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: I made or bought all the items included in this post, but it may contain affiliate links, marked with *. Please read my Reader Disclosure Policy 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
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.
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.
As I mentioned, my shirting fabric has a bit of
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
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 – R
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
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