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.

Monogrammed towels

A bit of a break from garment making today to do a little necessary crafting for the home.

Monogrammed towels

There's been a bit of squabbling amongst the boys about who is using whose towel. (Hmm, just had to look that grammar up.)

This isn't the first time I've been known to monogram a towel - I do love a monogram.  This time, I worked out where on the towel to put the letter so it would work when the towels are hanging up.

Of course it's never going to look this neat when the boys do it.  More than likely the towels will be in a damp heap on the bathroom floor, post shower.

Monogrammed towels detail

This font is Times New Roman at 598 pt.  I increased the font size until the letters just fitted one to a page.  To save printer ink I recommend putting the letters in outline mode.  Use some Heat'n'Bond Lite to adhere the letters.  Here's a uTube video explaining the technique.

A free Townmouse PDF Pattern

To celebrate the launch of my patterns I wanted to create a free pattern so sewists can see how my patterns work and are laid out.

So I've created a simple pattern for an item I use a lot - a Hot Water Bottle Cover.  In fact I'm sitting with one on my lap now, as the snow falls outside my window (we are skiing for the school holidays).

Hwb cover

You can download the pattern from the left sidebar of my blog.

This is an item I've made a number of times.  I feel the cold so I always like to have a hot water bottle handy.  

This is a simple item to sew and satisfying when you want to tackle a small project that can be completed quickly. It's something I like to make when I don't have the energy for a whole quilt but want to play with mixing and matching fabrics. It's also a way to put an orphan quilt block to good use.

If you do happen to make a Hot Water Bottle Cover from this pattern, please post a photo in the Flickr Townmouse Patterns Group.

To my blog readers I'd also like to offer you a coupon code.

Coupon badgeYou can get 15% off any pattern purchases in my Etsy store before Sunday 12th July when you enter the code BLOG15 at checkout.

And stay tuned for a blog tour of my patterns.  Remember yesterday I mentioned the group of lovely, supportive fellow bloggers and pattern designers?  Well, they are going to share with you their version of a Townmouse garment in the next few weeks.

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.

Cross Stitch Initials

Hopefully these will grace our Christmas table tomorrow morning.  I have two more to do.

Personalised napkins 2

It's hard to tell in these night-time photos, but these napkins are a soft grey, sage green linen.  I picked them up at Williams Sonoma earlier this year.  I have done the cross stitch in the same colour - just one shade darker.

Personalised napkins

The alphabet pattern is from this book, purchased a few years ago.

There is one for each member of the family. 

Personalised napkins 3

I just have the "K" and the "T" to go.  Max and Tom are at a midnight Christmas Eve church service with Will's mother, the presents are under the tree, Father Christmas has already been to our house and the rest of the family is asleep.  

It's time for me to put the kettle on and get stitching.  Merry Christmas everyone!

A quilted pincushion

Yesterday I felt like taking on a small craft project.  Life is really hectic at the moment, with the weeks being swallowed up with weekends at the snow and weekdays poring over architect's plans and joinery drawings.  All very exciting stuff but there's not a moment to spare.


This quilted pincushion was squeezed in between homework supervision and dinner preparation last night.  I like having a few pincushions so one can travel with each project.  It saves me from stabbing the furniture with needles and pins.

Pincushion in sewing box

I've resurrected an earlier hand quilting project from a few years ago.  I have now completed 5 blocks.  I'm not sure how many more I will need to make.  It might be a 9 block quilt or a 12 block quilt.  This little box of craft travels with me to the snow each weekend.  At least there I find more time for sewing.  It's funny how it's so much easier to relax when I'm away from home.  Do you find that?

Crafter's block

I've been suffering from crafter's block.  All year really.  I don't know where my sewing mojo has gone. Maybe it's been sucked into the Pinterest abyss. Too much time spent looking at other people's creative output, leaving less time for my own creating.  I'm not sure what it is - the pressure to create something equally pretty; too many pretty things to choose from it's hard to know what project to choose.

When I look back at my industriousness of previous years I'm quite impressed. This year's mosaic won't be quite so large.  

Linen Yarn

Meanwhile, look at this pretty yarn.  It's a linen yarn from Quince and Co. It's quite dreamy to look at. I've been flicking through my Japanese crochet books for a little inspiration.

Crochet blanket

I came across this image.  Isn't this granny square blanket fabulous? I think it's the red that makes it so striking - a nice change from the white bordered ones.  I love the bobbly edging on it too.  It's from this book. Not sure how it helps me with my little ball of linen yarn though.  See, there I go, dithering. What to do, what to do?

Owl Halloween costume

As in previous years, the children and I got into the Halloween spirit.  I carved some pumpkins, put some orange balloons on our fence and got our bowl of treats ready on the hall table. Halloween is big in our neck of the woods, because our streets are full of young families.  And the children in those families aren't going to pass up the opportunity to amass a large quantity of free sweets.

Making for Halloween

I borrowed some inspiration from Pinterest.  As you can see, this costume idea is by no means my original design.  But I happened to have a pretty selection of owl coloured fabrics and I couldn't resist replicating it.

I made a little feather template that was 4 inches wide and 5 inches long.  I grabbed a handy Townmouse tee, set my machine to zigzag and got to work.  This little outfit took about 30 minutes to construct.  The owl eyes were cut out of my very handy patternmaking card and stuck to an old pair of sunglasses.

Owl Halloween costume

Teamed with some grey leggings, Adelaide was good to go.

Now I think it's time for a bowl of pumpkin soup!

Grosgrain lanyards

One of the lovely things about taking the family skiing is that the children have a lot of freedom at Mt Buller.  It's a safe place for them to get around without us having to escort them. The boys will walk to a friends lodge, ski in groups with their buddies after their lessons, and come and go on their own.


They each take a key to the apartment when they head out for the day.

Whenever Will comes home from a conference or event with one of those lanyards I keep the clip and throw away the cheap ribbon.

I've just rifled through my box of ribbons and made these up for the weekend.  The pink one is for me.  I figured there will always be a key for me if it's on a pink ribbon - the boys aren't going to wear that around their neck.

Home made doll's clothes for Christmas

Henri was going round the house with his clipboard this morning, asking his siblings what they wanted for Christmas. (He must have raided Tom's stationery supplies for next year to find said clipboard.) Adelaide's response was "doll's clothes".

Doll clothes in progress

This sweet little doll is so lovely to cuddle because of her soft body.  The problem is she needs high necks and sleeves to cover her undergarments.

Ruffle dressI drafted a pattern block for Amelie (dolly's name) - a simple bodice block with sleeve.  

I used a few scraps to replicate my most favourite of all Townmouse dresses.

This one fits the bill with its high neck and elbow length sleeves. 

Now I know that the pattern block is a good fit I can create a few more variations for Amelie.

I have a sweet little suitcase, purchased from Lark, that I can put Amelie's wardrobe into.

A quick trip to the local button shop is on my To Do list today to buy some simple press studs so Adelaide can easily dress and undress her doll.

Doll clothes

I'll let you know how I go with the rest of Amelie's wardrobe. There might have to be a few matching dresses for Adelaide in the mix.