Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Penelope Red Black Latin Bolero Jacket

I have been busy making a few more handmade winter pieces for the markets recently, and I wanted to show you this brand new style, the Penelope Red Black Latin Bolero! I call it "Latin" as, for some reason, when I tried this style on, I thought the cream appliquéd lace gave it a very Spanish type of feel.

Sometimes my designs come to me at the most unusual times... when I am sleeping and I dream it; when I am cooking or walking; basically when my mind is somewhat shut off from the constant design process. I guess you could say they are like instant snap shots that kind of appear in my brain for a split second, then disappear. I usually can't do anything else until I draw the idea on paper.

This design came to me in one of those moments!

Above, cutting out the black jacquard wool fabric.

Next, I cut out the interfacing. The whole bolero is interfaced. A much better finish, and it will be much more durable.

Above, sewing the sleeve together.

I apply my Penelope Red label to the inside back facing.

I used silk lining for these jackets. The size 8 and 12 have black silk lining, the size 10 has pale blue silk lining.

I love the lace I used on these jackets! It is a very Art Deco styled lace- the lace I used for my wedding dress! I had a fair amount of it left, and I had been looking for the right design to use the rest in... so here it is.

I applied the lace in parts to the centre front, the shoulder seam, the sleeve hem and the centre back.

It was lucky that I could use the machine to appliqué all of the cream lace pieces on.

Above, clipping and trimming the seams- I do this on every seam!

Attaching the lining and facing to the main outer side.

The lace on the sleeve cuff/hem.

I will hopefully have some nice elegant photos of this design in the next week or two, and will add it to my etsy shop soon. I currently have a few bolero's already in the Penelope Red etsy shop, so please take a look, and visit again soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paths to Abstraction Exhibit at the Art Gallery of NSW

A market buddy, Naomi, and I decided to visit the Art Gallery of NSW yesterday. It is always nice to get some fresh inspiration, so when Naomi suggested this exhibit I didn't know what to expect, but I loved it!

The above images were taken from the Art gallery of NSW website. 1st image: Patrick Henry Bruce "Painting". 2nd image: Frantisek Kupka "Discs of Newton".

So many great artists and recognisable artworks in the one exhibition: Cezanne, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Malevich, Matisse, Mondrian, Monet, Munch, Picasso, Whistler. There are approx 40 different artist's work on display.

I wanted to share with you a few of my favourites:

Unfortunately this is the only image I could find on the web of the above artwork. It is by Sonia Delaunay, "Dancer, second version 1916". The colours and the proportions of these colours together are simply beautiful! I love using artworks to inspire my colour combinations, as artwork is already proof that the colours work together.

Naomi, who is the designer of Mae and Pearl, and she also designs her own prints, mentioned that she might use the above artwork as inspiration for a print. I hope she does! I would love it!!

Well worth the visit to see this in its real-life format.

Above, Robert Delaunay's "Nude woman reading". I LOVE the colours in this work too.

Naomi and I out the front of the art gallery. Such beautiful weather for mid winter!

There were many more artworks that I loved, so you will just have to visit the exhibit to see for yourself! Piet Mondrian's "Zomernacht", Andre Derain's "Banks of the Seine at Bougival", and Morgan Russell's "Four Part Synchromy, no 7" just to name a few.

Viewing this exhibit has given me a few ideas for my Summer collection, so I can't wait to start it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sharon's Black and Grey Winter Coat. Part 1: The Making of...

The following photos show the step-by-step making of a Penelope Red Winter Coat. This coat was handmade from two contrasting fabrics: 1. A 100% wool black spotted jacquard and 2. a wool/elastane blend cream and black woven twill (from a distance it looks grey).

This is a made to measure garment, and the lady (Sharon) who now owns it, picked it up this past weekend. I was so happy with the fit on Sharon- it looked fantastic on her! I am hoping to receive some photos from Sharon in the coming weeks, so that will be part 2...

First I had to grade the pattern from a size 10, to the correct size.

Next, I altered that pattern to suit Sharon's body shape. I created a toile (prototype) which she tried on before commencing the final garment.

Above, cutting out the wool jacquard, and below, cutting out the fur trim.

I used a cotton voile to interline ALL pieces of the coat. This creates a warmer coat, as well as gives the coat more durability and better shape.

Above and below, piecing the sleeve together.

Above, I am sewing the centre front and side front together.

All seams are trimmed, and clipped, then pressed open.

After this, I hand sew the seams open- using a big stitch. Since the seams and fabric gets quite thick, it is important that they all lie flat, and perfect. It also makes the seams durable for longer.

Above, sewing the interfacing to the interlining.

Before I attach the sleeves, I then create the welt button holes down the centre front.

Above, the inside of the button hole. Below, the outside the button hole.

To make sure that the button hole and the binded cording stay in place and all seams lie flat, I then hand sew the binding edges down to the interfacing.

Inside of the coat, where the pocket is sewn.

The coat collar is made from wool, fur and a very thick interfacing.

The collar seams allowances are also hand sewn down.

After attaching the sleeves, I apply a shoulder pad and sleeve head roll to the shoulder area.

Once the outer layers of the coat are created, I then attach the lining.

Above is a photo of the coat before I had completed it- as I still had quite a bit of hand sewing to go to finish it off. I will hopefully have more photos to add to part 2 soon!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stunning Liberty Floral Printed Wool

Isn't this print divine! The best part about it is that it is a 100% wool fabric, and it is soooooo soft. Being a wool, it truly is very unique, and I can't wait to create something out of it!

I think I might make bolero's out of it, a similar style to the Venus Floral Bolero.

Judging from the tag it came with, this is a Liberty printed wool. I am not an expert on Liberty prints, and I wasn't aware that they even printed on wool, but either way, I am in love with this print! It is so tempting to make something for myself with it... hmm... one for me, one for the shop!

The colours are so vibrant, but in quite dark and deep colours; an olive green background; bright red, blue, aqua, and dark magenta, green, and brown are mixed together with black heavy outline in a floral motif. STUNNING!

I will keep you posted with what I decide to do with it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Penelope Red New Design: Mauve and Black Coat sneak peak

After 3.5 metres of wool, 2.5 metres of silk lining, 3.5 metres of cotton interlining, 2 metres of interfacing, 4.5 metres black satin corded piping and 3 days of marathon sewing, I have handmade a beautiful Mauve and Black Winter Coat!

As you can probably tell from the photos, I have not finished it yet. I still need to complete the bound button holes, and apply the buttons to the other front piece. I was just too excited to not show it to you so far!

I decided to accent the mauve with the black as I thought it would be the best impact, as well as being the most wearable. Some beautiful black heels and a black hat would really finish off the look of this coat.

This looks loose on the dummy, because the coat is a size 14 (or US size 10), and the dummy is more like a size 8-10. I decided to make this in a size 14 because it is the most popular size at the markets, and I already have the Jade Winter Coat in a size 10.

I plan to make another coat in a size 12 (US size 8), and if I have time, one more in a size 8 (US size 4).

The Penelope Red Jade Winter Coat and this new style, the Mauve and Black Winter Coat will be available at The Rocks Markets this Saturday and Sunday.