Less Is Myrtle

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 Dress: DIY from Colette “Myrtle” pattern

Belt: Dangerfield

Shoes: Comfortview

I’m not a natural sewer; I’m too impatient and haphazard, and I don’t really possess the skills to do things like full-bust alterations. I’m definitely not a measure-twice-cut-once kind of gal (more like a who-the-hell-measures-these-days kind). Despite my success with the Macaron dress pattern years previously I got a little burned with the last Colette dress that I attempted to make: the Peony had to be dramatically (and amateurishly) tweaked to be wearable, and even then I wasn’t that happy with the results.

Colette launched the Myrtle dress pattern in July this year with some gorgeous shots of a curvy young woman in a draped white dress. With its cowl-neck, blouson bodice and elasticised waist it looked like a dress with a forgiving fit for beginning sewers, so I thought I’d buy some cheap jersey from Spotlight and give the pattern a whirl.

Colette’s patterns are great for newbie dressmakers. The patterns come packaged with a booklet with very clear and concise illustrated instructions. The Colette website/blog provides heaps of basic tutorials, and there’s even a step-by-step sew along that culminates in a great gallery of dresses made by the participants.

I picked a cheapie printed cotton jersey from Spotlight in a lovely burnt orange. The dress seems to take an inordinate amount of fabric (that cowl neck bodice is self-faced, so there’s a bit of extra fabric in that) so I ended up spending a little bit more than I’d anticipated, but the result’s a killer.

The elasticised waist is easy and comfortable, and the fact I’m short-waisted wasn’t an issue due to the blousy effect of the bodice. The draped neckline flatters my figure by showing off collar bones without flashing my cleavage up and down the street. And (hurrah!) the dress even has pockets.

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It took me a couple of hours from fabric to frock, and that includes time acquainting myself with my new sewing machine, and unpicking and resewing the bodice to he skirt three times (I keeps sewing it on inside out. Don’t ask me how… it was late.)

I was so delighted with the finished result that the first thing I did was go out and buy MORE jersey fabric so I could make a second version, slightly longer than the first.

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This second Myrtle was made of a much softer knit fabric, so the drape on the neckline is deeper and more pronounced. The longer hemline gives it an elegance that makes it perfect for a special event, so I played up the glam factor with a sparkly brooch pinned at the waistband and my best bling from Totally Jewel.

Frocks and Frou Frou

Necklace & Earrings from Totally Jewel

All up – fabric, elastic and thread – the dress cost me about $14 which is a steal in anyone’s book, and now that I’m confident with the pattern I’m already planning to make a third Myrtlw with a special (i.e. spendy) fabric that I’ve ordered from Spoonflower.

Confetti Slice


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In my travels to find a rainbow dot blouse I kind of stumbled across this recipe for cake batter rice crispy treats (you know what Google’s like), and they looked so pretty I thought I’d give them a try.

The recipe’s really quick and easy, and would make a great little treat at a special event.

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Ingredients:

2tbs butter

120g marshmallows

1/4 cup dry packet cake mix (vanilla or butter flavour)

2 1/2 cups of rice bubbles

25g 100s and 1000s

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Step 1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan

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Step 2. Add the marshmallows to the saucepan & turn the heat down low

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Step 3. Stir until the marshmallows have melted, then remove from the heat

DSCF5224Step 4.  Add the dry cake mix and stir in

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Step 5. Add the rice-bubbles and stir in

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Step 6. Add the hundreds and thousands, and – working quickly! – gently mix through. Don’t be too vigorous with this step or the colouring will run!

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Step 7. Pour the mix into a deep dish that’s been lined with baking paper

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Step 8. Using another piece of baking paper you can smoosh the slice flat

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Step 9. Let it set for about half an hour – it doesn’t have to go in the fridge, it should set at room temperature.

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Step 10. Once it’s set you should be able to cut it into squares with a shape knife

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Enjoy!