Shop it to me

So, because my blogging has been so sporadic lately, I’ve been falling into this trap of buying something, wearing it, loving it, then posting about it three months after it’s disappeared from the shops.

It’s Annoying and Bad Blogger Behaviour and I’m trying to Do Better, which is why you’re getting three OOTD’s in one post today.

I’ve been pretty good about being sensible about money lately. Working full-time out of an office has done wonders for my incidental spending, and, as you know, I’ve been doing a lot of sewing instead of shopping; but in the lead up to my 40th (cripes!) birthday I went on a bit of a binge, so I thought I’d share the spoils.

First up is this autumnal dress from – unexpectedly – Country Road.

Dress: Country Road

Shoes: Rockport

It’s been a while since I ventured into Country Road. There’s one quite near my office, so I wander past on a daily basis, but they only go up to a size 16, and these days I have to really really love something to take it into the changeroom and risk being disappointed when the largest size doesn’t fit.

I really really loved this dress, or rather I really really loved the print. It’s all orange and navy and blush and unexpected pops of mustard, and it’s big, bold floral that drew my eye every time I saw it.

With the gathered skirt, and blousy top I thought that there was a slight chance it might be oversized enough to fit, and that worst-case scenario, I might be able to dismantle the dress and fathack the fabric into something new.

Imagine my delight when I realised that gathered waistband was elasticised, as were the cuffs on the balloon sleeves. And imagine how pleased I was when I discovered it had deep, functional pockets. Now try to imagine me not buying it when – against all odds – it actually fit beautifully.

It’s a fairly light rayon/viscose fabric, unlined, which means that while I can wear it now with tights and a long cardigan (or with lots of layers of thermals underneath), it should also do me well right into spring, and hopefully into next autumn as well.

Dress: City Chic Online

Shoes: Rockport

Also new in my wardrobe is this black midi dress that I definitely didn’t need from City Chic. I’m a sucker for sleeved dresses and wide necklines, and this dress is a beauty.

It’s, admittedly, not the only plain black dress to hang in my wardrobe (it’s not even the only midi-length, sleeved, plain black dress with a full skirt to hang in my wardrobe) but at under $100 it’s a steal. There’s a sleeveless version available in City Chic shops right now, but this sleeved version is an online exclusive.

Made from a heavy ponti jersey, it’s a classy, versatile dress with a princess-seamed bodice, and a full skater-style skirt that boasts – you guessed it – pockets. It’s probably just a smidge too long, and the sleeves are baggier than I’d like, but it’s wonderfully elegant and comfortable to boot.

I thought it might make a good oh-god-I-don’t-know-what-to-wear-today dress (which it does) but it also has a notch neckline that’s wired to hold its shape, that gives spectacular cleavage, so watch out for that if you work somewhere a bit conservative.

Last year, I discovered to my horror that not only were clothing moths not big myth cooked up by Big Wood to sell cedar balls, but that somehow I’d managed to be afflicted with them. I lost pretty much my entire knitwear collection in one fell swoop (including all of my cashmere, *cries forever*), and I’ve been gradually trying to rebuild my winter woolies since then.

One thing that I was particularly devastated to lose was a long merino coatigan that I wore almost every day the winter previously. It was perfect for layering over skirts and dresses, as well as jeans and trousers. It was light enough that I could wear it indoors if I was feeling cold, but warm enough that I could wear it as a jacket outdoors as well.

I haven’t had any luck replacing it, but this “coat” from Seed is a worthy successor.

Coat: Seed Heritage

Top: Tirelli

Jeans: Svoboda

Shoes: Rockport

Seed‘s another of those shops I don’t venture into very often. I don’t have kids, and Seed only goes up to a size 14, so I don’t have a lot of excuses to darken their doors, but I’ve recently discovered the joy of triangle scarves, and Seed struck me as somewhere that might have them. They don’t, but they did have this oversized oatmeal coat on sale, and I kinda… love it.

It’s only a wool blend, but it’s unexpectedly warm, and it has the dropped shoulders that I’m super into at the moment, and pockets big enough that I can stash my iPad in them. In no way shape or form is it worth its original price of $339. It’s not even lined, so realistically it’s not really even worth the $174 that I paid for it, but I’ve worn it almost every day since I bought it so it’s definitely earning its keep.

It’s the perfect length for layering, and teamed with skinny jeans it gives a really stylish vibe. I’ve teamed it today with high-waisted denim jeans from Svoboda, who – tragically – are planning to close their virtual doors.

I blogged about Svoboda way, way back in the early days of Frocks and Frou Frou. They were one of the very first premium denim brands designed for the plus-size market, and it’s very sad to hear that their current line will be their last.

These skinny jeans are super comfortable. Svoboda ran a campaign with them with plus-size women doing yoga, and that’s not an exaggeration – I could comfortably do a full sun salutation in these without batting an eyelid. They looked way too small to fit when they arrived, but the fabric stretches beautifully without bagging.

They’re a true skinny without being so thin that you feel like they reveals all those bumps that you’d rather not flaunt. I sized down on Jessica Svoboda’s recommendation, and I’m glad that I did. The fly pulls a little at my tummy, but apart from that these are just wonderful, and I’m definitely going to grab a few more pairs before they disappear forever.

 

 

 

Homesewn Hues

Moneta Dress: DIY from Colette Patterns & Spoonflower fabric

Belt: Trenery

Cardigan: Princess Highway

Shoes: Funkis Melbourne

 

It has been such a pleasure to get back into my sewing again. I’ve been experimenting with some new patterns, having a go a frankensteining some of my own, and dusting off a few old favourites.This is one of the latter.

I’ve made, er, I think five Moneta dresses now: Black cats, cockatoos, whales, a plain black one, and now this one. The pattern is starting to get that really fragile feel to it, so I’m going to have to transcribe it onto new paper if I want to keep sewing it. Which, obviously, I do.

Since Gorman‘s collaboration with Australian artist Dana Kinter I’ve been on the look-out for fabric that features native floral motifs (ideally from an Australian artist). If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently discovered the mother-load with Nerida Hansen (oh my God, more on that in a future post), but for a knit fabric it’s really Spoonflower or bust.

I’ve had a lot of luck with Spoonflower in the past – it’s expensive, but the range is unparalleled, the quality is fine (usually), and artists from all over the work can sell their designs there.

The fabric that I picked for this version of the Moneta dress was from Kara Cooper of Mount Vic and Me. It’s a gorgeous graphic design that features brightly coloured Australian wildflowers, gum nuts, and blossoms and leaves on a rich black background.

Errr…. that’s a black background. Guys? Black?

This is not a black background. And this is not the result of overzealous washing either, it arrived in my mailbox this colour.

And, look, it’s fine. And I’m pretty sure it’s just the fabric that I picked (cotton-spandex jersey, for the record), but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was a bit cross. I don’t think I’ll be buying another black-pigmented fabric from Spoonflower again, or at least not in the cotton jersey.

Still, the design is everything I hoped it would be, and once I got over my disappointment I realised how nicely the muted colours worked with a blush cardigan (or a yellow cardigan, or a grey cardigan).

And it goes beautifully with my new yellow clogs.

I bought a pair of Swedish Hasbeen clogs a good five years ago from Modcloth, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I can probably count the number of times I’ve worn them on one hand. I knew they were going to be a commitment: You have to break them in, the internet told me, then they’ll be the most comfortable shoes you own. And I tried (sort of) but they were so uncomfortable after such short periods of time that I never got past the breaking-in stage.

I’d heard better reports from people about Funkis clogs, so when the team at Funkis Melbourne offered me a pair to road-test I thought I’d give them a whirl.

I got the Gertrude clogs in the mustard colour in my usual size 39 and guys, they’re great. Everything that I’d hoped for from the Hasbeens and more.

They have a thicker rubber sole than the Hasbeens, and I can barely feel the road through them when I’m striding. The thicker sole also means that you don’t get as much of that unmistakable clop-clop noise that usually accompanies clogs. The leather is a little bit softer, and softens more quickly, and they seem a little wider in the foot, which is good for me. The strap’s just a teensy bit shorter than I’d ideally like, but it’s loosening a bit with wear and I have very high arches, so it might not be an issue for many others.

The first day I wore them I packed a spare pair of shoes (just in case) but it turned out I didn’t need them. They were perfectly wearable from the first step, and only started rubbing a little by the end of a hot 9 hour day. Every day that I’ve worn them since they’ve been more and more comfortable. In fact I’m so enamoured with them I’m pretty tempted to treat myself to a second pair. What do you reckon? The Josefina, or the Tilda? Or both?