work in progress

Pretty fabrics

After returning from over two weeks away on holidays yesterday I couldn't resist a quick visit to Amitie Textiles. I hadn't been there in ages.  

I didn't have long because there was no food in the house, the children hadn't had lunch and were all starving and I had no idea about what to serve for dinner.  I knew prioritising fabric over food/starving children wasn't right - but when the sewing bug bites...

New Amitie fabrics

I came home with this little pile of loveliness. We opted for takeaway, and after tucking my babies into bed I headed to the attic.

Striped Skirt detail

Adelaide now has a new skirt for summer.  I have a top planned to go with it, so will show you more detail when the full outfit is complete.

Now it's off to the supermarket for me.

Future Townmouse PDF Patterns

I'm having fun reviewing all my old patterns and working out which ones I want to release next.

I have two that I'm currently working on.  I spent about four hours yesterday 'drawing' gathered pockets in Illustrator.  That is exhausting - fun but exhausting. It's about 100 times easier and quicker to sew them than it is to draw them in graphic design software.


But you tell me.  Which Townmouse pattern would you like to sew?

There are plenty to choose from.  Here are just a few.

This is just a sample of some of my favourites.  There are more to choose from here in this Flickr album.

I'd love to know which ones you would like to sew the most. I'll start a prioritised list.

In the studio

Two more days of school for the year.  That means I want to get all my Christmas orders out in the next two days so I can be free to play with the children once holidays start.

Creche bags

Today in the studio I'll be finishing off creche bags and Christmas stockings.  There are lots of t-shirts and bodysuits to detail too.  I'll be busy.

But before all that happens Adelaide and I will be making the most of this glorious sunny day and taking a walk to the local butcher to order our Christmas turkey.

More Liberty

Townmouse will be at Mathilda's Market this Sunday at the Malvern Town Hall. In preparation I'm trimming some box pleat skirts with Liberty scraps. The skirts are trimmed in either a mixture of my favourite blue Liberty fabrics or pink.

Adelaide has been wearing a blue one of late and she's rather fond of it.


The fabric folder which holds my Liberty offcuts had grown to two.

Fabric folder

In addition to a storage box that holds larger remnants.

Liberty box

So I needed to do something with all that fabric. It felt good to reduce the amount I'm storing for a change. The two folders are now not bulging with scraps. It's rather cleansing.  I must do more of it.

Liberty stash

Kirsty from Kootoyoo has done something wonderful.  She's created a dedicated site for Our Creative Spaces, where you can share your link to your creative space.  Thanks Kirsty.

In the studio

It's t-shirt and baby bodysuit orders today.


While I work I'm eyeing off this pretty blue cotton I found at a local fabric shop earlier this week.

Blue dot 1

I think it will be perfect for a dress version of this top.

Blue dot 2

I'm also playing around with and getting to know a new macro lens.  These are the first few pics after I pulled it out of the box.  Not really sure what I'm doing yet.

More creative spaces on Kootoyou blog.

In the armoire

I have been in the studio all morning parcelling up orders.


Summer stock is slowly depleting.  This is what is in the armoire.  Samples hanging at the top (above).

On the shelf

Folded sundresses and matching hair clips on one of the shelves (above), and a big bottom drawer full of stock - gypsy dresses, sundresses and cuffed pants.

Bottom drawer

I'm now heading to the kitchen to make Coq Au Vin.

Works in progress

This shirt-in-the-making has been put on hold momentarily while I tackle some t-shirt and bodysuit orders.

Shirt in progress

Hopefully I'll get back to this in the next few days.  In the meantime, this pile awaits:

Tee orders waiting

I sort the orders into piles requiring different coloured threads.  These ones require white thread, then I have my green pile, blue pile, pink pile, yellow pile for pears, hearts, flowers and giraffes respectively.  When my seamstress is around to help we whip through these in no time.

Tee orders

There are the pink and green ones all ready to go.

More creative spaces on Kirsty's blog

Playing with patterns

Today it's back to sewing with my own patterns.  I've been playing around with a pattern for a summer top, which is a late entry into the upcoming summer range. 

Summer top

When Adelaide wakes up she can try this on for me.  If it passes my critique, then it's on to grading the bigger sizes.  Henri will have to try on the size 4 and 6, and Tom will have to try the size 8 - sorry boys.  As always, chocolate will be involved to bribe them to model girl's clothes.

Summer top detail

This top is a variation on this dress.  The construction was troubling me, so I've been fiddling around with various options for finishing the sleeves neatly.  Facing in the back was the solution.

Summer top sleeve

It won't appear in this pretty blue in the summer range.  I'm saving this fabric for my own personal stash.  Not everyone loves blue on girls as much as I do.  I used a favourite Liberty to bind the armhole.  It just happened to be ready made and within easy reach of my sewing machine from an earlier project.  This top will feature in the range in white, pale pink and watermelon.  (I managed to source a pretty good replica of my favourite swiss cotton so I'm excited to have it back in the range.)

Summer top and pants

Oh, and here is the top with the ever-present cuffed pants again.  These will be available in white in the new summer range.  It's a safe bet to say Adelaide will be wearing this outfit frequently.

A long list

I've made a mental note to myself that in future I will get these big jobs out of the way before school holidays loom.  I've had a large list of items to do for summer production that I haven't touched in three weeks.

To do list

A good place to start is to write a list of what needs doing.  12 items.  That's spec sheets and patterns for summer styles.  In some cases this might be a 30 minute job.  For other items, specifically drafting a whole size range of patterns for a new style, the time required is up to 20 hours (making samples in a variety of sizes to ensure fit, etc).  So I had better get cracking.  There'll be no ice cream social for me until all these jobs are ticked off.

In the outbox

A brief email to my customers drawing their attention to Townmouse's snuggly warm flannel pyjamas has caused an avalanche of orders.

This lovely French laundry basket is big enough to handle all the ironing for our family of six.  But yesterday it functioned as my outbox.


My gorgeous seamstress and I spent three hours in the studio yesterday afternoon madly personalising, pressing and packaging pyjamas.   That's about 40 of the 100 or so pairs I need to get out to customers.  Just a little added pressure during school holidays.  Amongst all that there have been trips to the public pool with 6 children, play dates, movie dates, sleepovers.  Wow, have we been busy.

Adelaide and Basil And Adelaide has made a new friend.  She's found Basil; MY softie, who usually hangs out with me in my studio.  Basil came from Fiona of Hop Skip Jump fame. 

Hop Skip Jump is the first craft blog I fell in love with and it's still a fave.  You can buy patterns for Fiona's divine softies.  Seeing Adelaide bond with Basil makes me want to find the time to make her a Rufus Dog, so that we can each have our own.