Sometimes, you see a fabric and you know you love it, but you’re not sure what to make with it. Other times, there’s an instant match between fabric and pattern. This was one of those times.

As soon as I saw this gloriously vivid Rayon from Art Gallery Fabrics, I just knew it had to be made up into the Deer and Doe Melilot Pattern. I could see me walking along in the sunshine with the beautiful little shirt this would result in, feeling properly summery.

Obviously, that means I’ve basically made myself a Hawaiian shirt, but when it feels as good as this one does, I’m OK with that.

Let’s talk about that fabric for a minute. I just don’t have words for how good this stuff feels. It’s so soft, so smooth, I cannot wait to wear this stuff. I obviously prewashed it and it presses beautifully, with no visible fade on the print. And oh, that print!

It really is gorgeous. Large scale, bright colours… it’s the stuff my dress making dreams are made of!

It does feel quite delicate though so I took special care when making this up. Like most rayons, it’s pretty shifty so I cut out using my rotary cutter and mat on a single layer. It’s still nigh on impossible to ensure it’s entirely on grain, but I’m prepared to live with that.

When making up, I used some Very Fine Pins rather than my usual glass headed pins which are thicker, as I wanted to avoid snagging the fabric. I sewed using a 70 Microtex needle and it all went smoothly.

I love the finish this pattern gives; it has you finishing all the seams using French seams which are absolutely perfect for this lightweight fabric; all the edges are enclosed so there’s no problem with fraying in the future. Also, I get to use all the gadgets!

I chose to make the short sleeved, collarless version (for the third time: I really should try that collar some time!) and only deviated from the instructions in two places. Firstly, I’ve decided that I don’t love the hem instructions which have you hemming the shirt with a tiny hem before sewing the side seams. Instead, I made my own bias binding (you’d be amazed how much bias you can make from a 20cm square of fabric using the continuous bias method) and I think it looks much nicer. On such a light fabric, it also gives a little extra weight which helps it hang nicely.

The other change was to ignore the instructions for attaching the collar stand; I prefer the method on Sarah Smith’s blog where you attach the outer collar stand alone to the shirt and then attach the inner collar to that, catching the bottom of that inner collar as you topstitch around the collar stand. I find I’m much more in control.

So now me and my gloriously bright, silky, luxurious Hawaiian shirt would just like the sun to come out. Fingers crossed it happens soon, I’m more than ready!

Thanks Minerva!

Becca x