Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Top: Ruby & Lilli

Skirt: Sussan

Cardigan: Sussan

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Spring feels tantalizingly close: it’s in the air, the new growth on the trees and the evening light.

It’s a fresh start for me, too. After my redundancy a few months ago I just started a new full-time job in a brand-new industry. After twenty years working with books I’ve found the change a little bit sad, and a little bit daunting, but mostly exciting. As much as I love bookselling and publishing it’ll be good to try my hand at something new for the first time in my professional life.

So transeasonal transition, huh?

I’ve always found that the secret to surviving these in-between months is layering, so I was really thrilled to be able to try a couple of Ruby & Lilli’s long-sleeved tees.

I’ve been a fan of the Ruby & Lilli fit every since I bought my Hello Lover tee, and I was interested to see what their winter range was like.

The fabric’s quite different, it doesn’t have the same slouchy softness of my three previous t-shirts, rather it’s a more structured cotton fabric. I did love how the gold foil dots were on the sleeves and the back of the tee as well as the front, (though on me the critical placement of two of the dots, um, raised eyebrows).

The fit, of course, is perfect. The body of the tee skims without clinging, and the neckline has that wide scoop that really flatters a full bust. One major issue I’ve found with other long sleeves tees has been that if they’re not skin-tight in the body then the shoulders and upper arms are way too big. It’s a real credit to the designers at Ruby & Lilli that they understand that making clothes for plus-size women doesn’t means just making them BIGGER all over.

And the sleeves are long enough to cover my wrists, hurrah!

Frocks and Frou FrouThe Ruby & Lilli long sleeved tees are only four dollars more than the regular short-sleeved versions, and they’re an ideal item to carry you over these inbetweeny months before summer hits for real.

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Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou FrouTop: DIY

Skirt: Sussan

Shoes: Chie Mihara

So, a week or so ago the BF and I were lying in bed (not doing anything, so you can just get that out of your mind) when *CRACK* the whole thing collapsed out from under us. A knot in the wood had caused a weakness in one of the beams and the whole thing was irretrievable. So the bed was broken (boo!) which meant getting a new one (yay!) but the one that we liked didn’t come with the big cushions for the headboard (boo!) so I had to go to Spotlight to try and find something similar (yay!).

Which is a very roundabout way of telling you that I found some awesome fabric that reminds me of the clouds in a dawn sky, and I thought I’d buy it and using my well-fitting Finki top as a template make another boxy t-shirt.

It is, figuratively speaking, a copy-paste job (hence the blog title) so you don’t need a pattern, you just need a top that fits well, and doesn’t have any tricky seaming. The Finki tee is a perfect examples because it doesn’t even have separate sleeves. Front and back are both just one piece of fabric.

So – to start you need to lay your t-shirt out on your fabric: If you’re using a fabric with a directional print don’t forget you’ll need to cut your yardage in half and lay it reverse-side up behind the first piece, or you’ll end up with half your top upside down:Frocks and Frou Frou 1┬áPin your tee to the fabric, then cut around it, adding a cm or two for seams.

Frocks and Frou Frou 2

For the lower neckline at the front you should be able to make the shape out with your fingers. Trace the shape with a fabric pencil, or just with pins.

On just one piece cut out the front neckline – don’t forget to add your seam allowance!

Frocks and Frou Frou 3If, hypothetically, you had bought more than one pieces of fabric to make into t-shirts, so would be the time to use the two pieces of your new tee-shirt as a template. Hypothetically. Ahem. So. If you’ve got an overlocker everything just got a whole heap easier for you than the rest of us. But then, if you have an overlocker you probably are a much more experienced sewer than I am, so you’re not even reading this part anyway because this tutorial is way below your skill set.

You want to finish the neckline of your top first. Just fold the curve down, pin it, and sew it. I use a double-needle because I think it gives a cleaner line on knit fabrics, but you could just finish the edge with a zigzag, then turn the edge over and finish the line with a straight stitch. Do both pieces, front and back:

frocks and frou frou 4 Right sides together pin the two pieces at the shoulder, then down both sides. Swap your double needle back for a single and sew the two pieces together where you’ve pinned.

Frocks and Frou FrouNow all you’ve got left to do is finish the armholes and the hem. I did this with a double needle again. Because: Neat.

Frocks and Frou FrouFrocks and Frou Frou