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September 2010
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November 2010

October 2010

Inspiring embroidery

This is the bodice of a little Bonpoint dress I bought for Adelaide in Paris earlier this year.

Dress bodice 1

I think she likes it - there are her eager little hands making a grab for it.

Dress bodice

I love the simplicity of this dress - the striking contrast of colours, and the straightforward cut of the dress.  

I'm off to pull out my embroidery pattern books.  I think I might spend this long weekend with embroidery hoop in hand.

In the studio

It's t-shirt and baby bodysuit orders today.


While I work I'm eyeing off this pretty blue cotton I found at a local fabric shop earlier this week.

Blue dot 1

I think it will be perfect for a dress version of this top.

Blue dot 2

I'm also playing around with and getting to know a new macro lens.  These are the first few pics after I pulled it out of the box.  Not really sure what I'm doing yet.

More creative spaces on Kootoyou blog.

In the armoire

I have been in the studio all morning parcelling up orders.


Summer stock is slowly depleting.  This is what is in the armoire.  Samples hanging at the top (above).

On the shelf

Folded sundresses and matching hair clips on one of the shelves (above), and a big bottom drawer full of stock - gypsy dresses, sundresses and cuffed pants.

Bottom drawer

I'm now heading to the kitchen to make Coq Au Vin.

A moving target

Goodness me, Adelaide is proving a wily photography subject.  She sees the camera come out and thinks it's time for a game of hide and seek.

Smocked dress

The only way to keep her still in this case was feed her some fruit cake, which she's clutching in her little fist out of frame.

Smocked dress1

She was pretty happy that hide and seek involved food today.

Smocked dress2

I made this dress five months before she was born.  It only occurred to me today that she has never worn it and will soon outgrow it.  So although we have nowhere special to go today, she is dressed for a party.

So sweet

The lovely girl, Sophie, who makes up the Townmouse hair accessories for me has a new product line in her range.


Gorgeous headbands with fabric flowers on the side.  These are just too cute.

Headband on Adelaide

You can see the full range of Sophie's hair accessories on her website: Ellani Petite.  If you like the Townmouse aesthetic, I'm confident you will like Ellani Petite.  The hard part is narrowing down the choices; so I suggest you do what I do - just buy lots.  I'm a sucker for a sweet hair accessory.

In the classroom

Today I have been invited into Tom's grade 2 classroom to lead an activity for the children.

They are doing a "unit of enquiry" on textiles.  As someone who supposedly knows a little bit about textiles, I've been asked to share my knowledge.  I'm feeling the pressure.


So I thought I'd keep it simple and have some fun with fabric glue, vlisofix, 'heat n'bond'.  The teacher has some little embroidery frames for them, so I'm going to show them how to do a little framed something with a collage of fabric that they can embellish if they choose.  I figured an iron was a little friendlier than needles and threads for 8 year olds, and children like to cut and paste, no.

Can you tell I'm feeling out of my depth?  Second graders intimidate me more than adults in this context.

More creative spaces on Kootoyou.

Post Script:  I am exhausted.   After leading a one hour activity I was ready for a cup of tea and a lie down.  It was go, go, go; fabric was everywhere, 20 little faces queuing up with questions. The children seemed to enjoy it, and as Kirsten said in the comments, I was very impressed by their creative output.

Speed sewing

Making a garment for the second or subsequent time is always so much more satisfying.  You get a quicker and expected result.

White top and bloomers

I repeated this top, and yes, this time I did play with the sleeve ruffle.  Rather than the ruffle being doubled or on the fold, I hemmed it using the rolled hem foot on my machine.  This gives the hem a little more stiffness (rather like the fine wire put in florist's ribbon).  

Ruffle detail

As a result, it ends up with a nice fluted, flowing shape, rather than rigid gathers.  I think I prefer it this way.


Here's another pair of the much loved Oliver + S bloomers.


I love the crisp white in this fabric.  It lends itself to being paired with a white top.

Tee and bloomers

And because a little girl needs options, I've used some fabric scraps on a Townmouse tee.

Saturday sewing

Today presented the perfect weather for bunkering down in the studio and sewing.

Liberty top

Liberty is such a perfect weight for little tops like this; and always so divine to sew with.

Liberty top detail

Adelaide is proving a difficult target to photograph these days - always on the move.

Liberty flutter top

The little tear on her cheek is because I sat her on a stool she couldn't get off.  She was not happy.


This top is rather sweet, especially from the back.  I think next time I'll put more roll in the shoulder ruffle (which would cause it to sit like a capped sleeve - a little like on this top).

Liberty top back

What to make?

I'm trying to think of something very special to make with this precious piece of Liberty lawn.  It's a seasonal from a few years ago, and I don't know how it passed me by.  I would have loved 60 metres of it.  As it happens, I only have one metre; which means I only have one shot at getting a garment right.


I'll show you any finished products worth seeing.

See more creative endeavours at Kootoyou

Odd? I suspect so

At 1am, this is what I'm doing.

For the freezer

While cooking up a large batch of bolognese I've been thoroughly entertained watching taped copies of the Graham Norton show.  Hilarious.  Many laugh out loud moments.


The freezer is now stocked and I'm off to bed.

PS: I have a secret ingredient in my bolognese.  It's a can of Heinz Big Red Tomato Soup.  Cheating I know - my Italian forebears are turning in the graves in Ticino - but it tastes good. 

Sewing as therapy

Today we said goodbye to our beautiful female corgi, Menna.

MennaHer arthritis got the better of her, to the point that she could no longer get in and out of her dog bed.  We enjoyed a last weekend with her at the beach.  She happily munched on a last pig's ear on the front lawn at Flinders with her brother.

All the family said goodbye to her and this morning Will and I took her to the vet.

So rather than spend Adelaide's nap time doing boring chores like washing or my quarterly tax return, I did a little sewing as therapy.

Cuffed pants coastal stripe

I rarely take custom orders.  But when Tom's fabulous teacher from his Prep year (who now has a son and has become a customer) enquired about boy's cuffed pants, I couldn't resist suggesting a pair in this Belgian linen stripe from a few seasons ago.

Cuffed pants

This fabric is one of my favourites for boys.  I had just enough for this pair of pants.