All Buttoned Up

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Hawthorn Dress: DIY (Colette Patterns)

Shoes: Comfortview

So here’s the thing about boobs. They make buttoned-up things a pain in the ass. So shirt dresses are a big old “no”. If they fit the bust they’re boxy in the shoulders. Fit the shoulders? Good luck getting those buttons done up. Add short-waisted to the mix and it just becomes a recipe for wardrobe disaster.

Towards the end of last year I dropped by Stitch 56 to meet Sarai Mitnick, the founder of my favourite pattern company Colette, during her visit to Australia. I accidentally (not really) forgot to take any of my much-loved patterns along to be signed, so “had” to buy a new one, and the Hawthorn shirt dress pattern caught my eye immediately.

It’s a little more advanced than my usual sewing projects, but the comprehensive instruction booklet that comes with all Colette patterns coached me through step-by-step and I was totally delighted to see it coming together.

I had to tweak the pattern a little as I was sewing – shortening the waist and bringing the sides in a little – but it was easy to do in the fitting process. I think if (when!) I make the pattern again with the sleeves I’ll have to do a proper, legit, Full Bust Adjustment.

The dress has a lovely semi-circle skirt that provides fullness without extra bulk. The bodice is darted at the waist for a streamlined look, and the small, high collar gives that classic shirt dress look without the extra volume around the bust.

Frocks and Frou FrouBecause I was a bit nervous about the pattern I started with a budget-friendly textured slub cotton that looks almost identical to the linen dress pictured in the marketing for the original pattern.

I deliberated over the buttons for more time than I care to admit, but in the end decided to indulge my penchant for whimsy and go with pretty little white hearts.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe result was better than I could have hoped for: A beautifully fitting shirt dress that has a classic 1950’s elegance, but is comfortable and breezy to wear on hot summer days.

Whale of a Time

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTee: Sin Clothing

Skirt: Modcloth

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Gosh, didn’t that weekend fly past? I had a lovely relaxed one; mooching about, sleeping in, doing a bit of housework and a bit of crafting. It’s always good to spend the first weekend after the first week back cruising, don’t you think?

Despite the black/grey/neutral palettes that have been trending on the blog lately, I’ve been wearing the hell out of this rust-coloured skirt from Modcloth. Today’s the first time I’ve tried teaming it with this stripey tee, which has been languishing at the bottom of a drawer for so long I (oops) kind of forgot I owned it.

I bought it a few years ago at one of the Queen Victoria Night Markets, but I’m pleased to say it’s also available on Etsy. It’s only available in one size, but it’s supposed to be fairly loose-fitting, so fortunately it fits The Rack of Doom easily.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe stripes are kind of roughly screenprinted, giving the top a nice home-made feel, and I totally love the little whale who’s -improbably – spouting scattered stars from his blow hole.