Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Style: The Penelope Red Venus Corset

I have just added the Penelope Red Venus Corset to my Etsy shop, so I thought I would add a few extra pictures to this blog.

I love wearing corsets! They make me feel so feminine, sexy and empowered! I feel like my alter ego comes alive when I wear them, and I always receive compliments on the craftsmanship, and difference to the rest of the corsets out there. Most people can't believe that I make them myself!

You can take a look at the making of one of the Penelope Red corsets here.

The main fabric is a vintage floral brocade, featuring a floral pattern in pink, salmon and pistachio green on a cream background. I have enough fabric to make about eight copies of this corset- that's eight for the entire world to share. I can make them in A-B cup size, as well as C-D cup size.

Please contact me on designer@penelopered.com.au for more information on sizing, etc.

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Style! The Penelope Red Empire Grey Pleated Blouse

I have only just added this new design to my etsy shop... The Penelope Red Empire Grey Pleated Blouse.

As etsy only allows for five photos, this blog gives me the opportunity to show you more photos of this great top, and also the inside- as I always think that the inside should be neat and beautiful too!

This design is part of my new collection, "The Venus, Penelope and Jane Collection". Take a look at the inspiration here. One of the first designs I created for this collection, the Venus Floral Bolero, was featured in the blog here.

The fabric I have used for this top is quite unique. It is steel grey in colour, has a sheen, and a seer-sucker-like texture. It is made from a cotton/polyester blend. Great for spring and summer.

I am really quite fascinated with lace and trims at the moment! I have added a beautiful vintage lace to the under bust seam. This lace has actually been hand crocheted- can you imagine someone has literally created every loop and knot in this intricate lace! I bought it recently, and couldn't wait to use it, so here it is!

A cute little ivory rose button has been attached to the centre back, and at the top of the invisible side zip.

I wanted to complete the contrasting detail a little further, so I have made a top stitching detail in ivory thread, around the neck and hem.

All seams have been over-locked and pressed.

You can take a look at this style, and other styles in the range, on the Penelope Red Website here.

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Remember Me": My Movie Review

My sister and I watched the movie, "Remember Me", starring Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin, last night.

I was expecting a half decent movie, with decent people to watch... After all, Pierce Brosnan and Rob Pattinson in the one movie had to be enjoyable to watch! However, I walked away loving Remember Me, and I am still thinking about it this morning, which is why I decided to write about it. Rarely do I see a movie that I constantly think about afterwards. Perhaps the last movie that made me do that was "Avatar".

The movie concentrates on two families, and how they have been dealing with the aftermath of each of their own family tragedy. Those two families are intertwined by the two lovers in the story, Tyler (played by Rob) and Ally (played by Emilie).

I am surprised by the reviews on rottentomatoes.com... there are few that are positive, and it has a pitiful rating. I have no idea why.

The story is actually quite melancholy, and I personally wouldn't really call this a romance (it has romance in it, but to me not enough to really slide into this genre), but if you are looking for drama, then this is a great movie.

Perhaps one of the reasons why I liked it so much was that the ending was unexpected, a bit of a shock, and a little heart-wrenching. I don't want to give it away, but I thought it finished the movie and rounded-off the plot well.

Perhaps the only thing I didn't like about the movie was Pierce Brosnan's attempt at an American accent (or what sounded like he was trying)- but it seemed like he had given up by the time it had reached around half way.

I thought Rob played his character exceptionally well, and I completely forgot about him being Edward Cullen (from Twilight- one of my favourite books) after about 2 minutes into the movie. I look forward to seeing more from this actor, and seeing exactly how versatile he really is.

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Artist: Lee D Severn

One of my oldest and dearest friends is married to a very talented artist, Lee D Severn. His work focuses on portrait studies of his favourite Rock/Music performers and artists, such as The Rolling Stones, U2, The Police, Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, Tori Amos, and the list goes on.

I wanted to show you some of his brilliant work, and I hope that you will take a look at his website, as each portrait comes with an amazing story of how Lee has met each of the performers!...

1. Do you create portraits of people who are not famous?

I do commissions of anyone, working mostly from photographs. Something I am trying to get going is to paint people with their hero's; it's not everyday you get to meet your idol. So I have been playing with this idea, ever since I painted my Dad with his hero Mick Jagger, and I told him it would be the closest he would get to meeting the real thing. A bit of a joke between me and him, since I did meet Mick Jagger, in the end!

2. From your work, what are some of your favourite artworks?

As is often the case with many artists, I am my own worst critic. After studying a photograph for so long of what I am attempting to paint, I get used to seeing a perfect image; when I look at my paintings, all I see are the errors and I'm often not happy with the end result.

If I am forced to choose or show someone an example of my work, I usually pull out my Neil Young portrait, and more recently, I'll show my "King For a Day" painting- I really like the idea behind it.

3. What have you been working on recently?

Recently, I have just completed images of Jack White from the White Stripes and Jools Holland, the U.K's answer to Molly Meldrum- but with a lot more credibility, music taste and musical talent. I am hoping to have them both signed shortly.

4. Any plans for the future, with your work?

I'm currently in the process of trying to get involved with the Sydney Fringe Festival in September. If I am successful, it could be huge for my art career, as it will give me a great chance to finally exhibit most of my work and get my name out there. I am also working on the largest painting I have done yet which is exciting! I am choosing to keep the idea to myself for a while though.

The above painting is one of my favourites, and it is a personal painting Lee created using his wife and baby son as his muse.

Take a look at Lee's website:


and you can join Lee's facebook page here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Style: The Penelope Red Pink Candy Cowl Top

One of my latest designs, the Penelope Red Pink Candy Cowl Top. This has been made from two knit fabrics, made from rayon (or viscose) and elastane- very soft fabrics, which hold their shape really well. It is the same fit as the Paris Bow Top, as I have used the same pattern; instead of a bow at the centre front and dramatic V- neck, I have altered it to be a soft V-neck, with a cowl in the contrasting black fabric. The neck has been decorated with a small piece of pink lace which has been hand-stitched onto the neck.

The candy stripe has colours of pink, coral, black and white. I would normally have more photos of this top, but I sold it the very first day I took it to the markets, before I had a chance to take more photos, or even show my husband! So until I make another one, these photos will have to do!

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wicked: The Musical

Last night, my husband and I watched "Wicked", the Broadway musical, in the Sydney Capital Theatre. It was my birthday present!

I had never seen it before, or heard the story, and the only song I knew from it was "Defying Gravity" (mainly because I had seen it performed in one of my favourite TV shows, "Glee"), so I had no idea what to expect. It was really good- my favourite part of the entire production would have to be the costumes- stunning! The photo above was taken from the wicked website.

My favourite moment in the musical was the "Defying Gravity" song performance- even my husband gave a huge clap after that song. I wasn't a huge fan of the story to begin with, but as it progressed, the plot picked up the pace, the jokes were better, and just generally had more action.

I started thinking about the last musical I went to see- it was "Guys and Dolls" at the Capital Theatre again- that was a fun production with Marina Prior, Lisa McCune and Gary MacDonald.

Before that, it was "Priscilla, Queen of The Desert"- now that definitely had amazing costumes! Even the movie had phenomenal costumes!

Anyway, "Wicked" was fun, easy to watch, and entertaining- everything you want in a musical.

The dress I wore on the night is, of course, another Penelope Red design: The Penelope Red Spring Tailored Dress. Take a look at this link to see more on my Penelope Red Tailored Dresses.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fabric swatches: which one do you like?

I wanted to buy some new knit fabric prints. I have three options, images of each are below. As you can see, they are all the same print, just in different colour-ways.

1. Mocha Blue

2. Charcoal

3. Blue

So, what do you think? I am considering using the blue colour-way, but I like the others too, so this is where your opinions count!

I was thinking of using the print to make either a dress, perhaps like the Jade Bow Tie Dress (below)

or the Black and White Printed Bow Tie Top (below).

Please leave your comments below or on the Penelope Red facebook page

Etsy Hand Crochet

There is nothing quite like a beautiful hand crocheted or knitted garment or scarf! If you take good care of them they will last forever, and each one is always unique to the rest... just imagine: every single loop and knot was created by hand- no machine's involved at all!

I thought I would show you a few of my favourites from etsy.

Crochet Fuchsia scarf, Tropical flower inspired
by VitalTemptation.

Gray Mohair Cardigan, Limited Edition by sweetknitting

Red Salsa Shrug by trendyknitting.

My Mum can knit and crochet, and I have featured some of her work in this blog posting here. Knitting and crochet is the one creative avenue I have not been able to master or pick up. I do intend to give it another try, but I guess my sewing and other activities always take me in another direction. I guess this is why I admire hand crocheted and hand knitted garments so much, as it is something I can't do!

I have been lucky recently to find some vintage hand crocheted lace and trims, which I have started to place on some garments in my new range: The Venus, Penelope and Jane Collection.

One of the designs which has the crocheted lace: The Regency Gathered Neck Blouse.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Penelope Red at The Rocks Market: 13th & 14th March 2010

Penelope Red will be trading at The Rocks Markets this coming Saturday 13th and Sunday, 14th of March, 2010. The trading hours are 10am til 5pm.

I have just finished making the very last copies of the Penelope Red Paris Bow Top- there is no more fabric left after these last few copies!

All of my designs are handmade by myself, and are all made in small quantities, so you have the pleasure of owning an unmistakable unique product!

Hope to see you there! Please note, my location changes on a weekly basis, and I will place a notice on my facebook page to let people know of my location by Friday at the latest.

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!

New Style! The Venus Floral Bolero

I have finally had a chance to update this blog with a new Penelope Red design! Introducing the Penelope Red Venus Floral Bolero.

I have deliberately used photos that only show you sections of the bolero, as I want to unveil the whole design in a photo shoot, which will be taking place later on in the month- so keep watching this space for more!

This new cropped jacket design was inspired by Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" painting, and Jane Austen. Read more about this here.

The main fabric is a gorgeous vintage screen printed cotton, which was purchased from an antique dealer a few months ago in Sydney. The ruffle is another vintage fabric, which I have previously used on the Victorian Pink Corset as well. I thought the ruffle accents the bold flowers with a more delicate feel- I like the idea that each woman that wears this has a little boldness to them, but also has a little delicate, feminine side to them as well.

The jacket or bolero has been fully lined, and I have added a lovely pink decorative blanket stitch to the edge of the hem.

I am currently working on other styles that will be a part of this mini-range. I can't wait to show you more! I already have a corset and a gathered neck blouse to include.

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!

Updated on Tuesday 23rd March, 2010: I have added the Penelope Red Venus Floral Bolero to my etsy shop. Please take a look at this beautiful design here!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Penelope Red Silver Floral Corset Dress

The Silver Floral Corset Dress was added to my etsy shop a few days ago, and since I have loads of photos of this dress, I thought it would be a good idea to add a few more on this blog.

The centre back has been finished with an invisible zip, and a small diamante button securing the zip.

Inside, there is a lace-up corset; this makes the dress secure around your body, and creates a wasp-like waist!

I wanted to include as many of the photos as possible, as the location was beautiful, and I thought it really suits the style of the dress. I could imagine this dress being worn to many cocktail parties, weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions!

Take a look at the Purple Floral Corset Dress blog posting, to see more about the Penelope Red corset dresses.

Follow me on twitter or facebook for more updates of my latest designs and finds!