Where’s Spot

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: DIY from Aster pattern & Spoonflower fabric

Skirt: Modcloth

Shoes: Rockport

For a few years now I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect dotty top. A couple of years ago I had one made by Loni at Love To Love You on Etsy, and it was wonderful, but recently I’ve been thinking that I quite fancied the idea of having one made with smaller dots.

I spotted this fabric on Spoonflower and thought that it fit the bill, but I didn’t pay much attention to the measurements (rookie mistake) and when the fabric came the dots were much bigger than I’d anticipated. Still, I’d bought Colette’s Aster shirt pattern especially, so I thought I’d give the project a whirl.

The fabric that I chose was the basic cotton, and I’ll be honest – I don’t love it; it feels a bit cheap and crunchy, but the colours are spot on and it washes really well. It’s possible that the fabric will soften over time, but at the moment it’s probably a bit more crisp than I ideally wanted.

Colette’s Aster pattern was also just ooookay. It definitely wasn’t really a beginner-friendly pattern, which surprised me a little, as Colette’s instruction booklets are usually so well written that anyone can follow the steps without too much trouble. The shirt is collarless, but has a lovely yoke at the back.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe instructions for the front placket were kind of inscrutable, and even after I’d finished I wasn’t confident I’d done it correctly. The sleeves were far too long, so I’ve rolled the cuffs, and I also put more buttons in than necessary so that the shirt stood a chance at staying fastened over the Rack of Doom.

Frocks and Frou FrouI found the fit a bit problematic, but the wonderful Laura recently dropped by to teach me how to do a full-bust adjustment, so I’m definitely planning to give it another go down the track (perhaps with a less starchy fabric).

The good thing about this top is that those wonderful watercolour dots will go with everything. Black yellow, red, green, grey, mustard… I’m wearing it with (another) Breathtaking Tiger Lilies skirt from Modcloth.

If you get in quickly, Modcloth has a 25% off Family & Friends sale on right now, with the code F13m64G, and don’t forget, you can get free International shipping for orders over $150.

A Home Among the Gum Trees

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: DIY from Marilla Walker pattern

Skirt: Modcloth

Belt: Modcloth

Shoes: Edward Meller

A few weeks ago I was at the Victoria Markets picking up my fruit and veg for the week, and decided to take a bit of a meander through the rest of the market. When I first moved to Melbourne I was excited about having the Queen Vic Markets on my doorstep – thinking it would be rather like the Paddington Markets in Sydney which I insisted on visiting on every family visit. I was a bit disappointed to discover that rather than being a high-end craft and fashion market the Vic Markets were full of a lot of mass-produced tat, and the quality stores that offered something a bit different were few and far between. Occasionally I still pay it a visit, and occasionally I’m surprised by something… like this A+++ gumleaf print fabric!

The stall had a wonderful range of Australian-themed cotton fabrics, some using Australian flora as a design feature. I quizzed the stallholder, and managed to establish that the art used for the gumleaf fabric was from an  artist named Natalie Ryan, who studied botanical painting at the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne.

The gumleaf fabric is a lovely 100% cotton fabric with a slightly silky handfeel. It has better drape than most quilting cottons, so it suited the boxy shape of Marilla Walker’s Maya top quite well.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe stall holder admitted that she wasn’t there very often (and seemed quite affronted when I asked if she sold online) but with a bit of research I managed to track down a seller on Etsy. They also do a large number of fabrics printed with Indigenous Australian art, and they credit the artist (which makes me hopeful that the company producing the fabrics isn’t exploitative, though I haven’t been able to find out any information about their practices in my research online).

The top – with its olive greens, russety reds, and creamy beige, will go with a slew of items in my wardrobe, but today I’m wearing it with my orange ‘Breathtaking Tigerlilies’ skirt from Modcloth. These skirts are such great, versatile pieces that after vacillating about it for a year I finally bit the bullet and bought a few more in different colours. If I get even half as much wear out of them as I have from this one, then they’re definitely value for money.

Modcloth offers free international shipping on orders over $150 – which is a pretty good excuse to go a little bit overboard – so I added the Boldly Buckled Belt (among one or two other things) to help me get over the line. It’s one of the few belts on Modcloth that come in “extended” sizes, and it’s a great, comfy accessory to add to dresses and skirts.

Frocks and Frou FrouBelt: Modcloth