Sunday, 23 July 2017

Moody Melilot

Hi everyone,

So I have an obsession with the Melilot pattern and need to quit and work on something else soon before people get bored of seeing me wear it. Trouble is, I can see mandarin collar versions, cropped versions, more shirtdress versions...This is my fourth, and it’s becoming a TNT (see 1, 2, 3).

I made this version up in some lightweight denim I bought last year when I was in LA and decided to see what Mood had in store (one reason why this post is titled ‘moody’). I loved this fabric straight away, and apparently it had been selling out because of its similarity to the wallpaper in the Beverly Hills Hotel. I can’t verify this, but I wanted it regardless. So it came home with me, alongside some Ralph Lauren denim I haven’t dared cut into yet, and some merino jersey from the Fabric Store that I haven’t dared set shears to either.

Trouble is, I cut this when in a bad mood (that’s the second reason for the title). After waiting a year to work with it and feeling a bit of “now or never” pressure as the weather warmed up, I decided to just go for it one day after having made my toile de jouy shirtdress to make the palm tree Melilot of my dreams.

I knew I wanted to make a Melilot when I bought the fabric, but the loveliness on both sides made this difficult to pin down what I wanted designwise. In the end I used the reverse side, even though I preferred the deeper green of the right side, as I thought it would be easier to wear with jeans without going on the wrong side of double denim. Tempted though I was, I decided not to incorporate any contrast elements.

Deep curve of the hem, showing the inside (and 'right side') of the fabric, although the photo doesn't really show the depth of colour

Trouble is, the front print is misaligned, which bugs me more than it would anyone else. To have saved it up so long, only to butcher it because of an off day! So annoying. And the palm trees are running upside down along the centre fronts too. Gah. At least the back is properly positioned and symmetrical.

I also made this up in the same size, no adjustments, as my previous Melilots, which was cheating a bit in that I just traced between sizes, with a size larger from the waist up to accommodate my bust. However I think this made the shoulders too big, so there’s a bit of a crease which is a bit more evident in this stiff fabric. I also wonder if actually I needed a larger size over the hips anyway, as it has a tendency to hitch up over the bum.

 As this was hot off the heels of the shirtdress I went on autopilot a bit and made a couple of other minor but frustrating mistakes when putting this together. Not hugely noticeable, but I forgot to topstitch the pocket fold down. I also managed to sew the collar on underside up, which means it has a tendency to curl upwards a little, and you can kind of see the seam where I had attempted to roll it out of sight.

Despite all the minor flaws, I do still really like this shirt and wear it a lot. Its first outing was to Edinburgh Film Festival, and its been on permanent rotation since. I think it looks best tucked into things, here shown with my rather worn out looking Safran jeans. It barely needs ironing which means it’s easy to reach for when dressing in a rush, and because I used the reverse of the denim it can work with different shades of blue jeans.

I’m keen to make sure I get on with some more summer sewing before it’s too late - I can’t believe we’re over halfway through the year already!

How are your seasonal plans coming along?

NorseOtter xx


  1. I really like it in this fabric ;o)

    1. Thank you! I thought it would be a good match, even if it turned out a little stiffer than expected!

  2. I LOVE how you used the wrong side! Even before you said anything about it, I thought, "Wow, that's actually a subtle leaf print" - which you can't say very often.

    I also can relate to your "bad mood sewing" tag. I feel you, girl! I'm *usually* good at stepping away when I'm in a foul mood.

    1. Hi Erin, thank you, and I'm glad you understand! Many people write about how therapeutic sewing can be - and it certainly is, for the most part. But every now and again if I get making and I'm already in a funk I can get bogged down even further! I'm trying to be better at knowing when to step away.