Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Top: Ruby & Lilli

Skirt: Sussan

Cardigan: Sussan

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Spring feels tantalizingly close: it’s in the air, the new growth on the trees and the evening light.

It’s a fresh start for me, too. After my redundancy a few months ago I just started a new full-time job in a brand-new industry. After twenty years working with books I’ve found the change a little bit sad, and a little bit daunting, but mostly exciting. As much as I love bookselling and publishing it’ll be good to try my hand at something new for the first time in my professional life.

So transeasonal transition, huh?

I’ve always found that the secret to surviving these in-between months is layering, so I was really thrilled to be able to try a couple of Ruby & Lilli’s long-sleeved tees.

I’ve been a fan of the Ruby & Lilli fit every since I bought my Hello Lover tee, and I was interested to see what their winter range was like.

The fabric’s quite different, it doesn’t have the same slouchy softness of my three previous t-shirts, rather it’s a more structured cotton fabric. I did love how the gold foil dots were on the sleeves and the back of the tee as well as the front, (though on me the critical placement of two of the dots, um, raised eyebrows).

The fit, of course, is perfect. The body of the tee skims without clinging, and the neckline has that wide scoop that really flatters a full bust. One major issue I’ve found with other long sleeves tees has been that if they’re not skin-tight in the body then the shoulders and upper arms are way too big. It’s a real credit to the designers at Ruby & Lilli that they understand that making clothes for plus-size women doesn’t means just making them BIGGER all over.

And the sleeves are long enough to cover my wrists, hurrah!

Frocks and Frou FrouThe Ruby & Lilli long sleeved tees are only four dollars more than the regular short-sleeved versions, and they’re an ideal item to carry you over these inbetweeny months before summer hits for real.


Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Dress: DIY from Colette “Myrtle” pattern and Spoonflower Fabric

Cardigan: Eliza Parker

Belt: Closet Confessions

Shoes: Comfortview

My first fabric order with Spoonflower was in 2012, when I bought an amazing silk/cotton fabric printed with the image of a star forming region and turned it into a Colette Macaron dress. It was pretty quick to develop an addiction to the online fabric company which has a plethora of extraordinary printed fabrics (and the capacity to design and upload your own!)

My first Spacedress is long gone, but with stars and star-prints looking like one of the major trends this season (hurrah!) I thought maybe it was time to whip up a new one.

I chose the performance knit fabric, which at US$24 a yard certainly isn’t the cheapest dress fabric out there, but I’ve worked with it before and found it to have exceptional colour quality, wearability and drape. It’s a 100% polyester knit with a bit of a swimsuity sheen to it, and it has “moisture management” which would explain why even on hot days I don’t get sweaty in it. It has a bit of weight, and only about 25% stretch which means it holds its shape well and doesn’t bag out.

I was going to go for the same print as last time – the Star Forming Regions – but when I plugged in the number of yards I needed (I would definitely recommend this step if you’re buying from Spoonflower) I realised the fabric would end up with tiles as the pattern repeated. Instead I opted for this amazing image of the Carina Nebula which at 85×58″ in size would be big enough for me to make my favourite Myrtle sewing project without any visible repeats.

Frocks and Frou FrouThere’s a fairly big differentiation in the colours of the Carina Nebula. From deep blues to pinks and golds and deepening to purple and red in the centre.

I picked the pinks and blues for the front, and kept the deeper and darker colours for the back.

Frocks and Frou FrouAnd then, because it was freaking cold, I covered the lot up with a long draped cardigan, and added my bow belt from Closet Confessions and my sparkly galaxy necklace which is impossible to photograph so you’ll just have to take my word for it that in person it’s the prettiest sparkliest thing you’ve ever seen.

Frocks and Frou FrouThis is the fifth Myrtle dress that I’ve made, so I’m definitely getting my money’s worth with the dress pattern. It’s such a great one for beginner sewers, because it doesn’t have any tricky zippers or sleeves, the waistband is elasticised, and the draped neckline and knit fabric is very forgiving for people who aren’t confident about tweaking patterns for full-bust adjustments, or sway-back adjustments.

Frocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle Dress 5 ways