Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fashionable Maternity Wear: How to be fashionable while being pregnant- my top tips

If you are pregnant: Welcome to the world of soon-to-be-motherhood! It is a beautiful blessing! I have recently had a beautiful baby boy, and he is an absolute joy... there are no words to express how much happiness he has given me.

If you are like me, you love fashion, and the thought of wearing awful, daggy maternity wear makes you scream and want to run a mile!-right?!

Well, here are my top tips to keep you feeling comfortable (because alas, when your tummy is expanding, and you feel like you will be sick if anything tight is around your waist, comfort will become a priority- never thought I would type that phrase on my blog!), while still being fashionable and stylish while you are pregnant.

Tip 1: Make your face the focus point in any outfit when you are pregnant.

Try to wear dark colours from below your bust, and down. Keep all bright prints, and detailing up high, so they highlight your face (and not the widening areas of your body).

The above photo shows me wearing the Penelope Red Picasso Skivvy, which can be viewed in the Penelope Red Online Shop in Etsy here:

Tip 2: Wear as much Stretch and Lycra outfits as possible while you are pregnant!

Instead of buying maternity wear, I just wore loads of stretchy clothing. I found dresses to be very flattering, and tight fitting stretch dresses was great too! The above dress was worn to death! The picture shows me at around 3 months pregnant, than at only 6 weeks to go on the RHS. The beauty about stretch- it grows with you!

Tip 3: Even though your pregnant waist is expanding, still try to wear items that define the waist.

The one thing I wanted to steer clear of while being pregnant was those big, long maxi dresses that are constantly sold off as the ultimate (and evidently, only choice) maternity dress. For some reason, people seem to presume the bigger you are, the more flattering it will be to wear a tent! 

I don't think so!

The above Penelope Red red dress was fitted around my waist without being pregnant, but since it is a stretchy dress, I squeezed myself into it at 5 months pregnant.

Even though I had to adjust the buttons by about 12 cm on the red and white top I am wearing in the above photo of me at Bondi Beach, I have still defined my waist to some degree. Don't be afraid to accept that while you may be bigger, you still have curves, and you are not one big blob (and believe me, sometimes I felt like that too!)!

Tip 4: Try Bias Cut designs while you are pregnant. 

I found my bias cut designs a great alternative to wearing stretch (because by the end of being pregnant, you will be dying to have new clothing to wear!) or maternity wear. They defined my waist, while not being too tight, or big and full.

I chose a size up from my normal size, in the above red and printed bias cut cowl top, and I could still wear it up until I was 8 months pregnant- not bad considering it has no lycra!

The above Penelope Red red and floral bias cut blouse with sweetheart detail is available in the Penelope Red online Shop here:

Tip 5: Embrace your soon to be new body! 

Be excited! You are about to experience something wonderful and magical!

Not everyone will agree, but I loved wearing tight fitting garments- I found it was more flattering for my shape, but it also flaunted my pregnant tummy. To me it was funny watching my stomach grow!

Probably the best tip I can give you is accept that, yes, your waist will grow. Yes, your boobs will grow. Yes, your bum is going to get bigger (I kind of thought that the waist would grow, but mostly everything else would stay about the same)!

So the best thing to do is go through that mountain of clothing that you call your wardrobe, and put everything away that is not comfortable, stretchy and adjustable for a growing body. Honestly, THIS is the BEST thing to do!

That way, when you need to get dressed, you don't have to look through your wardrobe and wonder what will you wear... you will already have it narrowed down to the items you can wear (and that probably won't add up to much). Also, it will save you from getting upset... no one likes to try on something and realise that their waist has expanded by about 6 dress sizes in the space of 3 months... did that one (not nice!).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Floral Printed Pencil Skirts

Today I bought some fabulous floral printed cotton sateen to make some pencil skirts. The pencil skirts will be high waisted, and fitted around the leg and hip. The hem on the skirt falls to just below the knee. The pencil skirt shown in the next two photos is the style that I will create- the print will be the bright pink, white, navy blue and yellow print shown in the 3rd photo.

The fabric is gorgeous! The floral print is bright and colourful, while the cotton sateen is very comfortable to wear as it has elastane (lycra) added to the weave. 

I have enough of the pink, navy, yellow and white printed fabric above to make approximately 4 or 5 printed pencil skirts. They are available in Australian sizes 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16, and I will make them to fit and your length. The beauty about them being handmade! - you can get it custom made to fit you!

If you would like to order one of these beautiful, handmade pencil skirts, please email me at:

The green, navy, pink and mauve floral print above is available in a size 10 pencil skirt. This is a one of three pencil skirts... I only ever make a very limited edition of all of my designs.

The above photo shows me, wearing another Penelope Red pencil skirt, again from a cotton elastane,  in an ornage, yellow, white and blue abstract floral print.

I love wearing my printed pencil skirts- and they are perfect for travelling too! The below photo is my husband and I in St.Petersburg, Russia a few years ago. The elastane means that the skirt will hardly crease. The cotton means that the skirt will be very comfortable and easy to look after and wear.

For any enquiries, please email me at:

Monday, October 8, 2012

David's Dr Seuss Cot Quilt

Evidence of the finished product! My little David sleeping like an angel with his new Dr Seuss cot quilt that I made for him... Awwwwww!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday afternoon sewing with my baby

My gorgeous boy and I in my workroom, yesterday. He seems to enjoy watching me while he sits in his bouncer chair, so it was the perfect opportunity to do a little sewing. In this photo I am in the middle of making a cot quilt for him- Dr Suess style!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Very Good Reason To Work Less

My little man and I enjoying our time together. It has certainly been a change of pace looking after him and being a mum, (compared to my design manic that occurs when i am running behind schedule) but I love every moment!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Inspiration: Sonja Delaunay

This Spring and Summer I am looking forward to focussing on the artwork of Sonja Delaunay. A few years ago I was very fortunate to see some of her artworks, along with many other artists at the art gallery of NSW. I instantly loved the bright colours! I have always been a huge colour fan, and I could imagine using aspects of Sonja's work in many different ways: colour combinations, prints and motifs. Here are a few examples...


Yet again, it has taken me way too long to update this blog. For a while it was because I simply was too busy with work orders- yay me! After the Penelope Red fashion parade in September last year, I started hosting tea parties to help showcase my work, and offer customers a more personal way to share my designs, which then kept me very busy indeed!

And then we found out we were expecting a new addition to our family! My little son, David, was born in late July, and now I am so busy, I haven't even had time to tidy up the work room, let alone design or sew anything. I have spent the last 7 weeks getting to know my little David, and it has been great having the time off, as well as having no pressure from my hubby to resume work.

 I guess there is only pressure that I am placing on myself- I can't help but still want to design and create. Eventually I will ease back into work, but it won't be for a while, as I love spending time with my munchkin!

Since I need to get up at the crack of dawn anyway to feed David, I hope to continue with this blog. It will give me a chance to be creative, while I can still spend time with my little guy! Wish me luck!