Hello there! I hope you guys are all well and enjoying a lovely summer of sewing :)
For this month’s MCBN project, I decided to try my hand at the Deer & Doe Melilot Blouse Pattern
. Now, I kind of lost the plot with this project, so as you will read further on, I had to change my original plans somewhat. I also ended up being quite busy at work for the first part of the month, which meant I didn’t have much time to get this post done before my holiday at the end of the month, so it was a bit of a squeeze! (That’s my excuse for the dodgy stitching in some places, anyway!).
I had originally ordered some of this ivory Linen Blend Fabric
for this project, with these Small Black Buttons
. My plan was to make view B of the pattern, with the black buttons in pairs down the blouse’s standard button placket, and a bit of black piping accenting the pockets, the sleeve cuffs and around the collar band. Sadly, there were a couple of problems with this.. firstly, the fabric (which I failed to realise was the same fabric I used for this MCBN project
precisely because it was a nice, stiffer one) was too stiff for this sort of drop-shouldered, soft-look blouse.
So I decided to look for a nice ivory crepe instead, and eventually settled on this Soft-Touch Poly Crepe
. From the helpful description on Minerva’s site, it sounded like just the right weight for a blouse like this, and when it arrived I was pleased to see that it had a nice drape to it and was opaque enough to wear without needing a cami underneath. It ironed well - but keep it low! I did manage to burn a hold through it by not realising that my iron was on three dots. 1-2 dots is fine!
I deliberated over which size of the pattern to cut out, because I really don’t like a lot of ease in my blouses - I tend to wear them tucked in for work anyway. In the end I decided to go down one size from the one recommended for my measurements, which still allowed for 2” of ease. I probably could have graded up at the hips, but since it’ll be tucked in, I’m not too bothered.
I happily cut out the pattern pieces, and interfaced the collar, stand and button plackets, forgetting that I’d intended to make view B and instead having prepared the hidden placket and collar of view A, with the pockets and sleeve cuffs of view B. It seemed a shame to waste the collar so I decided to just make this hybrid of both views!
The blouse came together quite nicely, and would have been a quick project but for some of the detailing such as the topstitching of the pockets, and of course construction of the collar. I didn’t bother with topstitching the collar or the band, contrary to the instructions. I found the instructions to be just fine for the most part, but I had to double check my sewing reference book for how to fold and sew the hidden placket because the one line instruction for that wasn’t very clear as to in which direction the placket was meant to be folded. I stitched the buttonholes on the hidden placket before going on to make up the bodice. The other thing I struggled with was doing a double fold on this curved hem (i.e. folding it up 1/4”, then another 1/4”, and stitching). It was quite tricky, maybe because this was quite a light fabric and I probably wasn’t using the right technique to ease around the curves. It’s not the smoothest hem around those curves, as a result, and next time I’d be minded to either use bias binding instead or perhaps use way more pins and spend a lot more time on the folded hem.
The blouse was done, soon enough, and it was at this point that I realised that behind a hidden placket, the black buttons I had picked out really wouldn’t work well with this light fabric. D’oh!! I really hadn’t thought this through.. The next thing I realised was that I don’t have basic white shirt buttons in my stash. Why on earth not?! Grumble. Eventually I decided I’d just put some snaps on it in order to finish it in time, and then keep an eye out for buttons that would work down the hidden placket. I had, literally, 5 snaps of a suitable size, so I just placed them strategically between the collar band and the waist of the blouse - I’ll need to order some more so I can add one between the waist and the hip and maybe redistribute the ones above the waist more evenly!
I took the finished blouse along on holiday so as to offer you more scenic photos than my usual ones, but found that it was way too hot to be wearing this blouse (let alone jeans!) .. so the best I could do was take a few shots and then hastily change into something more comfortable before we left our suite.
So here’s the final product, complete with a cheesy sunhat pose:
I do quite like the shape of the collar, a sweet-but-not-sickly Peter Pan-style collar. The pockets could do with being closer to centre front though - they are stitched in place before the blouse is assembled, otherwise I would have spotted the way they are practically under my arms before it was too late. D’oh! I went back to the pattern to check, and realised that I’d traced the pocket placement markings for completely the wrong size! Double d’oh!
The following morning I found that one of the mosquitoes my husband had been chasing around our room the night before had taken refuge in my wardrobe on the collar of the blouse. Made me smile!.