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 anΒ  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

24 thoughts on “A Home Among the Gum Trees

  1. Hi Lilli
    That is a simply stunning fabric find!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
    I’ve checked out the Marilla Walker Maya pattern and I was wondering which view you’ve made up? I’m guessing view A but it looks more like a crop top than a standard top in the pattern sketch.
    Cheers, J.

      1. Thanks for the hot tip! In my eagerness to discuss the pattern I forgot to mention that your entire outfit is fabulous. Bravo!
        Perhaps some time in the future you might consider writing a post about other bloggers who inspire you from a fashion or sewing perspective? I check your blog with alarming frequency hoping for a new post so it would be great to hear who you turn to when you’re not busy working, sewing or writing your own blog.

  2. Serious love for this top…how do I convince you to make more (and sell the first to me)?

    Lovely to see you so happy

  3. Gorgeous outfit and love that print! It looks like some of the Indigenous designs are made by M&S Textiles” http://mstexaustralia.com/about-us/# They also list artist name and some background on the significance of the works the patterns are taken from, but there is no info about what relationship they have with the artists, or what permissions have been sought/payments give. I guess you’d have to contact them – there are some truly beautiful fabrics.

  4. The entire outfit is lovely, but the top fabric is really quite special. Thank you for sharing the link to the Etsy seller!

    1. LOL, I’m nearly there Jessica! I’m feeling more and more confident about the quality of my sewing (though fabric’s still expensive – it might not be worth it)

  5. Fabulous, fabulous print! Your attempt at copycatting the superbly versatile Modcloth skirt upon the demise of the mustard one some time ago was so successful I’d have made about twelve by now if I were you! πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Lilly!
    Truly gorgeous outfit! Thanks for sharing Etsy site….I have already bought a couple of metres of that beautiful fabric. Can’t wait to start sewing!

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog.

  7. That fabric is gorgeous – seriously in love with it and the pairing of the skirt colour!

    I bought 2 breathtaking tiger lilies skirts and was disappointed, but with all the love online I wonder if mine are anomalies? I found them both tissue thin, transparent, definitely in need of liners, and major static central. Are yours like that at all? I so desperately want the skirts to work because they seem so versatile and flattering.

    1. Oh no, they’re terribly quality – the fabric catches and pulls on everything, and they’re definitely staticky (try some anti-static spray. It works a charm). They are cheap though, and I love the variety of colours, and the fit is SO good. The first one I bought was pretty tatty and unwearable within a year, but I took it apart and used the pieces to make another skirt: http://frocksandfroufrou.com/2015/10/diy-made-it-myselfcloth/
      If you sew (or know a sewer, or a dressmaker) you could do the same thing?

      1. So glad to know I’m not the only one, felt like there was something wrong with me! Thanks for the tips, agreed that the colours are great – why don’t more places make basic staples! Gonna need to up my dressmaking skills.

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