This story starts with a lovely package in the mail from a certain Sew Busy Lizzy in Australia. Thanks Lizzy! This lovely gift contained some fabric, a pattern, some black snaps and a black and white dress. Lizzy tells me that all of these things came from the local ‘Op Shop’ (that’s Australian for Charity Shop!) and that the dress cost just AUD $2 (about £1.15). I think you got a bargain, Lizzy!
The dress is from Aussie designer Moss & Spy and is an Aussie size 10. It has lace panels at the neckline and also under the bust – there is no backing behind the lace so that area is transparent. For modesty, it came with a flesh-toned slip. The skirt has large godets in it which are emphasised with the same see-through lace treatment. Finally, the hem has white lace trim.
Lizzy sent me this back in the summer and I have to say I ummed and ahhed quite a bit about what to do with it. I don’t really wear black in summer (at least, not this summer) but the lace and the slightly transparent floaty fabric were pushing it into summer dress territory. The fit was pretty good overall so there was no need to change anything there. Probably the most major issue was the unflattering length, which was easy to fix. I cut off 10 cm all around the bottom and hemmed it again. It made a world of difference.
Reducing the length of the hem has actually reduced the area of the godets quite a lot. The godets are much more in proportion with the rest of the dress now. Also the trim on the hem which was slightly overkill has gone, which definitely helps, I think. It was a quick fix but very effective! The hem, since it was uneven to start with, and I cut off 10 cm all around, is still fairly uneven, but I kind of like it.
Styling this summer dress for autumn threw up its own challenges. I decided to go a bit Goth, adding a black sleeveless t-shirt (actually it’s the one from here) and a black slip under the dress, plus black tights and black velvet shoes.
My home town (Whitby, UK) is one of the settings for Bram Stoker’s book ‘Dracula’ and has a big connection with Goth culture hosting two Goth festivals every year. It made a great backdrop for this dress! We have a rather gothic-looking ruined abbey which adds to the atmosphere no end.
For fun, I added a black choker made by 14-year-old me which I dug up, it’s made of a black strip of material with a button sewn onto it and a snap to close it. So glad that some aspects of 90s fashion are coming back but I am not sure if chokers ever will! Very Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
If you follow Lizzy’s blog, you’ll know that she often amazes us jealous Brits with her stunning beach photoshoots. In an attempt to recreate the same aesthetic we headed down to Whitby beach to take some pictures. Let me tell you, walking on sand in 6″ platforms is not easy! But the pictures came out well! Not quite as tropical as Australia but I do think it has a certain British Seaside flair.
And finally, in case you didn’t know this Lizzy, one of my home town’s most famous citizens is the guy who discovered Australia, Captain Cook. His ship the Endeavour was built in Whitby as well. A package of sewing goodies will be retracing his steps soon!