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September 2015

August 2015

Adelaide sundress in size 1

A friend of mine has had a little baby girl.  This was the perfect opportunity to make a little Adelaide sundress in size 1.  I added some extra length to suit an 18 month old, as that will be her age come summer  next year.

Adelaide sundress size 1

I've been playing around with the neckline and finishing the collar with hand stitching on the inside, leaving the collar without top stitching.  This was not possible for commercial production, but is definitely so for home seamstresses. I think I prefer this finish.  It's softer.  

Adelaide sundress size 1 hand stitched finish

So this means adding a little extra detail to the pattern instructions, to give seamstresses the option of either method of finishing.

Adelaide sundress in Liberty size 1

Adelaide was eyeing off this fabric and fortunately I have another metre or so of it.  Perhaps I should try this pattern as a top.


A sundress pattern in the making

I'm in the middle of drafting the sewing instructions for my next pattern.  It's the one most requested - this one:

2010 Sundress

I must confess that this is my favourite dress pattern from the Townmouse range.  Adelaide has had quite a few of these over the years. I'm calling it the Adelaide Sundress.

Adelaide sundress test

Before I send the pattern out to testing I have to make sure my own instructions make sense.  I've made the above in a pretty Liberty to make sure I remember all the correct steps for assembling it.

Adelaide sundress test 2

I've had a lot of requests for my patterns in larger sizes.  I've graded the pattern up to a size 10 - an easy thing to do because this is not a fitted garment.  So my sample today is in a size 10. I will be persuading  ten year old Henri to try it on for me tonight. I used to get away with this when my boys were much younger. I'm not liking my chances of convincing a ten year old boy to put on a dress!

Now I have the long task of finishing off the instruction diagrams.  Each one of these can take many hours. Then I will be writing the instructions to accompany them.  I hope to have the pattern ready for launch at the beginning of September - our Spring.

Would you like to help me? Would you like to test this pattern? I need a few seamstresses of varying skill levels to test my pattern for me.  I can guarantee the fit will be correct, because this dress has already been made in the hundreds.  I need a little help though, in picking up any little detail in the pattern and instructions that is incorrect or could be improved upon.  If you're up for the challenge, please fill in this form and I will be in touch.  Hopefully I will have a complete pattern to send to testers within a week or so.

UPDATE: Thank you for all your lovely and generous responses.  This request for testing has now closed. Stay tuned for the pattern's release.

See what other clever people are sewing over here for this week's Sew + Show.

Sew and show


Henri Long Shorts pop up in Texas

Gorgeous Jessamin from sewing blog Mom Of Marlee has sewn the Henri Long Shorts for her little guy who is just two and a bit.

Pop over to Jessamin's blog.  She takes the most divine photos, with the beautiful light of her desert surroundings.

Henri Long Shorts Mom of Marlee

I think her little man looks pretty cute in his long shorts.  It seems both he and his mum/mom are happy with them.

Thanks Jessamin, for saying such lovely things about my patterns.  I look forward to seeing more of your sewing.


Softie lovelies

I must confess to always being a lover of softies.  As a child I much preferred a softie to a doll.  Adelaide, on the other hand, is a doll lover.  We have barbies galore, much to my horror.

Maggie Rabbit and Juniper Kitty

Thankfully, we also have Maggie Rabbit and Juniper Kitty, thanks to Alicia Paulson. Call me old fashioned, but this is much more my speed than a Barbie in a cheap, short dress.

These little friends sit on the spare bed in Adelaide's room.

Juniper Kitty

Since I took these photos Adelaide has found the pink ink pad used for the blush of pink on their cheeks and decided to apply a little more rouge to Maggie Rabbit. You can imagine how she looks now!

I also have the kit for Basil Fox.  He's currently in the making. All demure young ladies need a dapper chaperone to accompany them after all.  Basil Fox is just the ticket I think.


Henri Long Shorts in Portugal

The very talented seamstress, Ana Sofia from S is for Sewing, has been busy at her sewing machine again.  She has sewn the Henri Long Shorts for her younger son.

Long shorts by S is for Sewing

A little bit of seersucker, a summer tan and some loafers - the Europeans do this look so well.  This photo makes me yearn for summer.

Ana Sofia has also sewn the ruffle version of the Isabella Flutter Sleeve Top for her daughter.  Pop over to her blog to see more images.  Thanks Ana Sofia for making my patterns so beautifully.


New Townmouse Pattern - the Henri Long Shorts

There is a new pattern in my Etsy store.  This one is for boys. It's called the Henri Long Shorts.

Henri long shorts 3

When I was growing up my Australian godmother was living in Paris with her young family.  Every Christmas they would come home to Australia for a visit.  Her son, at 5 or 6, always looked terribly dapper in his long shorts and polo shirts.  It was a very different look to that sported by Aussie children in the 1970s.

Henri long shorts 4

This pattern was very much inspired by the French style brought home to Melbourne by my godmother.

Henri long shorts 10

I've just spent a lovely morning looking through my collection of family photos.  

Henri long shorts 12

Over many summers these long shorts were all my boys wore. They had about 6 pairs each.  All their summer shenanigans took place in their long shorts.

Henri long shorts 17

Fighting, jumping, racing, digging, fishing, you name it.  The shorts stood up to the task.

Henri long shorts 11

And then if I needed to smarten them up for a more formal occasion, the shorts did the job paired with a polo top or shirt.

Henri long shorts 8

Here we are trying to get a nice photo for Daddy's office.

Henri long shorts 9

Not the greatest photo of Adelaide - it looks like someone has stuck a pin in her.

Henri long shorts 16

The Henri Long Shorts are a very simple pattern to make. They are ideal for the beginner seamstress.  I've rated them One cotton reel out of Five.

Cotton reels 1

Do you like my cotton reel graphic? I had fun drawing that in Illustrator.

Henri long shorts 13

The shorts feature a gathered waist and 4 patch pockets. All you need is around a metre of fabric (yardage for each size is detailed in the pattern listing) and about half a metre of 1 inch elastic. They suit a range of fabrics from denim, linen, cotton, seersucker or cotton canvas.

Henri long shorts 14

If you make a pair, please tag your photos with #townmousepatterns on Instagram or post them in the Townmouse Patterns Flickr group.  

Coupon badge Henri

To entice you to try them, please use the coupon code "hellohenri" to get 10% off any patterns purchased before Sunday 16th August. Happy sewing.