My New Workroom: My Sewing Room Renovation.

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...

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Above and below are the before pics... 

 

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The chaos above! 

And now witness my beautiful, organized room below...

The new smaller cutting table has cupboards underneath to store my fabrics neatly and keep things in smaller boxes. Before I was storing fabrics in very large boxes that were so bad for my back. 

The new smaller cutting table has cupboards underneath to store my fabrics neatly and keep things in smaller boxes. Before I was storing fabrics in very large boxes that were so bad for my back. 

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!

 

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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. 

 

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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:

 

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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!

I now have two clothes racks permanently in my room displaying my current collection of designs. Before I never had room for this, so I had to set up a display every time a customer visited.  Now it's so easy! 

I now have two clothes racks permanently in my room displaying my current collection of designs. Before I never had room for this, so I had to set up a display every time a customer visited.  Now it's so easy! 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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! 

 

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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!  

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above, Leanne trying on her custom made coat, and she is my first customer in my new workroom!  

 

All I need to do now is complete my wall of inspiration and favorite things! This will go above the fabric wall and it's going to the fabulous!!!   So that is it... my sewing room is now such a wonderful space to work in, and I cant wait to create some new designs (I have been sooooooooo busy with orders recently)! 

All I need to do now is complete my wall of inspiration and favorite things! This will go above the fabric wall and it's going to the fabulous!!! 

So that is it... my sewing room is now such a wonderful space to work in, and I cant wait to create some new designs (I have been sooooooooo busy with orders recently)! 

Nicole's Custom Order Catsuit

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!

 

 

The blue and white satin fabric has a very retro inspired print. 

The blue and white satin fabric has a very retro inspired print. 

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:

 

The catsuit done to a stage after the first fitting. All the seams are unfinished at this stage. 

The catsuit done to a stage after the first fitting. All the seams are unfinished at this stage. 

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And here is Nicole all dressed up for her friends wedding!  

 

Nicole wearing her custom made Penelope Red catsuit!  

Nicole wearing her custom made Penelope Red catsuit!  

Nicole wearing the catsuit, and her friends, the Grooms.  

Nicole wearing the catsuit, and her friends, the Grooms.  

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!!! 

A catalogue of the Penelope Red Jigsaw Skivvy design

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.

 

A skivvy with a black jersey knit body and a contrasting design in red lace, red, blue and green paisley and a red jersey knit.

A skivvy with a black jersey knit body and a contrasting design in red lace, red, blue and green paisley and a red jersey knit.

A bright blue version of my Jigsaw Skivvy, with a bright blue jersey knit body, and a cream lace, and printed contrast.

A bright blue version of my Jigsaw Skivvy, with a bright blue jersey knit body, and a cream lace, and printed contrast.

Leanne wears a custom made bright red version of the Jigsaw Skivvy. 

Leanne wears a custom made bright red version of the Jigsaw Skivvy. 

Leanne wears a one of a kind Pink and printed Skivvy that I designed especially for her. I am thinking I might have to make something similar like this next winter! I am wearing a bright blue and pop art inspired version of the Jigsaw Skivvy. One more copy of this version is available. 

Leanne wears a one of a kind Pink and printed Skivvy that I designed especially for her. I am thinking I might have to make something similar like this next winter! I am wearing a bright blue and pop art inspired version of the Jigsaw Skivvy. One more copy of this version is available. 

I think the colours and prints on this version of the Jigsaw Skivvy are virtually perfect with each other! One of my favorites!  

I think the colours and prints on this version of the Jigsaw Skivvy are virtually perfect with each other! One of my favorites!  

A black, white and paisley Jigsaw Skivvy. In this design the black, white and purple is the main focus. There are still many other colours in the design, but the focus is on the three main colours. 

A black, white and paisley Jigsaw Skivvy. In this design the black, white and purple is the main focus. There are still many other colours in the design, but the focus is on the three main colours. 

A custom order again. The customer wanted some sparkle! So the black triangular piece has sequins on it!  

A custom order again. The customer wanted some sparkle! So the black triangular piece has sequins on it!  

A black jersey knit Skivvy blouse with contrasting colours and prints of Aqua, purple, white and pink. 

A black jersey knit Skivvy blouse with contrasting colours and prints of Aqua, purple, white and pink. 

I am wearing my own one of a kind version of this Skivvy design. I love how these colours and prints work so well together but yet are so different!  I am not a big fan of black, so if I make anything black for myself, it needs to have something with a bit of pizzazz! I think this fits the bill!

I am wearing my own one of a kind version of this Skivvy design. I love how these colours and prints work so well together but yet are so different!  I am not a big fan of black, so if I make anything black for myself, it needs to have something with a bit of pizzazz! I think this fits the bill!

Lorelle wears a Penelope Red Jigsaw Skivvy Turtleneck Top in a black jersey knit with contrasting fabrics in shades of red, orange, brown, black and white. 

Lorelle wears a Penelope Red Jigsaw Skivvy Turtleneck Top in a black jersey knit with contrasting fabrics in shades of red, orange, brown, black and white. 

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

A Catalogue of my Penelope Red Bolero Jackets

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! 

 

Leanne wears a one of a kind Red and Blue Bolero and a one of a kind denim and printed mini skirt.

Leanne wears a one of a kind Red and Blue Bolero and a one of a kind denim and printed mini skirt.

Lorelle wears the Red, Black and White Bolero. This version is still available in a size 8 in the Penelope Red online shop here:  http://www.penelopered.com.au/shop/red-black-and-white-bolero-jacket

Lorelle wears the Red, Black and White Bolero. This version is still available in a size 8 in the Penelope Red online shop here: http://www.penelopered.com.au/shop/red-black-and-white-bolero-jacket

This Red Bolero Jacket is one of the first bolero's I ever created, but it still looks beautiful to me. Its handmade from two vintage fabrics, and the high Chinese Collar and wrap around style is gorgeous!

This Red Bolero Jacket is one of the first bolero's I ever created, but it still looks beautiful to me. Its handmade from two vintage fabrics, and the high Chinese Collar and wrap around style is gorgeous!

The above Jade or Turquoised coloured bolero jacket in this photo has been handmade from a gorgeous bright vintage wool, and features oversized buttons on the front. I love this bolero with this printed jersey knit dress. Very vintage!   

The above Jade or Turquoised coloured bolero jacket in this photo has been handmade from a gorgeous bright vintage wool, and features oversized buttons on the front. I love this bolero with this printed jersey knit dress. Very vintage!

 

The Liberty Flowers Bolero was handmade from a Liberty of London wool print. I only ever made three copies of this design. It features beautiful vintage buttons, cute little welt button holes and silk lining.   

The Liberty Flowers Bolero was handmade from a Liberty of London wool print. I only ever made three copies of this design. It features beautiful vintage buttons, cute little welt button holes and silk lining.

 

Lucy wears a one of a kind bolero, handmade from a red wool, and a blue bird printed cotton.

Lucy wears a one of a kind bolero, handmade from a red wool, and a blue bird printed cotton.

I wear the Cherry Red Bolero and Leanne wears the Black, White and Orange Pyramid Bolero. I think this Pyramid Bolero is one of my most favorite bolero jackets I have made. It features a vintage wool print, and gorgeous vintage buttons.

I wear the Cherry Red Bolero and Leanne wears the Black, White and Orange Pyramid Bolero. I think this Pyramid Bolero is one of my most favorite bolero jackets I have made. It features a vintage wool print, and gorgeous vintage buttons.

The Osaka Citrus Bolero features a stunning cotton print. I have kept this design for myself... I couldn't help it!  

The Osaka Citrus Bolero features a stunning cotton print. I have kept this design for myself... I couldn't help it!  

Lorelle wears the Gothic Coffee Bolero with the Silver Drama Skirt. Leanne wears the black and gold Cleopatra Blouse and the black and gold Tulip Skirt.  

Lorelle wears the Gothic Coffee Bolero with the Silver Drama Skirt. Leanne wears the black and gold Cleopatra Blouse and the black and gold Tulip Skirt.  

Lucy wears the Pink and Plum Rosavar Bolero

Lucy wears the Pink and Plum Rosavar Bolero

This is a one of a kind bolero I created. It uses a unique boucle for the contrast, and very pretty silver vintage buttons. 

This is a one of a kind bolero I created. It uses a unique boucle for the contrast, and very pretty silver vintage buttons. 

The Venus Bolero is a very unique design! It features a vintage print of flowers and bright birds on a cream background, with a pale pink vintage pleated organza trimming the front and neckline. To me this bolero has a little Oriental influence, mixed with a European influence... All the things I love. 

The Venus Bolero is a very unique design! It features a vintage print of flowers and bright birds on a cream background, with a pale pink vintage pleated organza trimming the front and neckline. To me this bolero has a little Oriental influence, mixed with a European influence... All the things I love. 

And again the current version I have created, the Red, Black and White Bolero. I only ever created two copies of his style, and only the size 8 is available. You can find it in the Penelope Red online shop here:   http://www.penelopered.com.au/shop/red-black-and-white-bolero-jacket

And again the current version I have created, the Red, Black and White Bolero. I only ever created two copies of his style, and only the size 8 is available. You can find it in the Penelope Red online shop here:  http://www.penelopered.com.au/shop/red-black-and-white-bolero-jacket

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:  

 http://www.penelopered.com.au/contact/

Penelope Red Handmade Winter Coats

Whenever I take my fashion designs to The Rocks Markets, in Sydney,  during Winter, I am asked about Winter coats. They are not the average coat, and it's very obvious as soon as you take a look at one! Firstly, they must have colour! Secondly, they are tailor made or custom made. Thirdly, they have a number of layers- this depends on the style we are talking about. 

The following photos have been taken over the past few years of some of the various coat designs I have created for some truly very special and fashionable women! 

 

Katrina's Bright Pink Coat with Uzbekistani silk ikat appliqué detailing and bell sleeves. 

Katrina's Bright Pink Coat with Uzbekistani silk ikat appliqué detailing and bell sleeves. 

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Here I am wearing my own coat that I handmade from an emerald green and white alpaca and wool blended check. Complete with white faux fur trim.       

Here I am wearing my own coat that I handmade from an emerald green and white alpaca and wool blended check. Complete with white faux fur trim. 

 

 

I created this winter coat for Lorelle from a bright red wool and then added an appliqué in a Liberty of London wool print. I randomly create the appliqué design as I go! 

I created this winter coat for Lorelle from a bright red wool and then added an appliqué in a Liberty of London wool print. I randomly create the appliqué design as I go! 

Lorelle wearing her Penelope Red Winter Coat in Spain... 

Lorelle wearing her Penelope Red Winter Coat in Spain... 

My Emerald Green Winter coat again... this time while I was heavily pregnant. Leanne wears a Penelope Red custom order bolero in red and blue.

My Emerald Green Winter coat again... this time while I was heavily pregnant. Leanne wears a Penelope Red custom order bolero in red and blue.

This Jade and Black Winter Coat was handmade using two very beautiful vintage fabrics, along with a faux fur trim in black.

This Jade and Black Winter Coat was handmade using two very beautiful vintage fabrics, along with a faux fur trim in black.

A bright blue and black coat, which includes gorgeous vintage buttons!

A bright blue and black coat, which includes gorgeous vintage buttons!

Teena's Black, Red and White Winter Coat is probably still one of my favourite versions! I love the white piping in between the red and black!

Teena's Black, Red and White Winter Coat is probably still one of my favourite versions! I love the white piping in between the red and black!

If you would like to enquire about any of my Winter Coat styles, or ask about getting any of my designs custom made, my contact details are here...