Herringboned

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress: DIY from Colette Hawthorn pattern

Belt: Princess Highway

Shoes: Hush Puppies

I had so much success with my first Colette Patterns Hawthorn Dress that I decided to give the pattern a second go with sleeves for the cooler months.

The Hawthorn was the first time I’d sewn a collar, and with the clear instructions provided it went off (more or less) without a hitch, so I was looking forward to having a whirl at making my own shirt cuffs. In the interest of warmth I picked a wool blend fabric in a charcoal grey herringbone – it was a much heavier fabric than the cotton I made the first dress in… and that was my first mistake. (It also frayed like the devil, and was a total pain-in-the-ass to sew with.)

So, the heavier fabric meant that the collar didn’t sit as neatly as my previous attempt, and no amount of pressing could get it to lie flat. Between the collar, the facing, the interfacing, and the main body of the dress there’s a lot of layers of fabric, so in retrospect it wasn’t entirely surprising I was getting collar pop. It might soften over time, but in the meanwhile I’ve just been coaxing the collar flat by pinning it with a brooch!

Frocks and Frou FrouThe heaviness of the fabric also meant that I ran into trouble making the cuffs, which – just so you know – are a total nuisance to sew. If I ever say I’m going to sew something with cuffs again slap me, ok?

As usual for Colette Patterns, the arms were hilariously too baggy, and I had to tweak both sleeves and cuffs dramatically before I was satisfied. Well, satisfied-ish.

Frocks and Frou FrouThey’re a bit wobbly and warped, but they’ll do, and they look better shoved halfway up to my elbows (though it does result in billowing sleeves).

The fabric was a nightmare, fraying if I even looked at it sideways, which meant I lost patience with perfecting the fit long before it, well, fit. So it’s a bit boxier and lumpier, and the waist isn’t quite straight (which is fine, I need to belt it anyway) but it’s comfortable and warm, and while it might not be the first winter dress I reach for in the morning it’s definitely wearable in public.

Collars and cuffs

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou  Top: Dorothy Perkins

Skirt: Target

Tights: Em Tee See

Shoes: Comfortview

What a massive month May is shaping up to be!

The boyfriend and I kicked it off with a weekend trip to the Grampians ‘Grape Escape‘ food and wine festival, which was blissful, then we’ve had a couple of visitors, including my Mum last week who came down to see Gloria Steinem (!) and help me celebrate my birthday. I’m heading off to Canberra this weekend to see my Dad and attend a conference for work. I’ve packed my woolies, and have cracked out my long sleeves and sweaters because it’s sure to be frosty.

I picked up this 2-in-1 pussybow blouse from Dorothy Perkins while we were still deep in summer – it’s one of those mock layered tops that were All The Things in the early noughties, and are making a return this season. I’m pretty on board with the trend, it’s less bulky than ACTUAL layers (though considerably less warm). The pussybow ribbon comes attached, but it would be a simple thing to tie a ribbon around your collar for a similar effect.

Teamed with a midi length skirt and tights it channels a bit of  a schoolgirl/librarian chic – I’m hoping the starry tights keeps it from tipping into square territory.

Frocks and Frou FrouTights: Em Tee See

Lauren from Em Tee See has updated her offerings since last year when I bought these starry printed tights, and I quite fancy some of the new styles: there’s hearts and planets and shooting stars. I predict another order before the weather gets much colder.