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June 2015

A traveling dress

I always thought traveling had two Ls.  

Anyway, there were still some decent sized scraps of the Liberty left after making the dress and yesterday's top from a two metre piece.  Completely smitten with this dress I pinned onto my Children's Clothing Board:

Colourblock dress

I headed to my attic studio to see about replicating it.

I pulled out an old Townmouse pattern from about six years ago.

2010 Empire line dress

This sleeveless empire line dress consists of a bodice and skirt with simple shaping at the seam. I thought this pattern would suit for attempting the same look as the colour blocked dress above.

I didn't have a good red and enough navy for the skirt in my stash and it was too late in the day to squeeze in a visit to Amitie, so I squeaked it out of just enough green and faded navy.

Adelaide a-line dress 1

This dress was easy to make.  I was worried the bow detail and neck edging would look dodgy, but with a bit of fiddling they turned out fine.  I bound the sleeves in a matching Liberty binding.

Adelaide a-line dress 5

I think a visit to Amitie is on the cards, as I'd like to get some red and navy and try a more nautical themed dress - maybe even a navy striped or checked neck binding.  We shall see what turns up.

Adelaide a-line dress 2

The buttons aren't quite right, but I'm not sure what would be, given the change in colour.  As it was I changed the thread 3 times when stitching the buttonholes (neckband, bodice, skirt).

Adelaide a-line dress 3

This is another clothing item for our sailing holiday.  I think I'm on a bit of a roll now.

You can see what other seamstresses are doing here.

Sew and show

Kid's Clothes Week Traveling

KCW caravanI didn't think I'd have time to sew for Kid's Clothes Week this time around, given it's school holidays for us.  Fortuitously though, Will has taken the three boys to a friend's farm with two other fathers and sons for a bit of all boys time.  What luck.

I've been sewing another secret project this week that I will blog about soon, and I had just under a metre of pretty Liberty left over on my cutting table.

We are planning a sailing holiday in the Whitsundays this September so I'm making a few breezy and light tops and dresses for Adelaide to wear.  It can get very hot and humid so Liberty is the perfect fabric.

Flutter top in Liberty

Adelaide is tall for her age so I've gone up a size.  This will fit her well into next year.  We liked this top so much she wore it yesterday under a navy cardigan.  This Liberty colour way is perfect for blue eyed Adelaide, and it also works well with a beautiful aqua green Jacadi cardigan she has.

This flutter sleeve top is quick to make, even though I unpicked and reset the sleeves three times.  I don't like it when the sleeves stick up too much, and this one is just scraping through - just.  It's funny how with every remake of a pattern I still tweak the design.  Does anyone else do that?

Beautiful Venetian Stationery

I was looking at some old photos on my laptop and came across some of a beautiful stationery shop in Venice that we visited 18 months ago.

On our family trip to Europe over Christmas 2013 we spent 4 fabulous nights in Venice.  I think we all counted it as one of our favourite spots on the trip.

After an early walk one morning, Will and Henri came back with breakfast to tell us they'd found a shop I was certain to love.  So the 6 of us set out on a winding exploration of the tiny streets of Venice.  Thankfully they both have an excellent sense of direction and were able to find it again.  It did not disappoint.  This is my kind of shop.  A letterpress print shop that prints personalised calling cards and notepaper.  Can it get any better?  I don't think so.

Print shop 2

We all spent nearly an hour in this shop, taking in every fabulous detail.  

Print shop 5

The owner, Gianni, was lovely to chat to and full of life.

Print shop 1

There he is pointing out something that I just had to look at. He's definitely passionate about his trade.

Print shop 4

The children found it interesting too and particularly loved seeing the printing presses in action.

Print shop 3

I spent a long time looking through his stock of stamps for something that was sewing related.  I was hoping to find a 'needle pulling thread' or similar to incorporate into some personalised stationery.  I didn't think scissors was such a good thing to have on notepaper, and the thimbles were not immediately recognisable as thimbles.

Print shop 6

In the end I chose this:


I love these notecards.  I've used them many times since.  If I return to Venice I think I'll have to place another order with Gianni.  He's a traditional guy.  He has a landline or you can write to him by hand.  There's no email or mobile phone. So placing an order from Melbourne isn't really an option. I'll just have to wait until I'm lucky enough to travel there again so I can visit Gianni in person.  That's definitely something to look forward to.

An oven mitt

I have a rather old fashioned kettle that goes with the old fashioned Aga cooker we installed in our new house.

Aga kettle

The oven has barely changed its design since it was invented in 1922.  There are no bells and whistles on this beast. But boy can it cook.


Kettle design has no doubt come a long way in the near 100 years since the invention of this cooker.  As pretty and original as this kettle is, its function is not quite so pretty.  It's hard to pour boiling water out of it without the steam scalding one's hand.

Kettle mitten

Ah, but being the handy seamstress that I am, there is always a sewn solution to such a dilemma.  This mitt has a little sleeve to put my hand into before I lift the kettle, and I'm protected from wayward steam.  And its colours fit in nicely with my white, grey and wood accented kitchen.

How to decorate a onesie

I knew when I sent some Townmouse onesies over to Amy of Nana Company she would do marvellous things with them.

NanaCompany onesie

Amy recently instagrammed this cute pic.  You've got to love that.

If anyone wants to try something similar, I still have stock of onesies in three sizes (newborn, 3-6 months and 6-12 months) in short and long sleeved.  Email me (top of the left sidebar) if you are in need and we can talk.