape of the Meillot, seems like drop shoulders and cuffs are everywhere at the moment. Such a lovely style. Definitely been there with the thread debacle, so disappointing when that happens isn’t it? Which reminds me, I must get matching thread for a project today šŸ™‚

  3. Such a sweet ‘blouse’ Kirsten. This, to me really fits the blouse description, its quite ‘girly’ and looks really lovely on you. I’m absolutely sure no one but you sees white thread, but I totally understand how we are our own worst critics. Think of it as an ‘interesting jazz colour’ and perhaps cut yourself some slack!!

  4. Your shirt looks great on, the fabric looks lush and it fits you so well. I’m in the process of making my first, pieces are cut, plackets are done (although utterly fudged the hidden one!!) and darts/pockets are looking good, I’m so nervous that it won’t work. I’ve seen your fabric online and it’s fab to see it being worn (I now need some!) good idea with bias tape, thank you.

    1. Thanks so much šŸ™‚ I’m really intrigued by the hidden placket, I’ve never sewn one. It looked a bit fiddly! Good luck with the rest of your shirt, I’m sure it’ll turn out great!

  5. Lined pockets? I’m intrigued. This looks terrific, and I think it might tempt me towards sewing this one ahead of the Sewaholic Granville shirt that’s been on my list for ages. Love your fabric choice, and (in this light at least) I can’t make out the white thread at all.

  6. Love your shirt, and what a great find on the fabric! I’m a big fan of this pattern too, and also had problems with the hem. And funnily enough I recently read on a blog about someone hemming theirs with bias tape.

  7. This looks great on you Kirsten! I love this pattern too – the shape is just so nice and flattering. And I like that it’s a bit more feminine than the average short sleeved button up shirt. Also great fabric choice!!

  8. For some reason when I initially saw this pattern I wasn’t too sure about it– as usual after seeing a few other people sew it up I’ve totally changed my mind. I love the exaggerated shirt tail hem and the cut on sleeves. It’s really such a flattering style. I love the fabric that you used! I’m going to have to put this pattern on my mental sewing list for Spring!

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