Herringboned

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress: DIY from Colette Hawthorn pattern

Belt: Princess Highway

Shoes: Hush Puppies

I had so much success with my first Colette Patterns Hawthorn Dress that I decided to give the pattern a second go with sleeves for the cooler months.

The Hawthorn was the first time I’d sewn a collar, and with the clear instructions provided it went off (more or less) without a hitch, so I was looking forward to having a whirl at making my own shirt cuffs. In the interest of warmth I picked a wool blend fabric in a charcoal grey herringbone – it was a much heavier fabric than the cotton I made the first dress in… and that was my first mistake. (It also frayed like the devil, and was a total pain-in-the-ass to sew with.)

So, the heavier fabric meant that the collar didn’t sit as neatly as my previous attempt, and no amount of pressing could get it to lie flat. Between the collar, the facing, the interfacing, and the main body of the dress there’s a lot of layers of fabric, so in retrospect it wasn’t entirely surprising I was getting collar pop. It might soften over time, but in the meanwhile I’ve just been coaxing the collar flat by pinning it with a brooch!

Frocks and Frou FrouThe heaviness of the fabric also meant that I ran into trouble making the cuffs, which – just so you know – are a total nuisance to sew. If I ever say I’m going to sew something with cuffs again slap me, ok?

As usual for Colette Patterns, the arms were hilariously too baggy, and I had to tweak both sleeves and cuffs dramatically before I was satisfied. Well, satisfied-ish.

Frocks and Frou FrouThey’re a bit wobbly and warped, but they’ll do, and they look better shoved halfway up to my elbows (though it does result in billowing sleeves).

The fabric was a nightmare, fraying if I even looked at it sideways, which meant I lost patience with perfecting the fit long before it, well, fit. So it’s a bit boxier and lumpier, and the waist isn’t quite straight (which is fine, I need to belt it anyway) but it’s comfortable and warm, and while it might not be the first winter dress I reach for in the morning it’s definitely wearable in public.

Two-ways Tuesday – Sohomode Peony dress

two ways frocks and frou frouBeen a while since I last did a Two-ways Tuesday post, huh? Still, what better way to bring it back than with this divine Sohomode dress?

I spotted the peony fabric in Louise’s shop a couple of months ago, and knew it had to be mine. The full-blown peony print is highly detailed, with defined petals and stamen, and even the ribs on the leaves cast into relief. It reminded me a little of antique Chinese cloisonné enamelware, so after deliberating over it for about seven seconds (‘Surely you don’t need another Sohomode tea-dress, Lilli?’) I realised that if the fabric got snapped up by someone else – which it would – I would have missed out, and I’d be sad foreverrrrrrrr.

Louise made me the same slimmer sash that she sewed for my most recent bark-cloth dress, and knowing my penchant for yellow she picked up the yellow at the heart of the flowers for the piping details. frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frou  Dress: Sohomode

Shoes: Seychelles

It’s a lovely party dress, the Sohomode tea-dress. If you’ve been reading long enough you’ll probably remember that I loved the dress so much I dressed my best friends in it as bridesmaids. One of the reasons I did that was because it was going to be HOT, and a cotton sundress seemed like a much nicer thing to wear outside in the Australian summer than some strapless synthetic thing. The tea-dress is also great, because it’s so versatile. I wear mine to fancy events and weddings, but I also wear it to work, to the farmers markets, on picnics, at birthday parties. I wear it in hot weather, and I wear it in cold:

frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frouDress: Sohomode

Cardigan: Boden

Belt: Princess Highway

Tights: Sonsee

Shoes: Hush Puppies

So, my best friend Fiona got shortlisted for a major literary prize earlier this month, which is totally wonderful and not even a little bit of a surprise to those who know her and how remarkable she is (really remarkable). Last weekend we went out frock-shopping for something special for the awards night, and she decided on this gorgeous jacquard dress from Leona by Leona Edmiston. She looked amazing in it (of course) and someone told her she looked radiant (which she did), and even though I’m absolutely 100% sure she’s got lots of awards nights ahead of her, I’m really hoping she gets lots of wear out of her new dress, rather than just saving it for super special occasions.

See, I reckon you can dress almost any kind of dress down with a leather belt and a cardi (and in this case, a pair of tights, because it’s nearly winter). Adding a contrast belt to a frock immediately makes it seem less formal, breaking it up from one ooh-la-la ensemble into two pieces that just happen to match each other. Add a cardigan, and you’ve got immediate day-wear.

And THAT’S my two-ways Tuesdays!