Previous month:
June 2010
Next month:
August 2010

July 2010

My creative space

Patternmaking - it's a messy business.  Cardboard and existing patterns everywhere.  Multiple rulers for multiple purposes.


It's always the messiest activity that goes on in my studio.

Tray of supplies

This laminated tray helps keep things a little more organised.  Now all the tools of the patternmaker's trade are within easy reach - tracing wheel, dressmaker's awl, notch marker, paper scissors, French curves, chocolate (yes, always chocolate).

More creative spaces on the lovely Kootoyou blog.

A dress this time

This pattern gets quicker and quicker to make each time.

Nicey Jane Ice cream dress

These two fabrics just seemed to belong together - a bit of Nicey Jane from Heather Bailey and a dot print from an Australian range.

Nicey Jane Ice cream dress 1

Although I love these fabrics, the colours don't suit Adelaide.  Maybe in summer when she has a little more colour it will work.  She has olive skin like her Daddy, and Will looks rather sickly in yellow.

Nicey Jane Ice cream dress pocket

I fussy-cut the pockets.  I'm not sure if this was a good idea, as I think they blend into the dress too much.  What do you think?  Maybe a smaller scale print would have been better. 

The corners on my pockets aren't perfect either.  I read the discussion thread on easy rounded pockets too late.  There are some good tips from bloggers on different methods.

You can see more Ice Cream Dresses at the Ice Cream Social Flickr group.

For the beach house

This quilt has no place in our house.  It's too bright and fresh for our English antique furniture, Aboriginal art and more subdued colour schemes.

Tide pool quilt

It will be perfect for the beach house that will one day be in our future.  I'm picturing it fitting in nicely to something along these lines.

Tide pool quilt front

I'm calling it my Tide Pool quilt.  Because the colours remind me of the rockpools at the Flinders beaches, where seaweed features heavily.  (We're not very kind about Flinders beaches - as much as we love the seaside town, we don't spend a lot of time on it's beaches.)

Tide pool quilt front 2

No, we don't have a beach house; and owning one isn't imminent.  So I'm guessing I'll have several years at least to finish this project.  With no pressure, it's likely to be finished in record time, and then it will hang around and I'll have nowhere to put it.  Go figure. 

Playing with patterns

Today it's back to sewing with my own patterns.  I've been playing around with a pattern for a summer top, which is a late entry into the upcoming summer range. 

Summer top

When Adelaide wakes up she can try this on for me.  If it passes my critique, then it's on to grading the bigger sizes.  Henri will have to try on the size 4 and 6, and Tom will have to try the size 8 - sorry boys.  As always, chocolate will be involved to bribe them to model girl's clothes.

Summer top detail

This top is a variation on this dress.  The construction was troubling me, so I've been fiddling around with various options for finishing the sleeves neatly.  Facing in the back was the solution.

Summer top sleeve

It won't appear in this pretty blue in the summer range.  I'm saving this fabric for my own personal stash.  Not everyone loves blue on girls as much as I do.  I used a favourite Liberty to bind the armhole.  It just happened to be ready made and within easy reach of my sewing machine from an earlier project.  This top will feature in the range in white, pale pink and watermelon.  (I managed to source a pretty good replica of my favourite swiss cotton so I'm excited to have it back in the range.)

Summer top and pants

Oh, and here is the top with the ever-present cuffed pants again.  These will be available in white in the new summer range.  It's a safe bet to say Adelaide will be wearing this outfit frequently.

Saturday sewing

I love this fabric.  It's been in my stash for a while, waiting for the right pattern.  I think it's a Japanese print, but I could be wrong.

Berry Ice Cream top

I think Adelaide will get lots of wear out of it this summer, particularly with these cuffed pants from the Townmouse range.

Berry Ice Cream top button

I found one lonely red button in my button tin.  It's great  when you can finish a garment without making a special trip for supplies.

Button tin

This button tin has been the repository for buttons in our house for years.  All spare buttons that come with new garments find a home here; as do the children's school name tags.  On most occasions I can find a suitable button or two in this trusty tin.

My creative space

I've been doing a little tidying of my fabric stash, and finding a spare drawer in my comptoir for my fabrics, amongst Townmouse stock.

Tidy stash

I might have to move it out again though, as my summer styles are arriving.  These dresses are currently sitting on my patternmaking table.

New stock

It's going to be a little crowded in my studio for a while, until I start selling summer and sending it to customers.

More creative spaces over here.

Flickr on the iPad

Since owning an iPad, I have spent a lot more time on Flickr.  Images look so beautiful on the screen.  I've been discovering lots of lovely new Flickr members and their inspiring images.  My favourites folder has grown considerably.  Here are some things I'm admiring lately.


1. Patchwork print vintage table cloth close up, 2. the view from where i sit (skipping lily), 3. in a world full of dots, 4. Where We Live 2, 5. Untitled, 6. linen and patchwork baby bib, 7. fuchsia seas quilt, 8. Sunburst, 9. Basking In The Sun ~ Munki Pears, 10. more pincushions, 11. baby quilt beginnings, 12. Hour Glass Quilt, 13. Cotton Paint Birdy, 14. quilting a queen, 15. Pink circles for Jennie, 16. squishyquilt

And I love my grey felt iPad cover that I bought here.

IPad sleeve 


Quick lunchWe have returned from a skiing weekend to a completely bare pantry.  The boys didn't mind, as they got rare lunch orders.

I was able to rustle up a snack while a ham and barley soup cooks slowly.  I love these little toast biscuits; the sort they serve in Italian hotels to pass as continental breakfast.  Whenever I'm in Brunswick I buy these and good parmesan at  Mediterranean Wholesalers - one of my favourite stores in Melbourne.  Their brittle nougat is exceptional.

Today in the studio I'm playing catchup.  I'm getting orders out the door, paying bills and getting ready for the week.

I'm also admiring a second parcel that came from Scarlet Fig.  I loved my first order of fabrics so much, I went back for more.

Scarlet Fig fabric

This is yet another work in progress.

Scalet Fig pieces

I have too many half started quilts.  One day I will find the time to finish a few.

Scarlet Fig blocks

In the interim, I'm enjoying looking at these morsels of fabric.  I also bought from the range in another colourway, some of which has gone into this project.

Ice cream success

I managed to get all the items on my To Do list ticked off yesterday.  So I treated myself to a little sewing last night.  I made the top version of the Ice Cream Dress.

Ice Cream Top size 2

I know the Ice Cream Social doesn't start for a little while; but my pattern arrived from Duckcloth in record time, and I just couldn't resist.  It's so lovely to sew someone else's patterns for a change.  And Liesl's patterns are so beautifully accurate.

Ice cream top neck detail

My favourite part of this design is the little V detail at the neck.  Pressing this into place after sewing it up is so satisfying.

Ice cream top nametag

The last thing I did was sew a nametag into the back of the top - partly so I could record the size.  Usually Townmouse labels go into everything I make, but I loved using the first of my stash of Adelaide's nametags.

Ice cream top wardrobe

I couldn't resist a little wardrobe planning for our next beach holiday.  Puppet Show Shorts in Cotton/Linen, cardigan from Petit Bateau, shoes from Seed. 

I wouldn't mind the same top in my size.

A long list

I've made a mental note to myself that in future I will get these big jobs out of the way before school holidays loom.  I've had a large list of items to do for summer production that I haven't touched in three weeks.

To do list

A good place to start is to write a list of what needs doing.  12 items.  That's spec sheets and patterns for summer styles.  In some cases this might be a 30 minute job.  For other items, specifically drafting a whole size range of patterns for a new style, the time required is up to 20 hours (making samples in a variety of sizes to ensure fit, etc).  So I had better get cracking.  There'll be no ice cream social for me until all these jobs are ticked off.

Ice Cream Social

I've joined the Ice Cream Social.  Amy from Badskirt has organised a sewalong for this Oliver + S pattern.

Today I dropped into my local quilt shop to seek out the pattern.  While I was there, and with my two youngest underfoot, I quickly picked out a few fabrics for the sewalong.

Ice cream top

This pretty print is in a light voile cotton that has a very silky handle and drape.  I fancied this for the top (View C of the pattern), with some Puppet Show Shorts in the blue.

Ice cream dress

This Joel Dewberry tree print I couldn't resist.  I don't know if the yellow will be Adelaide's colour so it might not make it into a dress.  That was the intent when buying it though.

Ice cream top and bloomers

This pretty grey with white spot will make a sweet pair of Puppet Show Shorts to wear with white tops.  So I think I'll make the Ice Cream Top in a white of some sort.  I also bought Adelaide a pretty white Bonpoint top in Paris which she can wear with these shorts in summer.  Then a little pair of Bensimon Tennis shoes in white will finish the look.

A book by its cover

While food shopping at the Prahran Market this morning, this product range caught my eye.

Chutney On the basis of the gorgeous illustrations and packaging alone, I bought two jars. 

One of Indian Light Infantry Fruit Chutney, and another of West Bengal Rifles Mango Chutney.

I don't mind if they sit on my pantry shelf looking pretty for a while.  But I'm sure they won't last long. 

Chutney 2They will be just the ticket for our next roast lamb or BBQ.

The website is rather cute too.  I liked their "History" page.

As I was making my purchases I was thinking to myself how lucky we Melbournians are.  One can eat so well in this city, whether you like to cook it yourself or eat out.  There's very little one can't find.