31 August 2010

Sewing project close-ups

Due to popular demand, I've decided to upload some close-ups of the details of the three skirts I've made so far. I've been careful not to photograph any dodgy stitching, messy inside bits or uneven zips. Firstly, here are the contrast Thea & Sami pockets from my first ever project.

Next, here is a detail of my second project, which used a navy polka-dot cotton and a large white button detail.

And here's a close-up of the green vintage floral waistband I coupled with a black cotton (I think the main fabric is seersucker?), as well as my 'perfect' (by my standards) zip.

I promise to include close-ups of my future projects!

30 August 2010

Favourite Things Project: Neighbourhoods

It’s been a little while since I participated in the Being Tazim Favourite Things Project, but I do have a very good excuse — honest! I’m only going to be participating in those weeks that are very relevant to my usual blogging activities — so topics related to design, style, craft, or my local area. Last week’s topic was Favourite Neighbourhoods, so I’m going to talk a little bit about my immediate local area in Nundah, about ten kilometres north of Brisbane city.

Nundah Village, the main shopping and dining area of the suburb, is home to some fantastic cafes and restaurants, including a range of weekend breakfast dining options. A highlight is the C Word, our local bagel shop, and the old building that is home to the Royal English Hotel — a classic British pub right in the heart of my suburb. I highly recommend the lamb shanks.

Images: Our Brisbane

Nundah Village is also home to some cute and quirky shops, including Panda Pearls, Sivad Designs and Travels with My Aunt — three business that share a gorgeous store on Buckland Road. The ladies of the store host a regular Sidewalk Sale, which is an event I look forward to. You can easily lose yourself for a few hours looking at all of their wonderful vintage wares, as well as admiring Helen’s fabric wall art (of which I have a small piece myself).

Images: Sivad Designs

Nundah is also home to some rather entertaining ‘street art’ around the area of the train station.

Images: Jen 64, Flickr

What do you think of my suburb? I love it because it's just a little bit strange!

29 August 2010

Back on the internet!

I'm back! My week of no internet was thankfully not too painful (well, just a little). The great news is that by Friday I'd raised $1000 for Plan Australia's Pakistan flood appeal, which is amazing. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed - the fundraising page will stay up for as long as people still wish to donate.

Some more good news is that I was quite productive on my week away from cyberspace. To distract myself on election weekend, I decided to try my hand at making another skirt. I used the made pattern using a navy fabric with white spots, but omitted the pockets and added a nice big button for interest. It's zip isn't perfect and neither is the waistband on the inside, but no-one can see the inside, right?!

This weekend I went to Lincraft with the intention of buying this New Look pattern for a two-hour easy top, and I planned to make the purple design in a textured black fabric with the addition of a cluster of lime green buttons near the neckline. 

They didn't have that pattern, or my back-up option, so I chose another less-appealing one. Unfortunately, after the fabric had been cut I realised that the pattern was for knit fabrics only, so I had to make something else instead. Something like... another skirt! I'd been wanting the make the skirt pattern one size larger to see the difference - the other ones have fitted fine, but they are a little snug after a large meal! 

I decided to use some of the vintage fabric I got as part of my BrisStyle raffle prize. The fabric is extremely thin, so I really struggled to get the waistband on without it bunching up (even with the interfacing). After several attempts and many hours of unpicking, I finally got it done (again, it's imperfect on the inside). The really great news with this one is that I was unsatisfied with the zip, so painstakingly unpicked to try and get it right - and now, but my standards, the zip looks PERFECT! So, as frustrating as my sewing journey is at times, I am making progress.

I have some nice grey fabric to tackle next - maybe a simple dress if I can get hold of the pattern!

I didn't get a chance to start working on my sewing table during the week, as I had lots of study to catch up on. But hopefully I'll move on to that soon!

20 August 2010

Melbourne wrap up - and farewell for now!

John and I arrived back in Brisbane on Wednesday afternoon after spending the previous five days in Melbourne. We spent the weekend hanging out with our friends from Studio Pounce in Fitzroy, Collingwood and Northcote, and even managed to squeeze in a half-day visit to Melbourne Zoo (yay! giraffes!) before the party at Walsh Street House on Saturday night. On Sunday we enjoyed roast night, pool and ping-pong to celebrate our friend’s birthday at the Panama Dining Room.
Image: Panama Dining Room

On Monday morning I woke up with a terrible cold that it still with me, but nevertheless we made our way to the city for a couple more days of Melbourne fun. We spent a lot of time wandering through the streets and laneways, and ate many a meal in Centre Place and Degraves Street. We had MANY recommendations from locals, so it was very easy to find excellent food and coffee.

Images: The Collector's Marvellous Melbourne

We also spent quite a bit of time looking at art, and visited the Tim Burton exhibition at ACMI for most of Tuesday (our main reason for delaying our honeymoon). We also had a brief visit to the Städel exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, and, of course, we checked out the full Shag exhibition at Outré Gallery. We also popped in to check out the State Library of Victoria. Check our their reading room!
Image: Black Holes and White Walls

I also managed to fit in a little bit of shopping before heading home. I managed to find The Cat’s Meow in Cathedral Arcade, which sells really lovely locally designed clothing. I treated myself to a Berserk top, although I could have bought so much more. I also found a cute little accessories store called Little Salon where I bought myself this little Love necklace (in red). I already have a couple of Love pieces, so another one doesn’t hurt! John also bought me a brooch with a computer on it — somehow I think he might have been having a dig at me. :)
Image: Love

Now is the time for me to sign off for a week. I’ve managed to raise almost $800 for Plan Australia to help the flood victims in Pakistan, so I’m honouring my commitment and logging off for a week starting tomorrow morning. The appeal is still open for those who still wish to help out (I’ve also updated the information and included a new video from Plan about their work). Bye for now!

19 August 2010

Back from Walsh Street House

As mentioned a little while ago, John and I managed to score tickets to an exclusive cocktail party at Robin Boyd's Walsh Street House, hosted by Outré Gallery to celebrate Shag's latest Australian exhibition. On Saturday night in Melbourne we attended said party, and it was fabulous! In addition to finally meeting Jenny Butler from Apartment Therapy, we also got to meet the artist himself and plaster our behinds all over the Featherston furniture. Here I am pondering what book I might choose to read on my Featherston chairs.

Guests were permitted to drink their mojitos whilst sitting on this furniture. Crazy, I know. Here are a couple of pieces other I admired during my three hours in the house.

Tony from the Robin Boyd Foundation took the time to explain the history of the house. It was apparently intended to be used as a party house, which means all the lovely guests dressed in their mid-century attire were indeed permitted to enjoy our surroundings (although drinks were not permitted in the upstairs living room, presumably due to the fact that the floor disappears at the room's edges and could result in some nasty drunken accidents).

Thank you to Gemma and Martin from Outré Gallery (and also Shag) for allowing us the rare opportunity to enjoy this wonderful house. Check out Shag's Dickie bird work inspired by the house. I'm strongly considering making a purchase. 
Image: Outré Gallery

For more images of the party, visit Gemma's Flickr page.

11 August 2010

First sewing project: complete!

I spent most of today (a public holiday in Brisbane) finally making my skirt. And I made most of it by myself!

It was a massive challenge. For an 'easy' pattern, the instructions were particularly hard to decipher. It wasn't helped by the fact that I thought I could do away with the instructions (and my sewing teacher's instructions) to sew in the zipper - I eventually got it sewn in on the third attempt, but it's still a little dodgy and might need some hand stitching. There were a number of other problems along the way, but I got it done in the end! I also learnt that unpicking black cotton thread from black linen-cotton fabric is very tedious.

So, here it is! Doesn't the Thea & Sami fabric look fabulous as contrast pockets! It fits like a glove too, which is great as I was a little worried about how the sizing would be for my first project. Now I'm ready to make another one!

John and I are off to Melbourne this Friday morning to catch up with the cool kids at Studio Pounce, returning on Wednesday next week. I'll be sure to blog up a storm before my week of no internet begins on 21 August. There's also still plenty of time to contribute to my fundraising page for Plan Australia to help flood victims in Pakistan.

10 August 2010

Fundraising update and thank yous

I just wanted to let everyone know how I'm going so far with my fundraising for Plan Australia to help the flood victims of Pakistan. In only four days, I exceeded my $500 target! Now on day five, the total is sitting on $580. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

There are now an estimated 14 million people affected, which makes this crisis worse than that of the tsunami of late 2004. Therefore, I'll be keeping the appeal running right up until I begin my week of no internet in order to raise as much money as possible. I will begin my week of no internet on Saturday 21 August (the day of the federal election). Hopefully I'll use my time constructively and make some progress with sewing or fixing up my found table!

What do you think? Should I now aim to raise $1000?
Image: Arab Times

07 August 2010

Let the sewing fun begin!

Last weekend I took a trip to Lincraft and trawled through the pattern books. I found the one I had originally been wanting to make - the McCall's skirt seen in this post. However, I decided to have a quick look through the New Look patterns, and I found this very similar one for almost half the price - and it includes a pocket version!
Image: Simplicity/New Look

There was a half-price sale on fabric at Lincraft, so I bought a nice black linen and cotton blend. I've decided to make the skirt in the main picture using Thea & Sami Marguerite fabric for contrast pockets. Making the one with the contrast band at the bottom was going to mean cutting and joining the fabric, which I didn't really want to do.
Image: Thea & Sami

This morning I've traced the pattern so I can use it again, and later Shilo and Rebecca are coming over to help me carefully pin the pieces on to the fabric ready for cutting (Rebecca is also learning to sew, and she's being very ambitious and making a maxi dress for her first project). As you can see on the packet image, the pattern is 'easy' - but, of course, I have no idea where to start, and everything looks confusing to me. Hopefully with a bit of patience I'll soon have myself a skirt!

Also, don't forget my fundraising for Plan Australia. There are now more than 14 million people affected by the floods in Pakistan and close to 2000 have been killed. Thankfully, my sponsor child's community has so far been spared. If I reach my $500 target, I'll be committing to not using the internet for a whole week. For more information, please visit my fundraising page.

05 August 2010

Help support Plan Australia assist those affected by the flood in Pakistan

In order to help Plan Australia raise much-needed funds for the current flood crisis in Pakistan, I have set up a fundraising page. As a sponsor of a child in Pakistan, I would like to see Plan get as much financial support as possible in order for them to reach the 2.5 million people currently affected.
Image: Reuters

If I reach my fundraising target of $500, I will be removing myself from all internet activities for a week (except for work and study purposes) beginning 21 August. Those who know me well will be aware that this will be a huge challenge for me.

To read more, please visit my fundraising page here: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/kylie_timmins

Thanks for your support!

04 August 2010

Sewing table: The plan!

After speaking to some knowledgeable people, I have established that my 'found' table is all pine, aside from the silky oak drawers. Therefore, I am reverting to my original plan of stripping it back and painting it, as well as raising the legs so I can actually use it as a sewing table!

I've decided to paint the bulk of the table white, and I'm leaning towards the lovely Wattyl colour 'Manhattan Snow'. I will affix wallpaper to panel across the back of the table - I finally have an excuse to use my Florence Broadhurst 'Aubrey' wallpaper given to me by Terese from designed to a T. (I'll be referring to Terese's online tutorials for tips on how best to affix the paper.) For the cupboard doors and drawer, I really like Wattyl's 'Scandinavian Grey' (although 'Summer Sky' is also lovely). I'll be raising the height of the table by about 12 centimetres by adding new pine cabriole (Queen Anne) legs at a cost of about $25 each, retaining the wings at the sides. Here's a little snapshot of all the components I hope to use.
Image: Wattyl

Image: Hammersmith Woodturners

Here's a look at my draft plan. What do you think? Would you add or change anything? I'm certainly open to suggestions!

02 August 2010

Inside Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street House

I am VERY excited to report that when John and I visit Melbourne at the end of next week, we’ll be attending a very exclusive party at Robin Boyd’s fabulous Walsh Street House. The party, organised by Outré Gallery is hailed as a ‘mid-century soiree’ and will include none other than American artist Shag.

So, in honour of this party and Shag’s latest visit to Australia, here are some pictures inside the glorious Walsh Street House in South Yarra. Boyd designed this home for his family to reside in back in 1958, and it’s now considered to be one of the architectural icons of Australia. It goes without saying that I’m very excited to be able to attend a party in this house (not to mention the fact that I’ll be meeting the lovely Jenny Butler from Apartment Therapy there!). For more information about Robin Boyd’s work, visit the Robin Boyd Foundation website.

01 August 2010

Inside my new sewing table

For interest's sake, here are some pictures of the inside of our awesome table find. I know nothing about timber - does it look like it's all silky oak, or just the drawers?