Chilly Cherry

FROCKS & FROU FROU FROCKS & FROU FROU FROCKS & FROU FROU FROCKS & FROU FROUCardigan: Zara

Blouse: Modcloth

Skirt: Asos

Tights: Woolen Goods

Shoes: TUK

Sorry for the long absence – it’s been a busy few weeks, and so dark in the mornings and evenings that I haven’t been happy enough with any of the outfit shots that I’ve taken to want to post them on the blog.

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time sewing (it’s addictive!) so I’ve got lots of homemade pieces to show you, but today I’m wearing some old favourites from my wardrobe. I hope you guys don’t mind me wearing and re-wearing the same things over and over again. It doesn’t make for the most exciting fashion blog (and I know how annoying it is when you fall in love with something only to find out it’s six years old and you can’t buy one for yourself) but I guess it’s called an OOTD (outfit of the day) not BNOOTD (brand-new, etc etc).

Anyhoo. Every winter I go on the hunt for a pair of knitted-style tights that will fit. There don’t seem to be many plus-size brands who do them – and when they do they’re usually plain black. I had some luck a couple of years ago with (of all things!) Big W, but I think it was a fluke production, because I went back and bought heaps more pairs only to discover that were smaller & didn’t fit properly. Marks & Spencer did some in their ‘heat-tech’ range, but they got holey within a week, and they don’t look like they’re available anymore anyway.

I think I hit the jackpot this winter, though. I bought these marled grey tights off eBay a few weeks ago, and they arrived earlier this week. They’re apparently 80% cashmere…. I don’t know, maybe? They ARE warm though, and they fit comfortably around the waist without cutting in. The thighs are a bit snug, and I’ve been wearing them with plain knickers over the top to help keep them aloft, but I’m pretty happy with them overall. (I wish all tights could fit like Sonsee tights)

Meanwhile, last weekend I signed up for my first yoga class in, umn, far too long. And not just any yoga: AERIAL yoga!

Yoga teacher, and body positivity activist, Sarah Harry, runs a resource called Fat Yoga to help create inclusive and supportive classes for plus-size people to practice yoga without fear of judgement. Over the long weekend Sarah hosted a special aerial yoga class at Body Flow Yoga Studio, which is a lovely space not too far from me. It looked like fun, and something new, so I signed up to give it a try.

13344807_10154258372807171_3723796413291485351_nThe ‘silks’ are basically little hammocks suspended from the roof and they give the yoga practice a lovely liquidity. I found them a little uncomfortable in some of the poses – when your body weight is resting on the strip there’s a fair bit of pressure there, but some of the poses were fully suspended in a kind of cocoon, and that was nothing short of divine. (I’ve pinched a couple of photos from the Fat Yoga Class facebook page to give you a bit of an idea).

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I had a ball, and I’ve already booked a second class; just a regular beginners class, not a body-positive one (though I’ll be joining another member from Sarah’s Fat Yoga group). If you’ve got the opportunity to give it a try, I’d definitely recommend it!

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.