I've been itching to add some shirts to my wardrobe for quite a while and have just completed the first one on my list, the Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe patterns.
I was inspired to use a lovely cotton lawn by French designer Atelier Brunette, sparkle powder gold when I found these AMAZING gold bumble bee buttons at the Textile Garden's stand at Yarndale in September.
As it's autumn, I decided to make view A with the long sleeves. I wanted a shirt with some traditional details and I felt with the added gold sparkle in the fabric would allow it to be dressed up or down quite easily. It is the more complicated version out of the two as it includes a hidden button packet, traditional cuffs and a rounded collar. Surprisingly, this version isn't too fabric hungry either, I used 1.5m of fabric, I could have gotten away with 1.3m (more on that shortly).
Size wise, I graded from a size 40 at the bust to a 42 at the waist and hip, which is pretty standard for me and thankfully quite a simple adjustment to make. The only thing i didn't check was the length of the sleeves. I had most of the shirt completed (using French seams) and one cuff completed before I tried it on and realised the sleeves were too short. My arms looked in such an odd proportion to my body. I was so disappointed, however once I realised I could cut a bigger cuff, solving the issue with the least hassle I was ok about it. So I unpicked the cuff I'd already sewn, cut two new ones an inch wider and stitched them in place.
It did take me a while to get the shirt finished, but I was intentionally taking my time when top stitching as I wanted it to be as neat as possible. I really like the garment I've produced. I love the hidden placket for hiding a wobbly row of buttons and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I like the rounded collar. As for the larger cuffs, I prefer them to the original ones, the seem a better proportion n me. Oh, and there are the bees, need I say more?
The pattern is rated a 4/5 for advanced seamstresses (see Deer and Doe's skill level guide here), which certainly for the version A which I made I agree with. For example, the instructions for this pattern assume you already know how to sew French seams and only focus on the more complicated steps. So some experience of garment construction will be helpful, that said view B is much simpler, with cuffed sleeves, mandarin collar and exposed buttonholes - which I think an advanced beginner could manage.