An Adelaide Sundress in Spain

Ana, who blogs from Spain on her blog Entre Hilos, has sewn a very pretty Adelaide sundress with white trim.  It looks so lovely on her daughter.

Adelaide entre hilos

I love the pop of white against a European summer tan.  Visit Ana's blog for more photos and to see the cute detail she added to the pockets with a button and contrast ribbon.

Ana blogs in English and in Spanish, so you don't even have to run the blog through Google Translate.

Thanks so much Ana for testing my sundress pattern.  Your sewing is perfection!

Don't forget you can get 10% off all Townmouse patterns for the month of September.

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An Adelaide Sundress in size 10

The lovely Daniela who blogs at Trebuchet has very kindly tested the Adelaide Sundress in size 10 for her daughter.  And this is the lovely result:

Trebuchet sundress

I love Daniela's choice of fabric and it is beautifully sewn.

Head over to Daniela's blog to see more pictures.  There are also some tempting photos of a few great recipes on the blog that I'm eyeing off.

Daniela is having a sale on her beautiful night lights for the month of September.  Be sure to visit her Etsy shop to see her pretty range of houses.  These night lights are so pretty in a child's room when lit up at night.  Adelaide adores hers.

Casita sale


Introducing the Adelaide Sundress

It's always exciting to launch a new product. After a few final tweaks to the pattern yesterday and some wonderful assistance from the lovely seamstresses who offered to test my pattern, the Adelaide Sundress is ready.

Adelaide sundress with text

I know for many of you your summer is coming to an end, so this may be one to have up your sleeve for your next summer holiday.  For us in the Southern Hemisphere we have just entered Spring. The blossom is out in abundance, the snow is melting and our days are sunny.  We are getting excited for summer.

To encourage you to grab this pattern now, I'm offering 10% off any purchases in my Etsy shop with the coupon code ADELAIDE. This is valid until the end of September.

Coupon badge Adelaide


The dress pictured in this post is actually a top.

Adelaide sundress blue pin dot

I'll be coming back with another post about how to adapt a dress pattern to make a top.  It's really very simple.  But first you'll need the dress pattern.  So head over to the Townmouse Pattern shop and grab your copy now.

I'm pretty sure you're going to love this pattern.  The feedback from my testers has been positive, and it's certainly one I love to sew.  If you make up the sundress, don't forget to share it on Instagram and tag your images with #townmousepatterns

See what other clever seamstresses are featuring around the world here.

Sew + Show

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.

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.  

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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.


Shirring and gathering

Yesterday was wild and wooly in Melbourne.  The wind howled and rattled the doors and windows in my attic studio.  I had the Count of Monte Cristo for company via Audible while I did a little summer sewing.

Shirred blue shorts

This is a pattern from early Townmouse days - circa 2003.  It hasn't seen the light of day since then.  But shorts are perfect to scoot around a boat deck in, so Adelaide will wear these when we go away in September.

I think the shirring makes them a little more interesting than a standard pair of gathered shorts.

Shirred shorts detail

You could really do this to any pair of shorts that use a waistband casing for elastic.  I turned the top of the shorts over by 6mm, then another 3.5cm (as you would to make a casing for 1 inch wide elastic).  I did my first row of stitching to catch the hem of the casing, then continued adding further rows of stitching that were one foot width or quarter inch apart.

Then with a little time to spare before school pick-up I found a remnant of pretty Liberty Lawn from my first Townmouse season in 2002. I love this pretty print that I think is called Meadow.

Frilled bikini

It's a little hard to make out what this is, but it's a bikini bottom with a little frill across the back.

Frilled bikini detail

Again I used my favourite foot on my trusty Husqvarna - the rolled hem foot - to hem the band of frill.  

Now I will be on the hunt for a plain white or pink rash vest to go over these to protect skin from our harsh Australian sun.


A variation of the Isabella Flutter Sleeve Top - A Bonus PDF Pattern

I've had fun playing around with the Isabella Flutter Sleeve Top pattern to make a variation on the design.

This is similar to one I made earlier.

Isabella flutter sleeve top pattern

Here it is with the skirt I gave you a sneak peak of yesterday. The skirt is a simple gathered skirt with an elastic waist at the back and flat waistband at the front.  It pulls on, has deep pockets and a change in stripe direction around the hem.

Striped skirt front

This is one of the fabrics I picked up at Amitie on Monday - the first one I cut into. The pockets are lined in a sunny yellow fabric for a bit of contrast (and because I was running out of fabric).

Striped skirt pocket bag

But lets get back to the top.

Isabella variation sleeve detail

This white fabric is a beautiful Oxford shirting cotton from Italy.  It's the same fabric I used here. The fabric is left over from Townmouse clothing production and I have about 6 metres still on the roll that I save for special projects.

Something else that I've been saving for a special project is the cotton picot edging on the ruffle. This was a purchase in Paris and I wish I'd bought triple the amount.  I'd love to use it on everything and it's very hard to find. (If anyone knows where to get it please let me know.)

Isabella variation sleeve detail 2

I think I'm loving this version of the Isabella top more than the original.

Isabella variation

So I've drafted up some instructions on how to modify the original pattern to achieve this style.  All the lovely customers who have already purchased the Isabella Flutter Sleeve Top pattern now have this additional PDF file in their Inbox.

All new purchases of the pattern will automatically include this additional information. So you get two designs in the one purchase. So if you haven't already been tempted to try the Isabella Flutter Sleeve Top pattern, maybe now you will be?

A Townmouse Pattern by Nana Company

Well I'm extremely flattered that Amy from Nana Company has chosen the Isabella Flutter Sleeve Top as the pattern to inspire her first attempt at making children's wear from a pattern.

Isabella Top by NanaCompany

I'm sure nobody reading here is a stranger to Amy's incredible and inspiring stitchery. If you haven't heard of Nana Company, put the kettle on and prepare to spend a good while reading her beautiful blog. It will be your new favourite find!

Amy is a crafter extraordinaire - she makes quilts, zakka and all manner of stitched wonder.  Her stitching and hand embroidery is perfection. Amy has embroidery and craft project patterns for sale in her Etsy Shop and she has published a book called Sweetly Stitched Handmade. Basically there is no end to her crafting talent, and now she can add children's clothes to her repertoire.

Amy is busy working on secret projects (which can only be good for us yes?) so I'm thrilled that she's taken time out of her other commitments to sew my pattern.  Thanks Amy.  I hope this won't be the last garment you make for your girls.  You can't stop at one - it's too cute.