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.

6 thoughts on “Smock ‘n Roll

  1. LOVE!! Except that I was totally ready to buy this dress, and I can’t because you made it!! It’s PERFECT!! You did an amazing job. So impressed, and if you decide to start selling these, I’m in!! 🙂

  2. I like this outfit a whole heap. You did a fab job of sewing it and I love your fabric choice. I’ve always been a big fan of the smock shape (I think mostly because they remind me of the dresses my mum and Nan made me when I was a kid) and was soooo excited when they suddenly became a thing you could buy from shops like ASOS although those guys always seem to make them far too short for the robust of knee like myself… I’m currently trying to work out how to add length to a super cute gingham smock without looking like I just stepped off the prairie or I’m dressing up as a rag doll….

  3. Thanks much for the reference to Wardrobe Crisis. I have purchased it and now reading with interest. Any other suggestions along this line will be appreciated!

  4. I love this and am so excited that you have discovered Fancy Tiger! I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and visit Fancy Tiger every year when I visit my sister in Denver. My favorite things in life are colliding right now!

  5. Dear Lilli,
    thank you for introducing Fancy Tiger to me! I immediately fell in love with your dress and decided to give it a try, although i´ve never sewn anything before than was good enough to wear outside of my home 😉 Finished my first Fen on Sunday and am not willing to take it off anymore, already planning my next. Will you show your other Fens here on the blog? I would love to see them.

    Best wishes from Germany

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