Deer and Doe’s Mélilot shirt dress hack ver. 1

I LOVE shirt dresses if you haven’t figured that out yet… I’ve got tons of patterns for them, vintage, modern, indie, self drafted and hacked – I just can’t help myself!

My latest hankering was for a loose fitting full length casual shirt dress. I wanted it to be something that would flow and would perhaps be a cross between a beach coverup or sundress.

The Mélilot shirt from Deer and Doe instantly appealed to me. I liked their option for the hidden button placket and the dropped shoulder. I could see exactly how I would be able to hack the pattern into the dress I wanted!


I opted to make version B – the sleeveless one with a normal button placket and a mandarin collar.

The pattern I pretty much kept the same, just extending the front and back bodice pieces to reach floor length on me. I tried to keep the skirt quite straight towards the hem. I wasn’t looking to make a full skirt for this one.

I got this gorgeous cobalt blue floral printed fabric to make it in. It’s really light and flowy and I figure would work perfectly for that summery vibe!


Sewing was pretty straightforward. I pretty much kept to the instructions except where I opted to not put interfacing in the button placket. Naughty, I know. But I just couldn’t face having to cut out the strips and fuss with ironing everything on straight… So lazy! I figured the fabric was stiff enough to hold a buttonhole for now but it’ll probably reduce the lifespan of the garment as it’ll wear more easily. Compromises!

I kept a side split in the seam on both sides and the buttons go down to about mid thigh on the front.

The collar seemed a bit fussy going in and it ended up being a lot narrower than I anticipated when looking at the pattern piece – a 5/8″ seam allowance is quite a lot!

Apart from that, everything came together nice and quick. No complaints here! I haven’t yet added the pockets to the shirt front. I’m not sure if I want them or not yet… I’ve got plenty of fabric left over to add some later if I wished though!

Here’s the final result!

The print came out a lot more Hawaiian than intended… It really didn’t give me that vibe at all until I tried it on. Very weird! It definitely needs a belt to bring in the waist otherwise it’s a little on the shapeless side but I like the overall silhouette. Plus the material is great – it doesn’t wrinkle a bit so it’s the perfect holiday dress!

1 comment

  1. Looking fantastic there Emily! I love blue fabrics and the dress is a nice shape to wear. I am imagining you frolicking in an exotic location wearing this gorgeous dress 🙂

  2. Love it! How about moving the buttons so they are in ‘pairs’ say an inch apart with a 3in gap to the next pair? I think that would look pretty good with this style. Love the fabric colour too 🙂
    p.s. Spotting the phone always in your hand now when I never did before lol 😉

    1. That’s a good idea! Will def need to try that button placement for the next one.

      Haha, I definitely need to get a more discreet phone cover to help hide it!

  3. Very nice! It almost reminds me of those traditional Chinese dresses (a cheongsam???)…. same kind of, sort of silhouette, just different openings and more flowy…. maybe I’m reaching?

    1. I kinda see where you’re getting at. The skirt definitely has that silhouette – long and narrow with the side splits! The mandarin collar definitely adds to it too!

  4. Love! Love! Love! The color is beautiful, the fit is great and love the slit. I want to make a shirt dress but there’s so many variations, I can’t decide what style I would want.

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