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!

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!