It’s rare that I make a garment and then immediately make the same garment in a different fabric, but I was too excited about this amazing silk to wait! The first make is technically a muslin, but both fit great and I didn’t make many changes to the second one. If you’re looking for a first shirt pattern to try, I highly recommend the Deer and Doe Melilot. I like that the finished garment is a little unusual, but it’s a fairly simple sew and has beautiful seam finishes built into the instructions. Completely enclosed seams, without having to plan ahead? I love it.
First up is this incredibly soft and light yarn-dyed cotton (lawn?) I bought in Japan last year. I’m slowly working my way through my Tokyo fabric purchases. Maybe in a year it’ll be time to plan a return trip!
This is a great summer shirt because the fabric is so light, yet pretty much opaque. I made a straight size 40 and I think the fit is pretty good. Looking at these photos, it seems like there’s some pulling around the hips so maybe I could grade up there. And maybe I need a FBA? I think I’m still stuck in the RTW mindset of the fit being good if it’s good enough. Also I’m lazy and don’t really enjoy pattern hacking because I hate feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing!
Have you noticed the buttons? I took the yellow buttons off an old RTW shirt that wouldn’t button up over my chest, but I was short by two. I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to find matching ones (haha, right). I went to two stores and then decided to just go with something that’s the same size and sheen, but in a completely different color. And I like it! Maybe it makes it look more “handmade”, but so does my first attempt at a shirt collar, so I’m not too worried about it.
After the success of my wearable toile, I cut into my silk for my second Melilot. I got this fabric from Mood NYC and when I first saw it I surprised myself by being completely enamored. A novelty print? And it’s bright pink? But the jaguars/leopards are really beautifully illustrated and the pink has super faint lines of blue running throughout. And it’s silk! So a little more elevated than your typical novelty print, right?
I tried to cut this really carefully and match up the big cats, but soon realized they’re kind of random…or at least the 4 different jaguars didn’t repeat regularly in the 2 yards I had. I just tried to keep things balanced and made sure the pockets were perfect. The only changes I made were shortening the shirt overall by an inch or so and making the back the same length as the front.
My boyfriend says this is my best make yet and I think he might be right. I get compliments on it whenever I wear it, but oddly the first thing that most people say is “Are those tigers on your shirt?” And then instead of being rude and saying “Obviously not! They have spots!” I just say “I think they’re jaguars?” as if I’m unsure of the obvious differences between big cat species. I guess people don’t watch as many BBC nature shows as me…
I’ve since made another Melilot shirt, which you can see here! For my third Melilot I switched it up by going cropped and a little oversized.