Finished projects

My First Long-Sleeved Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt

I’ve always had issues finding the perfect button-down blouse. Store-bought shirts would either be too tight in the shoulders and back, or too tight in the hip area. Thank God for the joy of sewing and the plethora of indie patterns that allow me to finally feel comfortable in button-down shirts!

I’ve had lots of love for the Sewaholic Granville, but I am also a huge fan of the Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt. I’ve already made two successful short-sleeved versions, so it was time to try out the long-sleeved version. This time with a Mandarin collar!


I made a straight size 42, which fits perfectly with my measurements. Yay for a French pattern company and having a mostly-French body!


The fabric was free since my good friend Dana was de-stashing earlier this year and was kind enough to let her Sit and Sew circle get at the fabric before she put it up for sale in her garage sale. I was drawn to the silver pinstripes and knew instantly I wanted to make a work shirt. I think it’s a cotton/polyester/possibly spandex mix since it has some spring to it when stretched.


I wanted to try out the L/S version of the Melilot since I have a good amount of L/S Granvilles and I wanted to spice up my wardrobe a little.

I put the breast pockets on so the stripes contrasted with the rest of the shirt. I wanted to break up the monotony of the stripes of the shirt, especially since I made the covered button placket version. DD says, “Those pockets stand out…” so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, haha.

The shirt is everything it should be, but I think the fabric is a little too stiff for this use, so I don’t feel 100% comfortable in it. I mean, it’s comfortable to wear, but I feel like it doesn’t lay against my body as flattering as it should be so I’m a little self-conscious about that. I wonder if I would like it more if I tucked it into one of my Cambie Skirts with the sleeves rolled up? Or maybe cut the sleeves off altogether and make it another S/S Melilot? Hmmm, decisions, decisions. But I’m not ready to give up on it yet!


The only real bummer is I only washed it once so far and the black has already started fading. I blame the laundry detergent I’m using now. I don’t think it’s very nice to colored garments… I should probably do some research into a better brand so I can save the rest of my wardrobe!


Here’s a shot of the hidden placket. Those buttons hide well under there and it was easy to sew!


I love the hemline of this shirt. It’s long enough to be tucked into pants if needed or worn over leggings to cover the booty. Japan doesn’t do the leggings as pants thing too much, so I’m rocking my Ginger Jeans instead.


These photos were taken down by the Oyabe River in the Fukumitsu part of Nanto City at the beginning of November. The leaves were in full-on fall mode! These are sakura (cherry blossom) trees lining the river and it’s going to be quite a beautiful sight to see them in the spring when they’re in full bloom. I can’t wait!


Life updates:

We bought a car! The lease my employer got me into when I first moved here was way too expensive to keep long-term. I agreed to a 5-month lease and the time eventually came to get our own or find a cheaper lease. After some research, we decided buying a used car would work best for our needs and budget. It’s not flashy, but it’ll get us from point A to point B. It’s also a pastel yellow color, so we’re already calling it Banana Au Lait (which happens to be a surprisingly delicious soft drink made by Coca Cola that’s difficult to find outside of the lobby of the car dealership I was using!).

As far as the craft beer brewery is going – some major things have fallen through and we’re trying to reassess and figure out ANY way to make this happen in a city we would love. It’s a struggle y’all, but we knew it could be. We’ve been talking about plans B, C, D, and E in case this dream can’t really be a reality. Stay tuned as we continue to try to figure out this thing called life!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. DD and I are having a quiet one together as I worked Christmas Day and the following days until I get my mini break around the New Year.

I’ve missed being an active member of the online sewing community as I find the balance of life here and online a struggle. I’m not giving up on Sew RED-y or creating, though! Winter is pretty tough here and most homes don’t have insulation in Japan… or at least in my area of Japan… so our apartment is around 40 degrees F without blasting the heater(s)! We’re staying as warm as we can and I realized I’m not cut out for cold climates since I have my second case of chilblains (first was on Sado Island in Japan 11 years ago). I have medicine for it, so it’s gotten better, but my poor feet can’t handle Japanese winters! I’m layering and keeping as warm as possible, though.

I have another project to share soon that I did since I’ve been in Japan but I still need to get around photographing it. My sew-jo has been non-existent and I’m hoping it comes back with the warmer weather! It’s tough not having a designated sewing room anymore. I was so spoiled in Tucson, lol!

Anyway, here’s some photos of autumn gorgeousness… enjoy!



7 thoughts on “My First Long-Sleeved Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt

  1. Kia kaha, new places really change how your everyday life operates. Hope the brewery comes off for you guys and that your sew-jo returns. Shirt looks great.


    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’ve felt out of my element not sewing and hope the sew-jo returns. I still have those boxes of fabric just waiting to made into something!


  2. 1. OH MY GOODNESS YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON I’VE HEARD OF BESIDES ME WHO’S GOTTEN CHILBLAINS. They are the woooooorsssstttt. Get some nice wool socks if they’re in the budget, you won’t regret it! Or one big pair to wear over regular socks and keep costs down! Also, do you have a hot water bottle? Your poor burning toes deserve it.

    2. Hmmm…tuck in the Melilot AND shorten the sleeves maybe? I love the pockets and the button placket is so neat. The short sleeve cuffs could be another place to play with stripes and that silhouette could be fun with a stiffer shoulder.

    Wishing you all the best with business and balance!


    1. Lol we’re chilblains twins!! I’ve been wearing multiple pairs of wool socks and heated my toes up slowly but Japan doesn’t insulate most of their buildings and when you have to take your shoes off to go inside all the time, well… 😉 But I got medicine and wear heat packs on my feet every work day so I’ve finally kicked it. Let’s hope it stays gone!

      I’ll play with the shirt styling when spring comes but I’m leaning toward short sleeves.

      Thanks for the good wishes and nice comment! Stay warm!


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