*Disclaimer - the fabric for this dress was very generously gifted to us by the lovely people at The Fabric Store in New Zealand. We are not, however, under any sort of obligation to sing their praises, and all opinions expressed in this post are genuine and entirely our own.
The first thing we noted - and immediately loved - about The Fabric Store is that their collection isn't overwhelmingly vast. It is, instead, curated to perfection. Sumptuous linens, classic Liberty, the prettiest voiles and some unexpected - but immaculately tasteful - gems. Theirs is, without a doubt, an establishment that we will be coming back to time and again. Any plans to open a UK shop, perhaps...??
Even better, The Fabric Store are offering our readers a 15% discount! Valid on all orders placed before midnight this coming Sunday (May 1st; GMT+1) - simply enter code TFS4BHL at checkout.
So, given the chance to pick a few metres of anything we wanted... Charlotte opted for this beautiful, but not at all fussy, Grecian floral cotton silk voile. A little birdie tells me she has plans to make a floaty something to go with her new Alexa Chung for M&S peasant blouse (to further propel her wardrobe into the set of Little House on the Prairie...!), and no doubt you'll see what she makes here first.
I chose their Denim Leaf jacquard, in the most pleasing colour combination of emerald green and cornflower blue.
Being a fairly heavy weight fabric, with plenty of structure and no drape whatsoever, I immediately knew that I would be going down the Kim bodice route...
I had originally imagined I would make a wiggle dress with the addition of our Charlotte Skirt, but I'm afraid I slightly chickened out for fear of feeling more frump than fab in such an unforgiving shape and fabric, plus with added sheen to really emphasise even the slightest hint of water retention... And so a super fabulous, and endlessly forgiving full, box-pleated skirt it became!
Length-wise, I toyed with keeping it maxi, and even tucking the hem up and under to create a whimsical 60s bubble effect, but instead I settled on the long tea-length for it's timeless elegance and wearability.
I finished it off with a tape hem using a dusky pink grosgrain ribbon to complement the blush viscose bodice lining...
...And then off I trotted, boyfriend/acting photographer in tow, to the nearest alley to snap some pictures of my NEW FAVOURITE DRESS.
Huge thanks to Michelle at The Fabric Store for reaching out and offering us the opportunity to work with such beautiful fabrics - I certainly hope we're doing them justice! x