A few pics from my Penelope Red Preview Party event in April.Read More
My family and I have just returned from our summer holiday on a cruise ship: Ovation of the Seas.
We were away for 8 nights and 9 days, cruising around the Islands of Mystery Island and New Caledonia.
This is my account of my experience onboard.Read More
Recently I renovated my workroom! It has made such an improvement to my daily work life... I had no idea how happy I would be until it was done. I am now so inspired and so much more efficient!
Before the renovation I had this massive industrial cutting table, which took up 70% of the room, even though I only used half of it. The room was a continuous mess since I didn't have a perfect spot for anything...
Above and below are the before pics...
The chaos above!
And now witness my beautiful, organized room below...
We put hooks on the wall for fabric rolls to be stored on. The old cutting table had space for more fabric rolls. The new table has no fabric roll space- but I think it's rather pretty having the rolls displayed on the wall anyway!
We also added a small shelf on the shorter wall to keep all of my cutting and patternmaking tools together and out of the way when I am using the table.
Next it was a mission to tame this wild beast above... my wall of fabrics. We managed! And it is now looking beautiful like this:
I had to cut out cardboard for each and every piece of fabric that is on this wall, but it was so worth it. Since they are organized I can now actually fit more! This display is so much more inviting, and I have a feeling there will be a few of my regular customers who will love even more now looking at the fabrics!
Now I can now invite my tea party customers into the room and show them my wall of fabrics, and all the other fabric and trims I room have bursting at the seams. This makes it a more personalized experience since they can choose the fabric and trim together with my recommendations, and then receive something which is just for them!
Then I needed to worry about my sewing table. I am really happy with this one I found in Officeworks since I love the bamboo top and the white steel frame makes it really sturdy.
My new sewing table holds both my sewing machine and my overlocker. I can happily sew using both side by side, which makes my life so much easier compared to the set up I had before.
Apparently we also really enjoy our masterfoods mustard!!! All of those red lidded bottles have been collected over the past few years! They have come in handy to hold my odd buttons, small pieces of trim, and I am sure I will find many uses as we collect more.
Eventually I would like to have a few trolley drawer units for each side of my sewing table, rather than the boxes I have pictured here. It will make the smaller items like threads, scissors, machine accessories etc much more easily accessible.
I had a very small wall area that could still be utilized and I knew I could put an IKEA Kallax unit there- it fit perfectly- by about 5cm! I filled the kallax unit mainly with boxes that I then filled with items like orders I am working on, paper patterns etc.
And here I am working in my new workroom! It's amazing what a bit of planning, time and a little bit of money can do to a space that was once so cluttered and disorganized! The room itself is very small- only 3metres by 2.5 metres. It's tiny! But living in Sydney means that it's ridiculously expensive to buy a bigger place just for a work room... so I had to use whatever space we had... and I am very pleased with the results!
I now have a really efficient work room with everything I need in it, and even enough room to swing a cat! I actually have space to move. Thank goodness for that!
above, Leanne trying on her custom made coat, and she is my first customer in my new workroom!
I recently inherited some vintage fabrics, through my husbands Russian family, look at previous posts for that... and now I have inherited a big collection of vintage buttons too! They are simply amazing!
Honestly, getting this treasure trove of buttons is so much more exciting for me than getting an unlimited budget in a jewelry shop! I always say to the hubby, don't buy me jewelry- buy me fabric!! (I have a feeling I am not normal! )
So I can't wait to add them to my coming creations! I definitely will be using some of them on some bolero jackets this coming autumn and winter. I think some skirts and pants and maybe even a few blouses too. If only there were more hours in the day!
I have recently acquired some new-to-me but vintage fabrics. Lots of customers ask me, where do I get my fabrics from? Honestly, it depends which fabric we are talking about, but a lot of my vintage fabrics I inherit when a family member or friend of the family has given up sewing or has passed on. It's a great way to delight and show the person who gave it to me, how much I appreciate the fabrics when I have a finished design to show off to them!
The below collection of fabrics have come from my Russian in-laws side of the family. They are all vintage Russian fabrics and trims. It's amazing to think that these fabrics have traveled half way across the world a long time ago, and now they will be part of my collection of designs soon!
I have a sneak peek at some new designs I just finished yesterday and today! These designs and all of my current collection of designs will be at The Rocks Markets this weekend, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October. I am really looking forward to seeing what people think of these!
More styles will be added to the blog, and the shop online during the week. So stay tuned!
Recently I created a custom made blue and white satin catsuit for Nicole. I have known Nicole for a while, and I know that she likes designs with a 70's influence, so once I found this gorgeous print I knew it would look fantastic as a catsuit on her!
With catsuits I find the fitting to be a bit tricky. Everyone's bodies, i.e. torso area, are completely different in length, and since a catsuit is an all-in-one style you must get the length perfect!
This particular catsuit style is quite unique, since it is a wrap around style, with a low v neck, a tie around the waist, and a thigh high split! Long kimono style sleeves balance out the design nicely. I dreamed up this design when I was dancing away in a club in Sydney! And ever since, every time I wear my version of this design it makes me feel like dancing!
The below photos show the catsuit pinned and unfinished. This is what it looked like after the first fitting:
And here is Nicole all dressed up for her friends wedding!
All I can say is, "Wow!!!" I think she looks absolutely amazing in the design, and I am sure she made a few heads turn... Which is totally what this catsuit is made for!!!
Almost every time I create the Jigsaw Skivvy, I am making a one of a kind or one of a very limited few (usually up to three). This womens jersey knit top features a very unique geometric design on the front, that is cut into seven pieces and has contrasting fabrics and textures on these pieces. Below you can see some of the versions I have created with this style, and just how versatile and unique it can be just by changing the combination of fabrics.
My regular customers have often said that one of my talents is how I mix colours and print combinations together, as well as how I cut a design up into sections or how I cut the fabric up to create something different each time. So the beauty about this Skivvy or turtleneck design is that it combines all of this!
I started creating skivvies because I am always cold in winter! I tend to feel it mostly around my neck and shoulders and back, and I wanted to look fashionable, while still being warm and comfortable. Ever since having my little boy and being a mum I also wanted to have something that I could easily wear with jeans in the park, but then it would also look nice going out too.
The photos included are just a small selection of the variety available and what I could possibly create. If you would like your own custom made Jigsaw Skivvy, then please don't hesitate to contact me.
My Penelope Red cotton kimonos are still a big seller, years after I first made the pattern up. I created the pattern draping the fabric and creating the pleats on the dummy. It's the perfect adjustable, wear any where, with anything style. And it suits many different women from young to old, with many different body shapes.
So here is a collection or a design catalogue of most of my handmade cotton kimonos I have created over the years... It's the perfect way to show you how versatile and how different this style can look when in a different print, or styled a certain way.
I have decided to use my blog here to show you the wide range of Penelope Red bolero jacket versions. Really, the possibilities are endless with a little imagination and some fantastic fabrics! Whenever I am talking to a customer about a particular style, they often ask if I have any other options or versions, so this is the perfect way to show a catalogue of as many different styles as possible!
As you can see, when you mix different fabrics and colours and textures, one version of these jackets can be completely different to the next.
And this isn't even all of the versions I have made! I have created a lot more, but I was silly and didn't take photos!
If you are interested in a custom made bolero or would like something special created just for you, then please contact me here: