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Deer & Doe Chiffon Melilot

Debbie Christensen Deer & Doe deer and doe fabric finished project melilot shirt sewing pattern silk

Is it just me, or is Deer & Doe becoming way more sophisticated? It seems like with their change in packaging came a maturity in their designs. It could just be that the new pattern envelopes look a lot edgier than the old ones. I've always loved their patterns, but most of them are a little too vintage-y for me to want to wear. But in their latest couple rounds of pattern releases, just about everything has appealed to me.

Following my last blog post about the Deer & Doe Lupin Jacket, this is the Melilot Shirt.

deer & doe melilot shirt

The pattern features cut-on dolman sleeves, onto which you can attach longer sleeves (which is nice because you don't have to set in the sleeves). As you can see, I elected for the short sleeves, making this a pretty quick sew for a button-down shirt.

deer & doe melilot shirt

This material is a slinky, shifty, see-through silk chiffon. You can't really see through it when I'm wearing it, though. I have always loved this fabric, but despite attempting two tank tops out of it, I never quite got the hang of sewing with it. It's so shifty that it's difficult to work with, especially to keep the dots properly aligned. So finally I starched it.

First, I pre-washed the silk in cold water with a bunch of other things. Probably once the shirt is made I'll have to be more careful about what it goes into the washing machine with.

I made my own starch solution with arrowroot powder, which is essentially a more expensive version of corn starch. I boiled 1 1/2 T arrowroot powder in 2 cups of water for a minute and let it cool. Since I don't have any spare spray bottles, I just crammed my nice silk in the gelly liquid and squeezed and crammed and squeezed again to make sure the fabric was evenly soggy.

I tested a piece of the silk first, soaking it in the starch solution and ironing it dry under a press cloth. It seemed fine, so I continued with the rest of the yardage. But I don't have the (clean) space to iron that much fabric, so I hung it on a clothesline as straight as I could get it and left it outside over night for it to dry. Near the clothespins, the fabric stretched a little, but I could avoid using those areas. It was so much easier to lay out and cut this way.

I actually haven't gotten all of the starch washed out yet. I just ironed and steamed this a ton and it softened up.

deer & doe melilot shirt

Instead of fusible interfacing I used black silk organza, which I pre-washed with the chiffon. The finishes on this shirt are so neat. The pocket is lined (I used the silk organza), which helps finish all the edges and forms those nice curves that complement the curves hem and collar. However, only one of two attempted pockets came out with those nice curves, so this shirt only has one pocket.

deer & doe melilot shirt

I love the dramatic hemline. I finished the edges with bias tape made from the organza. But, I don't know, should I have done a swayback adjustment?


deer & doe melilot shirt

I really love this pattern. It came together quickly and easily, especially considering the material I was working with. I wish I could have matched the polka dots better along the front, but I misunderstood how to fold the concealed button placket.

Also, doesn't it look perfect with the Lupin Jacket?

deer & doe lupin jacket melilot shirt


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  • Carrie on

    So these are awesome and if I ever get my melilot top figured out I might have to try that jacket next. Do you have any tips or resources for doing a swayback adjustment? The back of my melilot has a lot of gaping and pooling like your’s and I can’t figure out how to fix it.

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