A white shirt with a twist | Mood Patterns Melia blouse review

A white shirt with a twist | Mood Patterns Melia blouse review

Have you picked up the fact that I just used Mood in relation to a pattern? Yes, it is the same Mood as in Mood Fabrics, perhaps the most famous fabric shop in the world. And it turns out that they also do patterns, and free ones at that!

If you are curious to see what they could be like, read on for a full review of my first attempt at a Mood free pattern and my thoughts on the Melia blouse.

Disclaimer:ย  I made or bought all the items included in this post, but it may contain affiliate links, marked with *. Please read my Reader Disclosure Policyย for what that means exactly.

Mood Patterns Melia blouse – The pattern

I saw this pattern last autumn on Instagram and my first reaction was ‘what, Mood do patterns? And they are free?’. I want me some of that! So I jumped right in and downloaded the pattern, printed it out and assembled right away. However, as per usual, it still took me a long time to actually go ahead and make it. Luckily, my sewjo was high over the Christmas break, so I was on it!

Melia is a button down shirt, with a wide formal collar with collar stand and puff sleeves with rollover cuffs.

You might have guessed that the above features were exactly what attracted me to the pattern. I was looking for a white shirt with a bit of a twist and this perfectly fit the bill.

If in doubt, anything looks good with a white shirt.

It is important to note that the pattern DOES NOT COME WITH INSTRUCTIONS. You only download the PDF pattern, and you have to input your email address to get it (and subscribe to their newsletter). The process is detailed in a blog post on their website, which does have pics, but if you have never made a button down shirt, you might struggle.

The pattern comes in US sizes 2-30. I really struggle to understand what that actually means, so I actually had to go back to them and ask what is the equivalent UK size. I ended up cutting a size 6 which I think/hope is the equivalent of a 38/10 for everyone else. This is my usual size in RTW and Big 4s, so I decided to risk it. There is not a lot of ease, btw, but it was ok in the end. I also did a quick tissue fit which confirmed I was in the right ballpark.

There are pattern measurements available in the blog post with instructions, but I don’t usually pay any attention to those. Unfortunately, there were no finished measurements, so I had to risk it.

For the record, my measurements are:

  • Hips: 104 cm (41in)
  • Waist: 76 cm (30in)
  • Bust 91cm (36in)
  • Cup B/C
  • Height: 1.72m/5.6in

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Mood Melia Blouse – My fabric choice

This fabric was from a haul that I was given by a colleague, all very lovely shirting fabric in whites, blues and greys. The white ones are textured, so it was another element of interest for this shirt. As I had so many pieces of shirting, I was not too worried I might waste it if it didn’t turn out ok. I used 1.5m, though they call for 2 yards. I did end up piecing the backing of the collar stand, but it was my choice, as I wanted to leave an even 0.5m remnant. There are no lay plans, btw.

Mood Patterns Melia blouse
Mood Patterns Melia blouse

As I mentioned, my shirting fabric has a bit of a texture, like a very teeny tiny waffle pattern. It is 100% cotton. It’s a shame that it’s not too obvious in the pictures, but you can tell in real life.

It irons fairly well, especially if I use steam or do a quick spray, but it also crinkles like mad. I pretty much have to iron it every time I want to wear it and it definitely is not my favourite occupation. The sleeves make it even harder, as you can imagine.

The Mood blog use Egyptian cotton which is slightly shiny. It looked like cotton sateen to me when I first saw it. I would like to make it again in a slightly stiffer fabric, as I think the sleeves would look even better.

Mood Melia blouse – Alterations and construction

I didn’t make many alterations to the original pattern, at least not on purpose. I managed to singe the bottom edge of the front, so I had to chop off about an inch (2.5cm). This actually turned out a bit of a blessing in disguise, as it was a bit tight over the hips. To counter that, I also scooped the hem (it was straight originally), which I like much better anyway. It also looks nicer when worn untucked.

The other major alteration I made was to change the turn-up cuff into an elasticated one. I initially wanted to turn it into a proper button cuff, but I decided I could not be asked and put in elastic instead. I just folded the cuff in two, encased the elastic, and sewed it to the edge of the sleeve.

I would definitely recommend checking the position of the dart. It’s a bit too long and too high for me, so I will move it a bit lower and shorten it next time.

In terms of construction, it really wasn’t anything too complicated, especially since I had made many button-down shirts before. I referred back to my favourite Craftsy (now called BluePrint) instructor, Sara Alm, and her *Collars and Closures course, just to make sure I get the pointiest pointed corner. The button stand is super easy to make, as it’s basically a folded edge topstitched down.

I finished all internal raw edges with the overlocker, especially the joining of the various sleeve pieces, it really helps towards a nice, neat finish.

As usual, with projects that involve buttons, that is always the most nerve-wracking part. It’s at the end, so if you mess it up, it’s very annoying. I used the automatic buttonholer in my *Pfaff Passport 3 for the first time and I am completely in love. I don’t think I can go back to 4 step ones! Also, the Simflex flexible gauge came in very handy. The buttonholes themselves came out perfectly, but as always, I really struggle to get the buttons in the right place to align perfectly without puckering or pulling. I also sewed the buttons by machine, so quick! It all came out good enough and I don’t mind wearing it, but I hope to do better next time.

My top tips for sewing this pattern

  • don’t follow the pattern measurements; try measuring on the pattern for the key measurements of the finished project (especially high bust and hips, the waist is not defined, so it doesn’t matter too much);
  • check the position of the dart – it’s too high for me
  • rethink the cuff – I don’t like their method that involves hand sewing.

Mood Melia blouse – verdict and conclusions

I finished this just before NY last year, so I had plenty of time to wear and wash it. I really like it! There are a few mods I’d like to make for next time (see in the recap below), but overall, it’s a great make, a nice wardrobe staple that I know I will get a lot of wear out of. If I can be bothered to iron it, that is…

I am really looking forward to doing a style post with this shirt, as I think there are so many possibilities to combine it with various other items in my wardrobe.

Mood Melia Blouse – Review recap

Pattern: Mood Melia Blouse, size 6, PDF version, free pattern

Fabric: light to medium cotton shirting, textured; I used 1.5m

Alterations: Removed 1” from the bottom hem; scooped the bottom hem; replaced the cuff with an elasticated one

Notions: fusible interface; buttons (from the stash).

Next time: make the puff sleeve even more puffy; also, move the seam of the puff higher above the elbow

Other versions: 36 Pieces on Instagram; also check #moodmeliablouse on IG

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SHIRT PATTERN AND WHY? HAVE YOU CONSIDERED TRYING A MOOD PATTERN? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!


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10 Comments

  1. Elaine Marsh
    8 March 2019 / 9:45 AM

    The finished shirt looks good but you seem to have to make a lot of modifications and reworking of certain things. I’m not that concerned about getting a free downloaded pattern but I would be about all the alterations. I’ll stick with commercial patterns with some modifications for my sizing and preferance. I don’t like elasticated cuffs on this type of garment, I prefer button cuff. Shirts are a lot of work for what you think is a simple enough garment, I don’t make them very often, it’s been about four three years since my last me made shirt, that was a one sided ruffle ( look-a-like Prada blue cotton) one. I do like shirts and twists to suit oneself tho, customized. I need a couple of short sleeved ones for layering under sweaters, they are time consuming pieces of work but good workhorses in your wardrobe. I applaud the independent pattern makers but I need to know that all the basics are there without worrying about outcomes and waste of fabric and time spent making something that you just don’t want to wear.

    • Alex
      Author
      11 March 2019 / 8:29 PM

      Yes, I know what you mean Elaine, but I didn’t feel this one was far off the mark. I chose it for the sleeves and I was really happy with how it turned out. But you are right, a good shirt is such a workhorse.

  2. 8 March 2019 / 10:24 PM

    Your shirt looks great!. I never wear shirts myself but actually love to see them worn and styled. The puffed sleeves are fab and I love how you styled the shirt with the simple black pant and red shoes…very Audrey ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Alex
      Author
      11 March 2019 / 8:30 PM

      Thank you, Diane! I was definitely channelling a bit of Audrey here, ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 9 March 2019 / 10:21 AM

    Thanks for the review! Mood have a great range of patterns but I donโ€™t see many bloggers making them up so I was very interested to read about your experience. The finished result is very sharp.

    • Alex
      Author
      11 March 2019 / 8:33 PM

      Thank you! Yeah, I was also surprised at the lack of reviews! I mean, they wouldn’t be putting so much effort in developing such a big catalogue if there were not many people downloading them.

  4. 9 March 2019 / 10:25 PM

    Fabulous blouse and your review is so timely. I also just learned that they have free patterns…who knew! Such a nice discovery, but I didn’t realize they don’t come with instructions (sigh). I think I could manage that but wouldn’t it be nice if they did? Lovely look on you!

    • Alex
      Author
      11 March 2019 / 8:34 PM

      Thank you! I don’t think they are too complicated patterns and I’m sure that an experience sewer like you would not have a problem at all. The only thing I really missed were the finished measurements.

  5. 11 March 2019 / 9:54 AM

    Great looking blouse, I like the feminine touch to this one, suits you really well!

    • Alex
      Author
      11 March 2019 / 9:20 PM

      Thank you so much! It’s a really great pattern for a freebie ๐Ÿ™‚

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