I don’t want to speak too soon… but I have a feeling I’m going to crush consciously spending less to create more challenge this time ‘round! 2 months in, the fabrics are out, my hands and mind have been designing, drafting and sewing and as a result, I AM FEELING GOOD!

The focus for this month was on ‘creation’. In other words, it was a full month of sewing.


Up-cycling existing items in my wardrobe.


The first couple of items I made were up-cycled from existing items in my wardrobe.


Victim 1 was a navy and white silk chiffon dress which I’ve had for roughly 5 years and love but it was beginning to look a bit tired. So, I cut off the sleeves, lowered and re-shaped the neckline and finished the raw edges with a bias bind. I intend to use it as a cover up over togs (an idea courtesy of fashion stylist, Anna Mabin Styling).

A navy and white silk chiffon dress up-cycled to be a beach/ pool cover up.



The next item I went to was the embroidered broderie anglaise fabric which I kept from a favourite dress I bought in my early 20’s. The top of the dress no longer fitted but the skirt was perfectly good. After raiding my fabric cupboard and getting distracted by all the other fabrics, I eventually stumbled across two: A cotton lace which I inherited from my Nana and an Italian, cotton, yellow and orange shot drill which was a remnant from a fashion collection I designed at college.


Italian cotton drill layered with an inherited cotton lace clashed beautifully.


Layering the cotton lace over the drill, the combination of fabrics clashed perfectly with the pattern on the broderie anglaise – I silently and slowly nodded my head and high fived myself for the genius pairing.


Finishing details – Quality craftsmanship


Cutting 2 x arm holes into the skirt, I made a pair of sleeves from the remnant fabrics and an off the shoulder top overall. You can see the finished piece below.


Top stitching facings


This month, I had the great pleasure of being asked by Oz Harvest (the phenomenal Australian food waste social enterprise founded by Ronni Kahn) to do a takeover of their Instagram at their 8th Birthday celebration held in Brisbane. What better outfit to wear to an organisation who essentially upcycle food, than my upcycled top?! The planets must have been in alignment!


Influencer take over for Oz Harvest’s 8th birthday celebration held in Brisbane.


Deliberately, I left the sewing machine out and got started on my next venture – A top and skirt twinset outfit designed for the Spring Polo. Using a skirt pattern which I altered from a dress I designed a couple of years ago, I drafted a midriff top to go with it. A blue and white striped cotton fabric which I inherited from Nana, white, glass, seed beads I inherited from a friend’s Nana and a fashion project which forced me to make it, I made a new skirt and top which I absolutely love.


Behind the scenes close ups


Handed embellished and finished midriff and skirt using inherited fabrics and finishings.


November was a busy month of creating, following my instinct and keeping a close eye on where I am spending my time. Since beginning this project I have been very conscious of the screen time percentage statistics on my phone. Too many hours in my week are lost on my phone – mainly for work but I do also have a tendency to get caught in the pinboards of Pinterest! As I learnt from doing this in 2017 – Time Poor Makes You Poor. It’s a good reminder to reassess where I am channeling my energy, focus and time and I have lots of room for improvement.


I think that’s it for this month!


Until next time, stay in your magic. 






About Penelope

I’m a fashion illustrator, designer, storyteller and ambassador who helps brands in the fashion, lifestyle and travel industries, build brand recognition, credibility, loyalty, and trust whilst offering a fresh perspective.

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