work in progress

New range

Hands up who wants to see the new Townmouse summer range?

Gypsy Dress

After many hours of cropping images, writing product descriptions, uploading content and proof-reading, I'm happy to say the new range is now online.  Yay!  Head on over to the website to have a look.

I've been sitting at my desk for about 12 of the last 24 hours working on the website.  Although this afternoon I did  take a few hours out to do something totally different.  I had the best, best afternoon.  I will tell you about that tomorrow.

In production

It feels good to know that my summer range is in production and will be ready in just a few weeks.

Car load

Earlier this week I filled the car boot (trunk) with a mountain of fabric, patterns, trims, linings, fusings, labels; and delivered it all to my Melbourne manufacturers.  They are busy laying, cutting, sewing my garments - turning fabric into pretty pieces like this one.

Tiny peak

Well, I can't show you too much just yet.  Check back soon for full length images.  

Summer in the studio

It's a cold, dark Melbourne day - perfect for staying indoors.  I'm fitting a day's work into the school holidays as I have to get my summer patterns, specs and fabrics off to my manufacturer.  They are expecting me next Tuesday morning and there is a lot of work to do between now and then.


I've been matching trims to fabric for a summer top.  This page of swatches will go in with the spec so the makers know what goes with what.

I've been fortified by serves of last night's apple crumble.  We are all apple mad in the house at the moment after picking up one of these nifty gadgets.

Apple peeler

What an amazing invention.  We love it.  The image is from this lovely site, which I read about just the other day on the beautiful blog Simplesong.  This new favourite blog of mine is always full of divine photos and lovely products.  I get lost for hours wandering through her well chosen links.

At the kitchen bench

A lot of our family life takes place around the kitchen bench. 


Most nights we eat dinner together around the bench. 

Cupcakes Lately there have been many games of Uno there (the latest craze in our house).  Yesterday afternoon the boys looked on as I made cupcakes for school lunches - in the hope of licking the bowl. 


It's a nice big space to spread out on.  Today I've been catching up on some screenprinted tee and bodysuit orders.  So I've pulled out all the inks and screens and made a nice big mess in the kitchen.

Snowtree This tree is a new one I've tried for the first time this morning.  The image is traced from this book.

This little crane I wasn't sure about.  So I took two along to the Walnut sale the other week and they were some of the first to go.  On that basis I'll add them to the website.


All the gocco mess will be packed away before tonight as my brother is coming for dinner. 

Villarica Volcano He returned last week from a cycling trip around the Italian Alps with about 15 friends from Melbourne. He seems to like holidaying at altitude, having followed the Tour de France on a previous holiday, climbed a mountain in Italy last year, and done several climbs in South America a few years back.  He tells me the trip was pretty special so I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.  (He does my share of the exercise too!)

Coat weather

It was a cold day in Melbourne today - frizzling cold as our Tom would say.  So it's a good thing my seamstress and I have been busy making up coat orders.

Blue coat

This is the blue cashmere version of the red one.  I love the fine blue spot that lines this coat.  I wanted to use it in the winter range for the little girl's top, but it couldn't be delivered in time.  I took a bolt anyway, for lining coats and my own quilting projects.

Blue coat1

Some fabrics are so lovely you feel good just having them in your stash.  This is such a fabric for me.

Coat time

I spent this morning cutting coat orders.


Seven of these little bundles will be waiting for my Wednesday seamstress so I can finish my recent coat orders.  Cutting is not my favourite job in the world so I podcast local breakfast radio shows for company.

Oh, and speaking of cutting, you might enjoy this short doco on Savile Row

I spent half the day in a queue in Spotlight.  Well, it seemed like half the day.  While I was waiting for my number to be called I spied this oatmeal wool flannel (photographed under a little stack of lavender sachets that keep my stock smelling sweet).


It's not 100% natural, so I won't use it in the range.  I thought it would make a cute softie.  I might try making a little Hop Skip Jump monkey from the Softies book.

Bugs and butterflies

I have been playing around with more gocco prints - this time with designs from the insect world.


I've been printing the designs onto pattern card scraps.  I rather like the plain brown card as a neutral background.


The designs are from this book, amongst other sources.  I traced the designs by hand, as I rather like the slightly imperfect lines that a hand drawn image has.


Then I can modify them by putting a fine stripe where a solid colour was, which I think makes them a little more interesting.


Getting to know my Gocco

For the past six months I've been experimenting with a gocco.  I haven't shared much of it here on the blog because I've probably had more misses than hits.  As I've been pulling my winter range together though, I feel like I've been finding my gocco voice, so to speak.  With all the experimenting, I've worked out what I like and don't like and the sort of results that feel like me. 


What I do like is white ink printed onto colours - it somehow seems more subtle.  And I also love the detail you can get from the screens.  I love using the super-fine pen and creating really fine detail to the design.  The fine check seems more interesting than say a solid white.


So I've been taking a few of my applique shapes, like this car, and turning them into screen prints.  This one will go with a little winter scarf I've put into the range.


Next I want to turn a few of the digger applique's from Max's quilt into screen prints.  Because after all, most little boys seem to love a bit of heavy machinery.

Inspiration from nature

My, oh my.  Pop on over to Leslie's Goodness blog and look at the beautiful images of the cherry blossoms - quite incredible.


I've got my own growing collection of cherry blossoms in the studio.  These will go onto t-shirts and bodysuits.  I will add them to the website as part of my new winter collection a little later this month.


I've been so busy that blogging, and reading of favourite blogs, has taken a back seat.  The good news is that I have found a new Melbourne manufacturer - a reliable one that won't keep me waiting 2 months for promised deliveries.  That's a huge relief.  So I have been driving around town with rolls of fabric and sets of patterns rattling around the boot (trunk).  There's still so much to do - fabric estimates, order fabric, order trims, finish off spec sheets.  All very time consuming.

The things you do

I've got scrambled brain after a very busy morning.  We had a little photo shoot here today with our three boys and two very pretty girls who are family friends. 

We arrived home from Queensland last night, and I still had a few garments to make for the shoot.  I put tired boys into bed and retreated to the studio to make two skirts and a coat.


Before I went away I forgot to get buttons for the sample coat.  Last night I went trawling through my button tin in the vain hope there would be three or more red buttons from last winter.  No such luck.  What I did find though, was the spare button from a red coat of mine from a few seasons ago.


So my coat was dragged out of the wardrobe and stripped of its buttons for the shoot today. 

I managed to pull all the required outfits together - just.  It was a bit close for comfort this time.  We lucked a sunny day though and I think we got some lovely shots. 

Pyjama party

Pjs_2There's a winter pyjama special going on over on the website.  So yesterday my seamstress spent the day helping me in my studio so we could process the orders as they came in.

We spent several hours putting initials on PJ pockets, detailing t-shirts and stitching names for creche bags.

It was rather nice to have the company, as I'm usually here on my own.  There was as much chatting as there was sewing.



When Tom was younger his attempts at saying giraffe came out as fwarf

Giraffe2_5His teacher last year suggested he have some speech therapy so he could conquer the consonant "L" (Lego was still weggo, etc).  I must confess I rather enjoyed his funny pronunciations and, as I expected, he all too soon grew out of it.

These adorable giraffe illustrations are from a Japanese stationery set that a friend gave me a few years ago.

I've been playing around with fabric scraps and new applique motifs.  Inspired by these cute fwarfs, I think I'll add some leggy creatures to the selection.  Mine are not nearly as cute as the illustrations, but they are a good gift option for girls and boys alike.