The Sewing Room

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Vintage Tea Towels perfect to Cushions!

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Vintage Teatowel Cushions

New cushions for the lounge made from vintage tea towels. These vintage tea towels ones come from Great Aunty Jeans shop Frewin’s Fabric in Hunters Hill. I just love the vintage colours and prints. Very easy to make, if you would like the instructions. Have a wonderful day, maybe curl up on the lounge with a good book against soft feather cushions.

Written by Penelope Leonard

February 27th, 2016 at 9:42 pm

Dead Sexy Shirt…..

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This gorgeous shirt was made by one of my clever students I really love the fabric selection with the white trim and interesting buttons. There are so many sewing techniques in a shirt, that it can be a little overwhelming. But through our step by step construction class, you learn so many new skills you will take it in your stride. The trick is to break it down into smaller elements and focus on them one at a time.


This beautiful cuff and sleeve placket – we carefully slash the lower edge of the sleeve and lay pleats in the lower edge of sleeve in the direction of the placket. Attached placket underlap piece to right side of sleeve and stitch. Fold the facing over the seam allowance to wrong side, fold in 6mm. Stitch overlap edge in place. Attaching your cuff is next ……. So many lovely techniques to learn and master.


This clever detail on the shirt collar with stand adds so much interest with the contacting floral, stripe and plain white front facing in striking black and white. This type of collar is commonly found on men’s shirts, the collar has two sections, collar and stand. As a rule, it is the under collar that is interfaced and it gives the collar that beautiful structured look. Dead Sexy Sue is a very clever student, hope you are still enjoying your sewing skills.

Written by Penelope Leonard

February 20th, 2016 at 12:52 am

Step aside proud Mother coming through……

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IMG_3049We are all proud of the clever things our offspring do……… when I suggested to Andrew if he would like to learn to screenprint, I would love to show him how, he said ‘yes’. I was so excited to come home to an amazing drawing of a fox. After explaining the idea that each shape had to be fully enclosed so you can cut the design out of paper, a few day later he had scaled the drawing up to A3 and cut the design out of paper ready to print onto the linen fabric. One quiet Saturday afternoon we printed the fabulous Mr Fox in blue onto our fabric. The first few were a little fuzzy on the edges but after a few practice goes, getting the angle and presser right with the squeege he was off and racing. Andrew’s design was a two colour print so after the blue was dry, we set up a sheet of clear plastic to help us line up the black eyes in the right place before printing.

A visit to the fabulous patchwork store in Mornington called Treehouse Textile They carry beautiful fabrics and accessaries. The lovely lady who owns the store found the perfect fabric to back Andrew’s cushions. The next step in Andrew’s screenprinting journey was for him to sew the cushions together.I was very impressed with his sewing machine skills and even more impressed with the 12 beautiful buttonholes he created, three on each of his four beautiful cushions. Step aside very proud Mother coming through…..

Written by Penelope Leonard

February 14th, 2016 at 11:45 pm

The Lovely Linen Recycling Plastic Bag Bag….

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I try to remember to take the green bags with me when I go shopping but I seem to forget more often then not. So when I have to use the plastic bags, I like to keep them and recycle them as bin liners. So when the plastic bags started to take over the pantry, I decided to make this lovely natural linen bag with elastic at the bottom to hold the plastic bags. I think it looks quite lovely hanging in the pantry. It did take a few weeks for Andrew to find the plastic bags to put his smelly sneekers in……

Written by Penelope Leonard

February 5th, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Embroidery and appliqué is good for the soul

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The cool winter nights in Mornington spent toiling over a piece of fabric with embroidery and appliqué is good for the soul. This woolen scarf came about when I found a piece of cream woolen jersey fabric I had been hording for a while, long enough for a hungry moth to luncheon on a fold all the way through making random little holes. To cover the little holes I placed light blue birds of fluffy fabric from a beloved jigsaw skirt I could no longer wear and hand embroidered around the edge with only a few simple lines on the actually bird itself. Three different green woolen fabrics from boil sage wool to dark green felt created the foliage with the little running stitch to draw the elements together. My beautiful mother painstakingly wove the beautiful cream fringing on the short edge to complete the creation. It is so lovely and warm to wear. More photos on facebook.

Written by Penelope Leonard

July 19th, 2015 at 12:14 am

‘Flowers in Milk Bottles’ linen cushion covers.

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Flowers in Milk Bottles

I really enjoyed creating this pretty, very girly cushion. The fabric is a 100% stone linen screen printed with a very simple design I created in illustrator (the computer program) and printed in white ink. The embroidery is a easy stem stitch with flowers made from circles of fabric. The circle is turned over around the edge with a tacking thread and drawn into create the gathered circle. I attached the flower circles with two buttons, the first a gorgeous shell flower I picked up from No Chintz in Willoughby Sydney and a lovely green buttons that I have had for agers. If you would like to create your own design I have a few milkbottle printed cushion pieces available. Happy Sewing my sewing friends it is a prefect day for it, wet and wonderful outside on the Mornington Peninsula today.

Written by Penelope Leonard

June 20th, 2015 at 1:03 am

Tambour Beading Workshop Saturday 6 November 2010

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Tambor_beading_2006_email_Karen Torrisi, a professional Tambour Beader will be delivery this exciting beading class. Karen Torrisi was awarded the Australian prize for the 2009 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery. Tambour Beading is a hand beading technique performed with a hook in a holder. This holds a shortened French Cornelli needle, and is used to bead onto fabric that is stretched over a frame.

Samples and demonstration of the art of Tambour Beading are done in French Haute Couture Embroidery at Lesage in Paris. This is the technique used to embellish couture garments for the fashion industry in Paris.

This technique is rarely practiced outside of the Paris workrooms. The Sewing Room will be conducting introductory workshops to the art of Tambour Beading on the Saturday 6 November 2010. In this workshop you will learn to stretch your fabric onto a tapestry frame and the technique of creating a chain stitch.

There are only a few place still available for these exciting Tambour Beading Workshops please contact us via email

Written by Penelope Leonard

October 12th, 2010 at 6:06 am

Sydney Design 2010

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Inline Image

The Sewing Room is delivering workshops at Sydney Design 2010. The design festival runs for 16 days from Saturday 31 July to Sunday 15 August. The program is produced by the Powerhouse Museum in partnership with more than 50 cultural institutions, organisations and individuals across Sydney. The program looks amazing with more than 70 events.

The ‘tell us a story’ theme will reveal the many captivating stories behind design ideas, objects and processes. It will invite participants to create meaningful conversations with others around design, and enable people to connect with design on a more personal level.

The Powerhouse is holding a major exhibition called ‘Creating the look’ this exhibition draws on the highly successful partnership between photographer Bruno Benini and stylist Hazel Benini from 1950 to 2000. And explores the creative processes involved in styling, crafting and designing powerful eye-catching fashion photographs.

Don’t forget to drop into the designer markets. Young Blood: designers market showcases emerging Australian designers and designboom mart features the young, avant-garde of international design. Visitors can meet and buy direct from designers at both evening (Friday only) and daytime markets from 13-15 August.

The youngest of designers will take part in a Kids Design Weekend from 31 July-1 August. Weekend highlights include the first paper plane academy; a pop-up book workshop; a children’s storytelling museum tour; paper doll fashion design in Frock stars: inside Australian Fashion Week; and a fashion photography collage workshop linked to Creating the look: Benini and fashion photography.

The Sewing Room will be delivery “ The Felt my Tote workshop’  How to refashion a woolen knit jumper from an op-shop into a fabulous tote bag on 11am – 3pm, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August (two-day workshop) at the Powerhouse Museum.

From Vinnies to designer chic! Bring along an old woollen jumper – from an op shop or from home – and re-fashion it into a gorgeous tote bag. Using the ancient process of felting, the old jumper will be deconstructed and reborn as a brand new accessory. Let your imagination run wild as you cut, fold, sew and appliqué your tote bag, stamping it with your own personality. All you need to bring is an old woollen knit jumper or woollen garment; all other sewing equipment and materials will be supplied.

The following workshops will be in the bright and busy The Sewing Room .

Whether a beginner or an expert, these sewing workshops will inspire you to push the boundaries of your creativity. Expand your existing techniques or try something completely new at these fun and educational events. With beading, embroidery, pleating, t-shirts, fashion design and illustration on offer, there’s plenty of choice. Nimble fingers and an open mind can lead to all kinds of beautiful outcomes.

Tambour Beading:
Saturday 14 August, 10am-4pm

Fashion Design & Colour Theory:
Sunday 1 August, 11am-4pm & Friday 13 August, 10am-2.30pm

Fashion Illustration:
Saturday 31 July, 10am-4pm

Introductory Embroidery Stitches & Beading Techniques:
Saturday 7 August, 10am-4pm & Wednesday 4 August, 10am-4pm

Pleating In Fashion:
Wednesday 4 August, 10am-3pm & Sunday 8 August, 11am-4pm

Chic T-Shirt Manipulations:
Friday 6 August, 11am-4pm & Sunday 14 August, 11am-4pm
$ 150

To book, please call Penelope Leonard on 0432 688 536 or email

Sewing Class 1 – The Machine & Basic Functions


Rachel the sewing room

Didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we went to The Sewing Room. It was a beautiful day to learn to sew as it was wet and dark outside as we toiled away like busy little beavers. There was time to chat and enjoy a cup of tea while we made these beautiful bags.

Susan The Sewing Room

There was lots of smiles in the fun and relaxed environment where you learn the basics of using a sewing machine.

Rachel with finish bag the sewing room

And you go home with a gorgeous new bag, made by you. Pretty clever aren’t you!!!

Written by Penelope Leonard

February 9th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Posted in Sewing Room

Have you always wanted to learn how to create your own clothing?


Mannequin stitched-heart
Join one of The Sewing Rooms classes guided by experienced highly qualified instructors. We specialise in one-off sessions or short courses, on weekdays, evenings and weekends. Learn to make a summer dress, re-fashion something you own, learn the skills to put finishing touches on your designs or start from scratch with how to read a pattern.

The bright and busy Sewing Room is a place really worth visiting. Part sewing school, part design room, part meeting place, a flurry of creativity, and the Sewing room offers domestic and industrial sewing machines, industrial overlockers, a huge cutting table, pressing equipment and dressmaker’s mannequins. Equipment can be hired by the hour.

The Sewing Room offers classes from beginner’s right through to project based courses from those who already know how to work a sewing machine. There will even be a course specially designed for guys who want to learn to sew a button on and to alter the length of their jeans.

The Sewing room aims to become a creative hub for dressmaking enthusiasts and emerging designers, providing a supportive atmosphere for everyone in or wishing to join the fashion community.

Sewing Classes will cater to all levels from the complete novice, to the relative expert. Sewing Skills I introduces beginners to the sewing machine, while Sewing Skills II covers zippers, castings and buttonholes. Class sizes are small so that everyone can benefit from personal attention.

You can come to a class to develop your design skills, make your own patterns with our introduction to pattern making classes or simply learn how to change a pattern to fit you properly. There are more advanced classes in creating a tailored jacket and sewing those difficult evening wear fabrics.

You will be able to realise your design dreams and acquire practical patternmaking and sewing techniques to make life easier.

The Sewing Room is opening on the 11th January 2009.

Written by Penelope Leonard

December 11th, 2009 at 9:09 am

Posted in Sewing Room