I am super excited about this post, as it marks the release of two new patterns in the Phoebe Collection. The Phoebe Maxi, which has two versions, and can be made as an a-line or peasant style skirt. The skirt features front and (optional) back pockets and an elasticated waistband which makes it really comfortable. And, the Phoebe Flounce blouse, which can be made with or without the flounce, has grouped cup sizes, two body length options, and an elasticated or open waistband.
Below is the low waisted no flounce version, with the open waistband; and the high waisted Phoebe Flounce with the elasticated waistband. The great part of having the pieces as separates is details like the double waistband - which I love!
I am not usually a frilly gal, so rather than a bow, I tied the necktie as an oriental knot, so it sits flat.
I have had these two pieces brewing in the studio for a while now, but when Perth Frocktails announced this year's date, I knew what I wanted to wear, and I wanted to share the pattern with everyone. So I have been working flat out to get these released in time, and my testers have been amazing in helping me create designs I am proud of.
The two patterns build on the premise of the Phoebe Collection: a range of mix and match pieces that can be hacked and altered to suit your style and body shape. Both are stand-alone patterns and can be worn as individual pieces, but they look fabulous teamed with other designs in the stable. My original plan was to be able to create dresses and jumpsuits, but during my sampling process, I realised they are great as separates, and you can create the look of a one-piece by simply using the same fabrics! The flounce gives coverage to the upper arms for those who feel a bit self-conscious while still having the freedom of a sleeveless top.
I am sponsored prizes in Perth Frocktails by giving away 10 of my patterns, so I felt the pressure to look my best and showcase what I do. After some thought, my outfit evolved from one of my artworks.
I have been playing with watercolour botanical illustrations, as I find them very relaxing to do. My aunt has a fabulous Wisteria growing in her garden, so while I was visiting one day, I did a little painting:
I was so pleased with the colours and shapes, I decided to make it into a fabric design, and, being me, had to play around with scale and colour. I uploaded the designs to Spoonflower and had the fabric printed onto Pea Gauze. You can check out the range of prints on my Spoonflower Shop here. I have made them public, so you can have them printed on any of the gorgeous fabrics they sell.
Here is the final outfit: the Phoebe Flounce, long-waisted top and the Phoebe maxi, peasant-style skirt! Spoonflower recommends pre-washing this fabric as it brings out the crinkles, but as I made it, it grew in length with ironing. I solved the problem by adding a design feature pin-tuck in the skirt which I really like and will do again. I feel so swishy in it! If you would like to make your own, I used two scales of the print which are linked here: medium and small on the organic Pea Gauze.
I made an #idaclutch to go with it, which is a free pattern by Kylie and the Machine. It is a beautiful design, she is so clever! Sue from @fadanista gave me the green leather, which was very kind, and now we have matching Ida clutches. Sue and I have a bit of a twinning thing going on - I even have a racing stripe on mine like her! I don't have a picture of Sues' clutch, she is keeping her Frocktails outfit under wraps, but you can glimpse it on her Instagram page.
I made a dress version from some beautiful silk I inherited from my grandmother. I feel really close to her when I wear it, and I think she would have worn it too. I added side splits as a hack, because the fabric has the most beautiful drape, and made the waistband a bit narrower as I ran out of material. Vintage fabrics are so narrow you need to use so much! I only just managed to make matching bias tape, which makes it almost zero waste.
With these two new additions to the collection, there are so many options: Phoebe Flounce with and without the flounce, teamed with the a-line and peasant Phoebe Maxi skirt, or with the Phoebe Pockets, and accessorised with the Sobi belt. Make them as a jumpsuit or dress, or get the versatility of separates!
These two patterns are on sale for the first month of release!