I thought the first of the month was a good time to share with you what I've been working on for the first half of this year.
When I wound up Townmouse four years ago I had in the back of my mind that I might like to one day turn my archive of patterns into packaged patterns for home seamstresses. This was my main reason for not selling the business. I had no idea at the time how I might go about this. The idea was very much on the back burner while we bought and renovated our new house. Over summer, with the epic renovation behind me, I started to think about what happens next.
By chance I read about a great course that promised to teach me everything I needed to know. And that it did. The stars had aligned. I've been busy learning to use graphic design software and creating patterns and instruction diagrams to my heart's content. There is a wonderfully supportive and friendly community of fellow pattern designers and bloggers out there that I've discovered and connected with along the way.
So today I'm very excited and nervous to be launching my first three patterns.
THE MATILDA GYPSY DRESS AND TOP
This dress and top was in the Townmouse range every summer from the beginning I think. The size range grew as my customers' little girls grew. The tops were always in a favourite selection of Liberty prints with coordinating ribbon. For the dresses I would choose a quilter's cotton that caught my eye.
Occasionally I see a little girl around Melbourne in one of these dresses - six or seven years on, faded and still going the distance.
I tweaked this pattern a lot over the years. There are hundreds of patterns around for this peasant style dress. This one fits beautifully with enough gathering to flatter little girls without being too voluminous and costume-like.
The other bonus is this is a super simple pattern to sew. Perfect for beginners. It rates 1 out of 5 in terms of difficulty.
THE ISABELLA FLUTTER SLEEVE TOP
One of my all-time favourites, this top is a quick sew with pretty details. It lends itself well to a variety of fabrics including quilter's cotton, Liberty and other summer-weight fabrics.
I do love a flutter sleeve and they seem very popular at the moment. I'm a stickler for the perfect flutter sleeve. I don't like them too puffy and upright so I've worked hard to make these sleeves sit right. I've got a future blog post planned on tweaking these sleeves to get different desired results.
This pattern comes in size 1 to 8 and would suit a confident beginner.
It rates 2 out of 5 for difficulty.
THE HARRIET AND HUGO PYJAMAS
Another mainstay in the Townmouse range, these pyjamas featured in both summer weight cottons, and winter weight cotton flannel with contrast collar.
These were popular with the grandmothers amongst my customers too. Pyjamas are always a safe option when gifting clothing to someone whose fashion choices you might not be sure of.
This pattern is a loose, comfortable fit with a super simple pair of elastic-waist pants and button through top. The sewing of the collar uses a very simple method for quick construction and satisfying results.
This pattern would also suit a confident beginner and rates 2 out of 5 for difficulty.
If you're nervous about tackling the top, team the pants with an embellished t-shirt. The pattern includes tips on this with useful links to helpful products for detailing the t-shirt.
I've created a Flickr group where I'd love to see people share what they sew with my patterns.
So far I'm the only member and I'm feeling a little lonely. Please pop over and join the group.
My patterns have been up on my Townmouse Etsy shop for a little over a week now. There were jumpy claps last night when I realised I'd had my first sale. My first customer stumbled across my pattern somehow and decided to take it on. After years of selling the clothing you'd think I'd be over the buzz from someone liking what I create enough to buy it, but this first sale made me so happy.
These patterns have been a labour of love and I'm very excited to be bringing them to market. I hope you like them. I'd love any feedback and am happy to answer any questions. My email link is at the top left of my blog.
Here we go!