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November 2012

October 2012

Seaside cottage

How cute is this room?

Flinders cottage

Found this great cottage for sale in the seaside town of Flinders, where we spend our summers.  It's perched above the Flinders golf course, so you get a view of golf course and wild ocean.

I think this room is charming and would be very happy spending a cold, wintery weekend on one of those sofas.  I hope someone I know buys it.  Maybe we'll get invited over.

Townmouse t-shirt and bodysuit clearance sale

Here's an offer just for my lovely blog readers at present.


I'm clearing out our garage and want to get rid of my remaining stock of t-shirts and bodysuits.  I've created a little Big Cartel store.

So if you want to pick up some lovely quality, pure cotton tees or onesies, now is your chance. I don't have a huge amount of stock left in certain sizes so grab them while you can.

The more you buy, the cheaper they get, and I'm shipping anywhere in the world.

Adelaide wears a tee to bed every night as a pyjama top, as well as on most days.  For those of you handy with fabric (as a lot of my blog readers are) you may like to add your own embellishment to these tees and onesies.  I've called my Big Cartel store The Blank Canvas - because these tees and onesies make a perfect blank canvas.

So think Christmas stocking fillers, affordable gifts for your children's friends, pyjamas.


And the Townmouse bodysuits make gorgeous gifts for newborn babies.  Stock up and keep a few in your sewing room for when your friends have bubs.  I have many, many customers who use my bodysuits as their go-to gift for friends' bubs.

This offer will be sent to my mailing list later in the week, so I expect the stock will diminish quickly at that point.  Quick, go, follow this link.

Down Under Doll Quilt has been sent

On Friday I bundled my doll quilt into the post.

Doll quilt flying geese

Continuing with my obsession with flying geese, I pulled some happy fabrics from my stash and got to work.

Doll quilt layout

I then played with the layout.  Once I have blocks where I want them I take a photo.  It's the easiest way to remember which bits belong where.

Doll quilt quilting

I did a little free motion quilting.  

Doll quilt quilted

This red hoop is called a Quilt Halo.  It's rubbery, so grips the fabric.  There's no need for quilting gloves.  You can pick one up here.  I haven't had the chance to try it on a larger quilt, so can't say yet whether I love it or not.  I will aim to give it another try soon.

Doll quilt ready to send

I couldn't resist including a couple of matching t-shirts for the little girls in my swap partner's home, who are the true recipients of the doll quilt.  Well that narrows the field a bit if you're trying to guess who my swap partner is, doesn't it?  I suspect my parcel arrived today so the game is up anyway.

Scooter rides, ice-cream and fabric

Yesterday was Max's twelfth birthday.  In the morning we took a scooter ride to get ice-cream at the local Trampoline.


We take the backstreets, as these four tearing along on their scooters can be a little intimidating to a tentative octogenarian out buying groceries.  (When we get to the shopping strip they have to go at a walking pace in a straight line.)

While the children sit outside the store eating their ice-creams, I duck next door to a conveniently located fabric store.  

Last time I visited this fabric treasure trove the owner said as I walked in the door, "I knew I'd see you today."  "What do you mean?"  "I just knew this morning that I was going to see you today."  This was somewhat curious because it had been several months since I'd last visited, and even I didn't know I was going to visit until I walked past the door and went in on impulse.  I love this sort of stuff.  A conversation involving ghost sightings and intuitive friends ensued.  Intriguing.

Happily this time they had a recent shipment of beautiful Italian cotton shirtings - my favourite kind of fabric.  This is what I came away with.

Shirting in pink

Shirtdress number two is already cut out and ready to be sewn.

Lisette Traveler Dress

Recently my much loved industrial sewing machine died on me.  I bought it second-hand when I was pregnant with Max. It served me unfailingly for 12 fabulous years.  I cannot imagine how many thousands of kilometres it has sewed.

Shirtdress profile

Industrial sewing machines are simple beasts - they take two men to move them around, are very ugly and only do a straight stitch.  Despite these limitations they are brilliant to work on and I really couldn't be without one in my life.  So after determining that my old machine was perfectly fine mechanically, but new technology in motors had rendered it useless, I traded it in for a newer second-hand model.

Inspired by my new toy I did some sewing for myself.  I love Liesl's Oliver + S patterns and was keen to try one of her women's patterns under the Sew Lisette brand.

One of my favourite daytime outfits in the summer is a shirtdress.  I have several in my wardrobe and they seem to suit my shape.  So the Traveler Dress it had to be.


The fabric is a navy and white shirting cotton I had in my stash.

I made a few modifications to the pattern.

Shirtdress collar

I made the collar as a two piece collar. Just because I like playing with collars and my patternmaking skills need a bit of brushing up on.

Shirtdress sleeve

I made it sleeveless for a more streamlined look.  I bound the armhole with some bias fabric.

Shirtdress hidden pocket

And my favourite modification: I added hidden pockets in the skirt side seams.  You can just see the top stitching I put there to keep the pocket lining in place.

I love this pattern.  It's a great fit and cut.  I'm very happy with it, as I suspected I would be, knowing Liesl's work.

Now that I have this garment as a guide, I've made some adjustments to the pattern. I always trace my tissue, store bought patterns onto patterncard for greater accuracy.  Now I'm ready to make the next one (in a fabric that looks a little less like a girl's school uniform).