Sunday, 30 December 2012

Merry Christmas Amelia Wall Hanging

Sometimes my brain feels overloaded from the rampant consumerism that is foisted upon us. This is especially bad at Christmas time so I had made an effort to escape the city the week before Christmas and head down to the coast. I rented a simple but clean beach shack and used the time to read, relax and watch the most amazing sunsets. The coastline was dramatic and walking along the beach was a challenge as it was all rocks. During these walks I would collect driftwood, shells and sponges. My daughter Amelia was going to join me on this break but she could not get the time off work. Since Amelia could not come to the beach.....I had the beach come to Amelia.


So start with the most amazing orange tinted sky


Add a bit of descending sun

Some driftwood, shells, sponges and jute twine.

And end up with a Merry Christmas Amelia Wall Hanging.



Friday, 30 November 2012

Mr Brown Goes To Town Jacket

Where did this refashion begin.....well it started months and months ago when I bought a green/grey canvas jacket at a Thrift Store. I bought the jacket with the idea of showcasing an interesting refashion technique of changing the back middle panel. The dream was to find a canvas painting which I would trim to fit the back panel. I had to wait for the perfect canvas so it remained a dream for many many months until Mr Brown came to town. I spotted Mr Brown or more correctly.....Mr Brown's canvas painting at the Bayswater Salvos. So I said to Sue the lovely manager " Sue I can turn this canvas into something special. It will look great in your refashion section and hopefully it will inspire people to create it for themselves." Sue was curious and interested.....so she replied "Go for it Mezzy" I want to thank Mr Brown who carefully wrote his name, phone number and that he was an artist on the back of the canvas. Your canvas now has another life. 
Front of plain green/grey canvas jacket

Penelope you need to iron the back of this jacket.

Ohhhh ahhhh, interesting painting on canvas. Thanks Mr Brown....I have been waited months for you to come into my life.

I have cut out a template of the back panel of the jacket. I have removed the painting from the frame and it is now time to cut it to size.

I have pinned it and now I am sewing. I will double stitch this in place.

This is a trim from the bottom of a cardigan that I have rescued. The cardigan could not be sold due to damage. You are looking at the wrong side of the trim.

Here is the correct side of the cardigan trim. I like the wrong side better.....so that is what I am going to use. Trim the excess fabric away from the overlocked finish.

How amazing? The cardigan trim fits perfectly all the way around the bottom edge of the canvas jacket. I sew over the overlocking to secure the trim in place.


Pretty from the front.

Soft and sweet with a bit of lace.

And fabulous from the back.








Thursday, 8 November 2012

"Thread Astaire" Necklace.

The "Thread Astaire" Necklace harks back to another era where men were stylish, classy and debonair. Fred Astaire was what we call today....a triple threat. He was the Hugh Jackman of his day as he could sing, dance and act. He lived in an era when clothes were made to look beautiful and they were tailored to the highest standard.

I found a beautiful J & P Coats vintage thread and spool at a retro stall and instantly feel in love with it. In the old days, cotton thread was sold on beautiful wooden spools. Instantly I knew that I had to buy it so I was quite happy to part with $4.00. The thread has never been unwound and it is still in its original unused state. When I saw this spool,  I visualized a statement necklace. This piece of history needed to be the hero.....so I kept the necklace simple and therefore the "Thread Astaire" Necklace was born

Vintage wooden cotton spool.

Beautiful label. Will keep this intact

Bottom of the spool. The hole is a result of the vintage spool holder that it was displayed on.

Mod Podge the spool to prevent the thread from unraveling and to give a richness in colour to the wooden spool. I have placed a paint brush in the centre to prevent the glue from pooling and closing up the hole.

This necklace is old and tired but the chain is perfect for this project. I am going to remove the dangly threads and the two baubles. I am going to re-use the two silver beads either side of the big brown bauble.

Start constructing the necklace. I have a plain black bead to secure the bottom of the spool and prevent it from falling out. I will also add a smaller silver bead below the black bead to finish the look, with the larger silver bead at the top of the spool..

Completed necklace worn against a white tee.

Penelope Hanger models necklace with a grey retro style tee.

Close up

Penelope Hanger wearing her "Thread Astaire" Necklace.

Too good to use in a sewing project but beautiful enough to wear.




Sunday, 4 November 2012

Board Babies Clipboard

Board Babies clipboard was created for Charlotte who is a naturopath, massage therapist and breast feeding counsellor. Her specialty is pregnancy, mothers and babies so she needed a clipboard that would reflect this theme. The clipboard is used to take patient history so it would be nice if it was a bit more interesting than a plain brown board. Her idea was for it to be covered in boobs to reflect a breast feeding theme. Funnily enough I do not have an endless stock of breast feeding pics so I had to come up with a Plan B. So out came my stash of retro cards, ric rac and vintage buttons. Not exactly what Charlotte imagined....but the end result is very cute. These covered clipboards would also work perfectly in a nursery(hanging on the wall) as an alternative traditional nursery prints. 


Plain Clipboard....boring

Cute retro cards

Baby themed....how perfect.

Start placing on the clipboard. 

Create a look that you like.

Now it is time to work very quickly. Mod Podge the board and then place your pics in the pattern that you had previously decided over the glue. Once the pics are all in place it is time to mod podge the top. I wanted to add some yellow ric rac so more mod podge. The ric rac turns on the corners so a peg helps define the curve and stop the ric rac from lifting during the drying process.

Some yellow vintage buttons were also added.

This is the finished product. It would look cute hung on a nursery wall.

Close up shows some additional detail of a blue/white fabric flower with a vintage button centre.

Board Babies Clipboard is now completed and ready to be used.



Friday, 26 October 2012

The Divine Neckline Tee.


  • Big Tick.....Trip to San Francisco
  • Big Tick.....Vintage scene in Haight St
  • Big Tick.....Gorgeous vintage grey tee found at a recycle store
Some time later my husband started recommending that I stop wearing holey threadbare grey San Francisco tee. Awesome tee had to be retired so I removed the gorgeous plaited neckline with the intention of turning into something cool. Then it just sat on my dressmakers model for one year awaiting it's special transformation. 

Transformation day finally came and I decided to add colour to the removed neckline. I needed a plain grey tee so I grabbed my Penelope's Tweed Indeed Tee and removed the tweed ric rac. I liked the ric rac but I decided that the finish was just not me. 


So here is the plain grey tee

Apologies as I do not have a pic of my threadbare holey tee, but this is the plaited neckline that I carefully unpicked

I want to add a bit of colour to the neckline so I start making tee shirt strip roses.

This is my tea stained bit of vintage lace that I have used for many many of my refashions. Before I dyed it with tea I used it in my Cheeky Charlotte Cardigan which is an Anthropologie inspired refashion and still one of my favourites. For this refashion I have decided to plait it so it replicates the neckline.

A little bit of the plait was turned into a rose.

The plaited rose had a reclaimed button added to it. I then sewed it on the grey plaited neckline.

Here is the end result after a few more flowers and finally hand sewing the plaited neckline in place.

The neckline now has texture and colour.

The plaited neckline and flowers soften this plain grey tee. From plain to pretty I am very pleased with the result. 

An alternative finish as I decided that I did not like the long braid. I am still undecided whether I will it will remain this way. 







Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sweet Pea Purse

I am a bower bird so on my thrifting adventures I collect vintage lace, braiding, buttons and fabric. I have no project in mind when I buy them so I store them in my thrifting nest for use at a later date. Recently I found a tapestry coin purse at my favourite thrift store. A bargain at $2.99 and quite pretty. When I saw it, I knew that it was the perfect size to store 3 or 4 lipsticks. I do have a lipstick case but it only stores one lipstick and I have never found a lipstick case that stores more than one, so I decided to create my own. My mood changes during the course of the day so when I refresh my lipstick I tend to change the colour. Hence I currently have 4 lipsticks floating around in the bottom of my handbag. This is a problem as they become hard to locate and the lids tend to detach, resulting in a stained handbag.

The solution to this dilemma is the Sweet Pea Purse.


Pretty tapestry coin purse.

Vintage doily with a hole. I purchased 3 for 50 cents.

Stash of vintage lace and braiding.

I cut two pieces of each for the front and back of the coin purse. I then started to hand sew the braiding to the top of the lace.

1970's floral fabric which I will use in this project.

I have finished sewing the braiding to the lace but I think that it needs more so I will come back to it.

This is my vintage Welsh tweed that I have used in other projects.

Stash of vintage buttons. Which ones shall I pick for this project.

In this pic the lace trim is now complete. One piece is trimmed with pink buttons and the other piece with white buttons. At the top of the pic is my tweed flower. The biggest circle is the tweed. The middle circle is a flower cut from my floral 1970's fabric. The smallest circle is a blue flower from the damaged doily. I sewed all these into place and then Mod Podge to stop the tweed from unraveling.

This is the finished coin purse. There are extra elements of pink ric rac and a large lace flower(again from a length of lace trim) which I carefully cut out. I then sewed a smaller purple flower from the 1970's floral fabric and finally finished it with a pink button. The blue bunch of flowers was cut from the damaged doily. The final step was to hand sew them into place onto the purse.

This is the second side of the purse with the white button trim up top. On the left you can see the tweed flower along with pink ric rac and some leftover tea stained lace in the middle. Further flowers with further buttons are also added.

The key to the Sweet Pea Purse is to keep building and building and building. The end result is well worth it and I now have a good size traveling lipstick container.