Another project ticked off my Make Nine 2022 — this gorgeous Deer & Doe Mélilot blouse 😊 It may not be super seasonally-appropriate for FREEZING December, given that I made it up in a wafty viscose and opted for cuffed short sleeves, but no regrets here whatsoever, as I fully love this blouse… although I admit to have been wearing it with a thermal top underneath!

I have previously written about how much I adore the impossibly chic Make My Lemonade and their fabrics; I made up a Tilly and the Buttons Indigo smock top in their gorgeous ‘Coquillages’ viscose two years ago, which is so vibrant and instantly puts a smile on my face whenever I wear it. I fell in love with the ‘Fuji’ viscose when I saw it made up as this blouse from their RTW collection:

When I saw that it was available as a 1.5m coupon (a pre-cut length of fabric sold in French fabric shops), I was totally smitten. Simon very kindly bought it for me (having a husband who sends sewing/fabric gifts is the absolute best), and I cannot recommend the quality enough. This lightweight viscose is so smooth and silky, with a beautiful fluid drape. The colours are deep and saturated, with a print of sketched, abstract mountains. I made sure to handle it with care, by washing on a cool, gentle cycle and pressing at a low heat.

When discussing how to best use fabrics from chic Parisian boutiques, it only makes sense to use a pattern from a French company that is equally stylish and modern! I have tried a couple of Deer & Doe sewing patterns already (and have several more in my sewing plans) — I really like Deer & Doe patterns; they are really thoughtfully designed, and I think their drafting works well with my figure. The Mélilot blouse in particular looked like it would be the perfect pairing with my fabric.

The Deer & Doe Mélilot Shirt is a twist on a classic button-up, with a relaxed fit, bust darts, drop shoulders, chest pockets, and a deeply curved hem, which mimics the lines of a men’s shirt hem, but with lots more drama! There are two options; View A has a covered button placket, a rounded collar, and long sleeves, whereas View B has a standard button placket, a Mandarin collar and short cuffed sleeves. I did a mix and match between the two views, opting for the covered button placket, the rounded collar and the short cuffed sleeves.

Cute little Peter Pan collar in this truly dreamy fabric

As always, the instructions and fit for Deer & Doe patterns were great. Based on my bust measurement, I made a Size 40 to be safe (nothing worse than gaping buttons at the bust in a shirt, I still have nightmares about my uniform blouse at an old job at a bar that I had to safety pin shut for modesty!) and no other adjustments, and I am thrilled with the final fit. I used the recommend French seams throughout to elevate this blouse further, and followed my go-to collar tutorial to make sure I assembled a perfect Peter Pan collar. I found the covered button placket was a bit tricky to visualise with the instructions alone, but there is a Cashmerette video tutorial that helped me out big time! I also skipped the pockets, as I preferred the look without when I had them pinned in place.

As one of my final completed projects of 2022, I am pretty proud of this shirt. It is pretty on the inside, pretty on the outside, and I feel happy with both my construction and how I feel when wearing it! Next time I make the Mélilot shirt, I will finish the hem with self-made bias tape, as I think that would be easier around the curves.

The face of me having zero regrets in wearing my light summer blouse in mid-December to brunch with my best friend, and also having zero regrets ordering polenta fries for breakfast.

Deer & Doe Mélilot
Size 34 – 52
Full Bust: 31½” – 45⅝”
Waist: 23½” – 37¾”
Hips: 33¾” – 48″

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