A Home Among the Gum Trees

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: DIY from Marilla Walker pattern

Skirt: Modcloth

Belt: Modcloth

Shoes: Edward Meller

A few weeks ago I was at the Victoria Markets picking up my fruit and veg for the week, and decided to take a bit of a meander through the rest of the market. When I first moved to Melbourne I was excited about having the Queen Vic Markets on my doorstep – thinking it would be rather like the Paddington Markets in Sydney which I insisted on visiting on every family visit. I was a bit disappointed to discover that rather than being a high-end craft and fashion market the Vic Markets were full of a lot of mass-produced tat, and the quality stores that offered something a bit different were few and far between. Occasionally I still pay it a visit, and occasionally I’m surprised by something… like this A+++ gumleaf print fabric!

The stall had a wonderful range of Australian-themed cotton fabrics, some using Australian flora as a design feature. I quizzed the stallholder, and managed to establish that the art used for the gumleaf fabric was from an  artist named Natalie Ryan, who studied botanical painting at the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne.

The gumleaf fabric is a lovely 100% cotton fabric with a slightly silky handfeel. It has better drape than most quilting cottons, so it suited the boxy shape of Marilla Walker’s Maya top quite well.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe stall holder admitted that she wasn’t there very often (and seemed quite affronted when I asked if she sold online) but with a bit of research I managed to track down a seller on Etsy. They also do a large number of fabrics printed with Indigenous Australian art, and they credit the artist (which makes me hopeful that the company producing the fabrics isn’t exploitative, though I haven’t been able to find out any information about their practices in my research online).

The top – with its olive greens, russety reds, and creamy beige, will go with a slew of items in my wardrobe, but today I’m wearing it with my orange ‘Breathtaking Tigerlilies’ skirt from Modcloth. These skirts are such great, versatile pieces that after vacillating about it for a year I finally bit the bullet and bought a few more in different colours. If I get even half as much wear out of them as I have from this one, then they’re definitely value for money.

Modcloth offers free international shipping on orders over $150 – which is a pretty good excuse to go a little bit overboard – so I added the Boldly Buckled Belt (among one or two other things) to help me get over the line. It’s one of the few belts on Modcloth that come in “extended” sizes, and it’s a great, comfy accessory to add to dresses and skirts.

Frocks and Frou FrouBelt: Modcloth

Heart to heart

Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress: Scarlett and Jo

Belt: Closet confessions

Shoes: Rockport

I bought this dress a month or so ago, but it’s only just starting to get warm enough to wear it (almost – you can see that I’m still employing my trusty cardigans). I spotted it on Allyasphyxia on Instagram and knew immediately that I had to add it to my wardrobe: midi-length, elasticised waist, dropped shoulders, and a heart print fabric? Swoon.

I ordered it from Yours Clothing, and threw in some great chinos for extra measure – the shipping was just $12AUD from the UK, and it was dispatched and delivered quick smart. Sadly it seems to be essentially out of stock at Yours Clothing, but Scarlett and Jo have it currently available in all sizes… and in other colours, too (purple and floral, though it looks like you’ll have to try your luck at Yours to find it in black.)

I followed the size chart, and bought the size 18, which is fairly roomy in both bust and hip; with all the stretch at the waist I probably could have comfortably gone down a size, but I don’t mind the blousy draped effect of the larger size. The shoulders are bulked up a little with floppy little shoulder pads that I probably could have done without, and after wearing it today I’m thinking I might add some bra-strap keepers because the deep v back (which I love)  does mean it slips around little.

Frocks and Frou FrouYours Clothing calls the colour of the version I bought “pink”, Scarlett and Jo is probably a bit closer to the mark with “burgundy” – it’s a gorgeously rich, deep red. A pinky red, but definitely what I’d call red (especially with a red cardigan on top).

It’s an incredibly flattering dress on all shapes and sizes, as you can see from the photos I’ve poached from Scarlett and Jo’s instagram feed, below:

DRESSThat’s What Laura Loves in the top left and Lolly Likes Fatshion in the top middle. Please accept my apologies if I’ve missed any other bloggers, and feel free to leave a comment with the details if you recognise the other models and I’ll update the post!