A Good Melody Is Never Out Of Fashion

Someone once said “Sometimes all you need is music if you want to feel better.” I believe that all you need is a Melody if you want to feel better. Are you in a sewing funk, lost your sewjo, can’t decide what to make next? The Melody is the perfect pattern to get you going again. Because we all know that “A good melody is never out of fashion”.

The Melody is the $5 Feature Friday pattern today, 5/13/22. If you don’t have it~ be sure to grab it!

Details

The Melody is a woven button-down dolman with a shirt tail hem. For a cute casual look it can also be worn knotted at the waist. This is a GREAT introduction to sewing button downs. It’s the perfect pattern for confident beginners and experienced sewists alike. If you’re a beginner, I highly suggest using a cotton fabric.

Features:

  • Designed for wovens
  • Easy to fit
  • Camp style collar
  • Tie front or shirt tail hem
  • Full Bust Option
  • Video Tutorial for those tricky parts
  • Breast pocket and sleeve cuff

Sizing and Alterations

The Melody is available in sizes XS-5X with the full bust option. The Melody is meant to have a relaxed fit. Make sure you choose your size based on your high bust measurement. If your full bust is 4 or more inches larger than your high bust, you should be using the full bust front piece. Remember that the full bust option adds an additional 2″ to the waist and hip finished garment measurements.

This shirt is designed to sit at the natural waist when tied, and at the full hip when it is worn untied. As all other Love Notions patterns, the Melody is designed for a 5’5″ individual.

My high bust measurement puts me into an XL, since my full bust is 4″ larger, I use the full bust front piece. My hips are just over the 2X measurement ~ but that will be fine because of the extra 2″ of ease at the waist and hips when using the full bust front piece. I’m really happy with the fit of the Melody. I generally don’t like wearing dolman styles. I find that they make my large bust appear even larger(which I don’t need). The underarm area of the Melody is shaped so nicely and gives a really nice fit. I find this to be true of the La Bella Donna knit dolman top as well. So if dolmans aren’t usually your thing, give these a try!

I am only 5 feet tall. I did not use the lengthen/shorten lines to shorten this. I did, however, redraw the hem curve on the front so it wasn’t as long on me. I didn’t want the hem to be any shorter at the side seam. Take this into consideration if you are shortening your Melody.

Fabrics

The Melody is designed for light to medium weight apparel wovens. Fabrics such as linen, chambray, rayon and shirting are wonderful fabrics to use. My personal favorites for this pattern are cotton dotted Swiss and linen/rayon blends. Your fabric choice can greatly affect the look of your Melody. With linen, chambray and cotton poplins you will get a crisp more structured look to your Melody. Lighter weight fabrics such as cotton dotted Swiss, cotton lawn and rayon will have a softer drapier look. (They will also be easier to tie at the waist.)

My absolute favorite for the Melody is lightweight cotton dotted Swiss. It’s super soft and has a nice drape, yet it also presses up so easily, giving the collar a nice clean look. I think this fabric creates a Melody that is perfect for hot and humid summer days. It’s a good idea to interface both collars pieces when sewing up any lightweight fabric. I also like to interface the entire lapel portion of the facing section when working with light weight fabrics.

Rayon fabrics make cool and breezy Melodies. A rayon Melody is great for hot weather. They can be a bit trickier to sew with, but the outcome is totally worth it. Rayon has a nice amount of drape, yet it’s also easy to press. Rayon tends to be a bit “shifty” when cutting out and sewing.

How many times have you cut out your collars and facings , only to have them not match up to your interfacing when you go to fuse them together?  Any lightweight fabric, like rayon challis can shift before you get a chance to interface them.  Steaming and applying interfacing can often shrink your fabric pieces, which in turn prevents them from fitting correctly when pinning the collar to your shirt. The best way to prevent this is to block fuse. 

What is block fusing? Block fusing is a garment industry technique that can make home sewing so much easier!  Your interfaced pieces will in turn be much more accurate which is so important when working with collars.  

Block fusing is the process of cutting a block of fabric and interfacing at the same size.  The two are then fused together.  Follow these simple steps.

  • Cut a block of fabric and interfacing the same size.
  • Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  Use lots of steam.  It’s a good idea to use a press cloth as well.  Remember to press and lift the iron~ do not slide the iron.
  • Press the right side of the fabric as well.
  • Cut the pattern pieces that require interfacing.
  • Now you have perfectly accurate pieces to sew with

Popover Peplum Hack

This is my trial run for a dress I want to make. I found this rayon pinstripe fabric at an estate sale and grabbed it knowing it would be perfect for making muslins. This is a super easy hack. The only change I will make next time is to bring the peplum up about 1″. I like this version and I will wear it~ it’s gonna be perfect for hot summer days, but think it would look even better if the top portion was just a tad shorter.

The most important thing to consider when making this hack is your fabric. Stick to lightweight fabrics with good drape. Rayons would work best for this. Cotton and linen might be a tad too structured for this gathered peplum.

I used the lengthen/shorten line as a guide for the top of my popover shirt. I cut right along that line. If you’ve made a Melody before, it would be best if you tried it on and used that to help you decide where to cut for your popover. (Be sure to add enough for a seam allowance)

The peplum is simply 2 rectangles, one for the front and one for the back. I suggest making the rectangles longer than you want, you can always cut them shorter. I wanted my peplum skirt to be about 12″ long finished. You can make yours shorter or even longer for a dress length.

Length: 12 + 1″ for hem + 3/8″ seam allowance = 13 3/8″

For the width measure the width of the bottom of your front bodice piece. Mine was 27″.

Width: 27 X 1.5 = 40.5 Add seam allowance 3/8″ + 3/8″ for a total of 41 1/4″

My front rectangle was cut 13 3/8″ X 41 1/4″

Repeat this for the back bodice piece.

Why 1.5? 1.5 is a common gathering ratio. If you want your peplum skirt even fuller you could increase this to a higher number. If your fabric is super lightweight you could increase this to 1.75. If your fabric is a tad heavier or isn’t super drapey, you might want to lower the ratio.

Tips For Sewing the Melody

  • Use the Love Notions Facebook group to look at Melodies sewn in various fabric types. This can give you a better idea of what type of fabric you’d like to use.
  • Do not skip the stay stitching the neckline! (Step 3)
  • Depending on the weight of your fabric, consider interfacing the entire lapel section.
  • Interface both collar pieces for lightweight fabrics
  • Button placement guide is just that, a guide. Pattern calls for 5 buttons, I always use 6 and space them a bit closer together. This way I can avoid any gaping at the bustline.
  • When marking button placement, keep the suggested placement for the bottom button. This is so that it isn’t in the way when knotting it.
  • When topstitching your collar, consider getting a “green thang”~ it’s tool that helps to feed fabric evenly. Click HERE to see one. It also comes in purple.
  • Consider drafting a back neck facing piece. It’s super easy, I promise! It makes the collar construction so much easier. I did this for a Terra Tunic hack. You can read about that HERE.

I can’t wait to see all your Melodies! Thanks for visiting and reading about mine! If you enjoyed reading my post, consider subscribing to my blog. You can also follow all my makes over on Instagram @sewmarymac

Mary Anne 🙂


You can purchase the Melody HERE.

This is an affiliate link. It costs you nothing to purchase from this link, it just helps fund my fabric addiction which allows me to test and review more patterns.

To receive an additional 10% off the pattern price, use this coupon code MARYMAC10. This coupon code can be used at anytime on any pattern….even a $5 Feature Friday pattern. It never expires!!

I am currently a Love Notions Patterns Ambassador. I purchased this pattern when it was released, before I was an Ambassador. I fell in love with it then, and I still love planning new ones. As always all opinions regarding the Melody are my own.

“A good melody is never out of fashion” Robert Bridges

Fabric Resources

Cream rayon/linen floral ~ Mily Mae Fabrics. Still available!

Textured cotton~ Alyssa May Designs. The Coral is from last year and no longer available, but there are several other colors still in stock. This also gets restocked from time to time

Floral cotton dotted swiss~ Alyssa May Designs Still available along with several other cotton Swiss dot prints.

Garden Floral Rayon Challis- Stylemaker Fabrics This is still available with so many other beautiful amazing quality rayons

The pinstripe rayon used for my hack was purchased from an estate sale. Sorry I have no resource for that 😦

2 Comments

  1. Martha says:

    Having a body shape similar to yours (at 5’5″) I am intrigued that dolman tops are flattering when used with the approprite fabric. Thanks for the wonderful writeup.

    Like

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