I’ve already posted about my two other Deer and Doe Melilot shirts, but I made some mods for this one so I think it’s worth posting about. Also this fabric deserves some photos, right? I’m sure you all recognize it from the Colette Penny dress—it’s the “Tropical Stems” cotton lawn from Fabric Godmother. I threw a meter of this in my order for different fabric a couple months ago because I couldn’t resist it and I thought it would be perfect as a Melilot shirt.
Since I only got a meter, I knew I would have to crop the length (fine by me, because I love cropped tops) and I decided to go up a couple sizes to get a more boxy fit. The Melilot has fairly curved side seams so I also straightened those out a bit. I could have made them completely straight, and maybe I should have, but I don’t mind the slight curve in the sides. I do kind of wish that I had changed the collar to pointed rather than the pattern’s round ends, but that’s alright.
This fabric is a dream to sew and feels great to wear; it’s super lightweight and floaty, but still holds a press really well. The instructions are great and I’ve made this twice before so the construction was going well—until I got to the buttonholes. Something was going on with my machine and the tension was just fucked. The bobbin side of the buttonholes looked great, but the top was a horrible mess. I did them all, thinking that the next one would be better, but it never got better. So I gave up and was ready to toss my machine out the window and get a new one (I was actually looking at reviews for machines I could get with 2 day shipping on Amazon). But the next day I decided to try one more time—and it was fine!
So it was a lesson in knowing when to take a break and give my machine a rest, as well as a lesson in ripping out seven buttonholes and redoing them without an automatic buttonholer.
But now it looks lovely, especially with these great pink shell buttons I got from Britex in San Francisco. I actually spent a good amount of time deciding on button placement, because I think it really makes a difference in how a shirt is worn and styled. With this Melilot I was planning on always wearing it a little unbuttoned, so I needed one of the buttons to be at the perfect position for that (a bit of casual décolletage, y’know?) and the rest of the buttons needed to follow proportionately. I never use a pattern’s button placement because I think it’s important to determine where they should go based on your own body (no gaping!) and how you’re going to wear it.
Also, if you watch Seinfeld you know how important button placement is!
I also have a thing about shirt pockets because I hate when they’re basically boob covers, so I always place mine a little higher. Love that sewing supports quirky little personal preferences like that!