Smock ‘n Roll

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouCardigan: Princess Highway

Dress: DIY from Fancy Tiger Crafts pattern

Tights: Sonsee Woman

Shoes: Miz Mooz

I was trying to expand my sewing repertoire beyond Colette patterns (on account of the sheer number of Myrtles and Monetas now in my wardrobe!) when I stumbled across Fancy Tiger Crafts. Ostensibly a craft supply shop in Colorado, they also do a few patterns of their own design, including the oh-so-chic Fen Dress which looks like it’s wandered straight off the racks at Melbourne-based hipster-favourite, Obus.

This fabulous smock frock has deep scooped pockets, a boxy fit, and ‘choose-your-own’ features like sleeves, hemlines, and necklines so that you can mix and match your own perfect creation from the one pattern. I’ve made three now, and they’ve all been made of different fabrics with different elements, and I’ve loved every one of them.

This version has a dipped hem and a v-neckline, plus I lengthened the bodice by an inch to give it a slightly dropped-waist effect. For the fabric I splurged on a totally, totally divine cotton-hemp blend ‘denim’, that looks and feels like well-loved linen with none of the wrinkle-factor. I’ve been reading a lot lately about ethical production in the fashion industry (I’ve just started reading this great book on the topic called Wardrobe Crisis – do check it out if you’re interested in fashion and consumerism) and I was reassured to see that the company who supplies the fabric traces the provenance – and worker standards – right down to the raw materials. At $25 a yard It’s probably one of the more expensive fabrics I’ve bought, but the quality speaks for itself and it was definitely worth the investment.

The fabric’s lovely in summer, but Melbourne seems to have finally caught up to the fact that it’s autumn, and the mercury is dropping fast. Teamed with tights (Sonsee, naturally) and a cardigan, the style of the dress is clean enough to layer beautifully.

I kept my jewellery simple, adding my New Favourite Necklace: a ‘spinner’ pendant that lends itself to being endlessly fiddled with during the day (the rough-cut faceted crystal rotates with the flick of a finger).

Frocks and Frou FrouNecklace: Foxtail Boutique

I’ve had my eye on the necklace for the better part of a year now, and I’m so glad I finally snapped it up, because now I want to wear it all the time.

The denim brumby

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouCardigan: Princess Highway

Blouse: Love to Love You

Skirt: DIY Brumby skirt

Shoes: Naturaliser

While I was at the A+ Markets I was lucky enough to meet Laura, a reader and fellow sewist who I know peripherally through a mutual friend, Hellen. Laura was wearing this magnificent skirt, with big, deep, wonderful pockets. She told me that she’d made it herself (damn) from a pattern that I knew from experience didn’t go up to my size (double damn) but that if I wanted she could send me a copy, graded-up to fit a wider waist (hurrah! and double hurrah!)

Grading patterns is still well beyond my skill-set, so I can’t properly express how thankful (and impressed!) I was when an impeccably marked-up set of paper pattern pieces for Megan Nielsen’s Brumby skirt arrived in my letterbox.

I got myself to a fabric shop quick smart, and picked up some lightweight denim so I could give the pattern a whirl. It’s a lovely and fairly simple skirt with deep scooped pockets, a wide curved waistband, and soft gathers that fall in fullness from the hips.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe pattern is fairly straightforward, though I managed to attach the waistband upside down the first time (apparently nearly everyone does). The curved waistband is divine, and I don’t know if it was Laura’s mad sewing skillz, or the weight of the denim fabric, but I wore the skirt all day today, and didn’t have to wriggle it down from under my boobs once. Good stuff.

I’m already keen to make it again – I think in a softer fabric – and I thought I’d experiment with the gathering and maybe try piping for the first time to really make those pockets sing. Today I teamed it with my old confetti blouse and a short sleeved mustard cardigan

To keep the cardigan in place I employed a set of daisy sweater clips that I bought a few years ago from Etsy.

Frocks and Frou FrouMy thanks again to Laura for providing me with this pattern – I’m in your debt!