Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Style: One Of A Kind Black And White Cotton Kimono Women's Dress

I recently created this Black and White Cotton Kimono Dress. It is a one of a kind design, and its the first of many new Penelope Red fashion designs for this Spring and Summer!

This 2013-14 Spring and Summer I am intending on using up a lot of my vintage fabrics. There are so many special fabrics I have collected over the years! Since all of the fabrics have very limited meterage there will be plenty of one of a kind designs!

The Black and White Cotton Kimono Dress pictured here has been handmade using a vintage cotton twill that is lightweight and has a slight sheen to it. The black print looks kind of like a splash of a paint brush in a circular motion.

I decided to add black rik rak braid (also vintage) down the front, to go with the black shoulder yoke and black cuff. Then I happened to have the white beaded flowers and they make the design look even more special I think!

Check it out: The One of a Kind Handmade Black and White Cotton Kimono Dress is available in my Penelope Red etsy shop online here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Recent Outfits

Here are a few outfits I have worn recently. Whenever I go out I only ever wear my Penelope Red fashion designs, the reason being I believe in my own style! I started Penelope Red because I would always receive comments on what I was wearing (and it was always my designs!), and I am never satisfied with fit/style/quality of others. 

I can be seen around the local parks quite often in my daggy mummy clothes, but just because I am a mum doesn't mean I can't dress up a little when I want to! So here is some Mum fashion for you...

All of the designs I am wearing in the photos above are my Penelope Red designs. You can see more designs in the Penelope Red online shop... Follow the links on the right column.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Handmade Flag Bunting: Snugglepot and Cuddlepie May Gibbs

On the weekend I finished hand making two May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie printed flag buntings. They will be gifts for some little girls overseas!

I wanted to make them something they hopefully couldn't get over there, something that kind of says, "Australia", but without being too kitschy. 

And who doesn't want to decorate their kids room?!

I handmade the flag bunting using May Gibbs patchwork fabric that I found in Spotlight recently...( Sadly the only fabric retail store within walking distance.)

I hope the little girls enjoy them!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Custom Order: A Handmade Emerald Green and Bright Blue Silk Kimono

I was looking for some time to compose this post about this fabulous custom ordered green and blue silk kimono, and now that my bub has woken up with teething woes, and is desperately wanting a cuddle, it seems the perfect time to start! I think I sometimes live a double life! Fashion designer in one life, mother and wife in another! 

I just finished hand beading this kimono design last night, and Leanne only picked it up today- so it's hot off the press! Leanne was sweet enough to model it for me in these pics so I could show it off.

Leanne has purchased quite a few of my cotton kimonos, and its one of her favourite styles. She had asked me for a more evening wear type of kimono, and after discussion we decided on this gorgeous emerald green vintage silk. 

The green silk in the main body of the kimono features a dark blue floral print, so I decided to use a bright blue silk for the sleeve, then blue vintage rik rak braid,  and blue sequins to give it that finishing touch!

As with all my kimonos it's the pleating of the fabric that really makes my Penelope Red kimonos stand out... And it's unfortunate that you can never see it in the photos. Each kimono uses around 2 to 2.5 metres of fabric due to the pleating  and how it has been cut. 

I have handmade so many kimonos since starting my Penelope Red fashion designs. Each one has been unique or at least made into a select few. It's quite fun for me to imagine just how far some of my unique designs travel. In its life time, I wonder how far this kimono will go?!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vintage Finds: cotton prints I currently have in stock

I use vintage fabrics, especially cotton prints, in my fashion designs all the time. They always seem to be very unique and special, and to me, good quality fabric means so much when creating a design.

The following swatches are just some of the vintage cotton prints I currently have in stock. I custom make a lot of my designs out of fabrics like these, and I simply adore collecting fabric!

(I have taken the photo of each fabric with the cutting blade included so you have a point of perspective. The rotary blade is 45mm wide.)

"Cute apples"- vintage cotton in blue, yellow, orange and white on a blue background.

"Pink Gingham"- Pink and white check vintage cotton.

"Green gingham"- Green and cream cotton check.

"Lilac Flower Power"- Large lilac stylised flowers on a cotton drill.

"Strawberry Fields"- red, yellow and green strawberry vines on a denim background.

"Aqua Jewel Stripe"- vibrant jewel tones of orange, navy, green and aqua in a striped cotton.

"Pretty Blossums"- red and blue flowers and a white background. A vintage cotton voile.

"Autumn Blossums"- pretty brown flowers on a very fine and sheer cotton voile.

"Yellow Blossums"- tiny little yellow flowers on a cotton poplin.

"Gold Jigsaw"- a very unique vintage cotton, printed with an unusual gold and black geometric design. The fabric has a sheen to it, as well as the printing. I haven't made a lot with this yet, as its one of those fabrics which I absolutely adore and I want to get the style just right!

All of the above vintage fabrics and more (that are in my collection) can be made into many different Penelope Red creations. Please check out my website at if you would like to see more.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Customer Photos

It is such a joy to see my customers wearing their Penelope Red designs (rather than them wasting away inside their wardrobe)! So here are a few recent favourite pics...

Penny wears the Red Floral Bow Tie Top.
Lorelle wears the Orange and Navy Blue Sweetheart Boat Neck Knit Top.

I have to admit, this one is of me!

I am wearing the Aqua and Vintage Braid Tunic Top. I wore this top all the way through pregnancy - even right up to giving birth- and it still manages to bounce back and keep its shape!!!! This exact style is sold out, but next winter I plan to make more of this in a slightly different version. 

Lorelle wears the Black Latin Bolero, the Gold Mosaic Gathered Neck Blouse, and the Black and White Diamond Printed Pencil Skirt. 

Penny wears the Black Russian Lace Dress.

Nicole wears the Blue V-neck Top w Black Satin Stripe Chiffon Sleeves, together with the Silver and Black Drama Skirt.

All items listed above have been designed by me! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Custom Order: Navy Jacquard Jacket

Recently I created a double breasted navy and black jacquard jacket for a custom order. 

The above photo shows the jacket half done, with lots of pins!

The original idea was to have a double breasted jacket that can be done up as normal, and then you can choose to wear the front as an asymmetric collar.

The customer, Leanne, had previously bought a navy blue and black jacquard skirt in Penelope Red. The skirt has the same fabric as shown in the body of the jacket, and she wanted a jacket that would co-ordinate well with the skirt, as well as other pieces in her wardrobe. 

As with any custom order I hand make, we discussed the style and shape, the fit, length, fabric and embellishments. I take the certain criteria the customer wants into account and then let my creative brain do its magic! I am lucky to have some wonderful customers who are very loyal, know my style, and trust what I do!

I decided to add a contrast band around the hem, front lapel, and sleeve hem in a black floral jacquard. Then I highlighted the contrast with gold stitching- this was also featured on the skirt. 

Four amazing gold and diamanté vintage buttons were added to the front of the jacket- they were very special! Then I hand bound each button hole to make sure they lasted the test of time!

Leanne loved her handmade custom jacket, and I was very happy with it too! It was fun making it! I love making these one off handmade designs.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vintage Finds: Green Buttons for a Dress

I love using vintage fabrics, buttons and trims for my Penelope Red designs. So many of my fashion designs have at least one element of a vintage find. I thought these green vintage buttons were really interesting as they must be quite old- it's not every day you see the buttons fastened to the cardboard by metal clips. 

They will be used on a pink, white and mint green dress! They will be perfect!