Less Is Myrtle

Frocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle DressFrocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle DressFrocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle Dress Frocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle Dress

 Dress: DIY from Colette “Myrtle” pattern

Belt: Dangerfield

Shoes: Comfortview

I’m not a natural sewer; I’m too impatient and haphazard, and I don’t really possess the skills to do things like full-bust alterations. I’m definitely not a measure-twice-cut-once kind of gal (more like a who-the-hell-measures-these-days kind). Despite my success with the Macaron dress pattern years previously I got a little burned with the last Colette dress that I attempted to make: the Peony had to be dramatically (and amateurishly) tweaked to be wearable, and even then I wasn’t that happy with the results.

Colette launched the Myrtle dress pattern in July this year with some gorgeous shots of a curvy young woman in a draped white dress. With its cowl-neck, blouson bodice and elasticised waist it looked like a dress with a forgiving fit for beginning sewers, so I thought I’d buy some cheap jersey from Spotlight and give the pattern a whirl.

Colette’s patterns are great for newbie dressmakers. The patterns come packaged with a booklet with very clear and concise illustrated instructions. The Colette website/blog provides heaps of basic tutorials, and there’s even a step-by-step sew along that culminates in a great gallery of dresses made by the participants.

I picked a cheapie printed cotton jersey from Spotlight in a lovely burnt orange. The dress seems to take an inordinate amount of fabric (that cowl neck bodice is self-faced, so there’s a bit of extra fabric in that) so I ended up spending a little bit more than I’d anticipated, but the result’s a killer.

The elasticised waist is easy and comfortable, and the fact I’m short-waisted wasn’t an issue due to the blousy effect of the bodice. The draped neckline flatters my figure by showing off collar bones without flashing my cleavage up and down the street. And (hurrah!) the dress even has pockets.

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It took me a couple of hours from fabric to frock, and that includes time acquainting myself with my new sewing machine, and unpicking and resewing the bodice to he skirt three times (I keeps sewing it on inside out. Don’t ask me how… it was late.)

I was so delighted with the finished result that the first thing I did was go out and buy MORE jersey fabric so I could make a second version, slightly longer than the first.

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This second Myrtle was made of a much softer knit fabric, so the drape on the neckline is deeper and more pronounced. The longer hemline gives it an elegance that makes it perfect for a special event, so I played up the glam factor with a sparkly brooch pinned at the waistband and my best bling from Totally Jewel.

Frocks and Frou Frou

Necklace & Earrings from Totally Jewel

All up – fabric, elastic and thread – the dress cost me about $14 which is a steal in anyone’s book, and now that I’m confident with the pattern I’m already planning to make a third Myrtlw with a special (i.e. spendy) fabric that I’ve ordered from Spoonflower.

Namesake

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 Shirt: Country Road

Skirt: DIY

Tights: Sonsee

Shoes: Chie Mihara

At the start of last year I was invited to attend the launch of a new hosiery company named Sonsee Woman. I was hugely impressed with the product that the team presented, and have been delighted to watch the fledging brand go from strength to strength since then.

Sonsee just celebrated their first birthday and I’m certainly not the only person singing their praises anymore – almost every day I read another positive review on their Facebook page, or stumble across a blog post rhapsodising about Sonsee’s comfortable fit and extraordinary “ultra stretch” technology. From their decision to use actual plus-size women on their website to the way they interact with their fans and customers on social media Sonsee seems to be a company that are kicking goals at the moment, and I’m proud to have been there right from the beginning.

I couldn’t believe it when the team at Sonsee told me that one of their gorgeous new pairs of limited edition embellished tights was named after me! Behold, the “Lilli”s!

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Aren’t they gorgeous? Oh my God.

Those pretty little bows on my ankles have been embellished with Swarovski crystals, and they sparkle most bewitchingly. The tights are Sonsee’s almost opaque 60 denier tights and also come in the Forest, Shadow and Midnight colours. If you’ve already tried Sonsee’s range I don’t have to tell you how comfortable they are (ridiculously) or how resilient (very). I’m still wearing the first pair of tights I got from Sonsee over a year ago. No sags, no snags. I’ve had less luck with their sheers, but mostly because I have a special skill for walking into every thorny bush/exposed nail/ splintery park bench in a five metre radius to myself, and even Sonsee’s magic ultra-stretch technology is powerless against my clumsiness.

I wore these tights for a full day on my feet at the Reed Gift Fair this week, and I didn’t have to adjust the position of the bows once. They added a bit of discreet glam to my all-black outfit, and were hilariously comfortable to boot.

I honestly can’t say enough positive things about Sonsee – both the product and the team get two enthusiastic thumbs-up from me, and I can’t tell you how honoured I was to be able to lend my name to an ultimate piece of frou-frou. Thanks, Sonsee – you guys are the best

If you’d like a pair of the “Lilli’s” for yourself – or some of the basic pairs of tights – Sonsee are offering free shipping on orders of two or more with the code “BIRTHDAY” until the end of August.