Ladylike

Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou FrouDress: MichyLou

Shoes: Edward Meller

 What lovely weather Melbourne is enjoying for our long weekend! It’s definitely spring, which means it’s nearly time for frocks and bare legs, and I. Am. So. Ready. For it.

I did a recent overhaul of my wardrobe to make some room for some new additions, including this stunning new dress, which I ordered from Michy Lou on Etsy.

Michy Lou custom sizes to individual measurements, and I’ve always found her items fit beautifully. This peter pan collared dress is definitely no exception. The fitted bodice is snug without being too tight, and the sleeves are the perfect length and width. Often sleeved dresses – especially those with collars – make me look a bit boxy, because the shoulders sit too wide and the arms are too full. It just goes to show that there really is nothing better than wearing clothes that have been cut specifically for you… and with a US$80 price tag this frock isn’t just timeless, well-fitting, and carefully made; it’s also comparable, pricewise, to most off-the-rack items. (Bonus: you’re supporting an independent designer, not a massive corporation.)

It’s made of a rayon fabric that looks and feels like a linen, but doesn’t crush like one. The full skirt has side pockets, and it zips smoothly up the back. I love the wide neckline with the delicate peter pan collar. It gives the dress a bit of a retro vibe (plus it’ll give me a nice place to pin my collection of brooches!)

Frocks and Frou FrouI can’t see this particular dress in Michelle’s shop at the moment, but she does take custom orders – you just have to get in contact with her (I actually spotted this fabric on her Facebook page).

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