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March 2009

Ahh, there you all are

Just wanted to say a thank you to Heather Bailey for posting about feedreaders.  Thanks to all the comments from her blog readers I have learned that Google Reader seems to be the favourite, and is where you are all hanging out these days. 


I was using bloglines but hated that I couldn't read the posts in the context of the beautifully designed blogs.  So I converted to Google Reader and now have my "Next" function set up and have been happily getting reacquainted with the design of the blogs I love.  This is so much better for the visual person - which is me.

I'm sure this won't be good, as I'll discover lots of new blogs when seeing sidebars every day.  I already subscribe to over 160 blogs.  How many do you read?

(Image from Moonstitches.  For the other visual people - what good is a blog post without a pretty picture, after all.)

Busy days

I've had a busy few days with a long list of things to do.  I have the photographer booked for next week to photograph the next two ranges.  And that means sewing all the samples to fit the models.

For next summer I'm doing a little top that is a variation on a favourite from a few seasons back.  With the help of a French patternmaking book I picked up in Paris 18 months ago I've been working on a new sleeve pattern.


Thank goodness for the pictures, as my French is not that great - although I am coming to learn a lot of the technical terminology of the seamstress.

Blue top

Here is a sample with the new sleeve, made up in a sweet fabric that I only have a little of.  A fabric supplier I buy from sends his flat bolts wrapped in fabric offcuts.  This was the offcut.  That's a lot nicer than the thick black plastic most suppliers use.

This top will be added to a growing rack of samples that I like too much to part with.


Today in the studio I'm lounging around in pyjama pants and eating buttermilk scones.

PJ pantsI'm sick of maternity pants that won't stay up.  I don't know how those guys with beer guts cope with having to hitch up their pants all the time - it's so tedious. 

I've been so comfy in my PJs that I've made a second pair - this time in pale blue spot.  With coordinating long length Juicy Bear tees, they are almost decent enough to wear out of the house.

After a pilates class this morning I thought I could indulge in some comfort food.  Thanks to a kindy mum who is a Delia Smith fan I have a wonderful recipe for Buttermilk Scones.


I have about 50 orders to pack and ship, so the scones kept me going through a busy day in the studio.

Floating through the days

Third trimester - it's a killer.  I'm really tired and just dawdling my way through each day while the boys are at school.  It might be a factor of having too much time on my hands (enjoy it while it lasts, they cry), but I just can't be bothered doing much.

Striped PJs

I've got orders to pack, patterns to grade and samples to make, but yesterday I made myself a pair of pyjamas.  I figured I'm going to be hanging out in PJs more than usual soon so I'd like a fresh pair or two.  I had a PJ pattern I'd made myself a few years ago, but all I could find was the sleeve and collar pattern piece.  So I picked up a Kwik Sew pattern (pattern 2811 - you can view it on their website).

Striped PJ top

PJs are very easy to make.  These were made using fabric found in my studio.  I was quite pleased with the pattern.  I haven't used a Kwik Sew pattern before.  The pattern is printed on decent weight paper - not that awful brown tissue - and instructions are clear.  The size Large top was roomy enough to accommodate a 7 month bump, and the Medium pants were a good fit.  Certainly beats maternity jeans that just will not stay up!

A is for apple

When I saw the image of Christie's gorgeous baby blocks she had posted about on her blog I was instantly smitten.  I still have a lot of linen squares from the old quilt top that are looking for a useful purpose so I decided to have an attempt at one myself.

Block A

A is for apple.

Apple cross stitch

I didn't quite achieve the nice flat sides of Christie's block - perhaps some interfacing is required.  I want to find a little bell to put inside the block.

Waste canvas

The cross stitch was worked using waste canvas, a very handy product I only discovered when stitching the baby pillow over Christmas.  These could be addictive.


I'm told pregnant women are drawn to pink.  There must be some truth in that because right now I'm drawn to this:

Pink scarf

I love the simplicity of this outfit.  This is my style of dressing.  The perfect white tee accessorised with a beautiful square of silk.

Blue scarf

This one is not bad either.

Large scale

Remember these?


Our tour of the Mornington Peninsula took us to Montalto winery for lunch.  Montalto hosts an annual sculpture prize and the contending works are dotted around the vineyard.  The boys and I marvelled at the above piece, made in the same way as our paper Christmas decorations.

Beach dinner

After a walk at Cape Schanck our last stop for the day was Mt Martha beach where we know the fish and chips are very good.

Beach dinner1

The best part was tossing the leftover chips to the seagulls (or seagirls as Tom likes to call them).

Beach dinner2

Risky business...

... is letting your four year old beat the chocolate mixture wearing a white top.

Making pudd

Last night we had "a spag" - Stefano - a good friend from Italy over for dinner.  So Henri and I made my favourite dessert.

Eating pudd Although Henri didn't get to sample the finished product, he was more than happy to lick the beaters.

Today we are showing Stefano the Mornington Peninsula.  Tomorrow Will is taking him to Three Hummock Island for the day, with Max and Tom.  Alas, I am not permitted to go.  Taking a light plane to a remote Bass Straight island was not something my obstetrician wanted me to do at 30 weeks.

Henri and I will have the day to ourselves instead.  Since he's such a helpful sous chef, maybe more cooking is in order.

New fabrics

I love it when my studio resembles a fabric shop.  I've taken delivery of some of the fabrics for my winter range.

Fabric bolts They are nicely stacked on top of my comptoir.  I've cleared a lot of summer stock in the last week, so these fabrics have taken up residence where my baskets of summer items previously sat.  What is left of Townmouse summer is now mostly odd sizes and colourways. 

It feels good to clear a lot of stock - it's a good way to declutter.  And my customers like it because they get the bargains.

There are still a few items on the website at reduced prices if you want to stockpile for the seasons ahead.

The half-way point

I turned 40 earlier last month - with mixed feelings.  My 30s were such good years - marriage, children.  It's hard to top those experiences.


This is Mum's favourite photo from my childhood.  For many years it hung in the kitchen of our family home.  It now hangs in my parents' beach house at Flinders.  The one thing people always said when seeing this photo was, "Wow, you haven't changed at all."  In my teens and twenties this really annoyed me.  Now I wouldn't mind it so much.

Pantsuit Mum made all our clothes as children.  I recall rather liking my velour pantsuit at the time (keeping in mind this photo is circa 1973.)  And my brother's overalls would have been home made too.  Mum subscribed to the German pattern magazine by Burda and still has copies from that era floating around to this day.

My 95 year old grandmother drove herself to my house to enjoy a cup of tea with me on my 40th birthday (after doing her shopping at the busy Camberwell Junction Safeway supermarket).  So perhaps the halfway point of my life is still a few years away for me yet.