Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Amore Frizzante Pink and White Blouse

Introducing the very latest Penelope Red design, the Amore Frizzante Pink and White Blouse! I just finished creating a size 10 and size 12 last Friday, and these are a few quick shots I took while I was making it, and once it was finished.

Decorating the front bust seam with the lace. On this design I have used a number of textures/fabrics. The waist area is made from a white and pink cotton check, which I bought from San Francisco (USA), and the bust and neck area is made from a vintage white polyester jacquard.

The lace I have used in this design is a vintage hand-crocheted lace- very beautiful and delicate! I have also added a lovely soft pink bias binding to the edges.

Below, the back before I have sewn it to the front. I like to make sure the back is always as interesting and flattering as the front! The shape at the back is moulded nicely to the curve of a woman's figure, while not being too huggy.

Placing the invisible zip in the side, above. Below, sewing the lining pieces together. This design is fully lined with a salmon coloured silk/cotton.

The armhole and neckline are bound together with the satin binding. Above you can see the lining attached, and the zipper open to expose in the inside of the blouse- as you can see a very neat finish!

Close up of the front and back.

Now for a few photos of it on someone... me!

I am really loving this blouse with this skirt, the Black and White Check Fluted Skirt. Since I already have the skirt, I may just need to keep a copy of this blouse too!

I have also added another style to the Penelope Red shop online, the blue and yellow Bellini Blouse- same shape, just different colours.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pattern Making Penelope Red

Most people don't realise I create ALL of my own patterns myself. And with pattern making, and women's fashion, comes grading. Grading means to adjust the pattern from a standard size 10 to a size 8, 12, 14, etc.

In a mass-produced brand, the pattern making is done more and more often these days on a computer, making the grading become a simple flick of a couple of buttons. As with all hand done work, electronic automation is becoming common, and eventually manual pattern making and grading will be a thing of the past. However, like with all of my processes, I guess doing things the Penelope Red way is like taking a step back into the past...

Above, to grade I start off with a grid at the top and bottom of each piece to grade. I won't get into specifics of how to grade here- it is too technical, but trust me, it's complicated!

I then move the size 10 pattern piece around the grid to form the next size I am creating.

I then cut out and "notch" each piece. Notching means to place a little marker along the seam line to indicate a seam junction, a dart or to prevent stretching of the fabric. They are very handy around a curved seam.

Again, more grading! Each time I create a new style this means not only do I need to create and test the pattern, but I need to grade at least three sizes ( so that means a total of four complete patterns per size). All of this work adds up!

I have already started to come up with a few ideas for the Autumn 2011 Collection, and there will be quite a few new styles, including a new pant style, a new jacket style, a new blouse style, and a new skirt style... and no doubt a few more!

To see some of my current styles, please visit the Penelope Red shop online here:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Customers wearing Penelope Red

It is such a great feeling to see my customers enjoying their Penelope Red designs! It is especially lovely when they send photos of them wearing it- as it shows that they are excited about it as much as me!

I am very lucky to have met Lorelle and Leanne, two sisters who have been buying Penelope Red in the past few months. They went for a weekend away to Bowral, and decided to take a few photos for me. It is such a sweet gesture- I really appreciate it!

Above, Leanne wears the Paris Skirt, a one-of-a-kind skirt. Below, the Monet Flared Pants- another one-of-a-kind design.

Above, Leanne wears the Deco Sequinned Top, and Lorelle wears the Black Latin Bolero and Cosmopolitan Red Bow Tie Pants.

Above, Lorelle wears the Black Noir Bow Top (p.s. that red car is HOT!), and Leanne wears the Aqua Paisley Blouse.

Above, Leanne wears the Pink Candy Cowl Top and below, Lorelle wears the Pink Singapore Sling Kimono.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kiran's Sari-Inspired Wedding Dress, Part 3 Video: East meets West

You can now check out the making of Kiran's Sari Inspired Wedding Dress in a video format, on youtube here.

The video is split into 3 parts, so make sure you don't miss any parts!

Part one is here.

Watch all the detail and work that goes into making this stunning wedding dress!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fabrics and Textures for Autumn 2011 Collection

Previously I posted about my Penelope Red Autumn 2011 Collection inspiration. Today I wanted to show you the fabrics, trims and textures that I may decide to include in this collection....

As with any design, my ideas will evolve and change as I go, but right now, I am thinking of using a mix of fabrics, textures, and trims in colours ranging from gold, silver, brown, blue, purple, and mixing them with shades of white, cream and black.

Included in these photos is a brand new print, white silk, black sequinned lace, a few vintage laces, a couple of vintage metallic braids, black ribbed fabric, olive silk, beaded chiffon. This is just a small selection of the fabrics and trims I have to choose from, and I can't wait to get started on this range!

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the next few months.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Alexander Black and White Zebra Blouse

The Alexander Black and White Zebra Chiffon Blouse is one of my very latest designs. Pictured with the Cosmopolitan Blue Bow Tie Pants, it is such a versatile, easy and flattering style to wear.

I have always been a huge fan of animal prints, and while this is not exactly an animal print, it is easy to see where the textile designer got their inspiration from.

The actual fabric itself is a chiffon yoryu- this means the chiffon is crinkled and has a more tactile finish.

This blouse has been handmade and finished off with gathering and a little blue rik-rak braid at the neck. It is a sleeveless top, but you can easily wear it with a skivvy on those cooler nights.

You can buy the Alexander Black and White Zebra Printed Blouse online in the Penelope Red etsy shop.

Take a look at my other Penelope Red designs here:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More photos of the Strawberry Daiquiri Polka Dot Blouse

The Strawberry Daiquiri Red Polka Dot Blouse has been added to the Penelope Red etsy shop. I spent some time last week taking a few photos so everyone can see it from each angle- I think that is important when you are buying online!

I have more information about this style on the blog too.